Houston Rideshare Accident Lawyers
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Within the past decade, rideshare services have become increasingly popular all around the country. At first available only in larger cities, these services are now available in suburban areas and smaller towns in every state. With the increased use of rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, comes the increased risk of accidents involving rideshare drivers; when these accidents happen, their effect on the lives of you and your family can be incredibly stressful. If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident in Houston, you may consider pursuing a claim against those who are responsible. Before attempting to file a claim on your own, consider consulting our Houston rideshare accident lawyers to guide you through the complexities of personal injury claims.
If you or a loved one have suffered from an injury after a rideshare vehicle accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our Houston rideshare accident lawyers.
WHAT IS RIDESHARING?
Ridesharing is an arrangement in which a passenger travels in a private vehicle driven by its owner either free or for a fee. Passengers and drivers are most often paired together through ridesharing companies. A ridesharing company (whose vehicles are called app-taxis or e-taxis) will pair the drivers and passengers via websites and mobile apps.
Rideshare companies have expanded the services offered by their drivers in recent years. Uber, for example, now has a service called UberEats. Uber customers now have the option to order food from local and fast-food restaurants and have it delivered to their home by Uber drivers.
TYPES OF RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS
There are a few scenarios in which a person can be involved in a rideshare accident, as described below. It is important to note that though this article focuses on resources and steps passengers and pedestrian victims of rideshare accidents should take, more information can be found here for Uber Drivers who have been injured in car accidents while on the job, and how Zinda Law Group can help you.
Rideshare Vehicle vs. Other Vehicle
The most common type of rideshare accident is one involving a rideshare driver and the driver of another vehicle. There are two types of potential victims in this case. The driver and passengers of the other vehicle, as well as the passenger in the rideshare vehicle, may potentially have personal injury claims against the rideshare driver and the rideshare company.
Rideshare Vehicle vs. Pedestrian or Cyclist
Another type of accident that may occur is a rideshare driver and cyclist colliding, or a rideshare driver striking a pedestrian. In this scenario, both the pedestrian or cyclist and the rideshare customer may have potential personal injury claims against the rideshare driver and the company they drive for.
What to Do After AN ACCIDENT WITH A RIDESHARE VEHICLE
The actions you take after a rideshare vehicle accident are nearly identical to those you take after any other type of motor vehicle accident, with one additional step. Taking the following steps will help to protect your short term health and safety, as well as the future success of your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Check yourself and others for injuries immediately after the accident occurs; you should seek medical attention right away if you have suffered a serious injury. After you receive treatment, ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records. These reports will be useful to your attorney later.
Report the Accident
Call the police immediately after the accident occurs; the police will arrive and investigate the scene of the accident and write a report. Uber has made it easier for customers to alert the police if they have been in an accident. The Uber App offers an option to call 911 during your ride; if you use the app to call 911, your geo-location will be tracked and given to you in real time, making it easier to share your exact location with the police when asked.
It is important to have the accident documented should you wish to file a claim later, such as upon discovering latent injuries, or if the minor injuries you sustained become worse. Be sure to request a copy of the report and give this copy to your attorney.
Collect Information from All Parties and Witnesses
Collect the contact information of the other parties involved in the accident. Be sure to get their full names, phone numbers, and addresses; this includes, if applicable, any passengers of the rideshare vehicle who are customers. Your attorney will need this information for your claim.
If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information as well. If possible, try to get a statement from any witnesses at the accident scene. Witnesses may also provide statements to the police which would be added to the police report.
Document the Scene
Take pictures of the area in which the accident took place; be sure to include pictures of the road conditions and other potentially impactful conditions, such as intersections, if applicable to your accident. You should also take pictures of your injuries. Give these photos to your attorney as soon as possible, as this will be helpful evidence for filing your claim.
If you are a passenger, contact your rideshare service as soon as possible after the accident. Uber, for example, has a feature for riders in their App that connects them with Uber representatives by clicking a button in the app. Uber also tracks rides and has technology to detect whether a trip has gone off course or has potentially been involved in an accident, and as a result may already be aware of the situation.
Contact a Houston Accident Lawyer
After notifying your insurance company, contacting your rideshare company, treating your injuries, filing reports, and documenting the scene, you should contact a Houston injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps. Finding the right personal injury lawyer in Texas may seem difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to make the process easier; you can ask friends or family for recommendations, or even use a simple internet search using terms such as “injury lawyer near me,” “personal injury lawyer,” or “Houston accident lawyer.”
Another option when looking for legal representation is to look for an attorney through the American Bar Association’s online directory. You can also find a lawyer through the Texas State Bar Association’s website or the Houston Bar Association’s lawyer referral service.
You should choose a personal injury attorney who has the experience and skill needed to handle your case, and a track record of success in pursing personal injury claims. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers have experience with personal injury claims and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our clients.
How Houston Rideshare Accident Lawyers Can Help
Having a Houston injury lawyer assist you in filing a claim is important for several reasons; one such reason is because, like in all personal injury cases, time is of the essence. There are time constraints, such as statutes of limitations, involved in civil cases that determine how long you will have to file your claim; in Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means that you would have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim; if you attempt to file your claim beyond that two-year limit, your claim is barred.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine when you will need to file. He or she will also be able to tell you whether you are subject to any of the exceptions that exist in the state of Texas to “toll” or delay the statute of limitations.
Who can I recover from?
Victims of any kind of personal injury accident seeking compensation must prove that they suffered a loss, either in the form of injuries or property damage or both, and that this loss was caused by an at-fault party. Recovery for damages comes typically from the insurance companies of the parties involved. First and foremost, as an accident victim, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the rideshare driver’s individual insurance company.
To further protect victims, the Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 1733, which became effective January 1, 2016, ensuring that insurance coverage is available to accident victims injured by drivers working for ride-sharing companies. The law requires rideshare companies to maintain additional insurance coverage for their drivers. The amount of coverage Uber is required by Texas law to have depends on which stage of a ride or delivery the driver is engaged in.
Insurance Coverage for Uber Drivers Transporting Passengers
Offline or the Uber App is Turned Off
If an accident occurs while the Uber driver is offline or the Uber app is turned off on their device, Uber’s insurance offers no coverage. In other words, Uber does not insure its drivers when they are not working.
Available or Waiting for a Ride Request
If the driver is involved in an accident while “on the job” but not transporting a customer or is on the way to pick up a customer, Uber provides the following coverage:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
Transporting a Rider or En Route to Pick Up a Rider
The highest coverage is offered in scenarios where the driver is en route to a customer or transporting a customer. In these situations, Uber summarizes its coverage as follows:
- $1,000,000 for bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party (for example, passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles)
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (in the event the at-fault driver’s insurance is nonexistent or insufficient)
- Contingent comprehensive and collision, which covers damage to the driver’s vehicle
Insurance Coverage for UberEats Drivers Making Deliveries
Offline or the Driver App is Off
As with passenger Uber drivers, if you are “off the job” or not yet on the driver app, the individual driver’s personal insurance company and coverages apply
Driver Available or Waiting for a Delivery Request
If the UberEats driver is waiting for a delivery request, or is “on the job,” then the following third-party liability insurance is provided by Uber if the driver’s personal auto insurance does not apply:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
En Route to Pick Up Deliveries and During Trips
If an accident occurs while an UberEats driver is en route to pick up a delivery or is delivering an order to a customer, Uber maintains the following insurance policy on the driver’s behalf:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Contingent comprehensive and collision of up to actual cash value of car with a $2,500 deductible
What can I Recover?
The damages you can recover from your rideshare accident are determined by the extent of your injuries and any damage to your property that may occur. Damages are divided into two categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are your economic and your non-economic damages; punitive damages are damages imposed on the responsible party that are meant to punish him or her, but these types of damages are very rarely awarded.
Economic damages are the actual financial cost of your injury and property damage; these damages include anything related to medical expenses, such as hospital bills or the cost of physical therapy, and lost wages because of being unable to work while in recovery. The cost of any damage to your car or bicycle would also be a recoverable economic damage. Other economic damages that may be recovered are those which are incidental to your injury and treatment, including alternative transportation costs, childcare costs, etc.
Non-economic damages are emotional damages. This type of damage recovery is for the mental and emotional toll that the accident has taken on you and your family, also known as pain and suffering. You may experience a variety of emotions and conditions, such as anxiety or depression, because of your injury and present circumstances, and you may be able to recover damages from the responsible party for this suffering.
How Zinda Law Group’s Houston Rideshare Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Suffering an injury from any sort of car accident can be a source of immense emotional and financial strain on you and your family. When a rideshare driver is involved, the situation becomes more complex, and the confusion that results can exacerbate your suffering. It is important to get as much help and support as you can immediately following you or your loved one’s accident.
The Houston rideshare accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group can assist you with recovering the costs associated with you or your loved one’s injury and recovery. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced and can guide you through the often-complex legal system to help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family during this time of recovery. If we do not win your case, you will not pay any fees; this is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury after an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Houston rideshare accident lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.