Houston Rideshare Accident Attorney
Uber & Lyft Accidents in Harris County
In recent years, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have seen enormous growth. But as more and more people choose this convenient, cost-effective mode of transportation, we are also seeing an increased risk on our highways, streets, and roads. According to a study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, the increased overall number of vehicles on the road has been correlated with a 2 – 3% increase in traffic accident fatalities.
Unfortunately, if you are involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or similar rideshare vehicle, you could have a difficult time recovering fair compensation for your losses. The way these entities classify their drivers, as well as numerous other complicating factors, makes these cases extremely difficult—but that’s where we come in.
At Payne Law Firm, we have helped countless car accident victims fight for fair compensation in even the most complex of cases. Led by founding attorney, Jason E. Payne, who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, our team offers expert legal services backed by a long history of success. If you were injured or if your loved one died in a rideshare vehicle collision, we can help.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft After an Accident?
Texas is an at-fault car accident state. This means that, unless you have purchased additional coverage beyond the required minimum liability amounts, you are generally not covered by your own auto insurance provider after an accident. Instead, you must bring a claim against the at-fault driver (or another liable party) to recover compensation after an accident.
In standard car accident cases, this is often relatively straightforward. If you can prove that the other driver caused the accident or shared at least 50% of the blame, you can file a claim for damages against their insurance provider. However, in cases involving Uber and Lyft drivers, this becomes much more complex.
For one thing, most auto insurance providers do not cover policyholders who operate their vehicles in a commercial capacity. In other words, if you try to file a claim with the at-fault rideshare driver’s insurance company, your claim could be denied. The logical next step would be to file a claim with the rideshare driver’s employer—Uber or Lyft. However, these rideshare companies typically classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This limits their liability and allows them an “out” when accident victims file claims.
That being said, it is possible to sue Uber or Lyft after an accident. In fact, both companies offer some form of coverage for accident victims. The amount available depends on the driving period in which the accident occurred.
Uber and Lyft define the different driving periods in the following ways:
- Period 0: The driver does not have the app turned on/is not actively driving for the rideshare company
- Period 1: The driver has the app turned on and is actively seeking a ride request but has not yet accepted a ride
- Period 2: The driver has the app turned on, has accepted a ride, but is still on the way to pick up the passenger/does not have the passenger in the vehicle
- Period 3: The driver has the app turned on, has accepted a ride request, and has the passenger in the vehicle
Uber and Lyft do not offer any coverage during period 0, when the driver is not actively working for the rideshare company. In period 1, Uber and Lyft offer limited coverage for bodily injury/death and property damage per person and per accident. And, in period 2 and 3, both Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million total in coverage per accident.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle—whether as the passenger of the rideshare vehicle, the occupant of another vehicle, or even a bicyclist or pedestrian—it is important that you seek medical attention right away. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, the shock of the collision could mask more serious, underlying damage. Always see a medical professional and receive appropriate treatment after any type of motor vehicle crash.
Additionally, you should try to do the following:
- Get the rideshare driver’s information, including their name, contact information, insurance information, and rideshare company information
- Take pictures of the accident, your vehicle, your injuries, etc. and talk to any witnesses who saw what happened, as well as obtain their name(s) and contact information
- Report the accident to the police if it resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more
- Report the accident to the rideshare company on its website or by phone, as well as to your auto insurance provider if necessary/applicable
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan, recommendations, and advice, including taking time off work and attending follow-up appointments
- Contact an attorney who can help you file a claim for damages and, if necessary, pursue a lawsuit against the appropriate rideshare company
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your rights after a rideshare accident is hire a skilled personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will be able to handle the legal details of your case, from conducting an exhaustive investigation into the accident to gathering applicable evidence to meeting all filing deadlines so that you can simply focus on healing and getting back on your feet.
Call us at (713) 999-4801 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.
“Payne Law Firm was invaluable in helping my family navigate the most difficult situation we had ever experienced. Mr. Payne and his entire staff were professional, responsive, and empathetic throughout the entire process.” - Fatimar J.
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“Payne Law Firm calmed my fears and assisted with easing my pain, by always being available to answer my questions, calming my fears, explaining the law to me in layman’s terms, while offering comfort and support.” - Joyre T.
At Payne Law Firm, our Houston rideshare accident attorneys are ready to help you after a serious Uber of Lyft accident in Harris County or anywhere in Texas. Since 2004, we have been aggressively representing the rights of the injured, and we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. We understand the complex nature of these types of cases, and we have what it takes to skillfully advocate for you.
We provide free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you do not pay anything unless/until we secure a settlement or verdict for you. You have nothing to lose in discussing your legal rights and options with a member of our team today.
Client-FocusedWe will help you every step of the way, providing answers to your questions and continuing to update you on the status of your case.
A History of SuccessWe have helped over a thousand injured individuals and families get the compensation they deserved.
Battle-TestedWe not only understand the complexities of insurance companies but know how to fight them.
Full TransparencyOur team knows the importance of your case and is committed to doing what is best for you.