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Getting around a city is not as hard and time-consuming as it used to be. You no longer need to book hours in advance for a taxi, and you no longer need to pay excessive amounts of money in fare. There are more cars available for travel, which makes the latter smoother and less costly thanks to ridesharing. Uber and Lyft are the two largest companies in the industry. They have given ordinary people the ability to hire private cars in an efficient and cost-effective way.
This great advance in private transportation has not happened seamlessly. There have been snags, and quite dangerous ones. The most important of these is the ease with which one can become a rideshare driver. All anyone needs are their own car and a driver’s license. They are not required to undergo any training in road safety. Many people with poor driving records have been allowed to become Uber and Lyft drivers. Some of them behave in unprofessional and reckless ways. If you have been harmed in an accident involving one of these drivers, you need to know your rights and you need to act to protect them. A Los Angeles ridesharing accident lawyer can provide you with the right assistance.
Ridesharing Accidents on the Rise
There has been an increase in accidents involving ridesharing drivers. The data points to two main reasons for this. First, most drivers are not on the job full-time. They drive they have finished working other jobs that pay more. This leaves many of them too exhausted to give due attention to the road. Second, the many financial advantages enjoyed by passengers who take Uber or Lyft are not shared by drivers. The competitive nature of the industry makes it hard for drivers to make money. Many of them speed and violate other traffic laws to get as many fares as they can.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If you are like most people, you put little thought into how to act in the event of an accident. Having a plan and some inkling of the actions to take after an accident will help you respond effectively should one occur. Here are some pointers:
- Stay at the scene
You must remain at the scene. The police officers who respond to the accident will eventually show up and take your statement. After doing so, they will release you.
Pain is not always the best indication of injury. The only way you will know if you have been badly hurt is if you manually check yourself for shattered bones and bleeding.
Call emergency services
You should do this right away. The operator will ask you direct questions. Give them direct answers. Be clear and exact.
Get driver info
The aftermath of an accident can be confusing. You may forget to do basic things. One of the things you should remember is to ask the driver their name and driver number.
Speak to witnesses
No matter where the accident occurred, there will be witnesses. Some of them will want to tell you what they observed. You should make a point of talking to them and writing down what they tell you.
Go to the hospital
You are not a physician, so you should not self-diagnose. You need to admit yourself to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Only a qualified ER doctor can determine whether you have sustained serious injury. If you were cut and bruised in the accident, you should take pictures of your injuries before they are cared for.
You must gather copies of all documents having to do with your diagnosis and treatment before you leave the hospital.
Call a lawyer
As you recover, you should consult with an attorney. A ridesharing accident lawyer will help you get the compensation you are owed.
Why You Need a Rideshare Lawyer
The ridesharing companies have a policy of giving up to $1 million to passengers injured in their vehicles. This money is not offered straightaway. The companies expect the driver’s insurance company to settle with you. If that does not happen, if the driver does not have a policy that offers such compensation, then Uber or Lyft will step in.
Even at this stage, getting the money you are entitled to takes a fight. The ridesharing company will offer you a low-dollar figure. You should refuse it. In fact, the moment you are contacted by the company you should refer them to your attorney. It is best to let your lawyer do all the talking and negotiating. This will prevent confusion; it will save you from saying anything that might undermine your case.
If you have suffered minor injuries and the sum offered to you covers your medical bills and lost wages, your attorney may tell you to take it. If you have been seriously injured in the collision, then you may need more than $1 million to help you live a decent life. If that is the case, your personal injury attorney will demand a sum of money that is commensurate with your injuries. If the ridesharing company refuses, then you will need to file suit.
The Consequences of a Serious Accident
An accident can turn your world upside down. Accidents are unexpected, injurious, and costly. If you were seriously injured in the accident, you may need to go through a succession of painful operations to get well. You will not be able to work during this time. Even after you have been discharged from the hospital, you will face more medical and financial hurdles. The injury may force you to give up your job. If you have suffered a permanent disability, you may be forced out of your trade or career.
Adjusting to a new life after such a devastating event requires a serious infusion of cash. It should come from the people responsible for your plight.
What Your Attorney Will Do
A personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in ridesharing cases will know how to get you justice. The ridesharing companies have advanced the novel legal theory that they cannot be held responsible for the injuries sustained by passengers in their cars because the drivers do not work for them; they work for themselves. The attempt of Uber and Lyft to distance themselves from their drivers through contractual technicality has not worked. Courts throughout the country have consistently found for the plaintiff and awarded large sums of money for damages. The attorney you hire can put you along a similar route to compensation and justice.
The first thing your attorney will do is prove that driver recklessness led to the accident which caused your injuries. They will employ their own private investigators to re-assess and re-evaluate the facts surrounding driver competence, alertness, and sobriety.
Your attorney will also bring in experts who are trained to develop accident simulations based on the forensic evidence left at the scene. Your lawyer will also take statements from medical experts that explain your injuries and how they affect your ability to work.
If you have been hurt in a ridesharing accident, you need a tough, skilled, and dedicated legal advocate. You should call a ridesharing attorney to discuss your legal options.