The rise of Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services are changing the way people think about vehicle use and ownership, especially in Dallas and other large metropolitan areas. When these drivers cause collisions, however, corporate lawyers fight hard to reduce or deny compensation to victims. You need an equally tough attorney on your side.
At Abrams Trial Law, we are committed to helping accident victims like you pursue the compensation you deserve. We can quickly evaluate your claim, diligently collect evidence, and tenaciously fight for your rights. Contact us today to request a free consultation.
What Causes Rideshare Crashes?
Distracted Driving. Device distraction causes a number of rideshare collisions. It does not matter if the operator uses a hand-held or hands-free cell phone to navigate. These gadgets are visually and cognitively distracting. Many rideshare drivers also operate in unfamiliar areas of town. So, they are even more dependent on their navigation devices than other operators.
Poor Driving Habits. Since rideshare companies partially pay flat rates per trip, many operators are under pressure to make as many trips as possible. This can lead to poor driving habits like speeding, tailgating, and aggressive lane changes which are common causes of collisions.
Negligence. Driver negligence is usually easier for a personal injury attorney to establish in rideshare accident cases. These operators are common carriers under Texas law. So, they have a higher duty of care than noncommercial drivers. The higher duty makes it easier to establish a breach of duty which caused injury. That’s the essence of a negligence case.
What Damages Are Available?
Damages in these claims typically include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may be available as well.
Who is Responsible for Damages?
Typically, personal auto insurance policies do not pay commercial claims. So, the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) insurance company may refuse to pay any compensation in ridesharing claims. Fortunately, Texas has very broad vicarious liability rules. Therefore, victims may have access to an alternative source of compensation.
Respondeat superior is a good example. This legal doctrine may hold Uber, Lyft and other companies responsible for damages if the tortfeasor was:
An Employee: Under tax law, ridesharing operators in Texas are independent contractors. But they are considered employees for negligence purposes. The employer controls their behavior, and that control is all that’s necessary to prove the employment relationship.
Working Within the Scope of Employment: Similarly, almost everything ridesharing operators do is within the scope of employment. That includes driving an empty car around town with the meter off. In these situations, the free advertising benefits the employer. Even if the driver caused an accident between fares, the overarching company can be held liable.
Get Legal Help Today
The law holds ridesharing operators to a higher standard than average drivers on the road. If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident in Dallas, TX, contact Abrams Trial Law today to request a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You have a limited amount of time to act.
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