Ride Sharing Accident Attorney in St. Louis, MO
Ride Sharing Accident Attorney in St. Louis, MO
The popularity of ride sharing and ride-for-hire services has had an impact on personal injury law. Ride sharing is, today, a billion-dollar industry, but there are concerns about safety. Uber and Lyft are among the most popular ride-sharing companies, but there are other peer-to-peer models that people find convenient. It’s common now for people to pay for rides with individuals who drive scooters, boats, or even buses. While many taxi companies rigorously screen drivers (i.e. training and background checks), many ride-sharing companies do not. When accident occur, questions of liability must necessarily arise.
Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers is a personal injury law firm that is based in St. Louis, MO. We handle a wide range of motor-vehicle accidents, including accidents related to ride sharing. Our attorneys have a combined experience of 90 years. During our tenure, we’ve represented more than 8,000 clients and have won millions in settlement and compensation awards. We have the experience to take the most complex of cases. We offer a free initial consultation. If you need a ride sharing accident attorney in St. Louis, MO, contact our firm today.
Establishing Fault in a Ride Sharing Accident
An Uber, Lyft, or other ride sharing vehicle involved in a car accident will involve many of the same procedures. The individual that’s liable for the accident depends on the nature of the accident. Fault must be determined just as it must be in other accidents. In a ride sharing accident, an injured passenger may file a claim against their ride sharing driver, the other vehicle’s driver, or possibly even both. The driver of the other vehicle may also have cause to file a claim against the ride sharing driver. Consequently, these cases can be fairly complicated, which is why a firm like Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers with its decades of experience can be of service.
There is a myriad of ways that drivers exhibit fault. Yet, even the smallest of errors can have deadly or life-changing consequences for people involved in the subsequent collision. Failing to use a turn signal or taking a sip of coffee—these little incidents have been the genesis of many car accidents, including ride share accidents. Common reasons that drivers cause accidents on Missouri’s roadways are:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to yield right of way
- Driving distracted (i.e. texting, eating, talking to passengers)
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving drowsy or fatigued
- Running red lights
- Failing to stop at stop sign
- Unsafe lane change
- Failing to follow rules of the road
Our firm has handled car accidents that involve two vehicles and multiple vehicles. Assigning fault in these cases is sometimes complicated, but we have many resources that allow us to get to the bottom of these cases in order to best represent our clients. If you’ve been injured in association with a ride sharing accident, we can help you.
About Ride Share Companies
Obviously, Uber, Lyft, and other ride share drivers are not immune to car accidents. As per the ride sharing business model, drivers use their own vehicles to transport people to their destinations. Because personal vehicles are used, these drivers must maintain liability insurance in keeping with the laws of their states. If they are not transporting a driver, they must rely on their own personal auto insurance. However, when they are using their vehicle for work, they will have auto coverage through their ride sharing company’s liability insurance that is an add-on to their own personal auto insurance. Companies like Uber have rather intricate liability policies. It’s no wonder they these cases can be complex.
For example, the compensation for injuries may not go above the company’s coverage limit. If the injuries exceed that limit, a separate claim must be filed with the driver’s personal insurance carrier.
In Missouri, people who have been injured in accidents through no fault of their own can claim two types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are mainly the medical expenses and lost work wages that the victim incurs as a result of the accident. Medical costs often include expenses for:
- Ambulance rides
- Emergency room care
- Doctor visits
- Specialist visits
- Physical and cognitive therapies
- In-home care (if needed)
- Medical devices (i.e. wheel chair, walker, braces)
- Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
A claim for compensation can also include future economic damages. Many people who have been seriously injured will need long-term care—even indefinite care depending on the nature of their injuries. We may need to talk to medical experts to obtain information about the type of care that the claimant is likely to require—and the costs of that treatment. We can also speak with an actuary to determine the costs of lost future wages.
Injured parties can also claim non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering. In Missouri, this amount is capped at 350,000. It can be adjusted for inflation. It’s important to calculate all of these damages accurately. Insurance companies may try to minimize what clients deserve. We do our best not to let them. Knowing what our clients are entitled allows us to negotiate more effectively on their behalf.
How Can Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers Help?
Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers can help clients by providing a full range of legal services. We provide unstinting service to accident victims. We know how much they endure. We are passionate about fighting for their right to fair compensation. From the day you contact us to represent you in your ride sharing accident case, we will get to work. In these situations, the earlier we can obtain things like witness statements and accident reports, the better. You can count on us to perform the following services:
- Assess your case: often, victims of ride sharing accidents aren’t sure where blame should be assigned or if they even have a chance to win compensation for their injuries at all. We have decades’ worth of experience evaluating all types of claims involving motor vehicles. We will carefully examine your case and take time to discuss it with you. We will describe its merits and challenges as we see them. Based on our competent legal advice, you can decide how you would like to proceed.
- File claim / court documents: our attorneys will handle all the filing on your behalf. We will explain all case-related documents and forms to you. We also manage all case-related paperwork. Keeping all of these documents organized is a cornerstone of a well-managed case.
- Communicate with insurance companies and other attorneys: you can bet that the insurance companies will be in touch soon—along with their attorneys. We will communicate with the insurers, their lawyers, and the at-fault party’s attorneys as well. There is no need for you to fear that you will say or do something in their presence to harm your case. We have experience communicating and negotiating with these entities on our clients’ behalf.
- Investigate: many clients many not realize at first just how much attorneys investigate and research. We are no exception. We will investigate multiple aspects of your case to ensure that we have all the information we can possible procure. We will track down witnesses to procure their statements. We’ll strive to get video footage if it exists. We’ll visit the scene of the accident to take photos. We want to build a strong case in order to support our clients’ claims. Investigative and research activities help us do that.
- Consult Experts: ride sharing accidents may involve complex aspects that warrant the involvement of experts. For example, for these types of accidents, we may need to procure the professional services of a car accident reconstructionist to help paint an accurate picture of what happened. Typically, we must consult with medical experts who can provide detailed information about the nature of clients’ injuries and required care (not to mention expense). In cases where the plaintiff is left with a disability or can no longer work for a long period of time (if ever), we may consult an actuary to help calculate the cost of these future lost earnings.
- Negotiate / litigate aggressively: whether seated at a negotiating table or standing in a court room before a judge and jury, we will represent our clients and their rights tenaciously. And we have a proven track record for success. We get to know every detail of these cases so that we are armed with all the information we need to make a strong case.
What Do I Do If I Get Hurt in a Ride Sharing Accident?
If you are injured in a ride sharing accident, you should seek medical care no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be. Neck and back injuries may not immediately present symptoms. Victims may not be aware they have a concussion or internal bleeding. Protect your health by getting a medical assessment quickly—either at a hospital emergency room or an urgent care center. Healthcare providers will know what tests to employ in order to assess your condition. During you visit, all of your injuries and treatments will be documented. This document or medical record will be of vital importance if you choose to pursue your claim.
It’s helpful if you can procure an accident report, but you should definitely call the police to the scene of the accident if no one else has done so already. An accident report is also a relevant piece of evidence that matters intrinsically to these cases. Don’t worry if you can’t pick up a copy at the police station. We can procure it on your behalf.
Lastly, call us! The sooner you do, the more quickly we can get to work gathering important material for your case—before it may be lost. Photos of damaged vehicles or video footage can be difficult to procure weeks or months after the accident. If you choose to hire us, we promise to provide you with the dedicated representation you deserve. We will do our utmost to win your case for you.