Smyrna Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Rideshare companies revolutionized transportation for millions. So instead of calling a taxi or waiting for a bus, we can summon a ride in minutes from our smartphones. Generally, this convenient form of transport is as simple as that, but often, an accident turns a short Uber or Lyft trip into a personal injury nightmare.
As awful as being injured in an auto accident may be, the good news is that rideshare companies carry excellent insurance, including up to $1 million in liability coverage. In addition, another motorist's insurance may have liability if their policyholder caused the collision. In cases where another driver is uninsured or underinsured, Uber and Lyft carry insurance to cover that eventuality.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Rideshare Accidents like Uber/Lyft?
You would need a personal injury attorney if you sustained severe injuries while a passenger was in a rideshare vehicle. Obtaining full compensation for your injuries requires filing a lawsuit, investigating the claim, negotiating with insurance companies, conducting interrogatories and depositions, asserting an unassailable legal position in settlement conferences, and, sometimes, presenting a case to a jury and litigating appeals.
A Rideshare accident lawyer will help you negotiate with the insurance companies. Rideshare accidents complicate negotiations when they involve multiple insurers. For instance, you may have been riding in an Uber when an accident occurred that is partly the fault of the Uber driver and partly another motorist. This means the case has two insurance company defendants, each fighting for their interests. Often, the two defendants blame each other and offer the plaintiff inadequate compensation.
Your Uber accident lawyer Smyrna establishes your strongest negotiating position regarding all defendants and refuses to settle until they agree to pay all damages, including economic and non-economic losses. Because your attorney has investigated the claim and developed evidence establishing your position, the defendants must offer fair compensation or risk losing more in legal costs and potentially higher settlements or awards later in the process.
A lawsuit starts with a complaint. In this document, the plaintiff's legal team outlines the nature of the lawsuit, explains the important cause of action, cites the applicable laws, and demands damages.
When insurance companies receive a well-prepared complaint from a Georgia personal injury firm, they know they have impending liability and costs to defend the suit. Because of this, they become interested in settling without an expensive legal battle. Until a lawsuit is filed, they may disregard claims or try to offer very low settlements based on a biased interpretation of the facts.
Insurers investigate claims to justify the lowest payouts under Georgia law. Their conclusions about fault and damages will be the most favorable to them.
Your personal injury attorney also investigates the claim to determine what is the most favorable result for you under Georgia law. This investigation is essential to setting up your negotiating position. Without an attorney to investigate your claim, the insurance company will stick to its narrative, which often purports your damages to be less than they are.
Why Choose Brooks Injury Law As Your Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Smyrna?
At Brooks Injury Law, we fight for our clients that have been victims of rideshare accidents. We will take the hassle of dealing with insurance companies off your hands so you can focus on getting the medical treatment you need to get better. Then, we get you the settlement you need and deserve.
We do everything we can to get you a result that covers your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering and provides you with overall peace of mind after your accident.
Interrogatories and Depositions
Early negotiations do not always result in a fair settlement offer. This frequently occurs in rideshare accident cases with high dollar values. Each defendant may continue to minimize its liability, resulting in unacceptable levels of compensation for the plaintiff. When this occurs, the plaintiff's legal team must push further to defeat the defense's arguments through interrogatories and depositions.
Interrogatories are written questions presented to the other side's witnesses. In a rideshare accident case, the plaintiff's attorneys prepare interrogatories for defense witnesses and vice versa. Personal injury attorneys need to establish the negligence of the defendant(s). Therefore, they construct a list of interrogatories that achieves these objectives and holds defense witnesses to their accounts.
Depositions are face-to-face interviews with witnesses. Plaintiff's attorneys ask questions to gain further evidence of liability on the part of the defendants. In the case of a rideshare accident, they elicit facts that show the negligence of the rideshare driver, a third party, or both. Depositions are taken under oath, so when confronted with evidence of negligence, defendants have no choice but to admit the truth.
Depositions often result in insurance companies raising their settlement offers. They may do this before the depositions take place, anticipating the expense of the process and the probable damage depositions will do to their defense. In other cases, they may up their offer post-deposition because the plaintiff's case has grown stronger.
A small fraction of rideshare accident cases goes to trial. These occur when facts are in dispute. Your rideshare accident lawyer will prepare a convincing case and present it to the jury with persuasive arguments. Since a rideshare passenger is not the cause of the accident, juries usually find the plaintiff's total damages.
Appeals are an arduous process requiring hours of legal research and writing. Decisions are based not on the facts of the case but on whether the trial court applied the law and procedure correctly. Personal injury cases usually settle before this phase, but your injury attorney will prepare a bulletproof appeals case if your claim reaches this point
Many judges order settlement conferences to hammer out settlements and avoid time-consuming trials. Courts have crowded dockets and cannot accommodate trials in every case. If they did, resolving cases would take many, many more years.
For plaintiffs, settlement conferences offer full compensation without requiring continued litigation. Trials are necessary when a jury must decide on a factual dispute. For instance, if both drivers in an accident claim to have had the right of way, a jury may need to hear testimony and decide who is telling the truth.
However, in many cases, the facts have been made plain through the discovery process, so a trial is unnecessary. However, the parties may dispute the number of damages. A settlement conference often results in an agreement between the sides, with both wishings to avoid a long, costly trial.
Your attorney will present the facts to the judge and establish the defendant's liability. They also make persuasive arguments for damages. Most cases settle before going to trial.
Common Kinds of Uber and Lyft Accidents
Uber and Lyft accidents in Georgia result from several causes, both the fault of the rideshare driver and other motorists. As a rideshare passenger, you deserve full compensation regardless of who caused the accident. Common kinds of rideshare accidents include the following:
What To Do After Rideshare Accident in Smyrna?
After a rideshare accident, you may be seriously injured. If so, you'll be focused on your medical needs. However, you should receive a comprehensive medical exam even if injuries seem minor. Some injuries are latent or grow worse with time. A prompt medical exam establishes that the injuries resulted from the accident.
If you are physically able, it can help to take photos or videos of the accident with your cell phone. Also, write down the name and contact information of any witnesses. While your memory remains fresh, write down your recollection of the events leading to the accident. Litigation can take years, so you want to ensure you do not forget important details.
Compensation For Rideshare Accident in Smyrna
Personal injury attorneys in Georgia are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. In rare cases, they may also win punitive damages.
Economic damages include the following:
Non-economic damages include the following:
Contact a Top-Rated Smyrna Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
Smyrna Rideshare Accidents FAQs
Uber and Lyft each carry liability insurance of up to $1 million per accident. This is enough to cover damages for most injury accidents caused by drivers. However, if an accident exceeds this, plaintiffs can recover from the company or the driver's personal insurance.
The case may be complicated when another motorist causes the accident or is partly at fault. In those cases, both the rideshare company- and the other driver's insurer may have liability.
Uber and Lyft have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if an uninsured or underinsured driver injures one of their passengers.
Passengers in rideshare vehicles can collect damages from Uber and Lyft, the driver, or another motorist. In most cases, the insurers for one or all three of these parties will fund a settlement.
Theoretically, you can receive any amount justified as economic, non-economic, or punitive damages. The maximum amount is generally the defendant(s) policy limits.
Always refer calls from rideshare insurance companies to your Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Smyrna.
Georgia law requires filing personal injury cases within two years of the accident
Many cases end in a negotiated settlement within one year, but others take two or more years. Trial cases can take several years longer because of appeals.
Smyrna rideshare accident lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment arrangement, the plaintiff pays nothing out of pocket. Instead, attorney's fees come directly from the settlement or award as a percentage. There is no cost unless the plaintiff collects.