MASSACHUSETTS UBER OR LYFT RIDESHARE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY – RECOVERING COMPENSATION FOR INJURED CLIENTS
In the state of Massachusetts, across the U.S., and around the world, the rideshare industry has flourished rapidly over the last decade. But what happens when you ride in a vehicle with Uber, Lyft or another rideshare company and there’s an accident, and you’re injured? A Boston, MA Uber accident lawyer at Parker Scheer can help. If you’re injured because you were involved in a rideshare accident, make the call at once. Lyft and Uber’s unprecedented growth and success have been so swift that insurance companies and lawmakers are racing to catch up. That’s one reason why a rideshare accident in Massachusetts can be so legally complicated.
What happens if you’re injured using rideshare in Boston, MA?
Personal injury claims filed against rideshare companies are complicated by several considerations. If an Uber or Lyft driver causes a collision, he or she may be reticent to admit fault – and lose employment. Still, in terms of safety and insurance coverage, rideshare transportation is a good deal for passengers.
How is the insurance coverage for a rideshare accident determined?
Coverage at any particular moment will depend on a rideshare vehicle’s status, and rideshare vehicles have four statuses: 1. off-duty 2. on duty and waiting for a ride order 3. on duty and en route to pick up a passenger or passengers 4. on duty and occupied with a passenger or passengers Whether the rideshare company’s insurance or the driver’s personal auto insurance covers a rideshare vehicle depends on the vehicle’s status. Each accident is unique, so anyone who is injured in Massachusetts traffic by an Uber or Lyft driver will need the insights and sound legal advice that an experienced rideshare accident attorney can provide.
How can a rideshare accident attorney help me?
Each case involving a rideshare company is different, so anyone who is injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Massachusetts should consult with an accident attorney at Parker Scheer as quickly as possible after obtaining medical treatment. In cases specifically involving Uber’s driver’s negligence, they have insisted that because an Uber driver is not an employee, but instead is an independent contractor or “Uber partner,” the company is not liable for driver negligence. Still, if you’re injured while riding as an Uber passenger, all passengers are covered – at least in theory – by Uber’s one-million-dollar liability coverage without regard to which driver was negligent or at fault. However, you may still need a rideshare accident attorney’s help.
How does Uber coverage compare against taxicab coverage?
You have substantially more insurance coverage in Massachusetts when you request Uber or Lyft and ride in a rideshare vehicle than when you ride in a taxi in this state. Rideshare prices may be slightly higher than taxicab costs, but Massachusetts requires taxicabs to carry only $20,000 of liability insurance. If you are seriously injured in an accident – if you sustain a traumatic brain injury, a serious spinal cord injury, or any other disabling or permanent injury – $20,000 will not even begin to cover your costs. Passengers, generally speaking, are not responsible for their crash-related injuries. Thus, they look to the person at fault: the Uber driver or taxi driver, or the driver of the other vehicle. Uber drivers and passengers should both understand their risks as well as their rights when working for or taking advantage of ridesharing services like Uber. If you are injured in a collision with an Uber vehicle in Massachusetts, or if you are injured as an Uber passenger in this state, discuss your rights and options at once with an experienced Boston Uber accident lawyer at Parker Scheer LLP.
Steps To Take Following A Rideshare Accident in Massachusetts
Here in New England and in fact around the globe, the rideshare business has grown with stunning speed – companies like Uber are still less than a decade old. In fact, the industry’s growth has been so swift, lawmakers and insurance companies are still making adjustments to the laws and the insurance policies that the rideshare industry requires. Riding with Uber is quite popular in the Boston area, but if you’re injured in an accident that involves a rideshare vehicle, what are your rights? Can an uber accident attorney help?
What You Should Do at The Rideshare Accident Scene
If you are injured in an accident with an Uber vehicle, or if you are injured while you are a passenger with Uber, an attorney’s guidance is imperative, but what should you do immediately after an accident happens – and no lawyer is there to advise you? If you’re injured in an accident that involves a rideshare vehicle, immediately begin gathering the evidence and documents that you might need later for legal reasons. If the other driver is working for Uber, or for any other rideshare company, get details about the insurance coverage. Find out who to contact and where you submit a claim. Make sure that you get the rideshare driver’s name, telephone number, address, and as much information about insurance as possible. Try to determine the rideshare vehicle’s status at the time of the accident.
Evidence To Obtain
If you’re a passenger, try to obtain as much information as you can from both drivers. Take plenty of photos. Photographs can be convincing evidence in traffic accident cases. If you’re incapacitated, try to have someone else take photos for you and get the information you need from the driver or drivers. Summon the police and find out how to acquire a printout of their vehicle accident report. That report might be helpful if you need to file an injury claim. Finally, if there were eyewitnesses to the accident, get their names, phone numbers, and any other contact information they may offer. Your attorney may need their statements or testimony.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
If you’ve been injured, don’t even speak with any insurance company before you’ve consulted with a good personal injury lawyer. Don’t make any statement, sign any paperwork, or agree to any settlement or settlement amount. When you’ve been seriously injured – and you deserve substantial compensation – an auto insurance company may offer you a ridiculously low settlement amount – or even reject your claim altogether. If you’re injured in an Uber accident in the Boston area or anywhere in the state, let an experienced Boston personal injury attorney – someone who routinely negotiates with insurance companies – handle your personal injury claim while you focus on regaining your health.
Rideshare Injury Claim Complications
Injury claims in rideshare accident cases can get legally complicated because Uber or Lyft drivers are not “employees” in the legal sense. Rather, they are independent contractors. Generally speaking, employers may be held liable for an employee’s negligence while an employee is “on the clock,” but employers are not liable for the acts of independent contractors. If you are injured while you are riding as an Uber or Lyft passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you should be covered. If you are injured as an Uber or Lyft passenger, those companies now provide one million dollars in liability coverage to passengers, and it is coverage that applies whether the rideshare driver or the other driver was at fault.
Get a Medical Exam After a Rideshare Accident
Anyone involved in any traffic collision must seek a medical exam at once – even if you’ve never felt better. If a latent or hard-to-detect injury emerges days or weeks later, without that medical exam, it might be hard to prove that you were injured in that specific accident – and subsequently, it will be hard to collect the compensation you’ll deserve and need. The importance of a medical exam after an accident cannot be stressed strongly enough. Uber passengers and drivers should both know their risks as well as their rights. Ridesharing is a smart and convenient way to get around the Boston area, but understand the risks, and if you’re injured in an accident involving an Uber vehicle, get the legal help you need at once. Your health is a priority, and if you are injured by negligence in Massachusetts, compensation is your right.
What Damages May Be Available in Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Rideshare Companies?
In Massachusetts, a successful wrongful death claim may compensate a rideshare wrongful death victim’s estate for:
- loss of future earnings, the income that the decedent would reasonably be expected to earn in his or her remaining working years
- loss of consortium, including the marital relationship and the decedent’s companionship with other family members
- reasonable burial and funeral costs
Punitive damages – punishment for egregious conduct – are awarded in a wrongful death case in Massachusetts only if “malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct” was involved.
Speak to a Rideshare Accident Attorney at Parker Scheer Today
A personal injury caused by a complete stranger’s negligence can be emotionally and physically devastating. The only way to know for sure if you have a case – and if you can be compensated – is to consult an experienced rideshare accident injury attorney. Eric J. Parker, the Director of Parker Scheer’s Complex Personal Injury Group, is one of Boston’s leading rideshare accident attorneys with more than 23 years of experience successfully representing injury victims. You can be confident that the legal team at Parker Scheer is fully committed to winning the best possible results for our personal injury clients and their families. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, call Parker Scheer at (617) 996-0724, or complete the contact form here on our website. It costs you nothing to learn more about your case – your first consultation with Parker Scheer is free – and you’ll owe us nothing unless and until we obtain compensation on your behalf.