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Houston Rideshare Lawyer

By: Stewart J. Guss

Were You the Victim of a Rideshare Accident in the Houston Area?

Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft provide affordable and convenient personal transportation for Houston residents and visitors.

But this modern convenience brings along its own risks.

Despite the screening practices and background checks required by both Uber and Lyft, irresponsible drivers can still slip through the cracks and onto the apps. When these negligent rideshare drivers make poor choices behind the wheel, they put their passengers, other motorists, bikers, and pedestrians at risk for accident and injury.

The pain and stress resulting from a rideshare accident can have serious impacts on victims and their families. Although seeking compensation for accidental injuries cannot ease the physical pain and challenges of recovery, it can reduce the burden of accident-related expenses. We can help.

The award-winning legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law has a wealth of experience in standing up against large insurance companies and seeking compensation for victims who are injured in a Houston rideshare accident.

If you suffered injuries in an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing accident, contact a Houston ridesharing law firm. Contact the skilled team of legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, to learn how we can help after a ridesharing car accident. Submitting the details of your claim for a virtual consultation is quick, free, and 100% confidential.

We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you’re located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for a free review.

Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law’s Houston Ridesharing Lawyers

The skilled legal minds at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law include experienced and committed lawyers, paralegals, and case management specialists dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured victims. Our team’s passion for client service and professional excellence has led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for our clients, providing the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Since every case is unique, we cannot guarantee specific financial outcomes. However, we can promise to use our team’s knowledge and resources to help victims build a strong case against the rideshare driver or company whose negligence caused them injury.

Stewart J. Guss Takes Houston Rideshare Accidents Seriously!

Injured victims might not know how much they deserve, but it’s our job to! After an accident, a victim may be entitled to damages related to their medical treatment costs, lost income, and physical and mental suffering caused by experiencing a traumatic accident.

Skilled ridesharing accident lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims and help them secure the compensation they are entitled to. For best results, ridesharing accident victims should consult with an experienced attorney. Take action now and hold rideshare drivers accountable for their carelessness behind the wheel.

Attorneys can guide victims through the complex claims process to ensure requirements are met and their rights are protected every step of the way. As skilled negotiators, experienced attorneys can facilitate negotiation and communication with insurance companies on their client’s behalf. Through careful evaluation of each claim, attorneys can help victims determine whether a settlement offer is fair and adequate.

Like other motor vehicle accidents, rideshare accidents can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries to those involved. Often, accident injuries require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation – with significant costs. Even those lucky enough to make a complete recovery may still experience financial burdens associated with medical treatment. The emotionally traumatic experience of an accident can also induce mental and emotional pain and suffering for those involved.

Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law helps clients evaluate the true impact of their injuries in order to help them obtain proper treatment and adequate compensation. We have advocated for clients who have sustained a variety of injuries resulting from unexpected accidents. Some common injuries include:

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries from ridesharing accidents may occur after a forceful impact to the victim’s head. A victim’s head may be struck by an object inside the vehicle or the force of the collision itself may cause damaging impact between the brain and skull. Brain injuries can be especially devastating, even if they are considered minor. In some fortunate cases, a minor concussion may heal relatively quickly without lasting consequences. On the other hand, moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong complications for ridesharing accident victims.

Some consequences of permanent brain damage may include:

  • Difficulties associated with memory and reasoning
  • Loss of functioning in senses, especially vision and hearing
  • Challenges with speaking and understanding
  • Changes in personality, including mood swings and increased aggression
  • Chronic migraines and dizzy spells

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries in ridesharing accidents are often caused by same forceful impacts that may lead to head traumas and traumatic brain injuries. When an accident causes a person’s neck to move back and forth quickly, they may experience soft tissue damage to the muscles and ligaments in their neck. In severe cases, accident victims may fracture the vertebrae in their necks or suffer from spinal cord injuries inside their neck vertebrae. The ridesharing accident lawyers at Stewart J Guss, Attorney at Law understand the extreme pain and limitations associated with neck injuries, and we’re here to help!

Back Injuries

Rideshare accident victims who suffer back injuries could face a lifetime of discomfort and pain. Even minor back injuries can cause complications and discomfort for victims for the rest of their lives. Broken vertebrae, herniated discs, and other back injuries can cause victims chronic pain and distress. Serious back injuries commonly require victims to undergo one or more surgical procedures. In some cases, doctors implant pain management devices to help victims cope. In other cases, surgery cannot completely eliminate pain, forcing victims to rely on highly addictive pain management solutions, including cortisone therapy and prescription medications.

Because back injuries often require long-term treatment and rehabilitation, managing medical expenses may be as stressful as coping with the injury’s physical impacts. The dedicated rideshare accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can help clients structure their claim for damages to ensure they receive compensation for this lifelong treatment.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Any damage to the spinal cord, no matter how minor, can be devastating. While most of the cells in the body regenerate in response to trauma or injury, spinal cord cells do not. As a result, when ridesharing accident victims injure their spinal cord, they likely face long-term consequences.

The severity of damage to the spinal cord and the injury’s location along the spinal column determines the extent of the injury. Paralysis may be temporary or permanent and the parts of the body affected by paralysis will vary. Spinal cord injuries that occur closer to the brain cause more functional loss than those that occur further away from the brain. Tetraplegia, paralysis from the neck down, is a result of the most serious spinal cord injuries.

Rideshare accident victims who suffer permanent damage from a spinal cord injury must cope with their loss of mobility. Severe spinal injuries may lead to lifelong wheelchair usage and require continued therapy and treatment. Spinal cord injuries are among the most costly of all injuries.

When injuries require long-term nursing care, medical expenses add up quickly. Even victims who can continue living at home may have to spend substantial resources to modify their homes and vehicles to make them accessible. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, we strive to hold careless rideshare drivers accountable when their negligence permanently impacts your life.

Amputation

Rideshare drivers who cause traffic accidents with other motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists put victims at risk for amputation. Limbs, especially legs, may become pinned under tires or seats, or between other objects inside and outside the vehicle in an accident. When limbs experience crushing forces, all blood flow is cut off from the afflicted area. Those who quickly receive medical treatment have a chance of saving their limbs if doctors can restore blood flow. However, when doctors cannot restore blood flow to a limb, they typically must amputate it to save the accident victim’s life.

Amputees suffer from the physical pain of healing and recovery, but they also deal with additional emotional distress from losing a limb. Some may experience phantom limb pain while they learn how to navigate their daily routine with a prosthetic device. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, we aggressively help amputees seek the compensation they deserve for needed medical treatment in the wake of a ridesharing accident.

Reckless Houston Rideshare Drivers Cause Accidents!

Rideshare accidents are preventable. Like most auto accidents, many rideshare accidents occur as a result of a driver’s reckless and careless behavior.

We all make mistakes, but when a mistake hurts another innocent person, justice must be served. Negligent rideshare drivers cause accidents that devastate victims and their families – physically, psychologically, and economically. We regularly fight for the rights of these victims and help them receive the compensation they deserve.

Common driver-related errors that lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal rideshare accidents include:

Distracted Driving

The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that one out of every five traffic crashes in Texas involves a distracted driver. Distracted driving includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving. Common driver distractions include cell phone use, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, using a GPS, and adjusting the radio.

Rideshare drivers are especially vulnerable to cell phone distractions because they must use their phones to match with riders and use navigation systems to find unfamiliar locations on their routes. Rideshare drivers may also find themselves transporting drunk or unruly passengers who may distract them from the task of driving. Rideshare drivers who lose focus while driving increase the risks of an accident.

Drowsy Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 7%t of traffic crashes and 16% of fatal crashes are caused by driver fatigue. Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare companies hire drivers as independent contractors who may choose their own hours of operation. This leads to rideshare drivers who take rides full time or work multiple jobs and may become drowsy while driving.

Uber and Lyft limit the number of hours that drivers can take rides. However, to gain more hours, drivers can simply sign out of one app and offer rides through another company. Drowsy rideshare drivers who aren’t adequately rested or work too many hours without a break increase the risks of causing a dangerous accident.

Of course, drowsy drivers may fall asleep at wheel, but sleep deprivation also impairs judgment and reflexes, and increases reaction time. Fatigued drivers may fail to safely react to other vehicles, traffic control devices, lights, or unexpected road hazards.

When rideshare drivers don’t get proper rest, they gamble with the lives of their passengers. We hold these irresponsible drivers accountable for their behavior when they cause accidents.

Speeding

Rideshare passengers are in a hurry to get to and from their destinations, which may motivate drivers to speed. Additionally, the quicker they finish a ride, the quicker they can accept the next. Drivers are paid per mile, so the more miles they drive each day, the more money they make. Speeding does not always directly lead to rideshare accidents, but it does make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. Speeding can be especially dangerous when drivers need to stop suddenly for other vehicles or traffic lights. Also, speeding during inclement weather can cause a rideshare driver to hydroplane on wet roads, potentially leading to a dangerous and deadly accident.

Driving Under the Influence

Professional drivers who hold commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) must undergo random drug and alcohol screenings. Drivers who test positive for alcohol or other substances that impair driving face serious professional consequences.

Unfortunately, rideshare drivers are not held to the same standards. Many rideshare companies complete criminal background checks and review driver histories during the hiring process. However, without recurring random screening, companies cannot ensure their drivers are not using drugs or drinking before transporting passengers.

Uber and Lyft have strict policies and encourage others to report drivers under the influence. If an impaired rideshare driver causes harm, we are here to investigate the facts and definitively find out whether the driver was impaired while offering rides.

Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance

Most rideshare companies require drivers to have relatively new vehicles and complete one inspection before offering rides. Some companies even require biennial or annual inspections to ensure ridesharing vehicles are safe for riders.

However, there are no requirements drivers must meet in between inspections. Drivers who don’t rotate their tires, change their oil, check their brakes, and check their fluids increase the risk of mechanical failure while giving rides. If a rideshare vehicle stalls in the middle of heavy traffic, a dangerous accident can occur. Rideshare drivers need to perform regular maintenance and immediately fix known issues to protect riders from suffering injuries in a traffic crash.

Houston Rideshare FAQ

Houston Rideshare LawyersWhether you’re moving through the city for business and pleasure, rideshares offer a convenient form of transit. As one of the country’s large urban centers, the Greater Houston area has Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies to provide personal transportation for residents and visitors. As rideshare companies continue to increase in popularity, so do the dangers associated with loosely regulated rideshare drivers who make poor choices behind the wheel.

The same risks and rules of the road apply to everyone: when rideshare drivers fail to abide by traffic laws, properly maintain their vehicles, or get enough rest before a long shift, they increase the risks of an accident. Unfortunately, individuals in motor vehicle accidents often suffer severe and even life-threatening injuries.

If you’ve been hurt in a ridesharing accident caused by a careless and incompetent rideshare driver, reach out to an experienced Houston ridesharing accident lawyer. Our skilled attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims.  Let our next victory be yours!

A dedicated Houston rideshare attorney ensures victims’ rights are protected as they guide them through the claims process. Injured victims should not be personally responsible for medical bills and lost wages resulting from injuries after an accident they didn’t cause. This guide offers answers to several frequently asked questions about ridesharing accidents.

Do I need to report the accident to the rideshare company?

Yes. Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft crash, or another motorist struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s in your best interest to report an accident involving a rideshare driver to the employer company. Rideshare companies typically expect drivers to report all accidents, even minor ones, but depending on events leading to the accident or the driver’s history, drivers may choose to avoid reporting. A lawyer can report the accident for you, if you wish.

The amount of insurance coverage rideshare companies provide for their drivers varies depending on whether they are completing a ride or are logged onto the company’s app. An accident involving a rideshare driver without a rider present may still be “on-the-clock” and acting within the scope of their employment. Of course, rideshare drivers will not have passengers when they are en route to a pickup location. However, they must still be logged into the app.

Passengers of rideshare vehicles who suffer injuries in an accident should also report the accident to the rideshare company. Uber and Lyft offer user-friendly reporting procedures on their respective websites.

How do I get a copy of the crash report from my Houston rideshare accident?

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains a database of official crash reports filed by law enforcement. Injured victims can request a copy of the report online through the Crash Report Online Purchase System portal. Following the accident, it may take a few days for the crash report to be uploaded and available online. Texas peace officers must submit a report for any accidents resulting in injury, fatality, or more than $1,000 in property damage within ten days of the accident. TxDot also allows accident victims to submit a request for a crash report by mail.

I’m only a little sore. Do I still have to go to the hospital?

Rideshare accident injuries, like other traffic accident injuries, don’t always have immediate symptoms. Due to the rush of adrenaline experienced in the aftermath of a traumatic experience, accident victims don’t often feel the full extent of their pain until days or weeks have passed.

Victims who do not receive a medical evaluation at the scene or decline transportation to an emergency department should still get examined as soon as possible. Some life-threatening injuries, such as internal bleeding, may only be discovered through professional diagnostic testing.

When the body experiences trauma, it is natural for the muscle to become tense to protect the body from injury. As a result, victims typically experience general soreness after an accident. However, soreness in certain areas of the body can indicate more serious injuries that may not be readily apparent. Don’t dismiss your aches and pains as “typical” after a car accident.

In addition to preserving your health, seeking a medical evaluation following a rideshare accident also provides valuable documentation of the injuries. This documentation is critical evidence for a Houston ridesharing accident claim. Insurance companies may try to discredit a claim by suggesting a victim’s injuries were pre-existing, rather than a result of the accident. The paper trail of your medical evaluations can counter this.

Does my auto insurance policy cover me as a Houston rideshare passenger?

According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), all auto policies in Texas include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In Texas, drivers of registered vehicles must deny PIP coverage if they do not wish to have it. PIP coverage offers insured parties immediate coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other non-medical costs up to their coverage amount. Drivers also have the option to purchase additional medical benefits coverage to cover medical expenses within the policy limits.

PIP and medical benefits coverage extend to injuries sustained by individuals riding as passengers. Individual coverage is beneficial for managing upfront costs. However, policy coverage provided by a victim’s insurance policies will typically not cover the full extent of their injury-expenses. You may need legal help when trying to obtain benefits from your PIP carrier—even though you bought and paid for the policy, your PIP insurance company won’t prove any more generous than the rideshare insurance company when it comes to compensating you for your injuries.

Do rideshare drivers have special insurance requirements in Houston?

Lawmakers in Texas, like many other states, are working to implement new laws concerning transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft. Under Texas law, the minimum insurance requirements are much higher for rideshare drivers than other drivers.

Rideshare drivers must have the following coverage when they are logged into the app and not carrying a rider:

  • $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage
  • $100,000 per accident in BIL coverage
  • $25,000 per accident in property damage coverage

Rideshare drivers who have passengers must have $1 million in liability coverage. Companies like Uber and Lyft provide this coverage for their drivers.

What should I do if the Houston rideshare company’s insurance carrier hasn’t contacted me?

Texas law clearly provides a timeline for insurance companies to take action once a claim is filed following a rideshare accident.

Requirements include:

  • The insurance company must acknowledge a claim within 15 days of receiving notice. When initially contacting injured victims, the company may request they complete an independent medical exam.
  • An adjuster must evaluate the damage that occurred during the accident and estimate the repair costs. Some companies might choose to have injured parties submit their own estimate of property damage.
  • The company must accept or deny your claim within 15 days of gathering the information needed for them to make an informed decision. Companies are required to inform parties to the claim in writing if they require additional time to investigate the claim or reject the claim. If the insurance company rejects a claim, it must provide a reason for its denial.
  • Once the insurance company agrees to pay a claim, they must distribute the funds to the injured parties within five days of their decision.

When insurance carriers do not follow these guidelines, or when they cause unreasonable delays in the investigation of a claim, they are acting in bad faith. When insurance companies become unresponsive, injured parties should consult an attorney who can engage with insurance representatives on their behalf or pursue further legal action if necessary.

How long do I have to take legal action after a Houston ridesharing accident?

A statute of limitations places a deadline on auto accident cases. In most cases, injured victims must file a Houston ridesharing accident claim within two years of the date of the accident.

Families who have lost a loved one as a result of a rideshare accident must also file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of the accident.

Texas courts strictly comply with the timelines provided by the statute of limitations. It’s highly unlikely a court will entertain a claim that was filed after the statute of limitations has expired. However, under certain rare circumstances, injured victims may qualify for an exception to the time limits for filing. An experienced rideshare lawyer can review the circumstances of the case to determine whether an exception for filing late exists.

Will my Houston ridesharing accident case go to court?

The majority of traffic accident cases, including ridesharing accident cases, settle out of court long before the litigation stage of the claims process. On the other hand, if an insurance provider denies liability for a claim or refuses to offer fair compensation, victims may have to initiate a lawsuit to receive adequate compensation. Both victims and at-fault parties aim to avoid proceeding to litigation because it is costly and can cause substantial delays in resolving a claim.

Sometimes, when insurance companies refuse to play fair, settlement just isn’t an option. An experienced Houston ridesharing accident attorney like ours can fight for a client in the courtroom when necessary.

Should I accept a quick offer from the Houston rideshare driver’s/company’s insurance carrier?

No—certainly not without first reviewing the settlement offer with our Houston rideshare accident lawyers.

Insurance companies are businesses, and like all businesses, they aim to maximize their profits. As a result, they often engage in various tactics to avoid financial liability in a Houston ridesharing accident claim. When it is clear their policyholder is at fault, they know they will have to pay out some money at some point. When liability is clear, insurance companies may attempt to trick victims into accepting a quick settlement to avoid paying the full value of the claim.

The financial burden of mounting medical bills and missed time from work may make a quick settlement seem attractive. However, the initial settlement amount is typically inadequate to cover all accident-related expenses.

While an early offer might seem like a financial blessing, it is often far less than the actual value of the claim it purports to resolve. Additionally, upon accepting a settlement offer, victims must waive their right to sue for any further damages in the future. Victims should consult with an attorney before signing a settlement agreement to ensure they will not be burdened by additional expenses later.

What damages can I recover after suffering injuries in a Houston ridesharing accident?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding a ridesharing accident, injured victims may recover the following damages:

  • Medical treatment costs including ambulance and emergency services, doctor visits, surgery, medication, diagnostic testing, and travel to and from the hospital.
  • Estimated future medical expenses when a ridesharing accident leads to a permanent condition or disability requiring ongoing treatment and/or care in a long-term nursing care facility.
  • Rehabilitation costs for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy. Costs of any other special treatment needed to recover lost function and skills, learn how to adapt to daily routines with new physical limitations, and cope with the emotional trauma of an accident and resulting injuries or disabilities may also be included.
  • Lost wages and benefits from missing work due to the accident, hospitalization, and recovery.
  • Estimated future lost wages when a ridesharing accident leads to a catastrophic injury that prevents an accident victim from returning to work or seeking gainful employment.
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
  • Reduced quality of life.
  • Loss of consortium with spouse.
  • Exemplary/punitive damages awarded to punish the defendant in cases where a ridesharing accident was a result of gross negligence.

How can a Houston ridesharing lawyer help me?

Skilled rideshare lawyers understand how to navigate the complexities involved with rideshare accident cases. They aren’t afraid to deal with tricky insurance companies; nor are they intimidated by large legal defense teams. In addition to guiding victims through the legal process, a ridesharing lawyer may investigate the accident, gather eyewitness statements, medical records, crash reports, and other evidence, when appropriate.

Attorneys will ensure victims present the strongest case possible against the rideshare driver and/or company who caused the accident. Lawyers are trained negotiators who know how to communicate with insurance companies, which typically allows them to maximize their client’s recovery. Retaining an attorney to handle negotiation and communication can ensure victims’ rights are protected.

How much does a Houston rideshare attorney cost?

Our Houston ridesharing accident attorneys do not require any upfront fees. Instead, they take all cases on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, clients pay no upfront fees or costs. We only collect a percentage of any settlement or judgment that we help you to obtain.

If you suffered injuries in a Houston ridesharing accident, contact the experienced Houston ridesharing lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, today.

Contact the Skilled Houston Ridesharing Lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law

The nationally recognized ridesharing accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss have been advocating for injured accident victims for more than two decades. If you have suffered injuries because of a careless or reckless rideshare driver, contact our offices to discuss the circumstances of your accident.

The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a Houston rideshare accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our Houston ridesharing cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.

See more client testimonials here

Stewart J. Guss, Attorney At Law
12777 Jones Rd
#297
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 664-6500

Client Testimonial

“I was extremely impressed with how easy they made the process of dealing with my insurance company, doctors offices, and other bill collectors involved in my accident. They are very good at keeping you informed about your case, and turn your calls very quickly. If I am ever in another car accident I will be using them again.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Allen C.
February 2020
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