Services like Uber and Lyft provide a convenient means of transportation—especially in urban and suburban areas. Unfortunately, there are times where drivers get into accidents and passengers or pedestrians are injured as a result. If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a crash that wasn’t your fault, our Massachusetts rideshare accident lawyers can help.
A rideshare accident has the potential to result in significant losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To improve your chances of recovery and get as much compensation as possible for what you’ve been through, it’s important to work with an experienced and qualified law firm. The Rideshare Law Group is ready to represent you.
Rideshare Laws and Regulations in Massachusetts
Rideshare companies that wish to operate in Massachusetts are subject to Massachusetts general laws, Department of Public Utilities regulations, and legislative session laws pertaining to regulating transportation network companies. If Uber or Lyft is found not in compliance with one of the laws, the company can be held accountable. Any victims of their negligence have the right to take legal action against them.
Massachusetts also regulates the rideshare driver eligibility requirements. According to the state laws, a person’s driving experience and driving record play into their ability to legally drive for a rideshare company. In regard to driving experience, a person does not need a Massachusetts driver’s license to be a rideshare driver in the state. They do, however, have to be at least 21 years old. If they are over the age of 23, they can drive if they have a license to operate a motor vehicle in the United States that is at least one year old. If they are under the age of 23, their license must be at least three years old. In regard to driving record, a person is only eligible to be a rideshare driver if their record is clean of any offenses or violations found in the Suitability Standard.
Investigating an Uber or Lyft Accident
When a car accident results in property damage or injuries, it’s likely an investigation will need to happen to determine what happened and why. If you were the victim of an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s important to get in touch with an attorney who will conduct an independent investigation on your behalf. The more information you can provide them with, including pictures of videos of the scene and your medical records, the easier it will be to conduct a thorough investigation.
If police respond to the crash, they will file an official accident report. It’s likely the rideshare company’s insurance company will also conduct a separate investigation and file a report. Your lawyer can use all of that information, in conjunction with their own findings, to determine what happened and why you were injured.
Separate from its insurance company, Uber has a Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The unit responds to serious incidents like accidents, reckless driving, impaired driving, and sexual assaults. The investigators for the unit do not report to the police. Instead, they report to the company. When police are involved, Uber’s Law Enforcement Response Team could be called upon to help.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Rideshare Accident
When you’re in an accident with a rideshare driver, the company will likely only provide coverage if the at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy is inadequate. Both Uber and Lyft have incredibly complex insurance processes, which can make it seem impossible for a victim to recover the compensation they need.
If you’ve filed an injury claim against Uber or Lyft after an accident, you’ll likely be asked to settle the matter through negotiations. Those are likely to happen behind closed doors. In some instances, you may be able to handle the matter in the way—but only if the settlement offer is full and fair.
If, however, you are unable to reach an agreement through negotiations, you may wish to seek compensation through a lawsuit. If you have reason to believe the Uber driver’s gross negligence caused your accident, like if they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the company.
Depending on the situation, it may be easier to file a suit against the rideshare driver, as opposed to their company. But Uber or Lyft could be directly responsible for the accident if they participated in negligent hiring. In order to determine your rights, it’s best to speak with a Massachusetts attorney. Only then will you be aware of what your best option is and how you should proceed to protect your future.
Get in Touch With the Rideshare Law Group
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a rideshare driver and don’t know where to turn, we’re here to help. Our Massachusetts rideshare accident lawyers are prepared to evaluate your situation and help you determine how best to proceed.
At the Rideshare Law Group, we understand just how stressful dealing with the ramifications of an accident can be. In order to improve your chances of making a full recovery and maximizing your chances of healing properly, you’ll want to get in touch with our attorneys.
The sooner you get in touch with us after an Uber or Lyft accident, the better your chances are of filing a successful claim. Contact us today for more information.