Ridesharing, such as Uber and Lyft, has become a favorite mode of transportation in Houston. Accidents involving Ubers and Lyfts differ from other car accidents and present unique obstacles.
If you have suffered injuries in a crash involving an Uber or Lyft driver, it is critical to find an experienced attorney. You may be entitled to compensation.
Determining who is liable in a ridesharing accident can be challenging, primarily because Uber and Lyft drivers are currently considered independent contractors and not employees in Houston. This means that technically the drivers work for themselves. Because of their status, both the driver and the rideshare company could be liable to differing extents depending on the circumstances.
Uber has an insurance policy that provides coverage to other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians under certain circumstances if the Uber driver is at fault. Uber’s liability coverage is broken down into four categories:
• Period 0: Uber provides no liability coverage. This period applies to accidents when the driver is not logged into the rideshare app and operating the vehicle for their personal use. Only the driver’s personal auto policy applies.
• Period 1: Uber provides liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person injured in the accident, $100,000 per accident bodily injury liability limits, and $25,000 per accident in property damage. This period applies when the driver’s ridesharing app is on, but they have not accepted a ride. The driver’s personal auto policy also applies.
• Period 2: Uber provides “full” coverage, up to $1 million in liability coverage. This period applies when the driver has accepted the trip and is en route to the rider.
• Period 4: Uber provides “full” coverage, up to $1 million in liability coverage, as well as limited coverage for damage to the driver’s care and uninsured motorist coverage. This period applies when an accident occurs while a rider is in the Uber vehicle.
Lyft’s insurance policy is almost identical to Ubers.
Even though rideshare drivers are independent contractors, injured parties may be able to hold Uber or Lyft accountable if the company’s negligence contributed in some way to the accident. For example, you may be able to bring a negligence claim if the company failed to complete a background check and hired a driver with a history of DWIs and the driver caused your accident while driving drunk. When confronted with lawsuits, ridesharing companies will fight to distance themselves from their drivers, so it is essential to have an aggressive attorney on your side.
Because of the additional complications involved with ride-share accidents, it is a good idea to work with a qualified Uber and Lyft accident attorney. They will support you through every step of the process, so you can focus on recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of the accident.
1. Investigate the Accident. Your attorney will investigate the accident to determine fault and liability. They will gather evidence, including the police crash report, photos, videos, eyewitness statements, digital information from the vehicles, and medical records. This evidence can be critical in proving your claim and getting the maximum compensation.
2. Negotiate with the Insurance Company. An attorney can help you file your insurance claim. They will handle the communication with all the parties and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance companies representing Uber and Lyft are notorious for pushing vulnerable accident victims to accept low settlement offers. The insurance adjuster may try to downplay your injury, delay your claim, or even wrongfully deny your claim altogether. If you attempt to handle your claim on your own, you could end up with much less than you deserve. An experienced Houston attorney will ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible.
3. Represent You in Court. If negotiations fail, your attorney will represent you aggressively in court. They will handle the legal filings and present your case in court.
If you were injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber vehicle, call the Paxton Law Firm. Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your legal battles and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.
Do you believe you have a case? Understand that time is of the essence in getting you the justice you deserve! We would love to hear from you.