Uber and Lyft have been driving around the streets of Los Angeles for quite a while now. And when Uber or Lyft accidents happen in California’s most populous city, nobody even bats an eye.
But ridesharing / Metrolink accidents could soon rise significantly in Los Angeles now that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) signed a partnership deal with Via, a ridesharing service that allows users to hop on a ride with other commuters who are headed in the same direction using the Via app.
The main difference between Uber and Via is that the latter may carry several passengers who don’t know each other and it drops off passengers on the corner of a block nearest to the destination (drop-off location). Also, Via charges a flat rate for rides, which is usually low.
Basically, Via is hybrid of Uber and a public bus. It’s a dynamic bus line that will allow Los Angeles commuters to pay with their TAP account, LA’s public transport fare card.
Metro officials promise to make the project as affordable as possible and offer a reduced fare rate; but will Via ridesharing service be safer than Uber or traditional buses?
How ridesharing accidents in Los Angeles could rise with Via
In Los Angeles, Via will operate to and from three major Metro stations in the city, which are, needless to say, some of the city’s busiest streets where many motor vehicle accidents occur every hour.
The number of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers killed in Los Angeles traffic has been rising sharply in recent years, while traffic accidents, including car, bicycle and Metrolink accidents have been on the rise.
Fact: more than 50,000 traffic collisions occur in Los Angeles every year, with traffic fatalities ranging between 200 and 400 annually.
To operate as a Metrolink and ridesharing service, Via uses minivans to carry more passengers. While statistics in the U.S. don’t typically provide separate statistics for minivans, a report from Hong Kong showed that the accident rate of minibuses is 7.5 times that of all other vehicles.
Fact: in Hong Kong, the accident rate of minibuses is 255.2 per 1,000 minibuses, compared with 34.1 per 1,000 for all vehicles.
This report alone is troubling enough to hop on a Via minivan to get to the nearest Metro station in Los Angeles. Not to mention that since minivans carry more passengers, this could translate to a higher fatality per accident rate in case of serious traffic collisions.
How to protect yourself from Metrolink accidents in LA?
Here at JML Law, our Metrolink accident attorneys, who have handled hundreds of Uber and Lyft car accidents in Los Angeles and all across California in the past few years, wonder if Via is coming to operate in LA with liability coverage.
As for Uber, the ride-sharing giant carries $1 million of liability coverage as well as $1 million of uninsured/underinsured coverage per every U.S. city where it operates. In traditional taxies, passengers are typically protected with between $20,000 to $50,000 liability coverage depending on the city and state.
In case of a ridesharing accident, our Los Angeles Metrolink accident attorney recommends contacting an attorney immediately, especially if you, the driver or any other passenger were seriously injured.
Our Uber accident attorneys here at JML Law have seen plenty of cases where Uber drivers attempt to put the blame for a car crash on the passenger for allegedly “distracting” him/her or otherwise contributing to the collision.
This is something you should never rule out in an Uber or Via accident, as you’re riding with a complete stranger and there are usually no witnesses in the car who would prove the driver’s words wrong.
Also, federal and state laws regarding ridesharing accidents in Los Angeles are constantly changing, which is why it’s vital to be represented by an experienced Metrolink accident attorney from a reputable law firm.
One such law firm is JML Law, which offers you a free initial consultation and its Los Angeles ridesharing accident attorneys don’t get paid unless you win the case.
Call our offices at 818-610-8800 today or send an email for a free case evaluation.