If a rideshare driver’s negligence caused your injuries in an accident, contact Park Chenaur and Associates immediately to determine whether you can hold them liable for your medical bills and other expenses.
Although rideshare services are convenient methods of getting around the city, the drivers don’t have professional training. Anyone can sign up to be an Uber or Lyft driver to make money. That means the risk of getting hurt in a car crash is the same as if you were driving yourself.
At Park Chenaur and Associates, our team has represented accident victims in Tacoma since 1999. We always put our clients’ needs first and work hard to try to achieve a desirable outcome. Call or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about what we can do for you. Reach out to a Tacoma rideshare accident lawyer.
An Overview of Rideshare Accidents in Tacoma
Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington state, with over 200,000 residents. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 670 people died in motor vehicle crashes in one year.
MoneyGeek analyzed fatal accidents from a three-year period to determine the deadliest roads in the state. Two of the top ten are in Tacoma. There were 1.6 fatal crashes per mile on I-5 between South 96th Street and exit 133. On State Route 167 between Tacoma Junction and Northwest 11th, there were 1.2 fatal accidents per mile.
It isn’t surprising that I-5 made the list, considering it is one of the most congested and busiest roads in Western Washington.
Anyone driving for a rideshare company must carry auto insurance.
State law requires every motor vehicle driver with a vehicle registered in Washington to meet the state’s mandatory auto insurance law by choosing one of these options:
- Carry liability insurance with minimum liability limits
- Apply for a certificate of deposit to pay for liability insurance with the Department of Licensing
- Have at least a $60,000 liability bond filed by a surety bond company with the authorization to do business in Washington
Rideshare companies also maintain liability insurance for their drivers if they’re involved in a covered accident. Uber and Lyft provide similar coverage for rideshare drivers who cause car crashes under these circumstances:
Available and Waiting for a Ride Request
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
During Trips and Picking Up Riders
- $1,000,000 in third-party liability
Uber and Lyft don’t cover accidents if the rideshare driver is offline or has their app turned off. The driver’s personal auto insurance applies if they cause an accident in this situation.
You can sue the rideshare driver or company for the injuries you sustain in an accident. You must observe a strict time frame to seek compensation in a lawsuit. In Washington, the statute of limitations allows a three-year period to file a lawsuit against another party in negligence cases. That means you have three years from the crash date to initiate your lawsuit against the liable driver or rideshare company.
Once three years pass, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation if you don’t file suit. However, you can toll or delay the statute if you are under 18 or incompetent when the collision occurs. The three-year timeframe begins when you turn 18 or gain mental competency.
Common Types of Rideshare Accidents and Injuries
A rideshare driver can cause injuries to others under multiple circumstances.
A rideshare accident could injure you if you are:
- A passenger. You can get hurt in a car crash while riding in a rideshare driver’s vehicle. The driver might be at fault if they run a red light, speed, or otherwise behave carelessly.
- The occupant of another car. An accident involving a rideshare driver could injure you if you are the driver or passenger in another vehicle. You might be able to hold the rideshare company liable if the driver’s negligence causes your injury.
- A bicyclist or pedestrian. Sometimes, traffic accidents harm non-motorists, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. You could pursue action against the rideshare driver if they strike you with their car while you walk across the street or ride your bike.
Injuries in rideshare accidents vary in severity. Some are minor and heal without lingering issues. Others are debilitating, requiring extensive medical treatment. Permanent injuries can occur, leaving someone with a disability or impairment that affects them for the rest of their life.
Rideshare accidents can lead to psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims might develop phobias of driving or riding in cars. Sometimes, depression results from permanent scarring or disfiguring injuries. The emotional effects of an accident can outlast any physical injury and create daily struggles.
The most common injuries in rideshare accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Torn tendons, tissue, or ligaments
- Pulled or strained muscles
Rideshare Accident Compensation
You can hold the rideshare company liable for the driver’s negligent actions. Whether you were a passenger in a rideshare driver’s car, a pedestrian, or in another vehicle at the time of the crash, filing an injury claim can recover the compensation you deserve. You might also be able to file a lawsuit if you’re within the required statute of limitations.
The money you receive might compensate you for your:
- Loss of earnings
- Lost future earnings
- Emergency room visits, prescriptions, rehab, and other medical expenses
- Cost of household assistance, such as child care and cleaning
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of vehicle repair or replacement
Determining the value of a rideshare accident can be a challenge. You can calculate your total expenses by reviewing your medical bills and other documentation. However, monetizing non-economic losses like mental anguish or pain and suffering is more complicated. Since they don’t come with invoices or receipts, establishing their effects on your life is crucial to assessing their monetary value.
Multiple factors might contribute to the compensation you should receive, such as:
- Total expenses from the accident
- Type and severity of the injury
- Effects of the injury on daily life, such as missed work, canceled vacations, and inability to complete basic tasks
- Duration of the recovery period
- Whether the injury leads to permanent disability or impairment
- Availability of evidence proving fault
- The estimated cost of medical treatment needed in the future
- Amount of insurance coverage
- Mental or emotional effects of the collision
- Nature and extent of necessary medical care to treat the injury
You don’t have to hire a Tacoma rideshare accident lawyer from Park Chenaur and Associates to pursue legal action against the negligent party. However, you should. Taking on the insurance company alone can create unnecessary obstacles. You might not receive the amount of money you deserve if you handle your claim without legal representation. We know how to maximize the value of a case and fight for a full and fair settlement.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Although you might think an insurance claim is simple, the process can be complex. You must understand how to build an effective case against the at-fault party while obtaining evidence and following strict deadlines. Any mistake you make can negatively affect your compensation.
Insurance companies don’t care about accident victims. They’re not in the business for the purpose of paying significant claims. Their goal is to save money by finding ways to reduce the value of a claim. They will look for evidence to disprove the severity of your injury or show your actions contributed to the collision. They might find a valid reason to deny your claim or offer a lowball settlement.
You should hire Park Chenaur and Associates immediately after a rideshare accident to let us communicate with the insurance adjuster. If they call you to discuss what happened or ask about your injuries and treatment, politely inform them that you hired a lawyer and give them our number. We can handle those conversations so you can focus on recovering.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
You likely went to the hospital or visited your doctor before contacting Park Chenaur and Associates. If not, seek medical care immediately. A physician must examine you to diagnose your injury and determine the necessary treatment so you can heal.
Let a Tacoma rideshare accident lawyer from our firm get started on your case while you follow the doctor’s recommended treatment plan. We can investigate the accident to establish liability and obtain any available evidence to prove someone else is at fault for the crash. We will determine a strategy to try to hold them accountable and secure the compensation you deserve.
You must attend every scheduled medical appointment during your ongoing case. Deviating from your physician’s recommendations or allowing significant gaps between appointments can ruin your chance of obtaining enough money. Insurance companies look at gaps in treatment as evidence of a minor injury.
Typically, they refuse to negotiate a high settlement because medical records show minimal medical care and expenses. Even if you feel better or believe you don’t need additional treatment, continue with the recovery plan until your medical providers release you from their care.
Medical evidence is valuable in rideshare accident cases. You must have proof of the injury you sustained in the crash and the expenses you incurred as a result. Keep a copy of every medical bill, hospital report, imaging test result, physical therapy note, and other documents you receive.
Forward them to us for review.
Don’t worry if you cannot maintain adequate documentation while treating your injuries. We have the resources to request the necessary records from your doctors.
Your social media posts can work in the insurance company or defense lawyer’s favor. Avoiding your online accounts during your ongoing case is essential. You should not share photos, comment on others’ posts, or discuss the accident. Insurance carriers and defense attorneys can find evidence on public social media platforms to use against accident victims.
For example, if you claim to have a broken leg but post photos of yourself at a social event, the opposing party might argue that your injury isn’t as severe as you say. They might also question your commitment to healing if you seem to care more about your online presence than getting better.
Contact an Experienced Tacoma Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
Rideshare drivers must take the necessary precautions to keep their passengers safe. Injured victims can take legal action against the negligent driver and hold the rideshare company liable when accidents occur.
At Chenaur and Associates LLP, we understand the devastation of getting hurt because someone you trusted endangered your safety and life. You can count on our legal team to relieve your burden by handling every aspect of your case so you can spend your time treating your injury and getting your life back on track. Reach out to a Tacoma personal injury lawyer.
Tacoma Office Location:
3517 6th Ave, Tacoma,
Phone: (253) 345-2555