Rideshare services are promoted as safe and as a solution to reduce accident risks in Louisiana. Unfortunately, many of their passengers end up needing the services of an Uber accident lawyer in Baton Rouge. This happens for several reasons, most of them connected to Uber and Lyft drivers, who are:
- Sometimes young and inexperienced
- Often tired from their day job and cannot focus on the road
- In a hurry to finish their ride and accept another one
- Distracted by their mobile phones and fail to notice dangers on the road.
Rideshare services are growing in popularity by the day. With them, the number of accidents grows as well. This also means the number of people turning to an experienced Louisiana accident lawyer is growing too. This is especially true in Baton Rouge. According to a 2016 study performed by NerdWallet, Baton Rouge was rated as the country’s second most dangerous city for drivers.
A bill meant to regulate rideshare services throughout Louisiana reached the state Senate but was withdrawn from consideration. Most senators agreed that rideshare services should not follow different regulations than taxicab companies. This would have been unfair to the taxicab companies, many who have been in the area much longer.
The bill aimed to regulate multiple aspects of how rideshares operate. They included: driver applications, minimum background checks for drivers, trip records requirements, and the institution of a standard fee of up to 1% per ride. Since it did not move forward, every city will continue to set its own rules for rideshare services. This complicates things for victims as each city or county can now have their own regulations.
Because of this variance, having an experienced lawyer on your side is highly beneficial. Baton Rouge residents who incur injuries or property damages in accidents involving rideshare cars should consider enlisting the help of a local Lyft and Uber accident attorney for filing their compensation claim. Cases involving rideshare companies are quite complex and challenging to win.
A.L.L. Law Firm has extensive experience representing Uber and Lyft car accident victims. We are familiar and well versed with all of the challenges these cases pose. Claimants who don’t seek counsel often lose the battle with rideshare companies and their insurers. They get blinded by the huge coverage Uber and Lyft advertises to customers to make them feel safe. They mistakenly believe that obtaining compensation will be easy even without the assistance of a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer.
Unfortunately, it is not easy. Rideshare companies often deny liability for the accidents their drivers’ cause. This makes things difficult even for the most experienced Baton Rouge Uber accident lawyers. The best way to understand why cases against rideshare companies are so complicated is to take a look at the relationship between those companies and their drivers. Additionally, we will examine the insurance coverage the companies provide.
Why do I need an Uber Accident Lawyer?
Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of rideshare companies. Rather, they are considered independent contractors. This means that holding the rideshare companies responsible for the actions of their employees can be very difficult.
Their responsibilities will depend on several factors. First, when the accident occurred in relation to the driver’s status with the rideshare company and the available coverage for that status. Additionally, it will depend on the skills and experience of the Uber and Lyft accident attorney handling the case. This becomes clear when we examine the policy structuring used by rideshare companies to limit insurance liability.
The two companies ask the drivers they hire to carry the minimum liability insurance imposed by the law. This is so the driver is covered in case of an accident. Rideshares do provide additional coverage, but its availability is not guaranteed. It depends on when the accident occurred in relation to the driver’s status with the company. As any Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Baton Rouge will explain to their clients, rideshare drivers’ activity is subject to four statuses or periods. These periods are very important when it comes to establishing liability and available coverage. The four periods are:
1. Driver Is Unavailable for Rides
When the rideshare driver causes an accident while having the app turned off and not accepting fares, the only coverage available is that provided by their own liability policy. Generally, these are $15,000/person and $30,000/event for bodily injury and $25,000/event for property damage.
The Uber and Lyft accident attorney handling the case will have to file the compensation claim with the driver’s insurance company or file a civil lawsuit against the driver, just as they would do against regular drivers.
2. Driver Is Available for Rides
If the rideshare driver causes an accident while having the app turned on but before accepting a ride, they are responsible for their own actions. The main coverage available is still only the driver’s personal coverage. An experienced Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Baton Rouge may be able to access the rideshare companies’ between trips coverage. In order for that to happen, the damages must exceed the driver’s coverage. The attorney will have to file the compensation claim with the driver’s insurer or sue the driver in civil court. Only after this can they go against the rideshare company’s insurer for the remaining losses.
3. Driver Has Accepted a Ride and Is on the Way to Pick Up a Passenger
The rideshare companies’ coverage in these circumstances only applies to third parties and covers the driver’s liability, not the losses of the driver themselves. Your Lyft and Uber accident attorney will have to prove that the driver had accepted the ride and was heading towards the client. This can be quite challenging, even for the most experienced lawyers.
4. Driver Is Carrying Passengers
If the rideshare driver causes an accident while carrying passengers to a destination, the rideshare company’s insurance policy steps in. This policy covers not only the driver and their passengers, but also third parties, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers in another car.
Any information regarding the rideshare companies’ insurance coverage is helpful. If you incurred injuries or damages in an accident with an active driver on the app, there are several types of coverage that may apply. Here are the 3 types of coverage an experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana may access for their clients:
This is a commercial insurance policy that covers the drivers’ liability from the moment they accept a trip to the moment they conclude it. The policy precedes personal auto coverage, but not commercial auto coverage. It covers the rideshare passengers and third parties in case of accidents when the rideshare driver is at fault. Both Lyft and Uber provide coverage of up to $1 million per incident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
This insurance policy will pay for any physical injuries suffered by rideshare passengers in an accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured motorist, or in case of hit and runs.
Between trips coverage: $50,000/$100,000/$25,000
Refers to the cases when the drivers’ personal auto insurance does not provide coverage between trips. It covers the liability of the driver up to $50,000/person and $100,000/event for bodily injury and up to $25,000 property damage.
Common Uber and Lyft Defenses
In theory, obtaining compensation from Uber or Lyft should not be that difficult. In practice, the company’s insurer will do everything in their power to avoid paying. They frequently use the defense that their drivers are independent contractors. They argue that what they do while not carrying rideshare passengers is entirely their responsibility.
However, an experienced Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Baton Rouge will know how to counteract their arguments. For example, a lawyer may be able to prove that the rideshare driver had several traffic violations on their record and the company still accepted them. This jeopardizes their clients. Perhaps the driver did not carry insurance, or they were driving another car at the time of the accident.
As experienced and dedicated Uber accident attorneys, A.L.L. Law Firm never judges cases by appearances. We investigate every detail until we find something that can be used to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
Mistakes to Avoid
It is important to note that the actions of victims play an important role in the case’s outcome as well. What they say and do immediately after the accident is especially important. Many accident victims give in to stress and panic. They make mistakes that later cost them their right to compensation. Also, victims actions can make their attorney’s work much more difficult. Here are some of the errors A.L.L. Law Firm urges its clients to avoid in any Baton Rouge accident case.
Neglecting to request medical assistance
Many car accident victims do not realize the severity of their injuries on the spot. Because of this, they refuse to request or accept medical assistance. Unfortunately, small injuries can sometimes develop severe complications. Additionally, the defendant of the compensation claim may deny liability for the complications. They will claim that the complications would not exist had the claimant received medical assistance in due time.
Neglecting to report the crash
The last thing people worry about in the aftermath of an accident is to report the accident to the rideshare company. However, they should, as soon as they have reported it to the police. The report will connect them to the rideshare company and confirm their status as victims.
Not contacting an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer
Many accident victims are impressed with the huge insurance coverage rideshare companies advertise providing. They think their case is easy and does not need the experience and knowledge of a Lyft and Uber accident attorney. On their own, they make mistakes. They provide statements that undermine their case or sign agreements that go against their own interests. Anyone involved in a car accident with a rideshare driver should contact an experienced Baton Rouge lawyer. Even if the lawyer cannot come to the accident scene, they will advise their client on how to proceed in order to protect their interests and make their case as easy as possible.
Not gathering information from the other parties involved in the accident
One of the first things everyone involved in a car accident should do is to obtain the contact information of the other parties. This includes the insurance policy, drivers license, and car registration information from the other parties. Without this information, their Uber and Lyft accident attorney will have a hard time identifying the party at fault and finding witnesses to support their case. If victims cannot obtain the necessary information at the scene of the accident, they should write down everything they find out and contact a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer immediately. Starting with details like photos, potential video recordings from the scene of the accident, or car information, their lawyer will conduct their own investigation in order to identify the other parties involved in the accident.
Not gathering evidence from the scene
Successful compensation claims rely on solid evidence of how the accident took place and who was at fault for it. Most of this evidence is only available at the scene of the accident. When the accident involves a rideshare driver and the victims Uber and Lyft accident attorney cannot come to the scene, or they do not hire one, the victims should gather the evidence themselves. They should focus on the age and physical and mental condition of the drivers and the technical condition of the vehicles involved. The presence of the rideshare company emblem or signage on the vehicle is also crucial. Victims should also note if any of the drivers admit fault, findings of the law enforcement officers, and video cameras that may have recorded the accident. Any other pertinent information should also be noted, as it will only help a victim receive compensation later.
Talking too much and against their own interests
Some people feel the need to express their regret for the injuries and damages others incurred. Others are so happy that they got away in one piece that they claim they don’t want any compensation. Experienced Lyft and Uber accident lawyers will always warn their clients that everything they do or say can be used against them. It is best to focus on gathering information, evidence, and taking notes of what everyone else says. Try not to advance theories, express unnecessary regrets, or waive rights.
Accepting settlements without careful consideration
Sometimes, insurance agents take advantage of accident victims’ state of confusion and offer them settlements right at the accident scene or within days from the event. The compensations they offer are usually much lower than those an Uber and Lyft accident attorney may obtain. A.L.L. Law Firm advises accident victims to never accept settlements without consulting an experienced Uber accident attorney first. It is better to request a detailed case evaluation first and only accept settlement offers that come close to the real value of the compensation claim.
Uber and Lyft accident victims have the right to seek compensation for far more than just property damage and medical bills. Losses related to physical pain, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages and earning capacity, legal representation and trial costs, disability adjustments and home care, loss of companionship, and more are all potentially on the table for a victim. An experienced Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Baton Rouge will be able to provide a detailed evaluation of each case. As a result, they can better negotiate fair compensation for their client. When a favorable settlement cannot be reached, they do not hesitate to take their case to court. Everything they do is with the sole purpose of defending their clients’ interests and obtaining the most benefits with minimum hassle.
Waiting too long before contacting a Lyft and Uber accident attorney
Recovering after an accident can be difficult and takes a lot of time. Victims often choose to wait until they are fully recovered and able to prove all of their losses before contacting a Baton Rouge lawyer or filing the compensation claim. Unfortunately, they often discover that it is too late for them. Under Louisiana laws, any civil actions related to property damages and personal injury must be filed within one year from their occurrence date. Beyond this period, insurance companies will not even review claims, and the civil court will dismiss the case.
How to Seek Compensation for Your Rideshare Accident
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a rideshare driver, no matter if you were a rideshare passenger or the driver or passenger of another car, you should consult an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, the lawyer will determine exactly what your rights are, how much your compensation claim is worth, and with whom you should file it. If hired, they will take over all the formalities. They will keep you informed of their progress until they obtain the compensation you deserve.
Should you want the best representation available, you need to call A.L.L. Law Firm to represent you as soon as possible. We have the relevant experience in the field, a passion for helping accident victims, and a huge portfolio of won cases. We are so confident that we can win your claim that we do not charge you for the preliminary consultation, it is 100% risk-free. A.L.L. Law Firm Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Baton Rouge only get paid when we win your case, from the compensation obtained from the insurance companies.
No upfront fees. No Out of Pocket Costs.
To schedule a Free Case evaluation with A.L.L. Law Firm, all you have to do is Contact Us via phone, email, or the form provided. We are available 24/7 to evaluate your claim when it is convenient for you. You are one step away from working with a successful, experienced, and dedicated Lyft and Uber accident attorney in Baton Rouge. Contact Us now and take the first step to get the compensation you deserve!