Austin Rideshare Accident Lawyer

Rideshare accidents involving vehicles being driven by Uber or Lyft drivers can be complex for many reasons. One of the primary reasons that these accidents can be so complicated is because companies such as Uber and Lyft have multiple insurance policies, instead of the standard one policy. Also, these companies follow very specific protocols relating to accidents that are often much more involved than the standard protocols followed by normal drivers. s. Although Uber and Lyft are the most prominent rideshare options, there are some other similar companies that operate in Austin, such as Wingz, HopSkipDrive, SendaRide, and Wridz. No matter which company is involved, determining whether liability falls on the driver or the company often hinges on whether the driver was logged into the company’s app or actively transporting a passenger at the time of the accident- a determination that can complicate the claims process exponentially. If you were impacted by a rideshare accident as either a passenger or a fellow driver, our experienced Austin rideshare accident attorney can help you work through these complexities to be sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Standards for Safety

You have the right to expect that when you hail an Uber, Lyft, or use another rideshare service, your trip will be safe. You also have the right to expect rideshare drivers to exercise adequate care and caution when you’re sharing the road with them in your own vehicle. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft enforce certain safety standards, including performing background checks on drivers and regular vehicle inspections. These standards also prohibit distracted or impaired driving. Attorneys use state and local laws, as well as the policies of the company at play, to establish that the driver did not meet the prescribed standards and that your injuries are the result of negligence on their part.

Legal Rights When Injured in a Rideshare Accident

Passengers injured in rideshare accidents can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Texas law permits claims against the rideshare company’s insurance, the driver’s personal insurance, or both, depending on the situation. Attorneys decide which insurance company, or companies, to pursue to ensure fair compensation. The attorneys also gather evidence, such as accident reports and medical records, to build a strong case. These claims can be extremely complex and are further complicated by the intricate insurance policies of rideshare companies. Our firm is experienced in handling rideshare lawsuits to enforce our clients’ legal rights and get our clients maximum compensation.

Why You Need an Austin Rideshare Accident Lawyer

The Complexity of Rideshare Accident Claims

Rideshare accident claims are inherently more complex than regular car accident claims for several reasons:

  • Multiple Parties Involved: Rideshare accidents often involve multiple parties, including the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, other drivers, and possibly pedestrians. Determining liability among these parties can be challenging and requires thorough investigation​.
  • Independent Contractor Status: Rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors, not employees. This classification affects liability and insurance coverage. For instance, the rideshare company’s insurance typically only applies when the driver is logged into the app and either waiting for a ride request or transporting a passenger​​.
  • Varying Insurance Coverage: The insurance coverage provided by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft varies based on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. This variability can complicate the claims process and requires a detailed knowledge of these policies to navigate effectively​.
  • Disputes Over Insurance Activation: Proving that the rideshare driver had the app active at the time of the accident can be contentious. Insurance companies may try to deny coverage by claiming the app was not active​​.
  • Large Companies and Substantial Policies: Rideshare companies have substantial insurance policies, but navigating these policies and dealing with large corporations, in general, can be difficult. This is compounded by the fact that these companies often have legal teams specifically dedicated to minimizing payouts​​.
  • Lack of Special Licenses for Rideshare Drivers: Rideshare drivers only need standard driver’s licenses, and unlike professional taxi or commercial drivers, they do not undergo any specialized training. This lack of advanced training can affect their ability to handle complex driving situations, potentially leading to higher accident risks.
  • Different Claims Processes Compared to Regular Accidents: The claims process for rideshare accidents involves dealing with the rideshare company’s insurance policies, which differ significantly from those of private drivers. Understanding these differences is crucial for effectively managing claims and ensuring proper compensation.

All of these nuances make it critical to have an experienced rideshare accident lawyer on your side.

Why Hire Loewy Law Firm for Your Rideshare Accident Case?

  • Expertise in Handling Rideshare Accident Cases: The attorneys at Loewy Law Firm have extensive experience in dealing with the complexities of rideshare accident claims. They understand the intricacies of multiple insurance policies and the challenges posed by the rideshare companies’ legal teams.
  • Successful Track Record of Securing Compensation for Clients: Loewy Law Firm has a proven history of securing fair compensation for their clients. This is made possible through thorough investigations, gathering critical evidence, and effectively negotiating with insurance companies to ensure clients receive the maximum possible compensation.

Determining Liability in Rideshare Accidents

Multiple Entities that Could Be Responsible

Liability in rideshare accidents in Austin involves identifying which party, or parties, are at fault. Each entity involved has different responsibilities, and determining who is liable is crucial for pursuing compensation.

  • Rideshare Driver: If the rideshare driver is at fault, their insurance coverage depends on their status in their company’s app. If the driver is not active in the app, indicating that they are carrying a passenger or en route to pick one up, the company’s insurance will likely not cover an accident. .
  • Rideshare Company: Texas law mandates that rideshare companies maintain a $1 million liability insurance policy for drivers transporting passengers or en route to pick them up. These policies provide significant coverage but only activate when a driver meets certain conditions, such as when the driver is logged into the company’s app and engaged in a ride.
  • Other Drivers: If another driver causes an accident, their insurance would be the primary source of coverage. Establishing the fault of another driver involves collecting evidence such as accident reports and witness statements to support the claim against the other driver’s insurance.
  • Pedestrians and Cyclists: In accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists, determining their role, and their liability, involves gathering detailed evidence. Witness statements and video footage provide critical insights into what caused the accident. These details can help accurately establish who is responsible, which is key to building a strong legal case and ensuring fair compensation.

As a Rideshare Passenger

Coverage Provided by Uber and Lyft

When passengers are injured while being transported in an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Austin, the rideshare company’s insurance is generally on the hook for covering the resulting damages. As mentioned, both Uber and Lyft maintain a $1 million liability insurance policy which applies when the driver is active in the respective company’s app and is either en route to pick up passengers or has passengers in the vehicle. This coverage includes medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to an accident. Some other Austin rideshare companies have similar policies, but amounts may vary.

Personal Insurance Coverage Considerations

In addition to the coverage provided by Uber or Lyft insurance policies, passengers may also have personal insurance policies that offer additional protection. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) can cover medical expenses, regardless of fault. These personal policies can provide immediate financial support while waiting for claims from the rideshare company’s insurance to be processed.

As a Motorist Hit by a Rideshare Driver

On-the-Clock Accidents vs. Off-the-Clock Accidents

Determining liability when a rideshare driver hits another motorist in Austin depends on whether the driver was “on the clock” at the time of the accident.

  • On-the-Clock with Passenger: If a driver is logged into their company’s app and en route to pick up a passenger, or is actively transporting a passenger, at the time of an accident, the $1 million liability coverage provided by the rideshare company’s insurance applies. This extensive coverage reflects the higher financial risk associated with carrying passengers and ensures that victims are able to receive adequate compensation.
  • On-the-Clock but No Passenger: If a driver is logged into their company’s app but not carrying passengers, the rideshare company provides contingent liability coverage. This typically includes $50,000 for bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This contingent coverage supplements the driver’s personal policy if it falls short.
  • Off-the-Clock Accidents: If the rideshare driver is not logged into their company’s app, their personal auto insurance is the primary source of coverage. Texas law mandates minimum coverage of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. In these cases, the rideshare company’s insurance does not apply.

Gathering Evidence

Attorneys gather and analyze various forms of evidence to establish liability. This process is critical for proving fault and building a strong case.

  • Accident Reports: A police report provides a detailed account of the accident and an initial assessment of fault. A police report offers an official perspective as to liability from an officer present at the scene. .
  • Eyewitness Statements: Testimonies from witnesses who saw the accident help corroborate other evidence and provide additional perspectives. Attorneys often conduct thorough interviews to gather precise accounts.
  • Video Footage: Securing video footage from traffic cameras, nearby businesses, or dashcams offers visual documentation of the accident. This footage can be instrumental in proving how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
  • App Data: Reviewing data from the rideshare app confirms the driver’s status (logged in, waiting for a ride, en route to a pickup) at the time of the accident. This information is crucial for determining which insurance policy applies and ensuring the correct coverage is utilized.

Attorney Role in Determining Liability

Attorneys provide critical services that ensure all responsible parties are held accountable. Their expertise and the actions they take directly impact the success of a claim.

  • Accident Reconstruction: Attorneys work with experts to reconstruct the accident, offering a detailed analysis of how the collision occurred and who is at fault. This technical analysis can be decisive in cases where liability is disputed.
  • Witness Interviews: Conducting detailed interviews with witnesses helps gather accurate accounts of the accident. These statements are used to build a robust case for liability.
  • Analyzing App Data: Reviewing data from the rideshare company’s app confirms the driver’s status at the time of the accident. This information is crucial for determining which insurance policy or policies are applicable, as well as ensuring the correct coverage is activated.
  • Police Report Analysis: Examining police reports helps corroborate details of the accident and supports liability claims. These reports are foundational evidence in building a strong case.

By focusing on these aspects, attorneys ensure that all elements of liability are thoroughly investigated, which strengthens their clients’ cases and ensures that they receive fair compensation. Because of the growing popularity of rideshare services in Austin, having experienced legal representation is vital to navigating the unique challenges these cases present.

Navigating Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies

Attorneys specializing in rideshare accident lawsuits leverage their understanding of Uber and Lyft insurance policies to secure fair compensation for their clients. For example, in addition to the $1 million liability coverages Uber and Lyft carry r, there are other important insurance considerations to be aware of:

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uber and Lyft provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect passengers if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance. This coverage includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Attorneys use this coverage to ensure victims receive necessary financial support when the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate.

Role of Personal Insurance Policies

Personal insurance policies can offer additional protection and help cover gaps that rideshare insurance might not address.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses, regardless of fault, which offers victims immediate financial relief. Attorneys can leverage PIP to provide immediate support while awaiting claims from rideshare insurance.
  • Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay): Similar to PIP, MedPay covers immediate medical expenses, easing the initial financial burden following an accident. Skilled legal professionals ensure these resources are utilized to their fullest extent.

Insurance Liability Concerns and Gaps

Understanding the potential gaps in coverage is critical for ensuring comprehensive compensation.

  • Off-Duty Coverage: When the driver is not logged into the app, their personal insurance is the primary coverage. Many personal policies exclude coverage for commercial activities, potentially leaving gaps. Attorneys help navigate these exclusions to secure compensation.
  • Between-Ride Coverage: Coverage during periods when the driver is logged into the app, but not carrying passengers, is typically lower. This contingent liability coverage might not be sufficient for severe accidents. Legal expertise ensures victims understand and address these limitations.

Attorneys specializing in rideshare accident lawsuits use their knowledge of Uber and Lyft insurance policies to secure fair compensation for their clients. Understanding insurance policy nuances helps address potential gaps and aids in building the strongest possible case.

Common Injuries in Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare accidents often result in specific injuries that necessitate both immediate medical care and strategic legal action. Partnering with an Austin rideshare accident attorney can help ensure that victims receive appropriate compensation for their injuries as promptly as possible. Here’s an overview of common injuries that result from rideshare accidents, as well as how attorneys utilize their expertise, depending on the type of injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Causes and Long-Term Effects

TBIs often result from a violent blow to the head or body, which is relatively common in severe and unexpected car accidents. Long-term effects of TBIs include cognitive impairments, memory loss, personality changes, and physical disabilities. All of these significantly affect victims’ lives.

Importance of Immediate and Ongoing Medical Care

If a victim suffers a TBI as the result of a rideshare accident, immediate medical attention is critical to prevent further damage. Further, victims with TBIs often require continuous care, including rehabilitation, to manage long-term effects. An Austin rideshare accident attorney can help secure compensation for ongoing medical expenses and long-term care needs associated with a TBI.


Symptoms and Delayed Onset

Whiplash is another common injury suffered in car accidents, and involves neck pain and stiffness from rapid neck movement. Symptoms of whiplash include headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision, often appearing days after the accident. Victims with whiplash must monitor their health closely.

Long-Term Health Implications

While many people recover in weeks, some experience chronic pain affecting daily life and their ability to work. Persistent symptoms require ongoing treatment. An Austin attorney can help document injuries and secure compensation for long-term impacts of whiplash.

Broken/Fractured Bones

Healing Process and Potential Complications

Rideshare accidents can result in broken bones from high-impact collisions. These injuries can affect arms, legs, ribs, and facial bones. The healing process requires immobilization, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. Complications like improper healing can prolong recovery.

Impact on Daily Life and Work

Broken bones can hinder daily tasks and work, causing lifestyle changes and financial strain. Compensation can cover medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages. An experienced Austin attorney can help document these impacts and pursue compensation.

Spinal Damage and Paralysis

Severity and Life-Altering Consequences

Spinal injuries from rideshare accidents can range from minor damage to complete paralysis, affecting mobility and independence. Consequences include chronic pain, loss of sensation, and functional impairments.

Need for Specialized Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation

Victims with spinal damage need specialized treatment, surgeries, long-term rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment. The costs are substantial, involving ongoing care. An Austin attorney helps secure compensation for these expenses, ensuring victims get the support needed for recovery.

After a Rideshare Accident

After calling 911 and prioritizing health and safety, be sure to follow these key steps to protect your rights and strengthen your case:

Official Collision Report

Once an officer arrives to the scene of the accident, be sure to get an official collision report. This will preserve the details of the incident, and will also memorialize the responding officer’s initial impressions about fault and liability. These reports serve as essential pieces of evidence for any legal claims you and your lawyer might pursue. Be sure to provide detailed and accurate information about the accident to the responding officers.

Gather Evidence

Collecting evidence at the scene supports your claim. This includes:

  • Photos: Take clear photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damages, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
  • License Plate Numbers: Document the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.
  • Screenshots: Capture screenshots of the rideshare app showing your trip details. This helps verify that you were using a rideshare service at the time of the accident and provides additional context for your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately

Even if you feel fine, seek medical attention right away. Some injuries, such as whiplash or concussions, may not show immediate symptoms but can have serious long-term effects. A medical professional can assess your condition and document any injuries.

  • Importance of Medical Documentation: Ensure all medical visits and treatments are well-documented. Medical records serve as key evidence of the injuries sustained and the necessary treatments, significantly impacting the compensation you receive.

Talk to a Rideshare Accident Attorney in Austin

Contact an experienced Austin rideshare accident attorney. A lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, gather additional evidence, and ensure all documentation is correctly filed. Your attorney can advocate on your behalf to secure fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Seeking Compensation for Rideshare Accidents

After a rideshare accident in Austin, understanding the types of compensation available and how to secure a fair settlement is essential.

Types of Compensation Available

Medical Expenses

Victims can claim compensation for medical costs, including emergency room visits, surgeries, ongoing treatments, and future medical needs. Proper documentation from healthcare providers is crucial to substantiate these claims.

Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

Accidents often result in time off work. Victims can seek compensation for lost wages and, in severe cases, loss of future earning capacity. Documentation such as pay stubs and employer statements helps validate these claims.

Pain and Suffering

This includes compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. It addresses the psychological impact of the accident, as well as the reduced quality of life. Personal statements and psychological evaluations are important for these claims.

Types of Damages

Economic Damages

These cover tangible losses such as medical bills and lost wages. Documentation of expenses and income is necessary to support these claims.

Non-Economic Damages

These compensate for intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are subjective and can vary greatly depending on the case’s specifics.

Punitive Damages

In cases involving gross negligence, victims may be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future. An experienced Austin rideshare accident attorney can assess whether punitive damages are applicable and help pursue them.

Wrongful Death Claims in Rideshare Accidents

Losing a loved one in a rideshare accident is a devastating experience. Understanding the legal process for filing a wrongful death claim can help families seek justice and compensation for their loss.

Filing Wrongful Death Claims

Process and Legal Requirements

Filing a wrongful death claim in Austin involves several steps. First, the claim must be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate, usually a close family member like a spouse, parent, or child. Once this relationship is established, the legal process for pursuing these claims includes:

  • Establishing Negligence: Proving that the rideshare driver or another party’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. This involves demonstrating duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
  • Filing Deadlines: In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. It is crucial to file the claim within this period to retain the right to seek compensation.

Types of Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases

Economic Damages

In wrongful death cases, economic damages cover financial losses, including medical expenses incurred before death, funeral and burial costs, and loss of the deceased’s income and benefits.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium (spousal relationship).

Punitive Damages

In cases of gross negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar actions in the future.

Importance of Legal Guidance in Wrongful Death Cases

Going through a wrongful death claim is complex and emotionally challenging. An experienced Austin rideshare accident attorney can provide essential support by investigating the accident, gathering evidence, and ensuring all legal requirements and deadlines are met. This legal support will be critical for pursuing the maximum compensation available under the law.

How Loewy Law Firm Can Assist You

Loewy Law Firm offers comprehensive support to victims of rideshare accidents in Austin, ensuring fair compensation and justice.

Comprehensive Legal Support

Investigating the Accident and Gathering Evidence: Loewy Law Firm conducts thorough investigations to collect critical evidence such as accident reports, eyewitness statements, and video footage, establishing liability and building a strong case.

Managing Legal Paperwork and Communication: The firm handles all legal paperwork and correspondence with insurance companies, ensuring accurate documentation and meeting deadlines to prevent missteps that could jeopardize the claim.

Building a Strong Case

Collaborating with Medical and Vocational Experts: The firm works closely with experts to assess the extent of injuries and their impact on the victim’s life, supporting claims for medical expenses, lost wages, and future earning capacity.

Ensuring Accurate Documentation of Injuries and Damages: Comprehensive documentation of injuries and associated damages, including medical records and rehabilitation reports, is vital for securing appropriate compensation for victims.

Maximizing Your Compensation

Strategic Negotiation Techniques: Loewy Law Firm employs strategic negotiation techniques to secure maximum compensation without prolonged litigation, ensuring settlements reflect the true value of the victim’s losses.

Dedicated Representation in Court if Necessary: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, Loewy Law Firm is prepared to represent clients in court, advocating for their rights with robust legal arguments to increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in Austin, Loewy Law Firm is here to help. Our dedicated team will guide you through every step of your case and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at (512) 280-0800 or use our contact form to request a free consultation and take the first step toward securing your future.

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