Charleston Lyft & Uber Accident and Injury Attorneys
Experience you can trust after a South Carolina rideshare accident or assault
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft make large profits through their paid driving apps. However, these profits should never be placed over passenger safety. Whether you’re using a rideshare app to travel crosstown, to the train station, to meet friends for lunch, to visit Washington Square, or commute home – all rideshare passengers have the right to expect that Uber and Lyft have fully vetted their drivers. You have the right to expect your driver has both a clean driving record and a clean criminal record.
Typically it won’t be difficult to hold a rideshare driver accountable for your injuries if they’ve been issued a citation or charged and convicted with a crime. It’s harder, however, to show that that the companies who hire these drivers should also be held accountable. The company lawyers will argue they have no control over their drivers. The truth is different. There are proactive steps Uber and Lyft should be taking every day to monitor their drivers and protect passengers from these horrible sexual offenses.
At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, our Charleston attorneys aren’t afraid of taking the hard cases. Call our experienced personal injury lawyers today to find out how we can help you.
Can I sue my Uber or Lyft driver after a Charleston auto accident?
Just like any other time you get into a car, there’s a risk of being involved in an auto accident when you’re in a rideshare vehicle, too. But if you are in a wreck and suffer injuries, you might be wondering who is responsible for your medical bills and property damage. Is it the negligent driver? The rideshare company? Both?
Companies like Lyft and Uber have spent a lot time in court putting distance between themselves and their drivers. By classifying their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, they attempt to relieve themselves of the majority of liability from any accidents or incidents their drivers may cause. It’s nearly impossible to go up against these big companies alone.
What if the drivers’ app was turned off at the time of the accident?
Uber and Lyft each have their own insurance liability policies, and every driver is required to carry their own personal car insurance policy. However, a rideshare company’s insurance policy only kicks in when a driver is actively working – meaning their app is on and they’re either searching for or transporting passengers. If the app is turned off, only the driver’s personal insurance applies. This is just another reason why you need a seasoned rideshare accident attorney on your side – before you sign any paperwork or settlements.
Our law firm holds rideshare companies responsible for assaults and injuries
A recent spate of driver/passenger assaults has put rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber in the news. With victims coming public about sexual and physical assaults, rideshare companies are being forced to institute new safety and security practices for their passengers. These should include improved background checks, better follow ups on incident reports, and awareness training. Anything less should be considered negligence on the part of the rideshare company.
The Charleston injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC work with the authorities to investigate your assault and use every resource we have to hold the guilty party responsible. We track down every witness and work to our utmost to ensure your attacker is brought to justice, and you receive compensation for the pain you’ve suffered.
If you’re assaulted or attacked by an Uber or Lyft driver, you have rights and options. You may file charges against the driver, and may also be eligible to make a claim against the rideshare company for failing to protect you per their responsibility. Although these companies may try to distance themselves from liability, our attorneys don’t back down.
We build a strong injury case, proving that Lyft or Uber:
- Failed to establish and implement required safety protocols
- Failed to run a proper background check
- Failed to properly screen and interview drivers
- Knew of other complaints or misconduct
Remember that assault claims are handled differently than accident claims because they’re considered intentional acts, so a driver would be criminally responsible for any sexual or physical assault. However, a rideshare company can also be held liable if they failed to take the steps to keep their passengers safe.
What should I do after an Uber/Lyft accident?
If you’re a passenger in a rideshare that’s involved in an accident (or in another vehicle involved in the accident), it’s important to take the following steps. These can protect both your personal safety and your future right to bring legal action in the event you or a loved one is injured in a crash.
- Call 911 or local police. You’ll need a police record of the accident, including the driver’s information, license, and insurance. The police will also document the accident scene as well as any other relevant information.
- Seek medical attention. If you’re not hospitalized for your injuries, ensure you see a doctor regardless, even if you think your injuries are minor. Many soft tissue and back injuries take a day or two to present.
- Get contact info from witnesses. Ensure you get contact information from everyone near the scene – from pedestrians to other passengers to other drivers.
- Confirm your ride status. This means taking a screencap or otherwise proving you were an active passenger in the Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident. Often, rideshare companies will attempt to claim that the driver wasn’t working at the time of the accident.
- Take photos. Photograph as much as you can before you leave the scene – the vehicles, the road conditions, any damages, and your injuries.
- Notify the rideshare company. Ensure the company knows there was an accident or incident, in the event the driver doesn’t report it themselves. Use the company’s formal reporting channels so there’s an electronic “paper trail” of the incident.
- And, consult with a Charleston injury attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand your rights and provide honest legal guidance.
Damages available in a Charleston accident case
When you’re injured in an accident, especially a serious injury that keeps you out of work, you go through much more than physical pain. You have to contend with doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy bills, and more. And if you can’t work, you can’t be expected to manage all of this alone.
When we take your case, we demand that negligent drivers and rideshare companies compensate you for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and future inability to work
- Punitive damages (awarded by the court in serious cases)
Our experienced Charleston rideshare accident lawyers can help
If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, sometimes liability and fault can be hard to sort out. The attorneys at McGowan, Hood and Felder, LLC can do it for you. We fight the rideshare companies so you don’t have to – holding them responsible for unsafe hiring practices and negligence. We also protect you from reckless or unsafe drivers. For help now, call our team at 855-326-1091 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.