Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are great options, especially if you’ve had too much to drink. However, ridesharing drivers are human. They can make mistakes or behave negligently like anyone else.
If you were injured by the carelessness of a rideshare driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Losses can include physical, financial, and emotional harm someone else caused you.
You may feel overwhelmed and unsure who to hold responsible for your ridesharing accident. Our experienced New Orleans Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers at the Morris Bart law firm can help. We will determine the best course of action for pursuing compensation after your accident.
How do Ridesharing Accidents Differ from Other Commercial Car Accidents?
What makes ridesharing accidents different from other commercial passenger accidents is that these cases have an additional layer of red tape to work through.
In traditional car accidents, you generally deal with the insurance company and the other driver. However, with ridesharing accidents, you are now also dealing with the company that provides the service.
Plus, Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies operate differently than taxicabs, limousines, or other car services:
- Drivers are booked through a rideshare app and utilize their personal vehicles to transport them to their destination.
- Drivers typically don’t have commercial auto insurance or commercial driver’s licenses.
Ridesharing companies maintain that their drivers are contracted workers, not employees. The companies only match riders and drivers to share a trip.
For a free legal consultation with a Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Recoverable Damages After a New Orleans Rideshare Accident
Every case is different, so there is no way we can estimate the actual damages you may be entitled to receive without first evaluating the details related to your lawsuit. That said, our New Orleans car accident lawyer has worked on many cases like these, and some common types of damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Ambulance rides
- Surgical procedures
- Medication and treatments
- Assistive devices
- Lost income
- Future income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
Throughout the time you work with our team, our law firm also establishes a baseline number for your damages while preserving evidence that speaks to new losses, including:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your family member suffered severe injuries and did not survive, you may be able to recover compensation with the help of a New Orleans wrongful death lawyer. Some recoverable damages, in this case, are:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses left for the family to recover
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support and protection
- Income previously provided by the deceased
Injuries Resulting from Rideshare Accidents
There are many injuries passengers can experience after an accident in an Uber or Lyft. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent. That’s why you should take all accidents seriously. Some common rideshare accident injuries include:
- Broken bones: These injuries can lead to other complications, such as infection if the bone pierces the skin.
- Internal bleeding: This type of injury is not always immediately apparent, and victims may not realize they are bleeding internally until their injury becomes life-threatening.
- Whiplash: This injury occurs when the head moves rapidly back and forth, and while it usually heals within a few weeks with treatment, it can cause long-term pain.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs, an injury commonly associated with death or disability in the U.S.
- Spinal cord injuries and other injuries to the back: While many victims live long, full lives with spinal cord injuries, most require assistive devices and experience loss of feeling or mobility.
If you have been hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident, you are not alone. An Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorney in New Orleans can help you determine your next steps.
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Who Is Liable for Damages in a New Orleans Rideshare Accident?
When you suffer injuries in a car accident, you can typically expect to hold the at-fault driver liable for negligence. Likewise, if you were in a collision with a commercial vehicle, the company may be held responsible for their employee’s actions.
Rideshare accidents complicate liability. This is because their drivers aren’t employees, making it challenging to hold the companies liable for their drivers’ actions.
The party responsible for compensating you for your injury could be:
- Your rideshare driver
- Your rideshare driver’s personal auto insurer
- Uber or Lyft’s rideshare insurance
- Another individual driver
- A passenger responsible for causing a distraction
- A pedestrian or cyclist who caused a traffic accident
Our New Orleans Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers at the Morris Bart law firm can investigate your case to determine liability and hold the negligent parties responsible.
Why Is Liability in a Rideshare Accident Complicated?
The most important thing to remember after a ridesharing accident is that insurance policies are in place to protect you. While these policy limits can make it seem like financial recovery is easy, challenges can occur at any time in the claims process.
If you were in a wreck with a rideshare vehicle, you would first need to determine if the driver was performing service-related duties. For example, if your rideshare operator was not transporting a passenger or on their way to pick one up, the driver’s private auto insurance policy is likely responsible to cover any accidental damages.
Louisiana law mandates that drivers carry auto insurance, including bodily injury liability coverage for $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Drivers also have insurance coverage from the rideshare company. It is often difficult to determine whether ridesharing auto insurance is in effect, which can lead to confusion about liability.
Understanding When Rideshare Auto Insurance Covers Your Damages
In 2015, Louisiana legislators passed the Transportation Network Company Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law, specifically related to ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. The bill fills insurance coverage gaps to better protect drivers and passengers.
According to the law, during the pre-trip acceptance period – when the driver has agreed to transport a passenger but has not yet picked them up – the rideshare company must provide:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death coverage for one person
- $50,000 for all parties
- $25,000 in property damage
Once the driver picks up the passenger and until that ride is over, Lyft, Uber, and other companies must provide:
- $1,000,000 in coverage for bodily injury, death, or property damages
- $1,000,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
What If I Was Partly to Blame for the Accident?
In negligence cases, Louisiana law uses comparative fault. This doctrine means that responsibility will be spread to anyone that contributed to the crash, in a proportion equal to each individual’s proven fault.
For example, if you failed to check your blind spot or signal when changing lanes, you could be found partially negligent in the accident. This means the potential damage amount you receive would be decreased by the percentage you were to blame for damages or injuries.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Rideshare Accident Case?
Like any negligence case, there are a few elements that you or your Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorney in New Orleans must prove to ensure your claim is a success:
- Duty: The rideshare driver owes you and your passengers a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely.
- Breach of duty: The driver didn’t fulfill their duty of care.
- Cause in fact, or causation: If the rideshare operator didn’t breach their duty, you would not have been injured.
- Damages: You were injured and suffered losses.
How Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations May Impact Your Claim
If you are thinking about hiring a lawyer, don’t wait to contact a New Orleans ridesharing accident lawyer. Like every other U.S. state, Louisiana prescribes a time limit for every personal injury case; however, La. Civ. Code Art. 3492 defines our state’s statute of limitations as one year.
That means you have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to recover any compensation related to your injuries or property damage; there is no opportunity for arbitration, settlement, or trial.
Limited Circumstances to Extending Rideshare Claims Suit
This statutory deadline means you could forfeit your right to compensation if you miss it. If this happens, there is no opportunity for arbitration, settlement, or trial.
However, there are extremely limited exceptions for injured children or wrongful death incidents.
Although every case is unique, you shouldn’t rely on an exception to sidestep the statute of limitations. There may not be any circumstances or elements required to file a rideshare accident lawsuit extension.
Play It Safe and Speak With a New Orleans Ridesharing Accident Team
After your accident, one of the most practical ways to determine if you have time to file a claim is by speaking with a member of our New Orleans ridesharing accident legal team to evaluate your claim. They can review your case timeline and take appropriate legal action from there.
Some other things you can do after an accident include:
- Contact law enforcement: You will want to make sure the police arrive at the accident scene. It can be difficult to determine who is liable for causing the accident when you are involved in it. Rather than trying to assess the crash scene yourself, you can have the police create a report of the scene. This will include the vehicles involved and the contact information of all involved parties. We can use this as evidence in your case.
- Visit a doctor: Make sure you have your injuries assessed by a doctor after an accident. Even if you initially feel okay, you should go to a doctor quickly after an accident. If you do not, you won’t have proof of your injurie to prove you deserve compensation.
- Avoid communication with the insurance company: After your accident, you do not need to speak with the insurance company. If you give them a statement, they can take your words out of context and undervalue your case. You do not want to risk getting a lower settlement than you deserve. Instead, leave insurance communications to your lawyer.
Kinds of Cases Our New Orleans Ridesharing Accident Lawyers Represent
No matter the type of accident you experienced, our New Orleans Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers can help you with the following:
- Side impact hits
- Head-on collisions
- Rear ends
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Drunk or drugged drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Road rage
- Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
How a New Orleans Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer Can Help
Getting compensation after a rideshare accident can be challenging.Drivers for these companies are not technically company employees. Therefore, Lyft and Uber may claim that they are not responsible for the driver’s behavior if they act negligently.
Our Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers in New Orleans know how to navigate these cases and will pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Some specific ways a lawyer can help with your case include:
- Gathering evidence related to the accident, including police reports
- Conferring with experts to determine precisely what happened
- Establishing liability
- Building a solid case to pursue full compensation for your injuries warrant
- Negotiating with the legal team representing Uber or Lyft
Filing a Claim on Your Own May Reduce Your Compensation
Building a solid ridesharing accident claim and case theory is challenging for any non-legal professional, let alone someone trying to recover from a life-changing experience physically, financially, and emotionally.
If you file a claim on your own, you may not recover much in damages as you would with a lawyer. The reason this may happen is that insurance companies will do what they can to avoid paying you what you deserve, including settling out of court for much less.
Don’t discuss your case with the insurance company on your own or be pressured to take a lower compensation amount. Instead, hire experienced ridesharing accident lawyers to help you with your legal case. We will strive to get you every dollar you’re owed so you can focus on getting better.
Call Morris Bart, LLC for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been in an accident while using an Uber or Lyft and suffered from injuries, contact us today. We have worked on many cases like these and can guide you through the process. Call the Morris Bart law firm today to learn more about your potential claim. We’re available 24/7 to take your call. Our team of New Orleans Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers is ready to defend your rights.
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