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Uber/Lyft Lawsuits On The Raise, Be Prepared

Ridesharing has become ever-more popular over the last few years. People like the convenience of the service provided by Lyft and Uber and have shown a preference for this mode of transportation over all others. Ridesharing gives an opportunity to every licensed driver to become a carrier of passengers. No tests and few qualifications are required for the job. This has led to an endless supply of drivers and an increase in rideshare accidents.

Uber and Lyft Accidents Are on the Rise

Statistics have shown a significant increase in vehicle accidents over the last few years. Most of these have occurred in congested urban and sub-urban areas—the very places in which Uber and Lyft have the largest presence. The main factors contributing to this increase include the low standards of both companies in hiring drivers and the behavior of the drivers of themselves.

Most Uber and Lyft drivers do the job part-time. They do it to make ends meet and are desperate to get as many fares as possible. They have every incentive to carry each party they collect to their intended destination quickly, which sometimes leads them to speed excessively and to break other traffic laws and regulations.

What to do After a Rideshare Accident

A car crash is a sudden, jolting, and violent event. It leaves you feeling shaken and disoriented—especially if you were in the backseat of an Uber of Lyft vehicle. Once you recovered your bearings, you should do the following:

1. Check yourself and everyone else

You should check your own status and those of your fellow passengers. If you do not feel any pain, you should rub your hands over your body to ensure that you are not bleeding. An especially violent impact can leave the body numb for a while, so that even if you are bleeding out you may not necessarily feel it.

2. Call emergency services

You should call 911 immediately. They will send police, medical, and rescue vehicles to your location. You should make this call even if you believe someone else already has.

3. Exchange information

Your driver will most likely be speaking to the driver of the other vehicle. If you are conscious, alert, and mobile, you should join in this exchange. You should get the contact information and insurance details from each driver.

4. Take photos

If you are up to it, you should take photographs of the damage done to the car you are in. You should also take photos of the cuts, scrapes, and bruises you have sustained as a result of the accident. You should take a photo of the accident scene as well.

5. Get a medical examination

Even if you feel good, you should go to the emergency room and have yourself examined by a physician. They may be able to detect internal injuries that you cannot see or feel.

6. Call a lawyer

The first thing that you should do when you feel up to it is to contact a ridesharing accident lawyer. The rideshare company that you used will investigate the accident. If your driver was at fault, they will offer you a settlement. Uber has a standing policy of offering up to $1 million to passengers who have been injured in accidents involving their drivers. You should accept no offer or make any commitments without first consulting an Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident lawyer.

The main aim of rideshare and insurance companies is to minimize the amount of money they must pay out to accident victims. They will count on you to accept their initial offer and to pursue the matter no longer. If the injuries you sustained were light and the money they offer covers your losses and expenses, it may be a good idea to take it.

However, if you were seriously injured in the accident $1 million may not be enough to get you through.

The Financial Impact of a Serious Accident

If the ridesharing accident was severe, if it left you unconscious and seriously injured, you may need to undergo months of surgeries and other invasive procedures to get well again. You may need to follow this up with an extensive physical rehabilitation regimen and years of taking prescription drug medication. While you are on your back you will not be able to earn an income and the bills will continue to pile up.

Going back to work may be difficult if not impossible. Your injury may prevent you from putting in the hours you need to make ends meet. Or, it may force you to give up your livelihood altogether. In the worst cases, you may need permanent care and medical assistance in your home. You may even need a family member to stay home with you, which will dry up another source of much needed income.

You and your family should not have to shoulder such financial strains alone. The people whose negligence and recklessness led to your injury should be held accountable and made to pay.

What Your Ridesharing Accident Lawyer Will Do

West coast trial lawyers help people like you get the compensation and justice they deserve from big companies like Uber and Lyft. The Uber accident lawyer and Lyft accident lawyer you hire will have handled cases similar to yours and gotten good outcomes for their clients. West coast trial lawyers will gather the facts, introduce eyewitness and expert testimony, and bring the relevant parts of law to bear on your case.

Here are some of the specific actions your lawyer will take to get you the money you deserve from the rideshare company:

Gather the Facts

Your lawyer will go beyond the police report on the accident. They will engage independent professional investigators to examine the causes and conditions of the accident. Such investigators will analyze and evaluate the evidence from crash site for themselves. They will also re-interview witnesses. Some people do not like dealing with police. There may be people who witnessed the accident who refused to give a statement to police but do not mind telling a private investigator what they saw.

There may also be a witness who captured the entire accident on video. If there is such a person, your lawyer will obtain the footage they shot, which may prove the culpability of your driver in the accident.

The physical and mental fitness of your driver will also be looked at. As has already been pointed out, most rideshare driver do the job as moonlighters. Your driver may have started their shift after an already long day at work and may have been too tired to get behind the wheel. And of course, if your driver consumed any alcohol or drugs before they collected you, your lawyer will find out.

Expert and Forensic Evidence

Lawyers like West Coast Trial Lawyers will also engage the services of an accident reconstruction expert. The dents, scratches, and debris that result from an accident tell a story of how it took place. An accident reconstruction expert can take that evidence and develop a computer simulation that shows how the accident unfolded. Such simulations are admissible in court.

Your lawyer will also get statements from medical experts concerning your condition. They will submit testimony that describes the nature and extent of your injuries and explains the debilitating effect they have had on you. If the case goes to trial, your lawyer will choose only experienced professionals to testify in court—that is, experts who know how to explain complex concepts in simple and direct language.

The Law

The legal code governing rideshare companies and drivers is evolving. Technically, rideshare drivers are not employees of Uber and Lyft; they are independent contractors. However, there is a growing body of law that stipulates the responsibility of these companies to provide a minimum standard of screening and selection when bringing new drivers into their respective networks. There is also an emerging consensus that rideshare drivers should have adequate insurance, which includes coverage of accidents that cause personal injury.

Plaintiffs throughout the country have won lawsuits against Uber and Lyft. The size, wealth, and power of these companies should not deter you from taking them on.

The law as written makes it possible for your lawyer to get you the money you deserve. Your lawyer will need to prove that the accident was the fault of the rideshare driver, that it caused you serious injury, and that you are owed a specific dollar amount because of it. Lawyers who specialize in rideshare cases will know how to put such an argument together. After carrying out an extensive investigation of their own, they will also be able to present the respondent with the kind of evidence that makes the case against them sound. Uber and Lyft do not like going to trial if they don’t need to. They fear the repercussions of having another jury decision against them and the precedent it may set. This will put your lawyer in a better position to negotiate a settlement that is commensurate with all you have suffered and endured.

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