Conroe Rideshare Accident Attorney
Uber & Lyft Accident Claims in Texas
If you were involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or any other type of rideshare vehicle, whether as a passenger or the occupant of another vehicle, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Rideshare accident claims are not like typical car accident claims, nor are they like other motor vehicle accident cases involving commercial vehicles. Navigating the process of recovering compensation for your losses is likely to be incredibly complicated but having an experienced attorney on your side can help level the playing field.
At Scott Law Firm, our Conroe rideshare accident lawyers not only know the law but also have a proven record of success in handling complex personal injury cases. We can help ensure your rights are protected and aggressively negotiate for the full, fair recovery you are owed. If the liable party refuses to offer a fair settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial.
How Do Rideshare Accidents Happen?
Unlike taxicab drivers, bus drivers, or commercial truck drivers, rideshare drivers are not specially trained or even particularly experienced. For the most part, they are normal people with relatively good driving records and, just like anyone else, they are prone to human error and negligence.
Some of the most common causes of rideshare accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: Rideshare drivers can easily become distracted when looking at a cell phone or similar device when accepting a ride. They can also be distracted following directions to a passenger’s pick-up or drop-off location, or they may fail to pay attention to the road when looking for a passenger who has requested a ride.
- Traffic Law Violations: Whether they are distracted, speeding, or simply not paying attention, rideshare drivers can also cause accidents when they fail to follow the law. This might include running a red light or stop sign, making an illegal turn or U-turn, failing to yield the right-of-way, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
- General Negligence: When rideshare drivers are careless, regardless of whether or not they have technically broken the law, they can cause devastating accidents. Examples include rideshare drivers who make last-minute lane changes or turns, try to pass when it is unsafe to do so, or make an unprotected left turn across oncoming traffic.
- Drunk Driving: While many people choose to use rideshare services to avoid drinking and driving, rideshare drivers themselves are not immune from making poor—and potentially deadly—choices. In some instances, a rideshare driver may make the incredibly reckless choice to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Violence: Though relatively rare, some rideshare passengers become the victims of physical and/or sexual assault at the hands of the driver. Assault victims have the right to take legal action against the offender by filing a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, trauma, counseling services, and pain and suffering.
Who Is Legally Liable?
Determining how an accident occurred is an important element of identifying the liable person or party. Because Texas is a fault state (as opposed to a no-fault state), you must prove that someone else was at least partially responsible for the accident in order to file a claim. In fact, under Texas’s modified comparative negligence rule, you must prove that another person or party was more at fault (i.e. 51% or more) than you.
However, this is where rideshare accident claims get really complex. Both Uber and Lyft, the main rideshare companies in the U.S., classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This limits their liability for their drivers, as they are not beholden to typical respondeat superior laws, which state that employers are largely responsible for their employees’ conduct. This can make it extremely difficult for injured individuals to file a claim or lawsuit against Uber or Lyft.
Additionally, the rideshare driver may not be the only—or even the primary—person responsible for an accident. Another motorist, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or even a construction company that built a defective roadway could all be partially or wholly to blame. In such instances, the injured victim would likely need to file a claim against the liable third party.
It’s important that you work with an experienced rideshare accident attorney in Conroe who can handle the accident investigation. At Scott Law Firm, we frequently work with a team of experts consisting of accident reconstructionists, healthcare professionals, economists, and others. In this way, we are able to obtain a clear, comprehensive picture of the factors that led to the accident and, most importantly, who is liable for your damages.
Compensation in Rideshare Accident Cases
Recovering compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Although both Uber and Lyft classify their employees as independent contractors, they still offer insurance coverage meant to protect those injured in accidents with their drivers. The exact type of coverage that applies in a given accident depends on the circumstances.
Uber and Lyft offer insurance coverage in the following situations:
- When the driver has the app turned on and is looking for a ride but hasn’t accepted one yet
- When the driver has the app turned on and has accepted a ride, whether or not the passenger is in the vehicle
Both rideshare companies offer limited coverage when the driver has the app turned on but does not have a passenger in the vehicle and up to $1 million in coverage when there is a passenger in the rideshare vehicle. Neither company offers any coverage when the driver does not have the app turned on. If you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver that was not actively operating for their respective rideshare company at the time of the accident, you would need to file a typical car accident claim against the driver’s private auto insurance provider.
An Uber and Lyft accident attorney from our firm can help you seek maximum compensation from the appropriate parties for your damages, which may include:
- Lost pay for the time you missed at work
- Property damage
- Medical care and treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Other accident-related expenses
If you have suffered extensive or permanent injuries, we can help you pursue additional money damages for:
- Diminished quality of life
How an Attorney Can Help
Because rideshare accident claims are so complex, it’s important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience in this specific area of law. At Scott Law Firm, we have helped numerous individuals injured in rideshare accidents in Conroe, The Woodlands, and throughout Montgomery County. We offer personalized and aggressive legal services in English, Spanish, and Korean and can travel to meet you in your home or at the hospital if necessary.
“Excellent work from everybody! They were great, really professional and very helpful the entire time. Highly recommend.”- AJ H.
“I was bitten by a neighbor's dog, requiring hospitalization and surgery. This team did a great job assisting with my case. Thorough communication and compassion. If you find yourself needing a personal injury lawyer, please contact Scott Law Firm.”- Shannon B.
“Scott Law Firm was truly the rainbow in the midst of a storm! The staff was the exemplar of professionalism”- Mya C.