For a lot of individuals, ridesharing services are the invention of the century. If you don’t feel like riding public transportation, are too intoxicated to drive, or don’t want to move your car, you can see companies like Uber or Lyft as your go-to mode of transportation. However, ridesharing apps, like every other technological advance that’s supposed to make life easier for us, is not always perfect.
Sometimes they stop at the most inconvenient spots to drop off riders, sometimes they have no idea where they’re going and can end up turning into the wrong lane or wrong street. Ridesharing service drivers aren’t certified for commercial driving either, and they don’t take driving courses before driving for a ridesharing company. There’s a question of qualifications and responsibility. In this case, a ridesharing service could be a matter of life or death. The city of Houston has popular ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber available. If you get into an accident with a ridesharing company, the best thing is to seek a lawyer for ridesharing accidents to file a claim.
You might be intimidated to pursue a claim against a big company name like Lyft or Uber if you were in an accident with one of their drivers, and they refused to pay up, even though the networking service was on during the accident. At The Gonzalez Law Group, we’re here to tell you not to panic.
Ridesharing Accident Attorneys in Houston, TX
Our attorneys are experienced in car accidents and personal injury, so we can help you file a claim against a ridesharing service. Our legal team at The Gonzalez Law Group is dedicated to each and one of our clients, so we want to do everything possible to make this process easy for you. Contact us so we can take a look at your case and tell you the next steps to follow.
We work with clients in the counties of Harris County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Waller County, and more. Call to get a no-strings-attached consultation for free by dialing (832) 530-4070.
Overview of Ridesharing Accidents
- Ridesharing Accidents Statistics
- Insurance Laws for Ridesharing Drivers
- Filing a Ridesharing Claim
- Additional Resources
Ridesharing Accident Statistics
According to Pew Research Center, 36% of U.S adults have stated they’ve used ride-hailing services before, which is an increase of 21% from 2015. They also found a 10% increase in the number of people who’ve heard of ride-hailing but have not used it before. Only 3% of people involved in the study had not heard of ride-hailing at all in 2018.
The increase in the use of ride-hailing services has contributed to a rise in accidents. Even though Uber and Lyft have never directly disclosed their accident data, after an analyzation from statistics done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths rates were compared in the before and after of Uber and Lyft. As compared to 2011, before Uber and Lyft launched, traffic deaths have increased from 2% to 3% across major U.S cities.
Insurance Laws for Ridesharing Drivers
The laws in Texas for transportation network companies or TNCs surrounding ride sharing responsibility are very few in between currently. Since ridesharing, in general, is a relatively new concept, states haven’t taken the time to implement them fully into state legislatures. However, a few years ago, Texas did take a step by establishing Insurance Code § 1954, highlighting insurance laws for transportation network drivers.
Insurance Code § 1954.051 states that either the driver of a transportation network company or the transportation network company on behalf of the driver must follow insurance requirements. Either the transportation network company driver has to carry insurance on his own, or the transportation networking company must carry it for him, or both. The transportation network driver must carry his or her proof of insurance and provide it to the party of interest in an accident.
Insurance requirements for drivers between pre-arranged rides which is characterized by a network company driver who’s logged on to the transportation network and is available to receive transportation requests, but is not actively in a pre-arranged ride include:
- $50,000 for bodily injury to or death for each person in an incident;
- $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of a person per incident; and
- $25,000 for damage to or destruction of property other others in an incident;
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as required by Insurance Code § 1952.101;
- Personal injury protection coverage as required by Insurance Code § 1952.152;
On the other hand, the requirements for drivers during pre-arranged rides include:
- Coverage with a total added amount limit of liability of $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage for each incident;
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as required by Insurance Code § 1952.101; and
- Personal injury protection coverage as required by Insurance Code § 1952.152;
Section § 1954.101 through § 1954.152 of the Insurance Code proclaim that it’s not the responsibility of the driver’s personal insurance to cover in case of an accident if the driver was logged on to the transportation network’s company network at that time. The same can happen vice-versa. If a driver was not logged in at the time of the accident, then, in this case, his insurance policy is the one that’s responsible for the incident. The laws surrounding ridesharing services can be problematic when there’s no proof that the driver logged into the service during the event, and the personal insurance of the driver denies the claim.
Additionally, Insurance Code § 1954.054 states that if an insurance policy provided by the company driver is lapsed or doesn’t meet the requirements as stated before, then the company must be the one who pays for the claim against the driver. But, if the company doesn’t want to pay up because they say the driver wasn’t logged in at the time, then the traffic accident victim is left to fix their car on their own and pay for his or her medical expenses.
Filing a Ridesharing Claim
Since the procedure for filing a claim against a ridesharing service is nowhere near as extensive as those involving regular car accidents, then each claim is taken as a case by case basis. Ridesharing companies might be responsible in this case, but they might use the defense that a ridesharing network wasn’t on at the moment, so they are not accountable. It is viable that you seek a lawyer for ridesharing accidents to defend you in cases like this. Insurances, in general, tend to want to pay less than what’s owed, so it takes a good legal defense to hold them accountable.
Just like in many personal injuries or wrongful death cases, negligence is a significant factor in traffic accidents involving ridesharing companies. If the at-fault driver doesn’t admit to having the networking service turned on during the accident, then you can be losing thousands of dollars owed to you as a result of the accident. To build a case, you need to speak to a lawyer for ridesharing accidents and give them the complete picture of what happened. Document everything that happened so far surrounding the accident, including any injuries paperwork or damages.
Texas House Bill 100 – The following is House Bill 100 that was signed into effect by Governor Abbott in 2017. The laws here pertain to the use of transportation network companies in the state of Texas.
Collisions Tips – The Texas Department of Transportation page provides some tips in case of a collision. These tips are helpful if you are a victim of any traffic accident, even those involving ridesharing services. If you are the passenger of the ridesharing service on an assigned trip, or you’re the other driver who collided with a ridesharing service vehicle, you should still follow these steps.
Attorney for Ridesharing Accidents in Harris County, TX
If you got involved with a ridesharing driver like Uber or Lyft, do not panic. Hire a reliable legal counsel to fight on your behalf when the company doesn’t want to pay, even though they’re responsible, and the networking service was on. Just because ridesharing companies are large in size and popularity, doesn’t make them any less untouchable.
The Gonzalez Law Group is here to encourage you to fight for what you’re entitled to today. Visit our office in Houston, TX, to meet with one of our attorneys for ridesharing accidents, and they can tell you what to do next. Communication is one of our top priorities when it comes to our clients and their cases. We never want to leave you in the dark. Call us for a free consultation at (832) 530-4070.
We work with clients in Houston, Galveston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Pearland, Kemah, Katy, Cypress, Spring, Richmond, Bellaire, Aldine, Nassau Bay, Cloverleaf, Jacinto City, League City, Pasadena, Baytown, Conroe, Deer Park, Friendswood, Lake Jackson, La Porte, Rosenberg, Kingwood, Galena Park, Humble, and more.