Should I Consult With Multiple Rideshare Attorneys Before Deciding Whom To Hire?
Yes, it is always a wise decision to consider multiple Florida rideshare attorneys before making a final decision to hire. Rideshare claims can be quite involved and skillful investigation is needed, thus you need an attorney who has the requisite experience to handle your accident claim with care; as well as, one who has a good reputation and references. Choosing the right personal injury attorney for your case is critical and will give you the best chance to protect your rights and have a successful outcome. Check references and make sure that you pick the best attorney available to you, one that has a proven track record of success.
In Florida, it can be challenging to find the right attorney. While there are numerous attorneys available, every attorney is unique. Therefore, it is important to do your due diligence and research to be certain that you select an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of law you need. Additionally, you should be comfortable talking to your attorney, for an attorney-client relationship is an important relationship, and there should be mutual trust and comfort between both parties.
Your Case Is Our Priority!
After doing your due diligence, if you decide to work with our law office you can rest assured that we will consider your case to be an absolute top priority. Our skilled, experienced attorneys love what they do and take on each case enthusiastically. Our primary focus is to secure the maximum benefits that each of our valued clients deserves. We will be pleased to assist you every step of the way, whether you’re a rideshare driver, other vehicle driver involved in a rideshare accident, a passenger, or a pedestrian.
Experience is important! Our attorneys have the experience and they understand the processes involved in these potentially complex accident cases. Additionally, our attorneys stay current on the latest evolving laws and regulations that pertain to accident and injury cases. This is especially important with rideshare claims as the laws vary from state to state and are constantly changing as rideshare companies continue to expand in the transportation industry.
Timing, And The Sharing Of Information: The Do’s And Don’ts
Timing is crucial for every rideshare claim. You should assume that all parties in a rideshare accident will be pursuing their best interests, possibly hiring an attorney to fight for them, and you should too, as quickly as you can. Investigation is an important part of the process that is necessary to file a thorough claim and the earlier your attorney can get started after the accident, the better. A witnesses’ statement can make or break a claim, and memories generally are sharpest immediately following the accident and details are essential, so it is a great idea to contact your attorney as soon as you can following an accident.
While you should definitely talk to your attorney as soon as possible after your accident, never talk to any parties, such as insurance adjusters or representatives from the rideshare company, before contacting and consulting with your attorney. Your attorney will advise you as to when you should discuss and what you should, and should not, discuss with these other parties.
What Are My Legal Options After An Accident, As An Uber Or Lyft Rideshare Driver?
If you are involved in an accident as an Uber or Lyft rideshare driver that is caused by another, your rights and legal options will differ state by state, so make sure you work with an attorney who is licensed and knowledgeable of the law and its variances between U.S. states.
Steps To Remember
Unfortunately, rideshare companies do not typically provide much advice, if any, to their drivers in regard to steps he or she should take immediately following an accident. But the basic steps to remember are as follows:
- Check on all the parties involved and find out if anyone has sustained an injury.
- Call 911 to request emergency services such as paramedics and police.
- Contact your rideshare company and report the accident.
Emergency Medical Assistance
Even if it seems that no one has sustained an injury, it is still a good idea to request emergency medical services because some injuries may not be immediately felt and only a certified and trained medical professional can make a proper, informed assessment on a potential injury. Additionally, it is common for accident victims to go into shock or suffer from disorientation, both of which could create a situation in which you, or another injured party, may not realize when an injury has occurred, especially injuries such as concussion or traumatic injury. Allow professional emergency medical providers to make the critical assessments on injuries and if they feel you should be transported immediately via ambulance, follow their recommendations. Do not be concerned with the potential added financial costs as you can seek compensation for emergency transportation, etc. later when you make your claim. Remember, there is nothing more important than your health and well being, so take every step to get the best, and most expedient care.
Law Enforcement Officers
Police will determine whether, in their opinion, they believe laws were violated. Police will typically canvas witnesses and may deliver a traffic citation to the party that witnesses overwhelmingly state was at fault. And if anyone appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police officers may make an arrest. Documented offenses will be helpful for your claim when seeking compensation from the negligent driver. Therefore, always call the police to the scene, even if you feel it is just a simple fender bender. Police officers will make a formal report and this will help to substantiate your claim. Without a police presence to oversee the accident after it occurs, at a later date insurance adjusters might suggest that the accident was not serious and that you sustained no injuries, or that the accident never happened. Always request for the police to come to the scene; it is in your best interest.
Contacting Uber / Lyft
If you are a rideshare driver, always notify your rideshare company if you are involved in an accident, and be careful what you say to the company representative if you are injured. Remember, the representative will more than likely be taking notes of what you say. If you make comments that indicate that you are feeling fine or you minimize your injury or injuries in any way, that information can significantly impact your claim and future settlement or request for compensation for your medical expenses, etc. For these and many other reasons, rideshare claims can be difficult to navigate, and as such your best option is to consult with an experienced rideshare accident attorney to help you make the best decisions on communication with other parties after your accident. Get an experienced rideshare attorney working for you right away, as soon as possible after you are involved in an accident and protect your rights.
Important Information For Injured Rideshare Drivers Seeking Compensation
Auto insurance issues can be quite complicated, in Florida, and in every state for that matter. And if an accident involves a rideshare driver the legal gray area can make things even more challenging.
In most accident situations in Florida, an injured driver is required to file a claim under their own personal injury protection insurance policy coverage, known as PIP. This is standard, regardless of who was the at-fault party. However, in Florida, Uber and Lyft do not provide PIP coverage for drivers. Additionally, a rideshare driver’s own personal PIP coverage provider will probably not extend coverage after they are informed that their policyholder was working/driving for a rideshare company at the time the accident occurred. Thus, as you can see, rideshare drivers are often faced with many challenges after an accident and should proceed forward with a qualified accident attorney who can help them take all the right steps to protect their interests, and procure any compensation they may be entitled to receive.
Rideshare Driver Rights
As with every situation in a rideshare accident, a rideshare driver’s rights in regard to filing claims can also be challenging to pursue properly. Let’s consider a rideshare driver’s right to file a claim against an at-fault driver who caused the accident. Typically, current PIP laws would restrict the right to pursue an action directly against the driver, but due to the fact that there is no applicable PIP coverage in Florida, a rideshare driver is entitled to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or if they so choose they are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit in the appropriate civil court. The rideshare driver would need to properly demonstrate that the other driver involved was negligent, that their negligence led to the accident. Liability is never easy to prove, so again, it is vital for accident victims to seek trained, professional legal assistance with their insurance or legal claims going forward after the accident.
Dependent upon the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage, a rideshare driver could request compensation for various issues such as those listed below:
- Costs of Current Medical Treatment
- Costs of Future Medical Treatment
- Mileage Costs for Transportation to Medical Treatment
- Past and/or Future Pain and Suffering
- Past Income Loss and/or Future Income Loss
- Scarring or Disfigurement
- Any Mental Trauma
- The Loss of Enjoyment of Life or Activities, etc.
- Any Permanent Disability
NOTE: These types of damages can also be sought in a personal injury lawsuit.
Rideshare Companies’ Rights Under The Law
There are many federal laws in place that cover rideshare companies, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act that mandates minimum wages, overtime, etc. And it is this federal law that has been at the center of many of the class action lawsuits brought against Uber and other ride-sharing companies. It is important to note that ride-share companies operating in Florida are absolutely free from any claims by drivers for state unemployment as well as workers’ compensation benefits. Further, there are currently no existing federal counterparts for those laws either. For this reason, and all the reasons written above, it is a wise decision to consult with a seasoned, trained rideshare attorney right away to protect all your rights and ensure that you receive any compensation, benefits, etc. that you are entitled to under the law.
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