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Austin Uber Accident Attorney

When you need to go shopping, meet friends for dinner, or catch a show at the Moody Amphitheater and you don’t have a car, you’re likely going to fire up your smartphone and schedule an Uber or Lyft. It’s quick, convenient, and, in a lot of cases, less expensive than a taxi.

Ridesharing apps haven’t been around for long, but in a few short years, they have taken the world by storm, providing affordable transportation for riders and a new income stream for drivers. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies employ as many as 1.7 million drivers across the country, and rideshare drivers provide nearly two million rides each day worldwide.

However, ridesharing apps have raised liability questions when an accident occurs, so if you’ve been seriously injured while traveling in an Uber or Lyft, get a free consultation with an Austin Uber accident attorney at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS.

We Are Uniquely Qualified To Handle Your Ridesharing Accident Case

  • At Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we only practice personal injury law. We understand the unique concerns inherent in rideshare accident cases and know how to recognize the right route to financial compensation.
  • We are determined to win and have a 99% success rate. Over the years, our personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
  • We understand how a serious accident impacts your life and will go the extra mile to secure the fair compensation you need. You only pay your Austin car crash lawyer if we win your case. 

Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics

With hundreds of thousands of commercial and passenger vehicles traveling on Texas roads and highways every day, motor vehicle accidents are regrettably common. In 2021, 15,764 collisions left 19,448 people seriously injured. There were 4,489 reported deaths in total, which is 14% more than in 2020. Some of these auto accidents and fatal crashes may have involved rideshare vehicles.

In order to be entitled to damages, Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare accident victims must prove the driver’s negligence caused the accident. These are some of the most common causes of preventable collisions:

    • Speeding: Many rideshare drivers speed so they can pick up their next customer and make more money. If they drive too fast and lose control of their vehicle or do not have enough time to stop, they can cause serious injury accidents.
    • Looking for Passengers: Rideshare drivers may not pay enough attention to the road while looking for the customer they are picking up, or they might stop or turn suddenly without warning.
    • Distracted Driving: A rideshare accident can occur when a driver is talking to passengers, using a GPS, talking on a cell phone, or texting.
  • Drunk Driving: Drug or alcohol consumption can impair a rideshare driver’s reaction time, judgment, vision, and other critical driving skills. By speeding, weaving between lanes, and ignoring traffic signals, intoxicated drivers are much more likely to cause a drunk driving accident.
  • Exhaustion: People working for rideshare companies can set their own hours and may also hold another job. When they drive long hours or hold two jobs, they can be fatigued, which makes them as dangerous as drunk drivers.
  • Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Rideshare drivers who fail to maintain their motor vehicles could lose control if their brakes, tires, or other parts malfunction.

Any of these actions or omissions can lead to catastrophic injuries. Common types of injuries include:

  • Amputation
  • Bone fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Internal injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Neck and back injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death

In many cases, people who are injured in ridesharing accidents can recover compensation for their damages. It is therefore essential to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that they can help you start building your injury claim against each negligent party.

Who Can Be an Uber or Lyft Driver in Austin, Texas?

Rideshare companies, formally called transportation network companies (TNCs), are governed by clear rules and laws in most states. A law passed by Texas legislators in 2017 requires Uber and Lyft drivers to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be an adult (aged 18 or older)
  • Hold a valid driver’s license (it does not need to be issued in Texas)
  • Ensure that all vehicles used for ridesharing are registered and insured

Under Texas law, Uber and Lyft are also required to conduct criminal background checks on all new drivers as well as follow-up checks every year afterward. The check must include the person’s driving record, criminal history, and presence on the national sex offender registry. If a check reveals any of the following violations within the last three years, they cannot remain in the Uber or Lyft system:

  • Driving without a valid license
  • Three or more moving violations
  • Reckless driving
  • Attempting to escape law enforcement

An applicant who has been convicted of any of the following crimes within the past seven years is not permitted to drive for Uber or Lyft:

  • DUI or DWI
  • Theft or fraud
  • Committing a felony with property damage
  • Committing a felony with a vehicle
  • An act of terrorism or violence
  • Sex crime requiring registration as a sex offender

Who Is Liable In an Austin Rideshare Accident?

Unlike most car accidents, rideshare accidents aren’t always clear-cut in terms of liability. In Texas, if there are any damages, the at-fault driver is normally responsible. This can, however, change depending on whether they were working at the time of the crash. Both Uber and Lyft require drivers to have their own personal auto insurance and will provide coverage under certain conditions.

Uber Insurance Coverage

Uber’s insurance coverage will vary depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. 

  • If the Uber app is off, you seek compensation from the driver’s auto insurance policy.
  • If the app is on and the driver is accepting rides, Uber’s contingent liability coverage covers injuries and property damage sustained by other parties. There is a maximum of $100,000 for injuries ($50,000 per person) and $25,000 for property damage. If the Uber driver is injured or their vehicle is damaged, they must access their personal insurance policy.
  • If the driver has accepted a ride or has a passenger in their vehicle, Uber’s commercial insurance covers up to $1 million for property damage and bodily injury per accident and another $1 million if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. Your Austin Uber accident attorney can file this claim on your behalf while you recover.

Lyft Insurance Coverage

Like Uber, Lyft’s insurance covers injured passengers or motorists under specific conditions:

  • If the Lyft app is off when the accident occurs, the driver’s own auto insurance policy pays for any injuries and property damage. Your Austin Lyft accident attorney will explain whether this option applies to your case.
  • If the app is on and the driver is waiting for a match, their own insurance will apply to any accident unless their insurer refuses to cover it. Should that happen, Lyft’s policy will cover a maximum of $100,000 for injuries ($50,000 per person) and $25,000 for property damage. 
  • If the driver has accepted a ride or has a passenger in their vehicle, Lyft’s commercial insurance covers up to $1 million for property damage and bodily injury per accident.

Your Austin Lyft accident attorney will investigate your car accident to confirm whether the driver’s or the company’s insurance provider is responsible for compensating you and present your accident claim accordingly.

What To Do If You Are In A Rideshare Accident In Austin, TX

To get maximum compensation in the event of an Uber or Lyft accident, take the following steps:

  • Seek Medical Care: After a rideshare accident, seek medical attention immediately. Make sure you see a doctor even if you don’t feel like you’ve been hurt. Symptoms of some injuries do not appear until hours or even days after the crash. Putting off medical treatment may jeopardize your legal claim.
  • Call the Police: Any accident involving a rideshare vehicle must be reported to the police. They will conduct an investigation and provide you with an accident report, which is valuable evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Collect Evidence at the Crash Scene: While you’re waiting for the police and an ambulance to arrive, collect evidence to support your personal injury claim. This includes the driver’s license and insurance information, photos and videos of the accident scene, and contact information for any eyewitnesses. 
  • Notify the Rideshare Company: When you use a rideshare service, you will be able to notify the company of any accident through the app. It is important that you do so as soon as possible.
  • Call a Lawyer: Contact an Austin rideshare accident lawyer right away. A lawyer can collect all the evidence necessary to confirm driver liability, such as the police report and your medical records. They will then negotiate with the insurance carriers for all at-fault parties and take your case to trial if necessary.


Is There An Average Rideshare Accident Settlement?

Every case is unique, so there is no average settlement for Uber or Lyft accidents. How much money you receive in compensatory damages will mainly depend on how badly you were injured, the impact of the accident on your ability to work and enjoy life, and whether you will need ongoing medical care.

In most cases, you can seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic losses, which are quantifiable by receipts, pay stubs, and records from medical providers, include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages/loss of income
  • Rehabilitative costs, such as physical therapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages address the other losses you’ve suffered due to your accident injuries, like physical pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. In some cases (e.g. an especially reckless or negligent driver), you may qualify for punitive damages as well. In Texas, punitive damages are capped at $200,000 or twice your economic damages in addition to your total economic damages up to $750,000, whichever is greater.

An experienced car accident attorney will assign a value to your claim, file it within the two-year statute of limitations, and negotiate with the insurer for the settlement you need to cover your medical care and take care of your family while you recover.

When Should I Contact an Austin Uber Accident Attorney? 

As soon as medical professionals have confirmed the nature and extent of your injuries, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Until you have the chance to retain legal counsel, be careful what you say to anyone about the accident: any off-hand statements you make could be used against you in the future.

For example, if a claims adjuster calls you, asks how you are doing, and you say, “Fine,” they may later try to twist your words and claim that you aren’t as injured as you originally stated. Instead, tell them that your accident lawyer will be in touch, and refrain from further communications, as they will be handled by your attorney.

Another reason for seeking legal representation soon after the accident is that some types of evidence can disappear or be destroyed over time. Your personal injury attorney will take steps to ensure that all key evidence is preserved and that you have the strongest possible case.

How Can Your Personal Injury Law Firm Help My Injury Claim?

The insurance companies for Uber and Lyft have the wealth and resources to hire a team of investigators, experts, and other professionals to fight your claim. Rideshare crash victims need an advocate who is a skilled negotiator as well as an aggressive trial lawyer who can ensure that they receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.

The Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, provides clients with custom-tailored legal solutions. It is always our goal to obtain the maximum award for a client’s injuries. Our litigation management, legal and medical research, and information collection procedures use leading-edge technology to help us achieve this goal. To make justice more accessible, we take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we represent you, you owe us nothing unless we win money for you.

Get a Free Consultation With an Austin Uber Accident Attorney

At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure you receive a fair settlement that meets your current and future needs. We have the experience, skills, and resources to fight for your right to compensation during this difficult time. If you lost someone you love in a rideshare accident, we will guide you through the legal process of filing a wrongful death claim.

Our legal team has years of experience negotiating and winning significant compensation packages for clients, and we leave no stone unturned in protecting their financial interests. To schedule your free consultation with an Austin rideshare accident lawyer, call (512) 800-0000 or contact us online.