Over the past several years, rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber have become staples of the transportation networks in America’s busiest metropolitan areas. Rideshare apps provide the public with an accessible alternative to public transportation and standard taxi services, but with this convenience has come a slew of complex legal issues. In response to public outcry concerning liability for rideshare accidents, all rideshare companies are now required to carry expansive insurance policies that can cover their drivers and their passengers.
If you or a family member recently sustained injuries in a rideshare accident that someone else caused, your recovery process is likely to mirror the process for resolving most other vehicle accidents in Houston. However, you face the added complication of filing an insurance claim through the rideshare company’s insurance carrier, and these large companies tend to look for all the reasons they can find to reduce settlement amounts or deny claims whenever possible.
The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray can be your dedicated legal advocates when you must pursue legal recourse against the driver or drivers responsible for causing your recent rideshare accident in Houston. Our firm has a solid professional record of successful cases thanks to our commitment to client-focused legal representation. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions that work for every vehicle accident case, and we take the time necessary to develop uniquely tailored legal solutions for every client we represent. In addition, we can assist you with a complex insurance claim and help you build an effective personal injury case if necessary for your recovery.
An accident in a rideshare can happen for the same reasons that all other motor vehicle accidents occur. A few of the most commonly cited causes of rideshare accidents in the Houston area that lead to complex legal proceedings for those involved include:
This is not a completely exhaustive list of possible causes of rideshare accidents in Houston. In the initial aftermath of the accident, it’s vital to report the incident to the police and to seek medical care immediately, even if you think your injuries are mild. Once you have addressed your immediate medical concerns, you should reach out to an experienced Houston rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible to begin your recovery efforts with confidence.
Both Lyft and Uber have very similar auto insurance policies in Texas. However, these policies work with a tiered system. At the base level, the rideshare driver’s own personal auto insurance policy comes into play if the driver app is off and they are using their vehicle for personal reasons. Once they have turned on the driver app but haven’t yet had a passenger request a ride, the first level of coverage applies, which includes:
If a third party caused your rideshare accident, you would file a claim against their auto insurance policy, and this policy must meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements. In the event that the driver has accepted a passenger or they are driving the passenger in their vehicle, the rideshare company’s highest level of coverage applies. This level of coverage provides a maximum of $1 million in third-party liability coverage. If the rideshare driver caused the accident and they have their own rideshare insurance policy, this would be used first to compensate the victim’s losses, and then the rideshare company’s insurance would cover the remainder. Otherwise, this tier of coverage functions as primary coverage for covered accidents.
While these coverage limits may seem more than enough to compensate for the damage from a car accident, this is not always the case. Additionally, even when a claimant knows their claim is legitimate, and they are entitled to substantial compensation from the rideshare company’s insurance carrier, most insurance companies look for any reasons they can find to justify lowball settlement offers or outright denial of claims.
When you have an experienced Houston rideshare accident attorney representing you in your recovery efforts, you are far less likely to encounter any bad-faith treatment from the insurance company representatives handling your claim. All insurance carriers have the right and the responsibility to investigate claims to verify their legitimacy, but they have a legal obligation to process these claims in good faith. Once an insurance company’s claim adjuster notices that you have legal representation, they are far less likely to attempt any unethical handling of your claim, and they are also more likely to remit a settlement offer as expediently as possible.
Stevenson & Murray have years of experience handling complex insurance claims on behalf of our clients in the Houston area. We have confronted some of the largest auto insurance carriers in the state and know the tactics they often use to justify the lowest settlement offers possible. Our firm will gather the evidence needed to prove the full scope of your damages and help you secure as much compensation as possible through your rideshare insurance claim.
In the event that available auto insurance cannot fully cover your cited damages for any reason, you have the right to file a civil suit against the driver responsible for the rideshare accident. Most personal injury claims in Houston pertain to acts of negligence or failures to exercise reasonable care in certain situations. Therefore, the plaintiff must identify the party responsible for their injuries, prove the full extent of the damages the defendant caused, and prove those damages did not occur from some other cause.
If your rideshare accident occurred because of another party’s intentional misconduct, such as DUI, they would face criminal prosecution from the state in tandem with your civil suit. Again, your Houston rideshare accident attorney can provide specific guidance as to how this will influence your recovery efforts.
Under Texas’ personal injury laws, the victim of a personal injury has the right to demand full repayment of all the economic losses the defendant caused them to suffer. These are likely to include medical expenses, both short and long-term, lost income, and lost future earning potential if the plaintiff is left disabled by their accident. The plaintiff can also recover property losses. The state does not place any limits on pain and suffering damages in most personal injury claims. If the plaintiff sustained life-changing injuries, this could be the largest portion of their total recovery.
When you choose Stevenson & Murray to represent you in any personal injury claim, we will do everything we can to expedite your claim proceedings as much as possible. We develop uniquely tailored legal solutions for every client we represent, helping them understand the specific legal mechanisms likely to influence their case. Our goal is to help you recover as much as possible in the shortest time possible. We’ll seek to settle your case swiftly, but we are fully prepared to represent you in court if settlement isn’t an option for any reason.
A: Most personal injury attorneys use the contingency fee billing system. This enables clients with minimal ability to pay to still secure legal counsel when they need it most. Instead of expensive hourly rates and ongoing billing during their case, the client pays a percentage of their final case award to their attorney as their fee. However, if the attorney cannot secure compensation on their behalf, the client pays nothing. There is no financial risk to the client with a contingency fee agreement.
A: Both Lyft and Uber are required to have up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage with their insurance. However, this does not necessarily mean you will recover the full amount of the policy in question. For the best chance of maximizing the insurance settlement you receive, it is crucial to work with a Houston rideshare accident attorney. Your legal representative will ensure the insurance carrier processes your claim in good faith and that you secure as much compensation as you are legally allowed to recover for your damages.
A: The defendant in your rideshare injury case could be the driver of your rideshare vehicle or another driver. The process of proving fault is similar to that of any other accident case. Your attorney will help you gather any physical evidence and witness testimony you may need to substantiate your claim. In the event that your accident involves unclear liability or if multiple defendants share fault for your damages, your attorney may consult various experts to provide professional testimony in support of your claim.
A: Even if you believe you have a firm grasp of the full scope of the damages you are eligible to recover, it is always best to have an experienced attorney represent you during your legal proceedings. Your Houston rideshare accident attorney can streamline the initial insurance claim process substantially. In addition, if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim, they may uncover avenues of recovery you did not know were available to you.
A: If you have the right attorney representing you and the fault for your accident is perfectly clear, it may only take a few weeks to receive your insurance settlement. However, if any complications arise, such as multiple defendants or claims of shared fault, these factors will extend your case’s timetable. Additionally, if you must pursue a personal injury claim in addition to your insurance claim, it can take several months to resolve.
Stevenson & Murray have years of experience handling a wide range of civil claims on behalf of clients in the Houston area. We listen to every client’s story to help each one develop a personalized legal strategy for maximizing their recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling in the aftermath of a rideshare accident someone else caused, contact our team today to schedule a consultation with a Houston rideshare accident attorney and learn more about the legal services our firm can provide.