What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
At The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer we handle all types of Ridesharing accidents involving Uber and Lyft.
Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have changed the transportation paradigm. While these services are growing in popularity, they remain largely unregulated. Uber and Lyft operate in numerous markets in Louisiana, the greater New Orleans area as well as Baton Rouge, Monroe and Lafayette.
I Was Injured in a Rideshare Accident. What Should I Do?
A passenger that is injured while riding in a Lyft, Uber, or other ridesharing vehicle may have multiple liability claims through which they can be compensated for damages as it is unlikely that a passenger is ever found to be at fault for causing an accident.
Sometimes it can be difficult in these situations to determine who is actually legally liable to pay for your damages, such as injuries and medical treatment, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that your claim is properly filed so you can recover the damages you are entitled to recover from all the responsible parties involved.
Insurance Claims Involving Ridesharing Vehicles
Taxi cab companies typically only require their drivers to carry the minimum amount of insurance coverage required by their state. In most of the cases, the limits of the liability insurance policy that covers a taxi is $15,000.00. When an accident involving a taxi occurs, the injured passengers can typically recover at least some damages under these minimal policies.
Employees of ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are classified as “independent contractors” rather than employees. The companies that the drivers work for classify themselves as “technology services,” merely a point of connection between potential riders and available independent or private drivers. However, both Uber and Lyft carry insurance policies with limits of at least $1 million per accident when their drivers are transporting a paying customer.
In some cases, a driver may even carry a separate, additional auto insurance policy on their vehicle that can be “stacked” to provide additional coverage for an accident. The limits of liability will vary depending upon whether the driver is logged into the app or not or engage in a fare with a passenger.
Ridesharing Auto Accidents & Potential Tort Liability
The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer has litigated several lawsuits against Uber alleging that the company is responsible for the actions of its drivers. While there have been numerous lawsuits in the United States regarding Uber and Lyft’s obligation to ensure the safety of their passengers through measures like conducting thorough driver background checks, Louisiana does not currently have any statewide regulations requiring this.
However, it may still be possible to hold these companies accountable in some Louisiana cities and parishes if a ridesharing driver was hired without meeting the state’s minimum licensing requirements or if they have any serious traffic violations or other charges that would prevent them from transporting passengers.
Evidence: What Uber or Lyft Should Preserve
As a part of their businesses, Uber and Lyft maintain GPS and electronic records on what their drivers are doing and where they are going while they are working. This evidence shows which driver was where, and who the Lyft or Uber driver was carrying, at any given time.
Depending on the facts of your case, that evidence may be important. For example, if your driver was distracted or texting while driving, the Lyft or Uber app may show what the driver was typing and when. If the Lyft or Uber driver was speeding, the GPS data could be important.
The rideshare company has a duty to save that evidence for the protection of its drivers and passengers. The companies don’t always do what they should, so we send official notice (Preservation letter) to the rideshare company to specifically let them know that they should save the evidence. In the event they don’t save the evidence, we can refer them back to our notice and hold them accountable for losing this important information.
Damages You Can Recover
In Louisiana there are several types of damages available to an injured claimant. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you file a claim under the applicable insurance policy or policies and seek compensation for past and future damages related to your personal injuries – and to pursue litigation for damages above and beyond policy limits. You may be able to recover:
Expenses for medical treatment, including prospective future treatment/care.
Loss of income due to incapacity or medical treatment.
Lost earning capacity (temporary or permanent loss of the ability to work at the same level before you were injured).
Other injury-related expenses, like travel to medical visits, additional childcare or home help costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Disability (temporary or permanent limitations) you experience as a result of an accident.
Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering.
In Louisiana, punitive damages may also be pursued in cases where the other driver is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
Contact The Law Office Of Bruce C. Betzer
If you or someone you know is involved in an accident with Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing or taxicab service, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with their litigation tactics. We understand personal injury and auto accident claims in this new area of litigation. We are on the front lines and ready to help you navigate your claim so you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation and speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer from The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, call or contact us online.