After a rideshare accident, you may feel confused about your options. Especially if you’re injured, it can be complicated to seek compensation on your own. After all, there are many responsible parties, insurance companies, and stipulations that may stand in your way. Having an attorney at your side can make this complicated process much easier.
All crash claims can be difficult for victims to manage while also undergoing treatment and healing from their injuries. Accidents involving rideshare services are particularly confusing because the insurance coverage could depend on what the driver was doing on the app when the crash occurred.
Domingo Garcia can help you seek compensation for damages arising from an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company. Our Dallas rideshare accident lawyers can pursue a claim to recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Our Dallas Attorneys Fight for Fair Compensation
The goal of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit following a crash is to recover money to compensate you for the injuries, expenses, and losses you experienced. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41, accident victims can pursue compensation for:
- Medical treatment. You may have significant medical damages if you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury. You should not face financial hardship because of medical bills from an accident you did not cause. Our Dallas rideshare accident lawyers can seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, including emergency transportation and treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, and long-term care services.
- Lost wages. Our lawyers can recover back pay and lost benefits, bonuses, tips, and other earnings. In addition, if you suffer a disabling injury that requires you to change jobs, reduce your hours, or quit working, we can pursue awards for the loss of your future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering. You deserve compensation for the toll your injuries take on your quality of life. We can pursue pain and suffering damages for permanent and disabling injuries, loss of mobility and paralysis, scarring, disfigurement, physical pain, mental anguish, emotional suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Vehicle and personal property damages. If a rideshare vehicle collides with your car, we can seek the cost of vehicle repairs or a replacement. If you suffered injuries as a rideshare passenger, we can seek to recover the cost of damaged personal items.
- Various expenses. We can help you identify and pursue other losses resulting from your accident and injury, including the cost of household services and medically-necessary home modifications.
- Wrongful death. If your spouse, parent, or child sustained a fatal injury during a rideshare accident, our lawyers can help you pursue wrongful death compensation. Awards may include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, your loved one’s lost earnings and lost earning capacity, and surviving family members’ mental pain and anguish.
Our team also handles wrongful death cases. If your loved one died from their rideshare accident injuries, we are here. We pursue fair compensation for families whose members died in Uber or Lyft collisions, getting justice for them and holding the liable parties responsible.
Rideshare Accident Cases Versus Most Traffic Accident Claims
In many ways, Uber and Lyft crash claims are the same as other cases. The rules of fault and liability still apply. When a rideshare driver causes a collision, the victims pursue compensation based on their unique expenses and losses. These are the recoverable damages in the cases and are the same regardless of the driver or their insurance company.
The steps to prepare and file an insurance claim are the same, too. Personal injury attorneys handle claims for fair compensation in every auto accident case they manage. Where these personal injury claims differ is that it is not always clear which insurance policies are available. It depends on several factors, including what the Uber driver was doing on the rideshare app when the crash occurred.
There are also questions about what happens if the victim needs to sue to recover compensation for their full range of injuries. Your personal injury attorney will offer advice if this is necessary because of catastrophic injuries in your case.
Let Domingo Garcia Fight for You
Attorney Domingo Garcia and his team have been fighting for Texas personal injury clients for more than 35 years. Our sole focus is helping accident victims secure the compensation they need to get back their financial footing. Our Dallas Uber rideshare accident lawyers know how to identify the at-fault parties and hold them legally responsible for these crashes.
When you trust us with your Lyft or Uber accident case, our firm will:
- File your insurance claims or lawsuits and manage related paperwork and deadlines.
- Collect evidence to support your claims, including police reports, medical records, witness statements, surveillance video, photos, data from your crash site, and testimony from subject matter experts.
- Communicate with insurance agents and opposing counsel—saving you time and energy and protecting you from making a mistake that could hurt your case.
- Negotiate for the most favorable settlement available to you.
- Represent you at trial, if necessary.
From the first days of Dallas Uber accidents and other rideshare legal concerns, our team fought to ensure clients had access to liability insurance to provide fair financial compensation after a crash. Our personal injury lawyers ran into instances when rideshare drivers’ personal auto insurance policies refused to pay because they were accepting ride requests, and our experienced attorneys pursued payouts from the companies in these cases.
Thankfully, today, rideshare companies must provide insurance coverage for all parts of the driver’s ride cycle. Our Lyft and Uber accident lawyers in Dallas know how this coverage works and can identify the policy in effect in your crash.
At Domingo Garcia, we represent clients based on contingency. We do not ask our clients to pay upfront fees, including an hourly fee or retainer. Our lawyers instead receive a percentage of the maximum compensation our team recovers for them. Some of our recent $1,000,000+ recoveries for clients include:
- A client and their family received $8,750,000 for catastrophic injuries suffered in a truck accident
- A motorcyclist received $3,000,000 for injuries sustained when a commercial driver struck them
- The family of a roadside worker killed by a commercial driver recovered $2,750,000
- Our client received $1,191,560.52 after suffering multiple injuries in a commercial vehicle accident
- A roadside worker received $1,000,000 for fractures suffered in a truck crash
- A crash victim received a $1,000,000 policy limit settlement after a foot amputation
- An injured party received $1,000,000 in a commercial vehicle crash that caused a lumbar fracture
- The family of a wrongful death victim received a $1,000,000 policy limit settlement after a truck wreck
Do Not Wait Too Long to Take Action
The statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Texas is two years, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. Deadlines can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Your lawyer can help you interpret and meet these requirements.
If you do not meet the statutory deadlines, the court may bar you from pursuing your case. Missed deadlines can also hurt your chances of a fair out-of-court settlement. Having the option to sue the at-fault parties provides a lot of leverage when negotiating with the insurance company. When the adjuster knows you cannot sue, it makes it much more difficult to convince the insurer to pay a fair sum for your financial losses and intangible damages.
Financial Responsibility for Rideshare Accidents in Texas
In the early days of Dallas Lyft and Uber, there was a lot of confusion about what happened when a rideshare driver caused a crash. This was especially problematic when the victim suffered catastrophic injuries or passed away.
Even when driver negligence caused the crash, the company that provided their personal insurance policy often refused to cover the injured party’s losses. They considered being a rideshare driver a violation of the policy rules since they were using their car for commercial purposes.
Since that time, many states and municipalities passed strict laws to protect rideshare riders and other road users from this issue. These laws usually only allow rideshare companies to operate when they provide auto liability policies for drivers. Texas has laws in place to guarantee coverage for victims hurt in these crashes. However, this does not mean you should not work with a legal professional on your case. It is still often a difficult time to recover fair compensation.
Dallas Lyft and Uber Insurance Coverage Available Today
According to Texas Transportation Code § 1954.051-053, rideshare drivers must have insurance to pay for accidents they cause. Mandated insurance minimums for transportation network company drivers are as follows:
- When a driver is not logged into the app: Their personal auto insurance coverage should pay. The minimums match those mandated for all drivers in the state and include $30,000 for injuries or death to one person, up to a total of $60,000 per crash, and $25,000 for property damage.
- When a driver is logged into a rideshare company’s digital network but is between rides: The rideshare company must ensure there is at least $50,000 for bodily injury or death to one person, $100,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for damage or destruction to property.
- When a driver is engaged in a ride, either on their way to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger: Uber or Lyft provides $1 million for bodily injury, death, or property damage per accident.
While these laws ensure crash victims have access to insurance coverage, they make it somewhat challenging to determine which policy was in effect at the time of the crash. If you were a rideshare rider when the collision occurred, you have access to the $1 million liability policy. However, in other circumstances, it is difficult to determine your options.
If you work with rideshare lawyers from our team on your case, we will handle this for you. In general, we need to know what the rideshare driver was doing on the app at the time of the collision. If there was a paying passenger in their car, both you and this passenger can file claims based on the large liability policy provided by Uber or Lyft.
Otherwise, we might have to rely on the rideshare driver’s word or gain access to forensic evidence from their phone or the company to determine if they were matched with a rider at the time.
Can Victims Sue Uber & Lyft After a Crash?
Uber and Lyft provide drivers with adequate coverage. However, because drivers are not employees but independent contractors, it can be difficult to further hold rideshare companies financially responsible if their driver caused the accident. Working with a personal injury law firm to navigate the process to recover money from their liability coverage or take additional action helps.
Under some circumstances, victims have successfully sued Uber & Lyft for car accident injuries.
Is the Rideshare Driver Liable for My Injuries?
Determining fault and liability is a common factor in any car accident case. It generally works the same way when there is a rideshare driver involved. When a driver acts carelessly or recklessly, an accident can occur. Showing the driver’s negligence caused the crash is key to holding them responsible and recovering fair compensation. This requires documenting the four elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: The rideshare driver had a responsibility to act in a certain way, often because of applicable traffic laws.
- Breach of duty: The Uber or Lyft driver violated their duty by failing to act as they should.
- Causation: Their action or inaction was the cause of the collision
- Harm: The victim suffered harm, possibly including injuries, emotional harm, and financial losses.
When you can document how a rideshare driver’s negligence caused your accident, this presents a strong case for the insurance carrier to pay for your recoverable damages. This evidence is necessary to recover the money you need to pay for your medical care, lost income, and other expenses.
When our attorney represents you in this process, we will investigate what happened and develop the case against the rideshare driver if their negligence caused the crash. The evidence to support your payout could include:
- The accident report filed by responding police officers
- An accident scene survey
- Video of the crash
- Accident reconstruction
- Forensic evidence from the driver’s phone or rideshare app
- Your relevant medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert testimony
- Documentation of damages
You may have a claim against a third party. For example, if another car hits your Uber, that driver may bear financial responsibility for your losses. Additionally, you may have a claim against a private or government roadway owner or a manufacturer if negligent road conditions or vehicle defects contributed to your crash.
Uber and Lyft drivers may also be able to file third-party claims for accidents they didn’t cause. A car accident attorney from our firm can walk you through your options, whatever your role in the accident was. We conduct the same in-depth investigations in these cases as we do when the rideshare driver is liable for the collision.
How Rideshare Accidents Differ from Taxicab and Limousine Crashes
While rideshare accidents have a lot in common with taxi and limousine crashes on the surface, there are significant differences. Primarily, this focuses on the structure of the relationship between the company and the driver. Taxi and limousine drivers are generally company employees. This is also true of most other commercial drivers, including long-haul truckers.
When a driver is a company employee, Texas recognizes a legal doctrine called respondeat superior. This doctrine holds the employer vicariously liable for negligence committed by workers under certain circumstances. This includes when:
- They are on the clock
- They are completing work-related tasks
Based on this doctrine, our attorneys often hold trucking, taxi, bus, and limo companies legally liable for injuries and vehicle damage in these collisions. However, this does not apply in most rideshare cases. Respondeat superior does not extend to cover independent contractors; it only applies to employees.
Rideshare drivers are independent contractors. This protects Uber & Lyft from negligent rideshare drivers and those who commit crimes while using the app to earn money. However, this does not mean that rideshare companies are never liable for a crash. Some injured victims have been able to convince the courts these companies were negligent parties in their crash cases.
This might be possible if there was a history of drunk driving, driver distraction, or reckless driving or if the company failed to provide proper background checks or adequate training. Our attorney will review your case to determine if you should seek compensation based on the liability insurance coverage available or if additional action is necessary.
Rideshare Accident Injuries
As with any car accident, collisions involving a rideshare vehicle can result in severe and catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBI. Head injuries can cause a range of serious and sometimes permanent side effects, including cognitive deficits, speech problems, loss of coordination and balance, depression, behavioral changes, and inability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): Mayo Clinic reports that vehicle collisions are also a leading cause of SCIs. SCIs can cause partial or complete loss of mobility and feeling below the injury site, as well as severe secondary conditions like loss of bowel and bladder control, loss of sexual functioning and infertility, and respiratory and circulatory problems.
- Abdominal and chest injuries: The force of a car crash can cause catastrophic internal injuries. Accident victims may suffer damage to the heart, liver, lungs, or kidneys. According to MedlinePlus, internal bleeding is also a severe medical emergency that can quickly become deadly.
Other rideshare accident injuries may include:
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of hearing, speech, or vision
- Severe cuts and bruising
When do I Need to Call a Lawyer About My Dallas Rideshare Accident Case?
Rideshare accident cases are often more complex than they first seem. This stems from the unusual structure of the company/driver relationship and the complicated insurance coverage scheme. This is especially true for victims who suffered serious, life-altering, or catastrophic injuries. Not only are they dealing with devastating diagnoses, ongoing treatment, and growing care and support needs, but they need to figure out how to handle their legal claim, as well.
Working with an attorney from the start is the best way to ensure your rights remain protected and you pursue fair compensation based on your expenses and losses. We encourage victims to reach out to us as soon as their injuries allow. If your loved one has catastrophic injuries and cannot contact our team, a trusted family member can make the call on their behalf.
Even those who have relatively minor injuries may need assistance with their claim and recovering fair compensation. The insurance carriers are not easy to deal with, and they usually do not want to pay out what victims deserve after a crash. Having a car accident attorney on your side can make this process easier. You can focus on recovering physically while our lawyers do the rest.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Contact Domingo Garcia today to learn more about how our Dallas rideshare accident lawyers can advocate for you. We offer free consultations and can take your case on contingency, meaning you don’t pay anything until we win. We know how to handle this type of accident case and hold rideshare drivers and companies responsible for the injuries that occur. We can help you recover compensation for your covered accident.
Call us or use our online case evaluation form to get started today.