Rideshare Accident Attorneys Providing Resourceful Legal Care to Injured Victims in Houston, Texas
Outside of driving under the influence, some of the most commonly recognized causes of traffic accidents on our roads today are driver distraction and fatigue. So, it’s unfortunate that, during the rise of Uber and Lyft, many of us fail to recognize that rideshare drivers are often victims of both by their very nature. Almost every Lyft or Uber driver works another job and signs up with a ridesharing company to make a few extra dollars. So, it stands to reason that many Uber or Lyft drivers are often tired, perhaps even exhausted, when they park at the curb to pick up a new passenger. Similarly, an Uber or Lyft driver must use their phone and GPS device to arrive at the intended pick-up and drop-off spots, so their attention is frequently divided between the road and one or two digital screens. This combination makes for a distracted and exhausted driver, leading to dangerous driving habits and avoidable accidents.
Whether you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle who was injured, the driver of another car struck by a rideshare vehicle, or the driver of the rideshare vehicle yourself, you have legal rights that should be aggressively defended.
An Uber or Lyft accident is different from other civilian car accidents. It’s not even quite the same as a taxi or bus accident. Uber and Lyft do not own the cars their drivers use to pick up customers. They do not even view the driver as an employee but rather view them as an independent contractor. And while the rideshare companies do provide liability coverage, this insurance policy is often minimal and self-serving. Depending on the particulars of the crash, the rideshare insurance may cover all or most of the medical expenses. Still, they may cover nothing, leaving the settlement to be handled by the driver.
If you’ve received a small settlement offer from the rideshare company’s insurance provider or if they have denied your claims altogether, you must understand that you needn’t simply accept this outcome. A personal injury lawyer can help you file an Uber or Lyft accident lawsuit to recover maximum compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and property damage.
At Houston’s Shariff Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team is experienced in handling complex rideshare accident cases. While no two cases are ever the same, we can provide you with the high level of legal care necessary to help you obtain a satisfying outcome for your case.
Please contact our law offices anytime to schedule your free initial consultation with a Lyft/Uber accident attorney by calling (713) 881-9739.
What Types of Ridesharing Car Accident Cases Does Our Law Firm Represent?
The Shariff Law Firm, PLLC is well-versed in handling several types of auto accident cases for injured victims in Houston. As far as ridesharing accidents go, we provide legal representation to a number of different kinds of clients and cases.
If you were the passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle at the time of an accident, we could provide you with legal services. These accidents are often the result of a driver’s negligence. Whether that was your rideshare driver or the driver of another vehicle on the road depends on the particular facts relating to your case.
If you were the driver or passenger of another vehicle that was struck by a rideshare vehicle, we could also provide you with legal representation. The same goes if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist who was hit by a rideshare driver. Provided that the accident was caused by a negligent driver operating another vehicle, you should be able to recover financially with a well-crafted personal injury lawsuit.
If you were the driver of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, we could provide you with legal representation as well. It is unfair that Lyft and Uber sometimes leave their drivers to fend for themselves after an accident, and we would like to step up to defend your rights.
Like all automobile accidents, a rideshare accident may be caused by any of the following:
- Dangerous weather conditions.
- Defective equipment.
- Driver error.
- Driver fatigue.
- Poor maintenance.
- Road disrepair.
- Running red lights.
Who Pays the Medical Bills for Your Rideshare Accident Injuries?
Who pays for the errors of an Uber driver? Who settles the bill for the misfortune of a Lyft contractor? Who takes the blame for a rideshare company’s practices? It depends.
While Uber, Lyft, and other such companies do perform background checks on their drivers, they still make mistakes, sometimes hiring dangerous men or bad drivers. Similarly, while every driver must be licensed to drive, they are not required to obtain commercial driver’s licenses or CDL. It is also unwise to assume that a ridesharing company’s insurance will always cover you if you are hurt in an accident involving one of their drivers. This, sadly, is not always the case.
If you were harmed by an on-duty rideshare driver, their company should cover some of the medical bills associated with your injury. However, if there is any question about who the liable party was, they might not be. In either case, it is wise to consult an experienced Lyft/Uber accident lawyer for assistance.
What Kind of Insurance Coverage Does Lyft or Uber Provide to its Drivers?
In cases where the primary insurance has exhausted its coverage for a specific accident and denied claims seeking further assistance, an Uber or Lyft driver may rely upon secondary coverage provided by the companies. The driver does not get paid twice for the same accident but instead allows the secondary policy to cover any remaining costs not covered by the primary policy. Uber and Lyft will provide coverage for their drivers in the event that their drivers are at fault for injuring another person.
The amount of money that the companies will or won’t provide in liability coverage depends on whether there was a passenger in the car at the time of the collision if they were en route to pick up a passenger, if they were between passengers, and if they were driving their vehicle off the clock on personal time.
What if You Were in an Accident with an ‘Off-Duty’ Rideshare Driver?
In the event that you were injured by an Uber or Lyft driver who was off-duty and operating their vehicle as a personal mode of transportation, the rideshare company is not responsible for providing compensation for your injuries. As the driver is considered an independent contractor and not an employee, they can drive their car on their own time without oversight or coverage from Uber or Lyft.
In such cases, you would pursue compensation from the at-fault parties just the same as you would in any other car accident, without the additional concern of Lyft or Uber’s involvement in the case.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney to File a Lawsuit Against a Rideshare Company?
You may pursue a lawsuit without the help of an Uber or Lyft accident attorney. However, we must advise against this. These companies have vast resources and will use aggressive legal defense to protect their bottom line and reputations.
Uber and Lyft accident victims are strongly encouraged to hire professional legal representatives to oversee their cases from beginning to end.
What Types of Damages Could You Recover in Compensation for Your Ridesharing Accident?
With a well-crafted case, your Uber/Lyft accident lawyer may help you obtain damages that go well beyond the paltry settlement the rideshare companies initially offered.
Economic damages you may recover include:
- Lost wages.
- Medical expenses.
- Physical therapy.
- Property damage.
- Wrongful death.
Non-economic damages you may recover include:
- Emotional distress.
- Lost companionship.
- Lost consortium.
- Lost quality of life.
- Pain and suffering.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
It’s important to understand that a rideshare accident is different from any other car accident. Big companies, complicated insurance policies, and overworked independent contractors are at the center of almost every Uber and Lyft accident. For assistance in bringing a successful claim and recovering compensation for your injuries, please consider hiring experienced personal injury attorneys at Houston’s Shariff Law Firm, PLLC. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling us at (713) 881-9739. We look forward to hearing from you.