Whether they’re commuting to work, heading to the airport, or enjoying a night out, Houston residents and tourists often turn to Uber and Lyft for their transportation needs. Because these services offer potential savings in travel costs and the convenience of quickly arranging for a driver via smartphone, they’ve become increasingly popular. However, when you’ve suffered an accident involving a ride-hailing service, the confusion and stress can be tremendous. In the aftermath, you may be struggling with serious injuries and with the expenses and inconveniences caused by damage to your vehicle. You may also have an unclear idea about your options for covering the steep costs. That’s why you need a Houston Uber or Lyft accident lawyer.
Houston Uber & Lyft Accident Resources
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We understand the complexities involved when dealing with Uber and Lyft insurance claims, and we are prepared to take your case all the way to trial.
Benefits of Hiring a Houston Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney
A rideshare accident lawyer can help victims in various ways, beginning soon after the accident occurs. An attorney can:
Handle all paperwork involved with initiating the claim
Investigate the incident and gather evidence
Explain your legal options to you
Communicate with insurance carriers involved
Handle any negotiations regarding compensation
File a lawsuit in civil court
At The Doan Law Firm, we stand up for victims of injuries, and we want to prioritize your well-being. We will always remain in contact with you throughout the entirety of your case so you are up to date on any changes or progress.
What Are the Three Phases of Rideshare Programs?
Both Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage, but they do so on a “tiered” basis, of which there are three tiers. Each of these tiers means that a different level of insurance is involved:
Rideshare driver not logged in. This is when the rideshare driver is not signed into their app to work, so if they cause an accident, their own insurance carrier will be on the line for paying compensation to victims.
Driver logged in but no passengers. This is when a rideshare driver has signed into their app to work but does not yet have a passenger or is not on the way to pick one up. In these instances, both rideshare companies offer $50,000 per person for bodily injury and up to $100,000 per accident. This insurance is supplemental to the driver’s personal insurance carrier and will kick in after the personal carrier limits have been reached.
Driver logged in and has a passenger or on the way to pick one up. This is when a rideshare driver is signed into their app to work and has a passenger or is on the way to pick one up. In these cases, both companies provide insurance policies of up to $1 million in coverage for all involved.
What Does Lyft & Uber’s Accident Insurance Cover?
As we mentioned above, the insurance limits are different depending on the tier of coverage involved. All drivers in Texas are required to carry minimum coverage by law, which includes:
Bodily injury liability of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
Property damage liability of $25,000
This is the only coverage available in the first tier and is the first line of compensation for incidents in the second tier. Uber and Lyft will provide supplemental coverage if the driver’s personal limitations are exhausted in the second tier.
Potential Compensation Available in Your Case
At all levels of coverage, victims of accidents should be able to receive certain types of compensation if their claim is successful. There is no set amount of compensation paid to victims, as various factors related to each particular incident can affect compensation amounts. However, at The Doan Law Firm, our goal is to recover compensation for a victim’s:
Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Medications and medical devices
Loss of future earnings
Property damage expenses
Physical and emotional pain and suffering
Time Limits to File a Houston Uber or Lyft Accident Claim
Victims of rideshare accidents in Houston should file their claims as quickly as possible. The personal injury statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date an injury occurs, and failing to file a claim within this time frame will likely result in a case dismissal.
Additionally, the insurance carriers will have their own tight deadlines, so individuals should file their claims quickly after an accident in order to avoid a denial or a delay.
Turn to a Top Ride Share Accident Lawyer in Houston
When an accident occurs involving a ride-hailing service, the following are some of the key questions you need to address:
Were you being transported by the Uber or Lyft driver at the time of the accident?
Was the Uber or Lyft driver using the ride-hailing app when the accident occurred?
What sort of insurance does the Uber or Lyft driver personally carry?
Why are these questions important? Uber or Lyft drivers who weren’t using the app when the accident occurred may be covered only by their personal auto insurance. In contrast, if they were logged in at the time, they should be receiving additional insurance coverage from the ride-hailing company they were working with. The extent of the coverage depends on whether or not they were assigned to transport someone when the accident took place.
Along with these issues, you’ll also need to address the standard questions that come up following any car accident:
Who is at fault for the crash? Does more than one driver share the fault?
Were you a passenger, driver, or pedestrian during the crash?
Did anything unrelated to driving behavior contribute to the crash? For example, there might have been a mechanical failure in one of the vehicles.
It’s also important to look into whether the Uber or Lyft driver has a record of driving-related offenses. Both Lyft and Uber run initial background checks on drivers and perform follow-up checks; drivers and their vehicles must meet certain standards. However, the system of checks isn’t foolproof. Furthermore, drivers aren’t obligated to obtain the kind of special license required of limousine or taxi drivers.
Your Houston rideshare accident lawyer will help you construct a coherent picture of what occurred during the crash and will discuss all available options for compensation. Because your options depend so much on the specific details of each accident, your attorney will conduct a thorough analysis of your case. You’ll be less likely to accept a settlement that’s unfair to you and that fails to adequately cover the losses you’ve suffered.
What Might a Car Accident Cost You?
Your Houston Lyft accident lawyer or Uber accident lawyer will help make sure that you aren’t neglecting to account for any of the costs of your accident. Accurate calculations are critical for ensuring that you’re compensated fairly and that you aren’t struggling in the aftermath to pay for medical treatments, vehicle repairs, and other expenses.
Medical costs include ambulance rides, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, outpatient care, physical therapy, and therapy for mental health or cognitive rehabilitation.
With permanent injuries, costs can arise from lifestyle changes, including the need for a wheelchair or other assistive devices. Certain home modifications may also be needed, such as installing handrails or widening doorways.
Property-related expenses can stem from vehicle damage and damage to anything valuable in the vehicle, including laptops and smartphones.
Other costs include increased insurance premiums, loss of wages from missed work, and unemployment.
Because your Houston car accident lawyer will guide you as you figure out current and future costs, you’ll be able to build a stronger case and support it with compelling evidence, including medical reports, copies of bills and receipts, and photos of the accident scene and any injuries you’ve sustained.
What to Do at the Scene of the Rideshare Accident
At the scene of a rideshare accident, there are a few basic steps individuals should take to help ensure the integrity of their claims:
Check for injuries and seek medical care. Individuals should check themselves and their passengers for injuries and seek immediate medical treatment for severe injuries. Even if there are no obvious signs and symptoms of injuries, individuals should go to the doctor for a check-up as soon as possible, preferably on the same day as the incident. This establishes a strong link between the incident and any injuries that do arise.
Call the police. Nearly every accident in Texas must be reported to law enforcement officials, so make sure the police come to the scene so they can fill out an accident report.
Document the scene. We encourage rideshare accident victims to do whatever they can to gather evidence at the scene of the incident if the scene is safe enough to do so. This includes using a phone to take photographs of vehicle damage, injuries, causes of the incident, license plate numbers, and more. Names and contact information for eyewitnesses should be written down quickly.
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Call on a Houston Uber accident lawyer
Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft often involve complicated details, it’s critical that you contact an Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.