Fort Worth Rideshare Accident Lawyers
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Fort Worth rideshare accident lawyers have seen countless incidents of negligent rideshare drivers causing injuries to other motorists and even to their own passengers. Rideshare drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers and to other drivers on the road; when they fail to meet that duty of care, they might be negligent. That’s when you need to call Fort Worth rideshare accident lawyers.
Rideshare services have become immensely popular for drivers who want to make money on the side and for passengers who do not have a car or need a ride out of convenience. This article will discuss how a personal injury lawyer can help you at the different stages of litigation after an auto accident involving a rideshare driver.
First steps: What to do after a rideshare accident
If you were recently in a rideshare accident and you are unsure what to do, you have come to the right place. While the steps in this article will be helpful for you generally, there is no replacement for speaking with a Fort Worth injury lawyer about the specifics of your case; each case is unique, and each client has his or her own needs. Speaking with an attorney can help you form a clearer understanding of what you want from your legal representative and whether you even have a strong enough case to pursue.
See a Doctor
If your injuries are serious, the first thing you should do after the accident is receive emergency medical attention. If you do not think your injuries are particularly serious, you should still see a doctor to make sure you did not suffer injuries that you are not currently aware of, such as a concussion. Visiting your doctor in a timely manner opens a record of your medical expenses that can be used as evidence and can help you and your attorney track the progress of your recovery.
Keep a record of all of your trips to the doctor, treatments, rehabilitation, surgeries, and X-rays, etc. to use as evidence of both your pain and suffering. Keep, as well, records of your expenses from treatment and missed wages from time off of work.
If you were not seriously injured in the accident, you can begin by gathering evidence; first, call the Fort Worth police to report your accident, but make your own record of the accident as well. Get the names and contact information from the other driver and your rideshare driver as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident happen. If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene, including pictures of the setting or anything unusual about the setting and any damage to the vehicles.
Get the Help of our Fort Worth Rideshare Accident Lawyers
At this stage, it would be helpful for you to talk to a Fort Worth accident lawyer. The lawyer can help you determine how a jury might rule on the question of which driver was at fault, which will depend heavily on the facts of your case. Sometimes drivers will admit to being at fault at the scene of the accident, but then will revoke that statement when you try to negotiate a settlement later. An attorney can help you preserve or uncover such an admission through the use of witnesses and depositions.
In the DFW metroplex, you have two years from the day of the accident to file your claim against the driver who injured you according to Texas’ statute of limitations. Then, you can begin to work out a settlement for your injuries with the other party’s lawyer and insurance company. The amount you receive in your settlement will be based on your likelihood of success at trial, and the type of compensation you would probably receive at trial for your personal injury claim includes economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are intended to cover such measurable injuries as your medical expenses, the damage to your car, and missed wages from your time off of work. Noneconomic damages are meant to cover your pain and suffering.
What is a rideshare service?
You have probably heard of Uber and Lyft, but there are countless rideshare services whose popularity varies by location. There are also taxi services that are a lot like rideshare services, but are different in how they treat their drivers. For example, Uber and Lyft have managed to keep their drivers’ statuses as independent contractors rather than employees in order to limit their liability.
Rideshare services link gig drivers who have a car and would like to earn some extra money with a market of passengers who would like to set up a convenient ride with just a few clicks on their phone. Rideshare services are broadly successful across the United States, but they are particularly helpful for communities that do not already have taxi services. Rideshare drivers can sign onto rideshare apps from anywhere to help out passengers who need a ride because they are having car trouble, do not have a car, do not want to drink and drive, or for any other reason.
Passengers pay drivers for the ride through the rideshare app, and the prices of the rides vary based on how many people are on the app at once. During busier hours, the prices of rides increase.
Requirements to be a rideshare driver
You might wonder whether rideshare drivers have to go through any extra training or classes in order to work for a rideshare company. Typically, they do not. This allows rideshare services to provide more drivers and help the ratio of drivers to passengers using rideshare apps.
Rideshare drivers are no more qualified than other drivers on the road, but they are still expected to drive with care. We use the examples of Uber and Lyft to explore the requirements that some rideshare companies place on their drivers. If you think your driver did not meet the requirements for the rideshare company you used, tell your personal injury attorney.
Requirements to Drive for Uber
Uber requires that the rideshare drivers working through its app:
- Use an eligible, 4-door vehicle
- Meet the minimum age to drive in the driver’s city
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the United States or three years of driving experience for those under the age of 25
- Use a smart phone capable of downloading and running the Uber Driver app
- Use a profile photo in which the driver is facing the camera and is the only one in the picture
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Provide proof of residency in the city or state of the driver
- Provide proof of insurance for the vehicle the driver plans to drive
- Pass the driver screening process, including reviews of the driver’s driving record and criminal history
Requirements to Drive for Lyft
Lyft’s requirements are somewhat similar, though still do not require extra training. To comply with Lyft’s rideshare driver requirements, a driver must:
- Use an eligible 4-door vehicle newer than 2008
- Use a smartphone capable of downloading and running the Lyft Driver app
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Be 25 or older
- Pass the driver screening, including reviews of the driver’s driving record and criminal history
- Display the Lyft emblem somewhere visible on the vehicle while in driver mode
The parties involved in a rideshare lawsuit.
We can divide the parties involved in the accident into two categories: parties at fault and victims. Sometimes, more than one party is at fault, and parties who are partially at fault can be victims of the accident; determining which party is at fault depends on the facts of how the accident occurred, which is typically recovered through the stories from each of the parties as well as from the witnesses to the accident. The parties involved in the lawsuit include the parties at fault, the victims, their insurance companies, and sometimes the rideshare company.
There are limited circumstances under which you could consider suing the rideshare company that the driver was working for, and the closer you are to the passenger of the rideshare, the better your chances of recovering from the rideshare company. For example, if you were the passenger of the rideshare service, you may have some claim against the rideshare company. If there was no passenger in the rideshare vehicle at all and your car was hit by a rideshare driver on her way to pick up a passenger, it is much less likely for a rideshare company to get involved.
Rideshare safety tips
While ridesharing can make roads safer by eliminating the number of drunk drivers, there are also some dangers of using rideshares. Sometimes, people pretend to be Uber or Lyft drivers to pick up victims waiting on their true rideshare drivers; such people will sometimes even display Uber or Lyft’s logo to trick victims into getting into their cars. The following tips can help passengers avoid or get out of potential abductions by rideshare driver imposters.
If You Are in Immediate Danger on Your Ride
If you have entered the car of your supposed rideshare driver and the driver is displaying behavior you find suspicious (such as taking you far off course of the route to your destination), call the police. Also, you might notice too late that your driver does not match the driver on the rideshare profile. Get out of the vehicle if you can do so safely, and go into the nearest public building, preferably if there are other people there.
The rest of the tips in this section are to help you avoid getting in this type of situation.
Confirm the Ride Details with Your Driver
Confirm that your driver’s name matches the name on the profile, and have the driver tell you the name of the passenger he or she is there to pick up. Do not ask the driver, “Is this the Uber for Sara?” or “Are you Zack, my Uber driver?” The driver can simply answer in the affirmative to those questions; instead, ask the driver, “Who are you here to pick up?” and “What is your name?”
Most rideshare apps also allow passengers to rate their drivers, and you will be able to see your driver’s rating before he or she picks you up. If a driver’s rating makes you uncomfortable, simply cancel your ride. You can likely request your ride again with a different driver who has better ratings.
Let Your Friends and Family Know What Is Happening
Tell your friends or family members when you use a rideshare service, and text them a picture of the vehicle’s license plate. You can even share your location indefinitely with your friends and family members using Google Maps. It is also a good idea to follow along the route on your phone during the ride to make sure the driver stays on course.
Lyft and Uber each have safety features built into their apps—”Send ETA” and “Share status,” respectively—that allow users to inform their friends and family members about the rideshare ride. The features send a text that details the passenger’s location and the license plate number, name, and picture of the rideshare driver.
Keep a Crowd
Stay with a group of people or at least one other person when you can, because it is more difficult for would-be abductors to single out a victim from a group. Even if you are in a group but you use a rideshare service by yourself to go home, do not stand outside alone to wait for the driver to arrive. When the car arrives, sit in the back seat so that you can exit the vehicle from either side to avoid walking into traffic.
There are even ways to avoid being alone in the car with the rideshare driver. Uber and Lyft both offer carpooling services, so you can share your ride with other passengers for some portion of the ride.
Is there a zinda law group personal injury lawyer near me?
We have attorneys across the country, and our Fort Worth injury lawyers are ready to take your call and see what we can do to help you. Whether you are unsure about whether you could recover for your case or you want to make sure that you leave no stone unturned in your settlement negotiations, we can advocate for you and help you understand the legal process surrounding your claim. Our compassionate Fort Worth rideshare accident lawyers have helped victims like you recover for their injuries and return to their lives.
The legal process can be stressful both emotionally and financially, and we at Zinda Law Group want to do our part to reduce that stress for you. For that reason, we have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee: Our clients do not pay unless we win their cases for them.
Also, before you are even our client, we will allow a free consultation with one of our Fort Worth accident lawyers. Call (800) 863-5312 to schedule your consultation and tell an attorney about what happened to you and what you would like for an attorney to do for you to help you recover.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.