Washington, D.C. Rideshare Accident Attorney

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are a popular and convenient way to get around, but accidents occur just as they do with any other vehicle. What happens after and who is liable will depend on the circumstances of the collision. However, if you are injured in a rideshare accident, you are likely entitled to compensation.

To find out if you have a claim, contact Lightfoot Law, PLLC. Call (202) 919-5453or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Why Choose Our Washington, D.C. Rideshare Accident Lawyer?

  • One of our many goals is to provide exceptional service to our clients and prompt communication.
  • We listen to our clients to determine the best approach to meet their goals and prepare each case with the utmost care.
  • We are committed to keeping our clients well informed throughout the entire legal process.

Why You Need a Rideshare Accident Attorney in Washington, D.C.

If you are injured as a passenger or another driver in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to compensation if you were not at fault. Hiring an attorney with experience handling rideshare accident cases will be invaluable. They have a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and the threshold that must be met to step outside of the District of Columbia’s no-fault system and pursue further compensation on your behalf.

Rideshare accidents can also be complicated, particularly when it comes to liability. Companies like Uber and Lyft consider their drivers independent contractors rather than employees and often refuse to pay valid injury claims based on their stance that they are not responsible for their drivers’ actions. A qualified attorney will know how to handle these challenges and maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Specific Ways a Lawyer Can Help After a Rideshare Accident

Navigating insurance claims and the legalities of rideshare accidents can be complicated. That’s where an experienced lawyer comes in handy. Here are the steps a lawyer can take to help you after a rideshare accident:

  1. Help You Understand Your Rights: Rideshare lawsuits can be complex due to the involvement of multiple parties—driver, rideshare company, other involved drivers, etc. An attorney will provide clarity on applicable laws while outlining available routes for potential legal recourse.
  2. Gather Evidence and Investigate: To build a robust case that accurately represents the incident from your perspective, detailed evidence gathering is crucial—an area where attorneys excel. They’ll obtain and review evidence, like dashcam footage, the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and witness testimony. 
  3. Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Insurers are known to strive towards minimizing payout amounts for claims whenever possible. A seasoned lawyer brings expert negotiation skills to secure fair settlement offers. A lawyer will present your case based on strong evidence and won’t be easily swayed by insurance adjusters attempting to settle a claim for less than it should.
  4. Calculate Damages: Accurately determining the monetary value of damages you’ve suffered due to an accident can be challenging, especially when taking intangible factors like pain and suffering or loss of consortium into account. An attorney can ensure all your losses are accounted for.
  5. Represent You in Court: If negotiations fail or if the insurance company unfairly denies your claim, your lawyer can escalate the case to court. Here, their role becomes invaluable—they’ll form compelling arguments on your behalf, arguing to the judge and jury as to why you’re entitled to compensation.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

Should you find yourself involved in a rideshare accident, it’s vital to take certain steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights:

  1. Check for injuries: First and foremost, assess your physical condition and the condition of others involved. If anyone is hurt or not responding appropriately, seek immediate assistance by dialing emergency services.
  2. Call the police: Whether injuries are apparent or not, calling the police ensures an official report documenting incident details – key evidence should legal claims arise later. Trained officers will help secure the scene preventing further injuries, while conducting preliminary investigations which can help determine fault.
  3. Collect Information: Gathering information is crucial following any accident involving a rideshare vehicle. Write down the driver’s name, contact details, and insurance information if possible. Don’t forget about other drivers involved too – their names and contact information are equally important.

Also, try to capture specific details concerning the date, time, location of crash and how events unfolded prior to it. If fellow passengers or bystanders are witnesses, gather their info as well for potential corroboration later on.

  1. Document the Scene: Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene, capturing all vehicles involved from various angles and any notable damage. If possible, also include road conditions, street signs, or landmarks which might help illustrate what led up to the collision.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: It’s crucial you see a health care provider as soon as possible after a rideshare accident, even if you initially think injuries are minimal or non-existent. Symptoms of some injuries can show up days after an incident.

Seeking prompt medical attention not only safeguards your health but also ties any potential injury directly back to the accident- an important step for insurance claims later on.

  • Consult a Lawyer: Lastly, ensuring proper legal representation is crucial when involved in a rideshare accident. Experienced lawyers understand the intricacies tied to rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, as they are often subject to different insurance rules compared with typical car accidents.

Avoid speaking directly with insurance adjusters before consulting your lawyer. Insurance representatives often act strategically and aim to minimize any payouts. They might attempt to get you to accept low settlements or manipulate you into inadvertently admitting fault.

Who is Liable in a Washington, D.C. Rideshare Accident?

A rideshare accident is different from a typical car accident in that liability is not always clear. Typically, the at-fault driver is responsible for any damages. However, an employer may be liable depending on if a driver is considered to have been working when they caused the collision.

Both Uber and Lyft require drivers to have their own personal insurance policy and will provide coverage themselves only under certain conditions

Uber Insurance Coverage

Uber provides coverage for their drivers, as follows:

  • Uber App is Off: Only the driver’s private insurance will apply to the accident.
  • App is On, and the Driver is “Available”: Uber’s contingent liability coverage applies, but only to the losses sustained by others who were injured or had their property damaged. This includes up to $100,000 for injuries ($50,000 per person) and $25,000 for property damage. The Uber or Lyft driver must access their personal policy for their own injuries or vehicle damage.
  • Driver Has Accepted a Ride or Until Passenger is Dropped Off: Uber’s commercial insurance coverage applies, which includes up to $1 million per accident for property damage and bodily injury and another $1 million if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.

Lyft Insurance Coverage

Lyft has very similar insurance policies to Uber, and they apply in the following scenarios:

  • Lyft App is Off: Only the driver’s private insurance will apply to the accident.
  • Lyft Driver is Waiting for a Match: Only the driver’s private insurance will apply to the accident unless their insurance company refuses to cover it. In that situation, Lyft’s policy will apply, which provides $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Driver Has Accepted a Trip or Until Passenger is Dropped Off: Lyft’s $1 million policy will apply to the collision.

Potential Damages After a Rideshare Accident in Washington D.C.

In the aftermath of a rideshare accident, two major categories of damages – economic and non-economic – can be pursued for recovery:

Economic Damages

These are quantifiable financial losses caused directly by the accident. They include medical expenses for treatment needed due to injuries sustained in the accident, lost wages if you’ve missed work while recovering, potential loss of future earnings if injuries render you unable to return your job or require long-term recovery, and property damage to personal belongings damaged during the crash.

Since these involve explicit monetary expenditures or losses, they can be proven by providing relevant receipts, medical records, and proof of lost wages.   

Non-Economic Damages

This category accounts for intangible losses that don’t have a direct monetary value but affect quality of life significantly post-accident. They include pain and suffering – both physical discomfort and emotional distress endured as a result – loss of enjoyment in daily activities and hobbies, and loss of consortium. 

Evidence Used to Establish Non-Economic Damages

To prove non-economic damages in a rideshare accident case, various forms of evidence can be used:

Expert Testimony From Mental Health Professionals: Expert testimony from mental health professionals can be valuable. If you’ve been working with a psychologist or psychiatrist after your accident, they can provide professional insight into the nature and extent of any psychological trauma experienced as a result of the incident.

Pain Journals: Keeping daily accounts of your pain levels and how they influence your ability to carry out ordinary tasks can provide valuable insight into the level of suffering you’ve endured. This helps form a clearer picture of how the accident has impacted you. 

Witness Testimonies: Family members, friends, co-workers, and others who witnessed first-hand changes in you and your behavior after the accident can attest to how it affected your emotional well-being and what lifestyle adjustments were required.Photographs: Photos showing physical injuries, especially if they led to visible scarring or disfigurement, can be persuasive in proving the severity of your non-economic damages.

Contact A Washington D.C Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today

Get Help From a Skilled Washington, D.C. Rideshare Accident Lawyer

If you have been harmed in a rideshare accident, we will help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call Lightfoot Law, PLLC, at (831) 708-0298, or contact us online, to arrange a free consultation about your case.