Legal Representation After a Ridesharing Accident
It wasn’t too long ago that the only ridesharing options for those who wanted to save money on gas were to take the bus or carpool. Those options are still popular here in San Diego‚ but rideshare services like Uber & Lyft have all grown in popularity. These are companies that operate in a similar manner as taxi and limousine services but they are not regulated in the same manner. Each rideshare option is unique‚ and there are unique complications that may arise if you’re ever involved in a crash.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare car accident‚ you may be wondering about who will compensate you for your medical expenses‚ lost income‚ and other costs. The experienced San Diego auto accident attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers have the knowledge and resources it takes to help you secure fair compensation for your losses. Call us to find out how we can help you. We can be reached at (619) 233-5020.
How Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers Can Help
In many respects, if you are involved in a rideshare accident as a driver, passenger, or if a rideshare driver hits you, the consequences are similar to any other car accident. What makes these cases different from the average accident is the complicated questions surrounding liability and which insurance policies might be in play.
Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers has handled car accident personal injury lawsuits in the San Diego area for years, and we can work with you to get you the damage award you need to cover medical expenses, property damage and pain and suffering, just as we have for other people hurt in a vehicular accident. App-based ridesharing is relatively new, and the relevant personal injury law is still developing. We are keeping close tabs on new developments in ridesharing accident lawsuits in California.
It is important to know that our team of aggressive trial lawyers knows how to handle your personal injury lawsuit no matter what the degree of complexity, we are prepared to take any and all insurance companies to court if necessary, and that willingness to take the fight all the way is often a critical factor in you getting the damage award you deserve.
Insurance Issues with Rideshare
If you’re riding in a bus or taxi at the time of the crash‚ the company involved in the collision is required by law to handle your claim quickly. The bus‚ limo or taxi company should offer you a settlement that reimburses all your medical bills‚ lost wages‚ and other related damages.
The liability process becomes more complicated if you’re involved in a rideshare accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver. These companies are app-based vehicle-for-hire services in which drivers operate their own vehicles. This means that each driver is covered by their own auto insurance policy. There are fewer safeguards to protect consumers. The drivers aren’t trained in the same manner as taxi drivers. The vehicles aren’t inspected in the same manner that taxis are‚ and the insurance coverage is entirely different.
Both app-based rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, carry their own insurance policies for up to $1 million in liability for each rideshare driver. The at-fault driver’s policy is tapped first to cover damages resulting from a vehicular accident, but few car accidents exceed the driver’s insurance coverage, so the rideshare company’s insurance rarely kicks in. But if your injuries were severe, these companies could be held liable, and Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers is fully prepared to make them take responsibility.
What you should do after a ridesharing car accident
If you are hurt in a rideshare accident, follow these steps to protect yourself and your rights:
- Stay calm, check to see if you, the driver of the car you are in and the other driver are okay. If anyone has sustained a significant injury, the first thing to do is get medical assistance.
- Do not get into an argument with either driver about who is at fault for the accident. The case is not going to be litigated on the sidewalk. Remain as calm and focused as possible.
- Because of the additional complexity of assigning liability in a ridesharing accident, it is probably a good idea to call the police. The responding officer will assist in recording everybody’s information and beginning an investigation into the causes of the accident. The officer will also make a determination if either driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which could be a significant factor in assigning fault.
- If a police officer is not present, it is up to you to collect all the information necessary to begin the process of determining fault for a lawsuit. No one should move the cars involved in the accident or clean up debris. Get the information from both drivers, including name, license number, date and time of the accident, insurance information and phone numbers. Be sure to get name and phone numbers for any witnesses. Take photos of the scene, both cars and how they were damaged, and debris on the street.
- Do not discuss the accident with either driver or any witnesses. You can give the responding officer your statement, but do not talk to anyone else at the scene about the accident.
It is important to find the right attorney to handle your case as soon as possible. It is even more important not to talk to the insurance adjuster from the other driver or the ridesharing company. They are not interested in your welfare, they only want to keep the damage award low. They may tell you they can get you a quick settlement if you cooperate with them, but don’t fall for it. Call Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers right away and we will deal with the insurance companies so you don’t have to.
Types of injuries in ridesharing accidents
Our team of attorneys has seen firsthand the devastation that a collision between two or more vehicles can cause. Commonly reported injuries from rideshare accidents include:
Head and brain injuries
These are more likely to occur if the car you are riding in is significantly smaller and lighter than the other vehicle. These injuries can be catastrophic and expensive to treat. Some may involve surgery and months, if not years, of therapy.
Neck and spine injuries
These are more common injuries and occur because of the violent motion of your body being tossed around the car and slamming into the seat in front of you or the side of the car. Neck injuries in particular often do not generate pain or other symptoms until weeks or months after the crash, but the longer they are left untreated, the more extensive and expensive the treatment can be.
So, it is important for accident victims to seek a diagnosis right away. We often advise scheduling a doctor’s appointment within days of the accident, just to get all the information needed for effective treatment. Spinal injuries can include sprain, strains disc injuries and even spinal fractures.
Injuries to the shoulders and arms
Dislocations and lacerations are the most common of these injuries – the dislocations and rotator cuff injuries often come from trying to brace for impact but having your joints be overwhelmed by the inertia of the violent crash. Fractures can occur, but sprains and strains are more common.
Injuries to legs, knees, and feet
Fractures and dislocation of the knee or hip can occur in a high-speed crash. Sprains and strains are common, even resulting in tendon and ligament damage.
A car accident at high speeds can be extremely traumatic. Anxiety, the inability to sleep and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be seen months or even years after a severe crash, especially if someone at the scene is badly injured.
The problem with psychological injuries is that there are no visible symptoms, only behavioral ones. Some people do not want to talk about this kind of damage, and others close to them may not be aware there is anything wrong, or, worse, may dismiss behavioral changes as “milking” the accident. But we here at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers know better than to be dismissive of clients who have a hard time working through the trauma of a bad car accident. For some people, being a passenger in a rideshare vehicle can make things worse because of their perceived lack of control.
Have You Been Injured in a Rideshare Accident in San Diego?
Uber recently argued in a court case that they are not a transportation company or a public carrier and aren’t responsible for injuries suffered by passengers in an accident. This puts the financial burden back on the drivers who may or may not have insurance that includes commercial use. In fact‚ most personal insurance policies DO NOT cover for-profit use.
If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare car accident‚ make sure that you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who’ll fight for your rights and best interests. You’re entitled to fair compensation for your injuries‚ damages‚ and losses.
A San Diego rideshare car accident lawyer will help make sure you’re provided the support you need after a devastating collision. Call the Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers at (888) 233-5020 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.