The Texas Ridesharing Accident Guide was created by Garcia & Ochoa to help injured residents obtain maximum compensation from negligent drivers and their insurance company. Contact our office for a free consultation.
Ridesharing has become a widely used way to get around in the last few years. There are companies such as Lyft and Uber who have become some of the most popular forms of transportation. These companies offer an alternative to local buses, cabs, and trains. The convenience of using an app to call a ride has made Uber and Lyft a very common means of transportation. Because of this, there has been a staggering increase of rideshare accidents in Texas. Our Texas ridesharing accident attorneys can answer the big questions you probably have. You may be wondering who is responsible for the accident, what happens if there is another person riding in the car with you, and who will be covering your medical bills. After you read about your ridesharing accident case, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation. We have experience successfully handling cases like yours and we want to get you the best possible result.
Obstacles You May Face When Involved in a Ridesharing Accident
When you order an Uber or Lyft, you are most likely unaware of what their insurance policy is and how it affects you in the case of an accident. Cabs, taxis, and buses have a different type of insurance that would protect you if you were hurt in an accident on one of those types of vehicles. Uber and Lyft so provide some insurance coverage to their passengers, but it gets complicated when the driver of the Uber or Lyft is hurt or there is another vehicle involved other than a rideshare company. You need to be aware that some insurance companies leave loopholes in their policies to get them out of responsibility for your claim. Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft do not protect their drivers because those rideshare drivers are considered to be contract employees and are not legally required to have benefits or protections which means that they may not even be able to apply for workers’ compensation. That is why it is so important to have a competent attorney on your side when pursing a case for a ridesharing accident regardless if you’re the passenger, driver, or other vehicle in the accident.
Texas Ridesharing Accidents | Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft are well known for their encouragement in reducing the number of drunk drivers there are on the road. It is hoped that, instead of getting behind the wheel, that they would pull up the Uber or Lyft app and get home that way instead. However noble the cause is and the intentions may be, it has been discovered in a study that was published by the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2016 that these ridesharing companies have not affected the number of fatal traffic accidents on the road. Every year, there are more and more fatal traffic accidents and it doesn’t seem to help that there are companies like Uber and Lyft. There is a danger about these companies that is often overlooked. Uber and Lyft do not require their drivers to undergo specific driving training like taxis and buses require. They are only required to have a valid driver’s license, a vehicle, and insurance. Essentially, that means that your Uber or Lyft driver is as good as anyone else on the road which is certainly cause for concern considering the amount of traffic accidents there are every single day.
Avoid Ruining Your Case
There is one thing that you must be aware of when pursuing compensation which can make or break your case. If you have been involved and injured in a ridesharing accident, you will most likely be contacted right away by the liable party’s insurance company. They will tell you that your cooperation will help your case resolve quicker, but they aren’t going to tell you that, by you speaking to them, it will benefit them. You want to let your attorney take over all communication with the insurance company to avoid any reduction or elimination in compensation.
Frequently Asked Ridesharing Accident Questions
What Do I Do After a Ridesharing Accident?
There are three simple things that must be done as soon as possible after a ridesharing accident. The first thing is to contact the local government agency, either the police department, Department of Public Safety, or the local sheriff’s office. The second thing that is also very important is to seek immediate medical attention. This means going to the local hospital and your medical provider.
The last thing that is extremely important is that you contact an experienced lawyer that handles ridesharing cases. The reason is because there may need to be an expert that gets hired to look at the speed of either the Uber/Lyft driver’s car or another car that was involved in the accident. You also want to hire a lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
There are four main questions that one should ask before selecting an attorney with regards to ridesharing accidents. First, whether or not the lawyer that’s going to be selected is a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who dedicates himself exclusively to personal injury lawsuits.
The next thing is whether that lawyer has experience with regards to handling ridesharing cases. Have they handled these types of cases from beginning to end? That brings up the third question as far as whether the attorney is a trial attorney. That means that the attorney is someone who handles the case all the way to trial and obtains a verdict or a resolution for the client.
The last question you should ask is whether the attorney is a board-certified personal injury attorney. That means that they rank inside the top three percent of all the attorneys in the state of Texas as being a specialist in personal injury law. With those four questions being asked and answered by the attorney that you’re talking to, it should form a good basis for you to make a decision.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid Making?
One of the common mistakes that we typically see after a ridesharing accident is that people will speak to insurance companies thinking that it will help them get their claim resolved quicker. That’s not always the case. Insurance companies are there to represent their insured, so anything that you say will typically be recorded and used against you.
Another mistake that we typically see is that people don’t seek medical attention right away. That’s not only damaging to your claim, but also to you and your body. We don’t just mean going to the hospital. We also recommend that you seek further medical attention.
Another mistake that we commonly see is that people don’t seek attorney help right away, and they don’t seek help from trial attorneys. Seeking advice from trial attorneys is always important because insurance companies come to the table prepared with more reasonable offers, and they know that your trial attorney is going to start preparing your case for a trial from the very start.
How Do I Recover Damages Like Lost Wages?
Under Texas law, if you’re involved in an accident, including a ridesharing accident, you are entitled to lost wages. What we look at is how much money you were making prior to the accident. In order to determine this, we will look at W-2s, tax returns or similar-type documents, such as a 1099.
However, you may also be wondering if you can recover compensation even if you’re not currently employed at the time of the accident? Loss of future earning capacity is also possible under Texas law. We will look at education, experience, and prior jobs to determine this value. It is important to hire an experienced lawyer that handles ridesharing cases on a regular basis. An experienced lawyer will guide you so that you can receive the maximum amount of lost wages in your claim.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Determining ridesharing accident case value is very difficult to answer at the beginning of the case. However, there are three factors that we look at. One is what the extent of the injuries are. Did the person suffer a neck injury, a back injury, a concussion, a traumatic brain injury, and are they going to need additional medical help?
The second thing that we look at is how and why the accident happened. We need to know what the Uber or Lyft driver was doing. Were they paying attention to their phone? Also, in accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers, the laws are different. Typically, when you have a taxi or a bus, they make sure that their drivers go through training. However, to be an Uber or Lyft driver, all you need is a driver’s license and a vehicle.
The third thing that we look at is the amount of insurance. This is typically very different than auto or bus accident cases, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced lawyer right away.
How Long Will This Case Take?
How long is it going to take to resolve a ridesharing injury claim? That’s an important question. There are many factors that we look into. One is the type of insurance that is available. There are two separate insurances available for both the driver of the vehicle and the passenger.
For the driver, it’s important to determine whether he’s going to be covered because many of the insurance companies try to omit them and claim that they’re contract employees. As far as the passenger, we have to look into the amount of insurance that’s available and the type. Lyft and Uber both carry different insurances with different limits.
The third thing is the type of injury, the severity, the amount of time it’s going to take to recover, the medical costs, and also we have to look into factors such as how the injury was caused. We need to hire experts to determine who was at fault and the manner in which the accident happened. Once you have all that information, you’re going to be able to answer that question as to how long it’s going to take to resolve your ridesharing accident.
Should I Talk to the Insurance?
The other day we had a client call in who had been involved in a serious ridesharing accident. She had insurance companies calling her left and right, and she wanted to know if it’s a good idea to talk to these insurance companies. Our answer to that is no. Insurance companies will typically record any statement that you give them. If the statement happens to be bad against your claim, they will definitely use it against you. Our suggestion is that you call an attorney right away, as soon as possible, preferably one that’s experienced in trial and litigation.
Call Our Texas Ridesharing Accident Attorney Today
Our Texas ridesharing accident attorneys have been able to successfully help victims of these tragic accidents recover full and fair compensation for their past and future medical bills, physical therapy rehab treatments, past and future lost wages, and damages involved in the accident. We make sure that we are thoroughly researched in your case and that we have everything we need to build you a strong case. If you have been seriously hurt in a ridesharing accident, know that you have our support. We are eager to get to work on defending your case and we are ready to fight tooth and nail to get you the best possible results. If we do not win your case, you do not owe us a dime. Please call our office right away to schedule your free initial consultation.