Rock Hill Uber and Lyft Injury Lawyers
Fighting for South Carolina rideshare passengers when they’re injured in an accident
Uber and Lyft have changed the way Rock Hill residents pay for commercial rides. And, more and more drivers who work for Uber and Lyft are transporting passengers throughout Rock Hill to work, to restaurants, to homes, and anywhere people want to go. Unlike taxicab company employees, drivers who work for rideshare companies generally drive their own vehicles and are considered independent contractors.
Rideshare companies should screen their drivers for any history of misconduct, including traffic violations, unsafe driving records and sexual assault complaints. When Uber and Lyft learn of just one complaint about a driver’s mistreatment of passengers or reckless behavior behind the wheel, they should launch an investigation into that driver to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of the general public. If you’re injured due to the behavior of a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, we can help you recover compensation.
At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, our Rock Hill personal injury lawyers have been settling cases for substantial sums and trying cases before juries for almost 20 years. We treat every person who makes an appointment with our office with the dignity and respect they deserve. Contact us today to talk about your accident and injuries.
Can I sue my Uber or Lyft driver after a Rock Hill auto accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident while in a rideshare vehicle, your first thought (aside from everyone’s safety) is likely, “Who is liable for my injuries?” It seems obvious that companies like Lyft or Uber have much more money than one of their drivers, and they may potentially hold liability if they failed to properly screen the responsible driver.
Unfortunately, although it does seem obvious, taking legal action against the company directly usually isn’t an option. This is because Uber, Lyft, and similar businesses typically classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. By taking the responsibility off of themselves and putting it directly on the drivers, the company also relieves itself from liability for their drivers’ actions.
It’s worth noting that rideshare companies have spent a great amount of time in court ensuring they stay as far away from legal liability as possible. However, Uber and Lyft do carry insurance policies, so you should have several options for compensation, including the drivers’ personal insurance policy, if applicable.
If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney about your options before you sign any type of paperwork or settlement agreement, as you may unknowingly give up your right to file a legal claim.
What if the drivers’ app was off at the time of the accident?
Both the rideshare driver and the rideshare company carry liability insurance in the event an accident occurs. However, Lyft’s and Uber’s insurance policies are only active when a rideshare driver’s app is on (in driver mode) and active. If a rideshare driver is not actively working and causes an accident, they are typically only personally liable for your injuries and losses.
I was assaulted by my Uber/Lyft driver. Can you help?
More and more passengers have been coming forward publicly about being sexually assaulted by their Uber or Lyft drivers. In many of these cases, victims may bring both criminal charges and civil charges against the driver. Typically, a criminal case proceeds first, and the civil case next because a) the priority is punishing the criminal, and b) because the standard of proof in a criminal case is tougher than in a civil case.
Our Rock Hill injury attorneys work with the police and prosecutors to understand and use all the evidence at our disposal. In addition, we question all witnesses and conduct extensive discovery to show exactly what happened. We work tirelessly to secure you justice and compensation for the trauma you’ve suffered.
In addition to filing a claim against the driver, we are ready to file lawsuits against Uber and Lyft if they failed to protect you when they should have. Although these companies have lobbied extensively to remove themselves from liability, we will hold them responsible when their actions hurt people.
We work to show that Uber or Lyft:
- Was aware of other assault or misconduct complaints involving the driver
- Failed to conduct in-person screening of drivers
- Failed to establish proper safety protocols to ensure passenger safety
- Failed to monitor their drivers during the course of the ride
- Failed to run proper background checks on their drivers
Rideshare drivers are required to have liability insurance in case of a collision. Further, Uber and Lyft are required to have up to one million dollars in liability coverage in the event of an accident while a driver is on the clock.
Assault claims, however, are generally handled differently than car crash claims because they are intentional criminal acts. A driver is personally liable for any sex crimes or assaults. However, Uber and Lyft should be held directly liable if they were aware their driver was a danger and failed to take action preventing them from assaulting others. Companies may also be liable if they failed to take proper steps to safeguard passengers.
What to do after a Lyft or Uber accident
If you’re involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, whether as a passenger in the car or in another vehicle, take the following steps to ensure your safety, as well as protect your rights to bring a personal injury case.
- Call the police. The police can document the date and time of the accident; your physical state; the driver’s insurance, contact, and license information, and other essential information.
- Seek medical help. An emergency room can treat any life-threatening or urgent injuries. You should also see a doctor the next day even if you haven’t been hurt – some injuries take a day or two to manifest.
- Get the names of any witnesses. Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident or assault, like fellow passengers, passers-by, or other drivers.
- Take photos. Use your smartphone to get photos of the scene. If you’re injured, take photos of yourself and your injuries. Photograph the inside and outside of the car, any damage, and the accident scene itself.
- Confirm the ride. Take a screenshot of your app or anything that confirms your ride in the Uber or Lyft vehicle. Many rideshare companies will claim that the driver was not “on duty” at the time of the accident.
- Speak with a Rock Hill personal injury lawyer. You should contact an experienced attorney who can explain your rights, what steps you should take, and who will immediately investigate your claim.
- Report the incident to the rideshare company. This way the company will have a record of the incident, as well as your contact information.
Damages in Rock Hill rideshare accident and assault cases
Victims of accidents often need treatment with ER doctors, physical therapists, mental health counselors, and other medical professionals. They may need to join a support group. We work with your health providers to document your injuries, suffering, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We demand that the driver and rideshare companies pay for:
- All medical costs – current and future
- Lost income due to an inability to work
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement damages
In certain circumstances, the court will award punitive damages as well. Let us help you recover all the compensation you deserve for your pain and injuries.
Talk with an experienced Rock Hill rideshare accident lawyer today
If you were injured in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft, the attorneys at McGowan, Hood and Felder, LLC are here to help. The faster your case settles or goes to trial, the sooner you can get your life back. Drivers and rideshare companies will do everything they can to deny any wrongdoing – so it’s critical to move fast while your memory and the memories of any witnesses are fresh. We work aggressively to prove who is responsible for your pain and other damages. For help now, call our team at 855-326-1091 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.