As rideshare drivers navigate roadways and traffic, they are just as much at risk of an accident as anyone else on the road. Have you recently been injured in an accident as a rideshare passenger? If so, it’s important to seek legal counsel immediately. A rideshare accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of this type of case and optimize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Today, we’re sharing how to choose the right one for your needs and how to get started.
Defining the Qualifications of a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured in a rideshare accident, you could be entitled to monetary compensation for any injuries and/or damages that you sustained. However, this may not go as simply or smoothly as you expect.
Rideshare cases are inherently more complicated than other car accident cases because they involve multiple parties. These include:
- The driver and passengers
- The ridesharing company
- Other drivers on the road
- Insurance companies
You need a rideshare accident lawyer who’s uniquely qualified to work on these types of cases. Here are a few of the top defining qualities to look for in the attorney you hire.
Experience Handling Rideshare Accident Cases
Your lawyer should have experience not only handling car accident cases but ones involving rideshare drivers and their passengers. They’ll know how to work with the ridesharing company, as well as its insurance provider, to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Knowledge of State Road Laws
The lawyer you choose should be closely familiar with road laws in the state of California. When they know the rules that drivers are legally required to follow on the road, it’s easier to prove instances of driver negligence. This can help them determine how the Lyft/Uber accident occurred, and who was at fault.
Knowledge of State-Specific Rideshare Laws
California officials have established rules and requirements around rideshare driver training. This includes requiring drivers and delivery people to complete a driver safety training program to ensure they know how to operate their vehicles safely before offering services.
Your lawyer should be well-versed in these requirements and what they entail. They should also understand the other mandates that rideshare drivers must follow, according to the companies they work under.
Essential Questions to Ask Before Choosing An Attorney
Before hiring an attorney to represent your rideshare accident case, go through a few key questions first. The most important ones to ask include:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- Do you specialize in rideshare accident cases?
- Are you familiar with California’s rideshare driver regulations?
- How many cases have you worked on that are similar to mine?
- What issues or challenges do you see with my case?
- What type of fee structure do you follow?
- Are you the one who will be assigned to my case?
The lawyer you speak with should be willing to openly answer these questions and more. If they are not transparent, this could be a sign that they aren’t as experienced or knowledgeable as advertised.
Identifying Relevant References to Understand Your Case
When you ask prospective lawyers to share references from their past clients, they should provide ones that have aspects similar to your own case. Look for instances in which the legal team took the following actions:
Negotiated with Insurance Representatives
You might think that the insurance company would be on your side. However, they operate to protect their own interests. While they may offer you a settlement for your case, it may not be adequate to cover your injuries and property damages.
They’ll also do everything they can to reduce their client’s degree of liability. This may even include manipulating you into accepting some degree of blame, using your words against you, and convincing you that you share partial fault for the accident.
Your lawyer will know how to communicate with insurance agencies so you don’t have to. They’ll understand which details they’re looking for, and how to create a convincing, thorough claim that maximizes your earnings.
Calculated the Actual Value of Your Damages
Your lawyer should know how to assess the real, overall value of your case. This includes a combination of the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage
- Lower quality of life
- Compensatory damages
- Loss of consortium (companionship, support)
Economic damages are ones that have an actual monetary value, such as medical expenses. Non-economic damages, including emotional trauma and quality of life, are more qualitative in nature. Your rideshare accident settlement should cover all of these short-term and long-term losses, not just your immediate costs.
Identified Fault and Liability
Finally, make sure the lawyer has experience conducting thorough investigations into rideshare accident cases to determine what caused them. This analysis helps them establish liability and identify the at-fault parties.
This may require multiple steps, including:
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Reviewing the police report
- Reconstructing the accident scene
If your lawyer finds that the driver is at fault, the type of policy that applies will depend on the scenario.
Investigating Legal Fees and Quality of Service
It’s important to understand the different types of legal fee structures that you might encounter while exploring your options for lawyers. The most common ones include:
- Contingency fees
- Hourly fees
- Flat rates
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if your claim results in a successful settlement. When that occurs, they’ll use a portion of your settlement to pay for their services.
While this usually means you don’t have to pay consultation fees out of pocket, there could be other legal fees to consider, such as:
- Courier fees
- Filing fees
- Travel expenses
- Service of process fees
With an hourly rate structure, your lawyer will charge you for each hour (or part of an hour) that they work on your case.
Note that some lawyers will charge different fees based on the type of work they perform. For instance, their hourly rate for conducting legal research may differ from their rates for court appearances.
With a flat-rate fee structure, the lawyer will charge a set, single fee for working your case. These structures are usually reserved for cases that are relatively simple or routine in nature.
Contact Experienced Rideshare Accident Lawyers in Torrance
The insurance claims process can be tricky to follow after any type of accident. Yet, it’s especially complex when a rideshare company is involved.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you need the best personal injury attorney working on your case.
At South Bay Accident Lawyers, we have experience working on cases just like yours. We know how to represent your best interests and help you maximize your settlement earnings.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a rideshare accident lawyer today!