Over the past several years, ridesharing businesses have taken off in Texas. In addition to the well-known industry giants such as Uber and Lyft, local residents also have access to RideGuru, Wingz, and other transportation businesses. Ridesharing is a convenient and affordable way to travel around, but it also comes with certain risks. There might be a time where you will need help from an experienced Fort Worth ride sharing accident lawyer.
At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, our attorneys follow the latest trends in local and statewide rideshare oversight. We understand the legal precedents, questions, and laws that govern accidents involving rideshare companies. Whether you’re in an car accident with a company that operates on a national level or a local rideshare startup, we have the resources and the legal background to protect your rights to compensation and justice.
Under state laws, ridesharing drivers must carry $1 million in insurance coverage when they carry passengers and follow a 50/100/25 minimum coverage rule when they drive alone while on duty. While companies carry a large amount of insurance, regulatory oversight for these companies is minimal in many areas of the state including Fort Worth. Accident claims involving rideshare drivers are complex and change as the laws surrounding these services evolve.
The Difference Between Ridesharing Companies and Taxis
The ridesharing business models allow drivers to bypass many of the rules and regulations that govern traditional taxi businesses. Every local government imposes slightly different rules on the taxi industry, but many remain the same throughout the industry. In Fort Worth, taxi business drivers must often register with the city, pay relevant city fees, and maintain proper licensing and compliance certificates. In some cities, taxi drivers must also comply with routine inspections and city-enforced background checks.
Ridesharing businesses, on the other hand, may not need to undergo the same level of licensing or oversight. Anyone can become a rideshare driver and use his or her vehicle to conduct business. In Fort Worth, the rideshare businesses themselves determine the requirements for contractors including background checks and inspections. While taxi companies often face liability for their drivers’ actions, many rideshare businesses hire contractors to protect themselves from accident responsibility.
These and other differences make ridesharing accident cases challenging. Attorneys must understand the full extent of similarities and differences among ridesharing businesses and taxis to protect their clients’ rights. Our firm understands how these differences can impact an injury or wrongful death claim.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents can happen for a number of reasons.
- Driver fatigue is an unfortunately common cause of rideshare accidents. Some people take up rideshare driving as a second job and may work long hours without adequate rest. A driver who is behind the wheel while fatigued is nearly as dangerous as a drunk driver is in some cases.
- Distracted driving is a serious hazard for any driver and can easily cause a rideshare accident. Rideshare drivers should only use their cell phones to manage rideshare apps when it is safe to do so.
- Speeding is another common cause of rideshare accidents. Drivers who try to rush to collect as many fares as possible put themselves, their passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk of serious injury.
- Dangerous drop-off and pickup spots are other common reasons for rideshare accidents. Drivers should use caution when picking up passengers in unfamiliar or potentially dangerous areas and only drop passengers off when and where it is safe to do so.
Compensation For Ride Sharing Accidents
Texas requires all rideshare companies to carry no less than $1 million in liability coverage for accidents that occur while their drivers are working. However, most insurance carriers will look for any reason possible to lower a settlement amount for an injured driver or deny a claim. Additionally, the insurance coverage provided by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft is very restrictive and only applies under certain conditions.
However, hiring a Fort Worth rideshare accident attorney can encourage a more favorable insurance settlement offer or explore additional legal options if available, such as a personal injury claim against the at-fault party responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawsuit can help an individual injured in a ride sharing accident recover several types of compensation.
- Plaintiffs can claim compensation for the cost of treating injuries after a rideshare accident. This not only includes emergency room fees, hospital bills, and other immediate medical costs, but also long-term costs for things like counseling, rehabilitation, and other necessary ongoing treatments.
- Plaintiffs can also secure compensation for lost income if an injury prevents returning to work for an extended time. In the event a defendant’s negligence causes a permanent disability that prevents the victim from working at all in the future, the victim can claim compensation for lost future earnings with assistance from an expert witness with a financial background who can testify in support of the plaintiff’s claim.
- A plaintiff may recover compensation for the costs of repairing or replacing a vehicle or other personal property damaged or destroyed in a rideshare accident.
- Plaintiffs may also receive compensation for their pain and suffering. A jury will assess the facts of the plaintiff’s case and hear testimony from expert witnesses who help them understand the full scope of the physical pain and mental suffering a plaintiff experienced because of the defendant’s behavior.
- In the event a rideshare company or a driver is negligent beyond the scope of typical negligence or engaged in any criminal activity that contributes to an accident, the jury may award punitive damages to the plaintiff to further punish the defendant and discourage similar acts in the future.
Steps to Take After a Ridesharing Accident
After a rideshare accident, use the following tips to protect your right to fair compensation:
- Record driver and app information. Write down the name of the drivers involved, license plate numbers, insurance information, and the information available from your rideshare app. To qualify for company-sponsored insurance benefits, you may need to prove you used the ridesharing app to hire a driver.
- Remain at the scene of the incident. Provide law enforcement officers with a statement and record the responding officers’ information. Do not leave until medical support takes you to the hospital or law enforcement officers leave the scene.
- Take pictures. Use your smartphone to snap pictures or video of the accident scene. Include pictures of the involved drivers, witnesses, the accident scene, and your injuries. Visual information is always helpful in insurance claims and legal proceedings.
- Discuss your case with a local personal injury firm. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert offer free case evaluations for ridesharing accidents of all kinds. We can help you understand your situation, legal options, and the next steps in your case.
Why Hire Our Ride Sharing Accident Lawyers?
- The singular purpose of the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert P.C. is to fight for justice on behalf of our clients and secure the just compensation owed to them after negligent accidents and injuries.
- Our firm has extensive experience with all types of personal injury claims in the Fort Worth area including multi-car crash claims, bus accidents, truck accidents, and our attorneys understand the laws surrounding the new rideshare industry.
- Aaron A. Herbert has completed Texas Board of Legal Specialization certification in personal injury law.
- Aaron A. Herbert has successfully handled more than 50 jury trials for past clients and secured multimillion-dollar verdicts in past cases.
Our firm represents rideshare passengers, passenger vehicle drivers, and rideshare drivers involved in injurious and deadly accidents around Fort Worth. We can help you find medical support, navigate your insurance claim, and hold the responsible party accountable for his or her actions. Don’t accept a settlement offer until you speak with a qualified legal representative.
Contact Our Fort Worth Rideshare Accident Attorney Today!
For more information about our rideshare accident practice, reach out to our attorneys at (214) 200-4878.