Ridesharing Accidents

Austin Ridesharing Accident Attorneys

Dealing with an Accident with a Lyft or Uber Driver

The popularity of ridesharing platforms, such as Uber and Lyft, has led to the question, “Who is responsible for my accident?” These companies operate under different rules than regulated taxi services, making the distinction important to understand. As more and more people turn to ridesharing apps for a cheap and convenient way to get around, the number of ridesharing accidents has increased.

If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or another type of rideshare, reach out to the Austin ridesharing accident attorneys at Briggle & Polan, PLLC for a free consultation. The amount of compensation you may be able to recover will depend on the circumstances involved. Were you a passenger in the Uber? Were you hit by a Lyft driver in another vehicle? Was the rideshare driver in question carrying a passenger at the time of the vehicle accident? Determining the answer to these and other questions is crucial for your recovery.

Call our office today at (512) 400-3278 to request a free consultation regarding your rights and legal options. We are available 24/7 and can come to you if needed.

The Risks of Ridesharing

Rideshare accident facts infographic

Ridesharing has been the topic of heated debate since its rise to popularity, with citizens and policymakers alike questioning the safety of this mode of transportation. Ridesharing platforms have different hiring standards than regulated taxicab services, making the safety of the drivers questionable. While taxi services look into the full criminal backgrounds of drivers, Uber only looks into the prior seven years. This means if a driver had a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), kidnapping, or assault that was more than seven years ago, he or she could be driving your Uber.

Since 2014, there have been 152 alleged sexual assaults and harassments held against Uber and Lyft drivers. There have been at least 16 deaths, most of which resulted from drunk or negligent ride-sharing drivers. These numbers continue to grow as Uber and Lyft fail to increase their standards, hiring drivers who exhibit unsafe behaviors and habits. Uber and Lyft do not even interview applicants in person before hiring them—a standard that taxicab services have long enforced.

The courts have found dozens of Uber and Lyft drivers to be guilty of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, distracted driving, and negligent driving in the last few years. Although these drivers have a duty to exercise care and a responsibility for the safety of passengers, they can make grave errors. When an Uber or Lyft driver causes a car accident, victims need to speak with an Austin Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyer to find out who is responsible.

Determining Liability in a Lyft or Uber Accident Case

When navigating your Lyft or Uber accident in Austin, TX, several elements will go into consideration to determine the worth of an injury settlement. The law, ultimately, will determine liability as well as the value of the settlement.

Some of the factors that will be considered include:

  • How many vehicles were involved

  • Based on Texas’ laws, who is determined at fault

  • To what degree did the actions of each party contribute to the accident?

The main consideration that will be made is how the responsible party failed to meet the duty of care when the accident occurred.

What Should I Do If in an Accident with Lyft or Uber?

Vehicle with uber and lyft stickers

After being involved in a ridesharing accident, you will likely want to know what steps to take next. Especially when you have medical costs that need to be covered and are suffering from the pain associated with the accident, you should have a clear understanding of what to do to recover compensation.

First, you will want to gather as much information as possible. This will involve taking notes of the scene of the accident, including the time of day and location. You will also want to gather information from all drivers, such as:

  • The Lyft/Uber driver’s contact information
  • All other drivers’ contact information
  • Insurance information of all drivers, as well as information regarding Lyft/Uber’s insurance
  • Vehicle information
  • Contact information of all witnesses

You will then want to connect with a rideshare accident lawyer who can help you respond to the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

In a taxicab accident, the courts consider the taxi driver an employee of the company. In these situations, the company’s insurance would pay for the victims’ damages, including personal injury and property damages. In an Uber or Lyft accident, the outcome is different because of differing employee classifications.

There has been some recent speculation as to whether the law should consider rideshare drivers independent contractors or employees of the company. Texas is one of eight states that have so far classified ridesharing drivers as independent contractors. Uber drivers in California recently brought a claim against the company for misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying for business expenses, such as vehicle maintenance and gas while on the job.

When an independent contractor causes a personal injury, the victim(s) may not be able to sue the company. Just as a victim of medical malpractice cannot sue the entire hospital for an independently contracted doctor, the victim of a ridesharing accident cannot sue Uber or Lyft for an independently contracted driver. The courts only hold companies responsible for the actions of their employees based on strict liability laws. Unfortunately, this can lead to smaller settlements for the victims.

Trust Briggle & Polan with your Ride Sharing Accident Case

Hiring an Austin Uber or Lyft accident lawyer is generally the only chance victims have of obtaining compensation for their injuries and other losses. The skilled and aggressive trial lawyers at Briggle & Polan, PLLC have experience handling rideshare accident cases in which the driver is an independent contractor. Our attorneys can take Uber or Lyft to court if necessary to defend your rights as an innocent crash victim.

Contact us online or by phone at (512) 400-3278 to request a free consultation in person or over the phone today!

Hear From Our Clients

  • If you are looking for excellent and honest attorneys, call them.

    “If you are looking for excellent and honest attorneys, call them. You will not be disappointed.”

    - Paige
  • It feels good to have a team on your side that knows what they’re doing and is willing to help you against big faceless insurance companies that don’t want to pay up what they owe.

    “I found myself in a bad situation dealing with insurance adjusters that had no intention of seeing me compensated for damages their client inflicted. Parker and Hayden were positive, energetic, and ...”

    - Matt
  • I very much appreciate all their hard work and will be happy to refer to them should the need come up for friends.

    “This is the one company that would take on my case after being rejected by two other law firms. After pursuing the insurance company, they were able to get the full amount.”

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  • They got me the help I? needed within a few days of hiring them.

    “My settlement was awesome and I got everything I needed to get back on my feet”

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We've Recovered Millions

  • $1.8 Million Delivery Truck Accident

    Our client was t-boned by a large package delivery truck that was traveling in excess of 70 mph. He sustained a severe neck injury that required spinal surgery. *Net to client was $759,182.96.

  • $350 Thousand Company Truck Collision

    Our client was struck by a company truck that ran a red light at a busy intersection. *Net to client was $166,651.36.

  • $400 Thousand Company Truck Wreck

    Our client was traveling down a residential street when a company truck backed out of a driveway into the side of her vehicle. *Net to client was $110,000.

  • $100 Thousand DWI Wreck Resolved

    Our client was struck by a drunk driver in Round Rock, Texas. *Net to client was $51,113.04.

  • $115 Thousand Distracted Driver Caused Collision

    A distracted driver failed to yield the right of way to our client, causing a collision. *Net to client was $25,035.44.

  • $132 Thousand Distracted Driver

    Our client was the passenger in a vehicle struck by a distracted motorist who failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. *Net to client was $33,250.59.

  • $112.5 Thousand Truck Crash Into Building

    A company driver lost control of his vehicle and smashed into a convenience store, injuring our client in the process. *Net to client was $30,259.56.

  • $82 Thousand T-Bone Collision

    Our client had to be airlifted to the hospital as a result of a t-bone collision. *Net proceeds to client were $23,914.57.

  • $85 Thousand T-Bone Collision Resolved

    Our client was t-boned by a distracted driver who ran a stop sign and required surgery for injuries sustained. *Attorney fees and expenses totaled $30,267.51.

  • $225 Thousand Collision With A Distracted Driver Operating An 18-Wheeler

    Our client severely injured her back in the wreck and the driver did not have the required commercial driver's license needed to operate the truck. *Net proceeds to client were $89,737.54.

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