Rideshare Accident

Rideshare Accident Attorney in El Paso, TX

During the last few years, rideshare services have completely revolutionized the transportation industry. These days, it is common to see Uber, Lyft, RideGuru, Wingz, and other rideshare vehicles darting across El Paso and throughout other Texas cities. While rideshare services can help reduce traffic and avoid costly car ownership, more rideshare vehicles on the roads also means more rideshare accidents.

Talk to an experienced El Paso car accident attorney today if you are involved in a ridesharing accident. A Texas rideshare accident is not like a typical car accident, and it can be challenging for someone involved in this type of collision to recover compensation. The Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, provides a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today for your free case review.

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What Are Ridesharing Services?

Ridesharing services are technology companies that match a person who wants a ride with someone willing to provide it. As such, ridesharing services are distinct from taxi companies and private transportation. This unique business model allows these companies to bypass many regulations that govern traditional taxi businesses. They are not subject to the same licensing or oversight as taxi companies.

Additionally, rideshare companies hire independent contractors as their drivers. This allows the companies to insulate themselves from liability in case of an accident and to shift liability onto their drivers.

In Uber and Lyft accidents, injured victims generally do not have a claim against the rideshare company itself because it is not the negligent driver’s employer. Instead, most cases are resolved through the insurance policy that covers the negligent rideshare driver. The policy will depend on where the driver was at the time of the accident in the transaction.

How Does a Rideshare Accident Happen?

While rideshare accidents can occur for any reason, just as “normal” car accidents can, some of the common causes of rideshare accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue – Many rideshare drivers work in this role as a second or third job. They may work long hours, leading to driver fatigue. In some situations, driver fatigue is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Distracted driving – Rideshare drivers must constantly be looking for their next trip. They are also constantly bombarded with updates on road conditions, navigational instructions, and other notifications. This means that many are often distracted while transporting passengers.
  • Speeding – Rideshare drivers get paid by the trip, so they have an incentive to finish each ride as quickly as possible to get to their next payment.
  • Dangerous meeting spots – Rideshare drivers often pick up and drop off passengers on the side of the road in heavily trafficked areas.

How to Determine Liability in a Rideshare Accident?

Proving negligence in a rideshare accident can sometimes be difficult. If the injured victim is a rideshare passenger, they may not see an accident coming or even know how it happened because they are simply enjoying the ride from the backseat. Proving who was at fault for causing the accident is important, though, since it dictates which party may be liable for damages.

Hiring an experienced Uber & Lyft accident lawyer is usually the best way to determine who is responsible for the crash since the attorney can conduct a complete investigation into the accident and gather crucial evidence before it is lost or destroyed. Evidence a Lyft & Uber accident lawyer may gather includes:

  • Medical records
  • Police report
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Damage to the vehicles involved
  • Video footage from dashcams or nearby surveillance cameras
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Opinions from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists and medical experts

Possible Compensation in a Ridesharing Accident

The amount of compensation available in an accident involving a rideshare driver can vary dramatically depending on the circumstances of the accident. If you were injured during a rideshare, you might be able to pursue compensation for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Rideshare companies maintain insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million in bodily injury liability coverage and property damage if the driver has an app passenger in the vehicle with them.

Even when the rideshare company’s highest insurance policy limits apply, getting fair compensation for all your losses isn’t easy. Their insurance companies will do everything they can to diminish the value of your claim. A skilled ridesharing accident lawyer will know what it takes to build a compelling claim and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Who Can Recover After a Rideshare Accident?

There are many different people who may be injured in a rideshare accident who can make a claim for compensation, including:

  • Passengers, the rideshare driver was transporting at the time of the accident
  • Another driver, the rideshare driver, hit during their ride request
  • Pedestrians, cyclists, or other road users who are struck by a rideshare driver’s vehicle

What to Do After Uber and Lyft Accidents

If you are injured in a ridesharing accident, there are things you can do to protect your rights and your case. Consider taking these steps:

  • Get medical attention immediately –If you or anyone else is hurt, contact the authorities to ensure everyone gets the medical attention they need. Even if you are not taken to the hospital in an ambulance, follow up with a medical professional as soon as possible. Waiting to seek treatment can cause some conditions to worsen. Medical documentation is important to establish your claim.
  • Document the accident – Take pictures of the accident and your injuries. Make notes about the details of the accident and anything you may have noticed just before the crash. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Contact an experienced rideshare attorney – Rideshare accident cases can be complicated. Contact an Uber or Lyft accident attorney and discuss the situation with them as soon as possible. All communication with the insurer or rideshare company should go through your attorney. An attorney also has the resources to investigate the cause of the accident and find evidence to establish who may be liable for it.
  • Keep billing records –Hold on to all your medical bills and out-of-pocket receipts related to the accident. These documents can help an attorney estimate the value of your claim.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan – Follow your doctor’s medical advice and treatment plan. Sticking to your doctor’s recommendations is in your best interest to protect your health and claim.
  • Keep a pain journal – It may also be helpful to keep a pain journal to track your recovery, pain levels, and how your injury impacts your daily life.
  • Do not post on social media – Avoid social media while your case is pending.

Statute of Limitations in a Rideshare Accident

In Texas, there is a certain timeline to file a claim following an uber or lyft accident or other personal injury. This timeline is known as the statute of limitations. Generally, the statute of limitations is two years for personal injury claims in Texas. While this may seem like a long time, this time can quickly pass by, especially when you are focused on recovering from a serious injury. Also, your lawyer will need time to investigate your claim, gather evidence, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf, so you should not delay in reaching out to a qualified rideshare accident lawyer for help.

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Contact a Rideshare Accident Lawyer for Help

If you were injured in a rideshare accident, the team at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, wants to help. We have more than 30 years of combined legal experience we can leverage on your behalf. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

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