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Episode #6: What happens when you are in an Uber or Lyft car accident?

By Stewart J. Guss on September 10th, 2020

For our episode of the Breaking Down The Law Podcast we’re joined by Stewart J. Guss, a personal injury lawyer in Houston who specializes in car accidents resulting in injury. He’s joined by Breaking Down The Law Podcast host, Ashley Rodriguez.

During today’s episode, we’ll be addressing a question, “What happens when you are in an Uber or Lyft car accident?” While it might seem straightforward, many drivers don’t realize rideshare car accidents are not exactly the same as a normal everyday car crash.

  • Have you ever taken an Uber or Lyft? What exactly is a rideshare company? Evolution of a taxi cab without the middleman. A software company that puts drivers and passengers together after too many fireball shots at the club.
  • Steps after the accident: Is anyone hurt? Are you safe? Call the police to investigate the accident and get a police report if you are a passenger in a rideshare or you have been hit by a rideshare vehicle.
  • Rideshare accidents can be tricky when it comes to who is at fault. Make sure you get a free case evaluation and talk to an attorney to answer all your questions before you talk to any rideshare representative.
  • When you are a passenger it is never your fault!

Stewart discusses these points and so many more, so we hope you’ll join us for this episode!

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Breaking Down The Law Podcast with Stewart J Guss and Ashley Rodriguez!

Contact Us: 281-783-3934 or  BreakingDownTheLaw@gmail.com

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Transcript [This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors]

Intro : 0:09

breaking down the law, breaking down the law a podcast hosted by attorneys and legal specialists discussing everyday law and how it affects regular people, regular people. Let’s break down the law with our host, Stewart Guss and Ashley Rodriguez. They have the inside scoop on everything legal and newsworthy.

Ashley Rodriguez : 0:34

Welcome to breaking down the law. I’m Ashley.

Stewart J Guss : 0:37

Hey, Ashley. It’s me, Stewart

Ashley Rodriguez : 0:39

How are you doing today?

Stewart J Guss : 0:41

I’m doing pretty good. So I got a question for Ashley. How did you get to work today?

Ashley Rodriguez : 0:46

I walked from my bedroom to my office.

Stewart J Guss : 0:51

All right, the secret’s out and this is still during the COVID situation. So we’re recording these from home. But have you ever taken an Uber or Lyft to get to work?

Ashley Rodriguez : 1:02

Actually I have

Stewart J Guss : 1:04

it What about to go out maybe to a bar or a club at night?

Ashley Rodriguez : 1:08

Oh, definitely, then that’s how I get home because I don’t drink and drive.

Stewart J Guss : 1:12

yep same here, Uber and Lyft. They’re absolutely wonderful. It’s a great development in modern society and transportation, but there are a couple of problems with them. And a couple of things people need to know. And I understand you want to talk to me about that today?

Ashley Rodriguez : 1:26

Yes, Uber and Lyft. They’re popular rideshare companies, but what exactly is a rideshare? company?

Stewart J Guss : 1:34

So it’s sort of an evolution of what a taxi has what a taxi cab but rideshare is a little bit different. In that it, you know, it sort of takes out the middleman. So Uber and Lyft are basically software platforms that put people who have cars and who are willing to drive together with people who need arrived and are willing to pay for it. That’s basically what a rideshare companies and it really is them Modern evolution in a digitally connected Society of how people can get, you know, another option for people to get from point A to point B, home from the club safely when you’ve had too many fireball shots.

Ashley Rodriguez : 2:15

Yeah, those fireballs will get you

Stewart J Guss : 2:18

And the only thing that we have to be aware of is that anytime you have people behind the wheel of a car accidents can happen. Right? So one of the things that, you know, that we’ve noticed with Uber and Lyft, because it’s such a relatively new, a new 10 years, you know, aspect of transportation. There are a lot of questions people have and a lot of misunderstandings are about what the liability is what to do after a rack. And that’s why because my bumper really focuses a large part of our practice on Uber and Lyft and rideshare cases. I’m happy to share you know what we know and give our listeners a few tips. If they do have That unfortunate incident.

Ashley Rodriguez : 3:02

So what steps have someone take after a Lyft accident?

Stewart J Guss : 3:07

Well, the most important thing, actually, it’s really no different than if you’re in any other car accident, you need to check and see if anyone’s heard. And if someone is hurt, obviously, call 911. Take care of emergency medical assistance. First and foremost, if you’re in the middle of the road, you need to get somewhere safe to do that, get out of the way, go to work safe, because the one thing that we don’t want to have is a secondary wreck. Because the first wreck has blocked traffic. And then the third thing that you really want to do again, it’s no different than any other car accident. You absolutely positively have to call the police and wait patiently for them to come out and investigate the accident. And make sure that you get a police report. And that’s going to be true whether you are a passenger In a river or a list, or if you’ve been hit by Uber or a Lyft. Driver,

Ashley Rodriguez : 4:07

does that make a difference if that Uber and Lyft driver had a passenger with them too

Stewart J Guss : 4:13

it actually does and the way that insurance coverage, you know, the good news is Uber and Lyft. And all rideshare companies have insurance coverage on their drivers. And that insurance is there to protect not only their passengers in the event that a passenger is injured, but that coverage is also there to protect and to cover other people who may be hit by an Uber or a Lyft driver who’s driving negligently. It’s really sort of a complicated situation. So for example, the amount of coverage in place whether an Uber or a If driver has a passenger in the car, or whether they are driving around, waiting to pick up a passenger, the amount of insurance coverage can differ. So, you know, we just had a conversation, we just did a podcast about contingency fee. And the fact that consultations with our firm and most reputable personal injury law firms are free. The best thing you can do if you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, is find a law firm that really focuses and does a lot of these types of cases. Get them on the phone, tell them what’s going on. Ask your questions, and make sure you know what’s going on before you talk to any Uber or Lyft representative or any insurance claims person.

Ashley Rodriguez : 5:49

That makes sense. So who’s really responsible in the accident though? Is it their insurance or is it the person that’s driving?

Stewart J Guss : 5:58

So that’s a very, very good question. And it can vary a little bit from state to state in terms of who’s actually going to be sued. So for example, I don’t want to go too far off topic, but it Louisiana it’s something called a direct action state. So if there’s a personal injury claim, plaintiffs in Louisiana, for a large part, can actually sue the insurance company directly. In Texas, for example, that’s not the case. You actually have to sue the person that hit you. So the answer to your question, and I love doing this, because everything is always more complicated than it needs to be when you’re talking to a lawyer, right. So the answer to your question is a little bit complicated. Ultimately, the driver that caused the accident is the one who’s responsible, but the real question you want to ask is who’s responsible for paying the damages, right, because that’s really what the bottom line is at That’s why it’s so important to talk to a goober or Lyft accident lawyer. Because ultimately it may be the Uber or the left or their carriers that are responsible for those damages. But you’re not going to know unless you ask the right questions of the right people and get the information that you need.

Ashley Rodriguez : 7:18

Yeah, definitely, this is not your typical accidents a little more complicated. So you want to make sure that you’re getting the right recovery.

Stewart J Guss : 7:27

Yeah, so that’s why you want to make sure that, you know, there are a lot of benefits to talking to an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer. It’s a very complicated situation from the standpoint of the injured person. But that’s what we’re here for to help sort things out to clear the cobwebs out of the situation, bring clarity and hopefully really make a big difference in terms of the ultimate recovery.

Ashley Rodriguez : 7:51

All right, Stewart, what is the number one tip you would recommend if you were injured as a rideshare? passenger?

Stewart J Guss : 7:59

Yeah. Absolutely more than just giving you a tip I’m going to give you and our listeners a valuable piece of information. Assuming that you were in the back of the lift and Uber, and not playing the bagpipes or dancing around, or, you know, practicing your wrestling moves with your college buddy. This is the most important thing you need to do if you’re injured as a passenger in a rideshare accident. Again, bagpipes aside, if your left or your Uber driver was the one at fault that you have a claim against him or her at that Uber and Lyft insurance coverage. If it’s the other driver that was a fault and maybe rear ended your Uber car, then they’re going to be at fault, but this is the one thing you need to know if you’re a passenger in a car and you don’t have your hands on the wheel and you don’t have your feet on the pedals. It’s either going to be your drivers fault or the others. fault, but it’s not going to be your fault. So you have no risk in terms of contacting the lawyer getting the medical treatment DNA for your injuries and making a claim. I guess my final tip is leave the bagpipes at home.

Ashley Rodriguez : 9:16

definitely leave those at home. But that brings up an interesting topic question instead of just ride share. What if you’re a passenger in a friend’s car and have does that go?

Stewart J Guss : 9:29

same idea, that might be a great conversation for another podcast episode, but it’s the exact same idea and I’ll go one step further. There are often times that we represent families where the dad maybe is driving the car, he causes a car accident, and maybe his wife and maybe a kid or two are also injured. It varies from state to state, but for example, in Texas, there’s no immunity there. So a wife and children can actually make a claim against the dad. They’re still friends. They still love each other. But it’s a way to be able to make a recovery from the family’s insurance policy to make sure that we get the damages and medical bills paid for for everyone else that was injured. It’s a really good question. Like I said, you might want to jot that down for a topic for another podcast.

Ashley Rodriguez : 10:19

Yes, I think so. Thank you for listening to breaking down the law and if you are in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, please contact Stewart J Guss. And we would love to answer your questions. No fee, no obligation at 281-783-3934

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