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Uber & Rideshare Accidents

When it comes to rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, there are a lot of benefits. Besides being convenient, they’re often cheaper than hiring a taxi, help reduce the number of cars on the road, and reduce air pollutants. Plus, with an application that’s accessible on your smartphone, rideshare services are as easy as pushing a button! You also get an added layer of security because there is a record of who requests a ride and who responds to that request within the application. 

However, although drivers are screened by rideshare companies, that doesn’t mean ridesharing is completely safe, especially when one considers unknowns such as driver vigilance and other vehicles on the road. In Louisiana, where rideshare companies are operating every day and Louisianians are increasingly employed as drivers, it’s no surprise that accidents happen when using rideshare services.

In Louisiana’s busy cities, safety in a rideshare vehicle becomes a major concern. It’s important to be educated about how to proceed if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an accident while in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, or if you’re in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle. The process of filing a claim can be complicated but, at Breaux Law Firm, we can help you and your loved ones navigate the path to recovery. 

Why You Need A Lawyer 

Accidents with rideshare vehicles, such as Uber or Lyft, can be complicated. These companies have insurance policies that are complex and meticulously worded. It’s easy to find yourself under piles of paperwork or the recipient of less than adequate settlement offers if you attempt to deal with claims yourself. That’s why it’s always recommended to hire experienced personal injury lawyers who are especially versed in prosecuting rideshare insurance claims. Breaux Law Firm has handled countless claims against Uber and Lyft with great success, and we’re just a phone call away.

How Does Rideshare Differ From Traditional Taxis Or Cabs? 

First, it’s important to note how rideshare services are different from traditional cab or car services: 

  • Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, consider their drivers independent contractors.
  • Rideshare drivers drive their own vehicles and are responsible for fuel and maintenance.
  • Pricing varies depending on time of day and number of people in the rideshare vehicle.
  • Rideshare drivers set their own schedules.
  • If a rideshare driver is in his/her vehicle but is not logged onto the rideshare application, he or she is covered under personal insurance, not company insurance.

The last point is important, especially for Uber and Lyft drivers, because the phase of the Uber of Lyft app determines whether Uber or Lyft’s insurance applies and, if the rideshare insurance does apply, the status of the app determines how much coverage is available. Of course, one of the first things Breaux Law Firm does when working on a rideshare case in Louisiana is establishing who is at fault for the accident; this ensures that the client and everyone else involved in the claim knows which insurance company and which insurance coverage line will be applicable to the case.

If You’ve Been In An Accident

If you find yourself in an accident with a rideshare vehicle or as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, there are specific things you will want to note.

After An Accident

If you’ve been in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, take the following actions:

  1. Call 911, just as you would after any other accident. 
  2. File a police report so the incident is officially recorded. The report will have statements from all parties involved and can help determine fault. 
  3. If you can, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved, the locations of the vehicles after the accident, the license plate of the other vehicle involved, and the street or intersection where the accident took place 
  4. Exchange contact information with all other parties involved and report the accident to your insurance company. 
  5. Call Breaux Law Firm to represent you and your case.


Liability 

To determine liability, your lawyer and the rideshare insurance adjuster will have to establish who was at fault. Negligence can come in many different forms, including: 

  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 

If an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of a rideshare driver, then a claim can be filed against the rideshare company. Most companies like Uber and Lyft carry a $1,000,000 policy limit to cover negligence for accidents; however, getting compensation is complicated. It must be determined whether all the elements of a negligence claim exist: 

  • Did the Uber or Lyft driver breach his or her duty of care to the injured person?
  • Did the driver breach traffic laws?
  • Were injuries sustained due to the driver’s negligence or breach of traffic laws?

Even after determining fault, Uber and Lyft have specific tiers of insurance coverage that carry different policy limits. Circumstances during the accident will determine the amount of insurance coverage that applies, such as: 

  • If a rideshare driver has no passenger and the rideshare application is off.
  • If the rideshare driver is waiting to pick up a passenger and the rideshare application is active.
  • If a rideshare driver is picking up a new passenger.
  • If a rideshare driver has a passenger in the car.

Which tier the rideshare vehicle is in determines the amount of coverage that applies. If a driver was not logged onto the app, he or she is not considered to be driving for Uber or Lyft and, therefore, his or her own personal insurance will cover the claim. 

If a driver is active on the app, is waiting for a rideshare request, and then gets into an accident, Uber and Lyft will cover up to $50,000 per individual and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury.

If a driver has picked up a passenger, is on route to a destination, and gets into an accident, rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber cover up to $1,000,000 in relatable damages. 

Damages

Along with liability, the person bringing the claim must also prove damages. Types of damages include: 

  • Loss of property or damage to property
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical and emotional pain and anguish

Again, if negligence is involved and it can be proven, a successful claim against Uber or Lyft can be brought. Uber and Lyft do offer liability insurance, which covers the drivers’ vehicles while logged onto the Uber or Lyft app.

Hiring An Attorney

If you’ve been in an accident with a rideshare company such as Lyft or Uber in Louisiana and you’ve been injured, you may have a claim to file against the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, and the rideshare company’s insurance company. The party you claim against and the type of claim you’re entitled to may depend on whether your host driver was at fault or whether the other vehicle involved in the accident was at fault. For example, if you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, Uber or Lyft’s insurance company will provide coverage to you regardless of fault; different types of coverage apply to different situations.

With over 35 years of experience, we at Breaux Law Firm understand how to navigate the world of claims in New Orleans and Louisiana. You can rest assured that your case will be handled with the utmost respect and priority to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to as quickly as possible. Our job is to get you the maximum payout you are due. We’re here to protect your rights. 

By hiring a trusted law firm to represent you and your case, you can put your mind at ease; this will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Let us do the paperwork, deal with the insurance adjusters, and get you the compensation you deserve. 

Why Choose Breaux Law Firm?

If you or someone you know has been injured in a rideshare accident, the attorneys at Breaux Law Firm are the best option for you, and here’s why: 

  • Having been in business for over three decades, we’re highly experienced and well versed in personal injury law, no matter how complicated the case may be. 
  • We’re a family-run business dedicated to our clients, their well-being, and their cases. We believe in holding responsible parties accountable and getting the compensation our clients deserve.
  • Our firm has a policy of open communication and responsiveness. We’re always available to discuss your case when you need to, and we can explain any detail you want to know. 
  • Our reputation as a trustworthy personal injury law firm speaks for itself. We fight for you as if we were fighting for one of our own family members. 

Being in an accident is scary enough, and dealing with the aftermath can be exhausting. Getting back on your feet should be hassle-free. If you call us and we determine, together, that you have a case, we’ll immediately begin fighting on your behalf to make the responsible parties do what is right. We do not stop fighting for you until you receive all you’re owed.

By hiring Breaux Law Firm to represent you for your rideshare accident, you can expect a clear legal explanation of your case and an honest assessment of the case’s merits. We can help you get through this difficult time and ensure you’re taken care of emotionally, physically, and financially.

Next Steps
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations applicable to personal injury claims is one year from the date of the accident, so don’t wait! If the suit is filed after the deadline, it can be dismissed. However, it’s always a good idea to seek legal advice, as there are exceptions in which the statute of limitations may be halted and the deadline for filing a claim extended. 

Although filing claims or reliving traumatic experiences can be overwhelming, moving towards the compensation you are due is the right thing for you and your family. You’re not alone in this fight. The qualified attorneys of Breaux Law Firm are just a phone call away. Let us handle your case and get you what you deserve. 

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