With the increased prevalence of ridesharing services in the United States, the nuances of ridesharing accidents in the legal system and liability for injuries can be more complicated than other types of accidents. If you have injuries related to a ridesharing accident, you have the same rights as a victim of a car accident that involves two cars people personally own and do not use for business.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a ridesharing accident, it is possible that you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 959-1444 to learn more about your legal options for recourse at no cost to you. A ridesharing accident lawyer works on contingency, meaning that you will not have to pay anything if you do not receive compensation in your case.
Defining Ridesharing Services
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ridesharing services enable customers to connect with nonprofessional drivers who do not possess taxi or limo licenses. Some characteristics of ridesharing services include:
- Independent driver
- Using an app to schedule
- Driver and rider profiles
- Ability to rate specific drivers
- Drivers use their own vehicles to provide services
These are just a few of the characteristics of ridesharing services. Basically, if you use an app to hail another person who is not a licensed limo or taxi driver who will transport you in their personal vehicle, you might be using a ridesharing service. The process and the responsible parties might be different in ridesharing cases than in other transportation-related personal injury cases. Uber and Lyft are just two popular national ridesharing service companies in the United States.
Determining liability in ridesharing accidents can be particularly difficult. Ridesharing services use independent contractors to fulfill service requests, who technically operate as independent businesses. For example, if you get into a car accident with a driver that you hired through Uber, technically you could hold the driver personally responsible for your injuries.
Furthermore, the companies engaged in ridesharing have done a lot to try to reduce corporate liability, even though they do not necessarily use independent contractors that have the safest vehicles or personal capability of providing safe services. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM), ridesharing drivers are not screened for medical problems that could reduce their alertness and cause them to be more dangerous on the road. In these situations, it might be possible to hold the ridesharing company responsible for placing unsafe drivers on its service and putting you in harm’s way.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for ridesharing accidents vary from state to state. In most states, you have only a couple of years to file a civil lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injuries and losses. If you are unsure if too much time has passed between the accident and the process of seeking legal action, you can discuss what happened with a personal injury lawyer with experience in ridesharing accident cases.
In general, it is a good idea to start the legal process as early as possible. The sooner that you start the process, the easier it might be to find evidence to support your claims. Any eye witness testimony gathered closer to the accident date might have more detail. Surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses that might have captured the accident on video could be deleted before it is recovered as evidence if you wait to start the process a year or so from the ridesharing accident.
Common Injuries from Ridesharing Accidents
Every car accident is different. Despite this, some injuries from ridesharing accidents may include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Brain, neck, and spine injuries
These are just some of the injuries that you could face after your ridesharing accident; however, other injuries are possible. If you suffered another type of injury from your ridesharing accident, it is still possible to seek compensation and legal recourse against the responsible party. If you have any questions about what you could be entitled to receive by taking legal action for your ridesharing accident injuries, you can discuss the specifics of what happened with a lawyer who can compare your case to past cases that already went through the court system.
Financial Impacts of Ridesharing Accidents
A ridesharing accident can leave you with several expenses. Medical expenses are common after a car accident. Emergency services will likely try to send you to the emergency room, which is in your best interest to get medical care as soon as possible. Emergency medical services can be expensive and many people use credit cards and other forms of debt to pay for it. This can take a long time to pay off, especially if you are out of work for an extended period of time.
If your vehicle was hit by a ridesharing vehicle, you will have repair costs as well. Getting your car repaired may be critical since you need to get back to work. Waiting for the insurance company can make this process difficult. In some cases, your car may need to be replaced. Not having a vehicle can keep you out of work, which will impact your ability to earn a living. All of these expenses combined can create a substantial financial impact that can take years to resolve.
Your Legal Options for Recourse
If you are the victim of negligence in the accident, you can hold the other driver responsible. Civil law gives you the right to sue that driver for compensation. If you are able to recover compensation, you can use it to pay off your car accident expenses. This will eliminate much of your financial burden and stop the accident from influencing your life.
Contact Us for a Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a ridesharing accident, it is possible that you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 959-1444 for a free consultation about your case. Working with a ridesharing accident lawyer could possibly make the process less cumbersome, as you focus on your recovery and getting back to normal functioning while your lawyer works on building on your case.