Today, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) or ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, have become a popular alternative to taxis and other public transportation options. Just like other motorists, rideshare drivers and companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers, as well as other motorists and pedestrians. When accidents result in injuries to rideshare users and other victims, the driver and the TNC company can be held liable for accidents and injuries.
Alavi Law, PLLC is one of the premier personal injury firms serving clients in Vienna and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although the state’s no-fault insurance law applies to rideshare accidents, we know that these claims pose unique challenges. If you or a loved one has been injured in a ridesharing accident, we will fight to help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Do Ridesharing Apps Work?
Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs rely on smartphone apps and satellite technology to connect passengers with rideshare drivers. Consumers request a ride using the app on a mobile device, and the driver is notified through the app and uses GPS navigation to the locate the passenger. The driver picks up the passenger and uses GPS to chart a course to the destination. Passengers pay either with a credit card or through their smartphone.
Factors Involved in A Ride-Sharing Accident
Unlike taxi and limousine drivers, rideshare drivers are independent contractors who are not professional drivers. In addition, rideshare drivers typically use their own vehicles, don’t have commercial licenses, work part-time, and design their own schedules. Because rideshare drivers often work long hours, they are at risk of becoming fatigued, which puts passengers and other motorists at risk of injury. Rideshare drivers are also more prone to becoming distracted by frequently using their smartphones and GPS systems.
In any event, rideshare companies and their drivers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Both the TNC and the driver can be held liable for injuries that arise from accidents. Similar to other automobile accidents in Virginia, the state’s No-Fault insurance law applies. Coverage, however, depends on a number of factors. Was the driver logged into the app and being connected to a rider? Had a trip been accepted and was the driver going to pick up the passenger? Was the rideshare driver taking the passenger to his or her destination?
Whether you are injured as a passenger while using Uber or Lyft or involved in a collision with a rideshare vehicle that was not your fault, it is crucial to have proper legal representation. These claims are complicated and may involve multiple parties, such as the rideshare driver’s insurance carrier, the TNC’s insurer, as well as other drivers and their insurance carriers.
Nonetheless, if your claim is successful, you may be awarded compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and other monetary losses while noneconomic damages compensate you for pain and suffering, physical impairments, loss of enjoyment of life, and similar harm. Finally, punitive damages may also be awarded if the responsible party’s conduct was unlawful or egregious, such as driving under the influence or reckless driving.
Contact A Ride Sharing Accident Attorney!
At Alavi Law, PLLC, we know that being injured in a ridesharing accident is an overwhelming experience. In addition to lingering injuries, not being able to work, and emotional harm, many accident victims face expensive medical bills. That’s the bad news. The good news is that an experienced rideshare accident attorney can help.
Our legal team understands how the state’s no-fault insurance and negligence laws apply to rideshare accidents. We will take the time to investigate the circumstances that led to your accident, obtain and review the police report and medical records, and identify and interview witnesses, the rideshare driver, and TNC representatives.
Above all, we are committed to helping you obtain the full value of your claim that considers any future medical or financial needs. We will enter into intricate negotiations with the insurance company and work to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement. If the insurer refuses to cooperate, we may recommend filing a civil lawsuit in court.
Our team has a proven track record of holding negligent rideshare drivers and TNCs accountable and is highly regarded for being dedicated advocates of the injured. We handle all rideshare accident cases on a contingency basis which means that you will not pay any attorney’s fees until we win your case. Call us today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a free consultation.