Were You in a Rideshare Car Accident?
Rideshare drivers make up an increasingly large number of the drivers on the road today. While most Uber and Lyft drivers are responsible motorists, that is unfortunately not always the case. In fact, rideshare accidents are more common than most people realize.
If you were injured in a rideshare car accident, you are not alone. And you have options. At Console & Associates, P.C., we recognize that filing a lawsuit isn’t the first thing on your mind. However, at the same time, it isn’t fair that you bear the brunt of all your accident-related costs. We can help.
When you call Console & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation, we will answer all your questions about the recovery process and provide you with an honest assessment of your case. What we won’t do is pressure you or bombard you with complex legal terms and concepts. And if you decide to bring Console & Associates, P.C. into your corner, you can rest assured that you won’t be responsible for any legal fees unless we win your case. That’s part of our No Fee Promise that we make to each of our clients.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have recently experienced a major surge in business. While people used to rely on taxis and public transportation to get around, many people find that rideshare companies offer a more convenient alternative. However, the increasing number of rideshare drivers on the road seems to be related to an overall increase in the number of car accidents.
By bringing a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue a legal claim for money damages against the person responsible for your injuries. However, due to the nature of the rideshare industry, rideshare accident claims are very different from other types of car accident lawsuits.
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At the law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we represent passengers, drivers, and third parties who have been seriously hurt in rideshare accidents. We have more than 25 years of experience helping accident victims pursue compensation so they can begin the process of moving on with their lives.
We recognize that bringing a lawsuit after a serious accident is not necessarily on the top of your priority list, and you may also have questions about the process. At Console & Associates, P.C., we are not here to pressure you into filing a claim, only to help answer your questions so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
The modern iteration of the rideshare business model was first introduced by Uber back in 2009. Since then, Lyft and several other rideshare companies have entered the business. However, Uber and Lyft command the vast majority of the market share, providing 99% of all rideshare rides in the United States.
All rideshare companies operate in a similar manner. They provide downloadable apps that allow passengers to summon a personal ride after they open an account and add a payment method. While the wait-time for a rideshare driver varies depending on your location and the time of day, typically, rideshare companies are much faster than calling for a traditional taxi cab.
Once you input your destination, the app will provide an estimate of the cost and assign you a driver. A map pops up on the driver’s smartphone, which directs them to your location. After they pick you up, the app updates the map to reflect your destination. After you arrive at your destination, the rideshare company will charge your card and allow you to leave a gratuity for the driver.
Rideshares differ from traditional taxi services in a few important ways. First, most rideshare drivers own the vehicle they use to transport customers, while most taxi cabs are owned by third parties. While this may not seem to make much of a difference in terms of ride quality, it does allow rideshare customers to select from a broader range of vehicle types. For example, if you have a party of six, a traditional taxi won’t be large enough. However, you can request an Uber XL, which fits up to six people.
Another difference between rideshares and taxis relates to payment. Unlike taxis, rideshare companies do not charge passengers for time spent in stop-and-go traffic. Instead, they base a fare on the distance as well as the time of day. For example, Uber and Lyft both increase rates during times of peak demand, such as nights and weekends.
Finally, rideshare drivers do not need to apply for a license in the city where they operate, while taxi drivers do. However, neither taxi drivers nor rideshare drivers need to have commercial driver’s licenses. Similarly, neither are legally required to take any driving skills assessment.
While there are some important differences between taxi and rideshare, they are very similar from a passenger’s perspective. Rideshare companies can usually get you to your destination more quickly but are not necessarily less expensive.
In the event of an accident, passengers of both taxis and rideshares may be eligible for accident compensation. However, given the way the rideshare industry is structured, the assistance of a rideshare accident attorney is highly recommended.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our rideshare accident attorneys have extensive experience handling complex car accident cases arising from Uber and Lyft accidents. We can help you navigate the legal process with ease, so you can remain focused on your physical recovery.
The rideshare industry is large and rapidly growing. The global market value of the rideshare industry is estimated to be about $61 billion. Roughly 25% of people in the United States use rideshare companies at least once a month. Shockingly, Uber and Lyft drivers account for about 14% of the total miles driven in the United States each year.
However, despite the popularity of ridesharing, to date, there has not been a comprehensive study conducted to determine the exact number of rideshare accidents. However, a recent study suggests that the number of fatal car accidents across the United States has increased by about 3% since rideshare companies became popular. This amounts to annual costs between about $5.33 billion and $13.24 billion.
When you hop into the back of an Uber or Lyft, the last thing you are thinking about is getting into a crash. Thus, it’s normal not to know what to do after an accident. Below is a list of things to keep in mind if you’ve been in a rideshare accident.
If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident, don’t leave it up to the driver to report the crash. There may be numerous reasons why a rideshare driver doesn’t want to report a collision; however, it is much harder to recover compensation for your injuries after an unreported accident.
When you report a rideshare accident, it will trigger an official investigation. Police officers will arrive, fill out paperwork, and conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident. This is an important step in the recovery process because it can provide you with the evidence you need to prove your claim.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a rideshare accident, emergency responders will take you to the hospital. However, even if your injuries appear minor, it is still important to get checked out by a medical professional.
Some common rideshare accident injuries, such as head trauma and certain types of brain damage, present no recognizable symptoms until days or weeks later. However, doctors can perform tests to determine if you suffered any serious injuries.
Even if you did not go to the hospital right after the accident, it’s not too late. The important thing is that you go as soon as possible.
If you can, take down the names of the rideshare driver and other drivers involved in the accident, as well as any people who witnessed the accident. Your attorney will use this information to begin their investigation and prepare your claim.
You should also take photographs of the accident scene, focusing on the vehicles, their positions relative to each other, any road signs or traffic marking, and your injuries.
Depending on whether you were injured as a pedestrian, passenger, or driver of another vehicle, one or more insurance companies will reach out to you. They will ask you questions about the accident and the type and extent of injuries involved, and they may begin to discuss a settlement agreement.
It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies—even your own insurance company—are not ethically bound to do what’s in your best interest. In fact, quite the opposite is true; insurance companies are looking to minizine the value of your claim. Thus, anything you say to an insurance company representative can be used for that purpose.
So, while you should speak to the insurance company and honestly explain the accident, avoid making any admissions or other statements that could later hurt your chances of making a full financial recovery.
Immediately after a rideshare accident, your focus should remain on your physical recovery. However, when you can, it is also important to reach out to a rideshare accident attorney to discuss your claim. You may be able to secure accident compensation through a settlement offer or, if the insurance company is unwilling to fairly compensate you, through a personal injury lawsuit.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our compassionate attorneys are here to help you navigate the recovery process. We understand that you may not have been through this process before and will likely have many questions. We take the time to sit down with you and answer these questions, explaining the process in clear and understandable terms. Once we’re on the same page, we will move forward with preparing a compelling claim on your behalf to ensure that you are fairly compensated for what you’ve been through.
The term “rideshare accident” is used to describe a wide range of accidents, all involving rideshare drivers. However, there are several types of rideshare accidents. Each type of accident involves different insurance policies, each with their own unique policy limits.
The highest level of protection is afforded to rideshare passengers. Uber and Lyft both maintain insurance policies providing for at least $1 million in coverage. This coverage kicks in from the moment a rideshare driver is matched up with a passenger and lasts until the ride is complete. Thus, this policy will likely cover anyone injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle.
While rideshare insurance policies provide ample coverage for passengers, that is not necessarily the case for others injured by a rideshare driver’s negligence. For example, rideshare companies only provide limited coverage if the accident occurred while the driver was waiting to be paired with a passenger. However, once a driver gets matched up with a passenger, the $1 million policy applies—even to victims who were not passengers in the rideshare vehicle, like drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
If the rideshare company’s insurer does not cover your injuries, you can also pursue a claim against the rideshare driver’s personal policy and, possibly, your own auto insurance policy.
Bicyclists and pedestrians injured in a rideshare accident have the fewest options to pursue a claim after an accident. This is because an accident victim’s car insurance policy may not be implicated if they are on foot or on a bike, depending on the state where they live. However, regardless of your state’s insurance laws, you may still be able to file a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance policy or the rideshare driver’s individual policy.
To be sure, rideshare accidents are much more complex than other types of personal injury cases due to the complicated insurance policies implicated in these accidents. At Console & Associates, P.C., we have ample experience representing accident victims and helping them navigate the process in pursuit of fair compensation. When you bring Console & Associates, P.C. onto your legal team, we will handle everything so you can focus on your recovery.
Rideshare accidents can have a profound impact on your ability to live your life the way you’d planned. Some of the most common injuries following a rideshare accident include the following:
At Console & Associates, P.C., we help accident victims and their families pursue compensation for their injuries and losses through personal injury and wrongful death claims. From the moment you reach out to Console & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free consultation, you will see why so many clients have come to appreciate our compassionate yet aggressive approach to resolving rideshare accident cases.
While rideshare accidents are, by their very nature, car accidents, there are some important differences between a traditional car accident lawsuit and a rideshare accident lawsuit.
For example, there are often more insurance companies involved in a rideshare accident lawsuit. In a traditional car accident, there are usually one or two insurance companies involved, yours and the other drivers. However, in a rideshare accident, there are at least three insurance policies, including the rideshare company’s policy. While this is a good thing in that it increases the chance that there is enough money to cover your damages, it also can create confusion as one insurance company looks to the others to foot the bill.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we understand the complex rideshare insurance policies that are available after an accident and can help you effectively navigate the process.
The injuries you sustain after a rideshare accident can dramatically change your life. In a split second, your daily routine is gone, and everything you’ve worked so hard for is at stake. When will you be able to return to work? Will you be forced to live with a lifelong condition that limits your quality of life? How will you afford to pay for all the medical bills you incurred due to the accident?
These are all common questions and, right now, it’s normal for everything to feel like a blur. However, over time, things will improve.
Contacting a rideshare accident lawyer at Console & Associates, P.C. is a good starting point to understand what the recovery process will look like. We can help you identify the full extent of your damages, so you know what to expect from the insurance company. While every case is different, common types of damages in a rideshare accident include the following:
After a rideshare car accident, it is important you speak with a lawyer. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, accident victims who worked with an experienced personal injury attorney recovered 3.5 times more in damages than those who pursued the claim on their own. You only get one chance to bring a case, and you don’t want to leave anything on the table.
However, not all lawyers are equally equipped to handle these complex cases. And your choice of a rideshare accident lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your claim.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we believe that our role as rideshare accident lawyers extends beyond handling your case. We want to help you through the healing and recovery process in any way we can. One of the things we’ve learned over the 25 years we’ve been helping accident victims is that there is a lot of uncertainty involved in the process—uncertainty that only adds to the stress and anxiety you are already experiencing. One of the first things we do is to take as much time as needed to answer all of your questions so you understand the process and feel comfortable with your decision.
After a serious car accident, money can be tight. Whether you missed work, are facing seemingly endless medical bills, or having a hard time keeping up with your monthly expenses, it can be hard to find the money to hire a lawyer to represent you in a rideshare accident case. At Console & Associates, P.C., we understand this reality, and that’s why we offer all our clients a No Fee Promise.
This means that we will never bill you for our legal representation unless we can win your case, either through a rideshare settlement or a favorable jury award. We also advance the costs of litigation, so you don’t have to worry about saving up money to pursue the justice you deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, Console & Associates, P.C. is here for you. Our team of personal injury lawyers is uniquely dedicated to helping accident victims just like you get their life back on track.
We recognize that picking up the phone to call a lawyer isn’t likely on the top of your to-do list. However, once you take that first step, you’ll see why Console & Associates, P.C. is different. We don’t use high-pressure tactics to convince you to do something you aren’t 100% confident is the right decision for you. We take a much more casual approach, providing you the information you need to make a decision you feel comfortable with. If you do decide to bring us on your team, we will take care of everything, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Yes, however, rideshare drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. Thus, under general principles of personal injury law, a company is not liable for the negligence of an independent contractor. However, state law requires both Uber and Lyft to maintain sizable insurance policies that provide coverage in the event of an accident. So, while the general rule is that you normally wouldn’t be able to sue a company based on the negligent actions of an independent contractor, you can file a claim with a rideshare company’s insurance policy if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
State law requires that an accident victim file any type of personal injury lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. In many states, this is two years from the date of the accident; however, some states have shorter statutes of limitations. If you wait too long, the court will no longer have the ability to hear your case, meaning you will be without any legal remedy. While you have time to file your case, the sooner you contact a rideshare accident lawyer to discuss your case, the better. This helps to ensure that important evidence related to your claim, such as eyewitness accounts or video footage, is still available.
It’s difficult to provide an estimate for the “typical” rideshare settlement amount because every accident is unique. However, generally speaking, the more serious your injuries and the greater the accident’s impact on your life, the larger your settlement will be.
Remember, even if the insurance company is not willing to settle your case for a fair amount, that isn’t the end of the road. A skilled rideshare accident lawyer at Console & Associates, P.C. could take your case to trial in front of a jury in pursuit of maximum compensation for everything you’ve been through.