Were you injured in an automobile accident by a rideshare driver? If you’re going through this right now, we are very sorry. Rideshare drivers have a duty to drive responsibly for the sake of their passengers and those with whom they share the road. Rideshare drivers’ status as independent contractors rather than employees of the company they drive for can make these types of cases more confusing than other automobile accident cases. Building a successful case in such a situation can be tough. The Bowen Law Firm, PLLC wants to help. Call 713-574-7777 today for your free consultation.
Determining Who is Liable for a Rideshare Accident
In a claim against a rideshare driver, you will need to establish both liability and damages. Liability refers to who is at fault for causing the accident, and damages refer to the ways you were harmed by the accident.
When you are in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, you will need to file a third-party claim with the driver’s insurance carrier. This is where things can get murky.
As independent contractors, rideshare drivers working for a transportation network company (TNC) like Uber and Lyft, are not covered under company insurance, and must instead get additional liability insurance to accept rides for a TNC. If you are in an accident involving a rideshare driver during the course of their driving to pick up a customer or giving the customer a ride, you will be dealing with the driver’s liability insurance to recover damages rather than their private insurance.
A driver who doesn’t have TNC liability insurance will be considered uninsured, because their personal insurance company will most likely refuse your claim. Conversely, if the driver doesn’t have personal insurance and they cause an accident when they are not on shift, their TNC liability insurance won’t cover it.
The involvement of TNC liability insurance in rideshare accident cases can add confusion into the already stressful aftermath of an accident. Our Texas rideshare accident lawyers want to help you recover full compensation for your injuries. Your right to compensation shouldn’t get lost in the insurance shuffle. Contact us today at www.BowenLF.com for your free consultation.
What to Do If You are Injured in a Rideshare Accident
The first step after an accident caused by a rideshare driver should be getting medical attention for your injuries. The stress hormones that flood your system in an accident can reduce your ability to feel pain, even into the next day. Physiologically, this is meant to help you survive in a life-threatening situation, as when you may have had to run from a saber-toothed cat 12,000 years ago in spite of injuries. These days not feeling the pain of an injury can cause you to think you’re okay when you’re not. Get checked.
In addition to putting your health at risk, putting off medical attention at the time of an accident can damage your chances for a successful claim, because insurance companies can use the delay to challenge the validity of your injuries. Don’t give them the wiggle room. Take care of your immediate medical needs first.
If getting medical treatment often means taking you from the scene to go to the hospital. If you are able to, have a friend, relative, or your attorney come to the scene to document as much as possible with photos, video, and by speaking to any witnesses. These things will become evidence to support your accident claim. The Bowen Law Firm attorneys want to help you build the strongest possible case. If you’re injured in a Texas rideshare accident, call us right away so we can fight to protect your rights.
A common mistake people make when they are in a rideshare accident is not getting proper legal representation. Some think they can bring a successful rideshare accident case against the insurance company on their own to get compensation.
You may very well be up to managing the intricate elements of a personal injury case under circumstances when you are uninjured, undistracted, and feeling your best. If you’ve been seriously injured in a rideshare accident case, however, this is not one of those times. Not only are you physically vulnerable as you recover from your injuries, but you are very likely worried and distracted by the financial impact of unexpected medical bills and possibly missing a lot of work. You may also be healing emotionally from the trauma of an automobile accident.
Bowen Law Firm’s Texas rideshare accident lawyers want to step up and fight for your right to fair compensation. Call them today and let them take the burden of your legal case off your mind.
Believing all lawyers are the same is another mistake to avoid. Your rideshare accident case poses specific challenges, not only related to convoluted insurance coverage that will likely need to be sorted out, but the specifics of this particular type of personal injury case and the Texas rules, regulations, and restrictions that apply to it. Add to this the possibility that your case may need to go to trial, and you can see why your best shot at full compensation is to hire a competent Texas rideshare accident lawyer.
What is My Rideshare accident Case Worth?
It is understandable to want to know the potential value of an accident case. The answer is going to depend on the specifics of your case, including how much fault is assigned to the rideshare driver, and the types and levels of insurance coverage that apply to the rideshare driver at the time of the accident.
To be a driver for a TNC, drivers in Texas are required to have more than the state minimum liability coverage for the hours the vehicle is being used for customer transport. During the hours of personal use, the driver’s personal insurance applies.
Here is a breakdown of how liability insurance is applied for rideshare drivers:
- Period 0refers to when rideshare driver is using his vehicle in a personal capacity while not working. A rideshare driver who causes an accident while not using their vehicle in the capacity of an independent contractor will need to turn to their personal insurance coverage, and the driver’s TNC liability coverage will not be involved.
- Period 1refers to when a rideshare driver has logged into the rideshare app and is available to accept ride requests but does not yet have a customer in the vehicle.
- The limits on liability coverage below define the maximum that can be awarded in each instance while the vehicle is operating in the period 1 rideshare capacity:
- $50,000 per person (the rideshare driver is not covered by this)
- $100,000 per accident, no matter how many people were injured or how serious the injuries are (the rideshare driver is not covered by this)
- $25,000 property damage (for any vehicle damage or damage to property – the rideshare’s vehicle is not covered by this)
- Periods 2refers to when the rideshare driver is on the way to pick up a customer.
- Period 3refers to when the customer is actually in the vehicle.
The liability limit for both periods 2 and 3 is $1million, and apply to injuries to the customer, as well as anyone the rideshare driver hits, provided that it is proven that the rideshare driver is at fault (the rideshare driver is not covered by this.) This limit also applies to uninsured motorist coverage.
As you can see, recovering damages in an accident caused by a rideshare vehicle is complicated. Call our Texas rideshare accident lawyers for more information and to determine who the liable party is in your case and get a better idea of the value of your case.
What Kind of Damages are Available?
Successful claims for a rideshare accidents award financial compensation to cover damages that are both economic and non-economic. Like they sound, economic damages pertain to the ways you were damaged financially by your injuries.
Examples of economic damages may include, but are not limited to:
- Unexpected hospital bills and other types of medical care
- Ongoing treatments, such as counseling or physical therapy
- Lost wages
Because economic damages can be quantified, it’s easy to place a value on them and arrive at a total. Future damages can also be included, as their financial impact can be estimated going forward based on their value today. Examples may include one or more future surgeries and regular therapies that will continue. It may also factor in the loss of future income, temporarily or over the long term.
Non-economic damages don’t directly correlate to a dollar amount, but are represented financially to compensate for losses that are less concrete but just as devastating.
Examples of non-economic damages may include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and society
- Mental or emotional pain or anguish
Every rideshare accident case is unique. Your Texas rideshare accident lawyers will review your case to examine what kind of damages apply to your case. Call 713-574-7777 today for a free consultation.
Things That Can Damage Your Claim
It’s important to know that TNC liability insurance only covers accidents during fares that have been scheduled through their digital network via their electronic app. It will not cover a “walk on” fare in which someone happens to see an Uber or Lyft car and walks up to ask for a ride. To safeguard your rights, be sure you always schedule rideshare service through their electronic app. If, however, you’ve been in an accident in a rideshare vehicle and find yourself in this position, contact our Texas rideshare lawyers as soon as possible to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Another thing that can damage your claim is providing a recorded statement to the insurance company. Doing so can devalue your claim, as the insurance company will be able to use anything you tell them against you, even if you’re trying to be helpful. The best thing to do is let our Texas rideshare accident lawyers handle all insurance company inquiries. We know what to expect from them and won’t give them information they can twist to hurt your chance for fair compensation. Call us today at 713-574-7777 for your free consultation.
Call Our Texas Rideshare Accident Lawyers Today For Your Free Consultation
When you’ve been injured by a rideshare driver, it’s important to reach out right away to an attorney with the knowledge and experience to successfully handle this type of claim. Such cases are intricate and require research, strategy, negotiation, and familiarity with the ever-changing aspects of the law.
The Bowen Law Firm, PLLC rideshare accident lawyers have helped people just like you get justice. Let us bring you peace of mind while you heal by dealing with the insurance company for you. Call 713-574-7777 today for your free consultation.