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.
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:
Any of these actions or omissions can lead to catastrophic injuries. Common types of injuries include:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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’s insurance coverage will vary depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident.
Like Uber, Lyft’s insurance covers injured passengers or motorists under specific conditions:
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.
To get maximum compensation in the event of an Uber or Lyft accident, take the following steps:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.