In mere seconds, a car accident can completely upend your life. When a rideshare driver causes an accident, it can be challenging for the victim to understand how they should proceed to obtain the money they need to recover. Fortunately, our New Mexico rideshare accident lawyers are here to help you make the best decisions for your family and future.
Uber and Lyft services can be found throughout New Mexico. Some of the most popular cities for ridesharing include the following:
- Las Cruces
- Santa Fe
No matter whether your accident occurred in one of those cities or somewhere else, our attorneys are here to help you file an injury claim. In order to understand if you have a valid claim, you first need to understand what stage your Uber or Lyft driver was in at the time of your accident.
Stages of Driving for Uber and Lyft Drivers
For rideshare drivers, there are stages zero to three. Stage zero is when the rideshare app is turned off. In the event of an accident, the driver’s personal injury policy would come into play if they were determined responsible.
In stage one, the app is turned on and the driver is waiting for a ride request. Uber and Lyft may have some liability if an accident occurs in this stage, but third-party coverage up to $50,000 for one person may be available.
Stages two and three are when the rideshare companies are most liable for their driver’s actions. Stage two starts when the driver has been matched with a passenger and given their location. Stage three starts when the passenger enters the car and the trip is in progress to the requested drop-off point. In terms of third-party liability, Uber and Lyft offer up to $1M in compensation.
Determining Responsibility for a Rideshare Accident in New Mexico
When it comes to determining who is responsible for a rideshare accident, there are typically three parties your attorney will investigate, including:
- Uber or Lyft Driver. When an Uber or Lyft driver causes a crash, it’s typically the result of distracted driving or fatigue. Rideshare drivers rely on their devices to get their passengers to where they’re going, but if they are in an unfamiliar area or are focused on their next pickup, they could cause an accident. In regard to fatigue, some drivers are likely to stay on the road longer than they should to make more money. Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Rideshare Company. While Uber or Lyft will likely try to disprove their fault in an accident involving one of their drivers, your lawyer will determine if either company should be held responsible. This could be possible if the driver you had should never have been hired based on failure to meet minimum requirements.
- Third-Party. In some cases, your rideshare driver could be just as much a victim as you are. If another driver caused your crash, you would likely need to pursue a claim against their personal auto insurance policy.
Ultimately, determining responsibility comes down to the elements of negligence. The four elements include establishing a duty, proving a breach of that duty, showing how that breach resulted in injuries, and totaling the cost of those injuries.
Tips for Rideshare Accident Victims
As a rideshare victim, it’s important to understand what actions could potentially jeopardize your claim. If you avoid those actions, you won’t have to worry about be awarded less than you deserve.
For starters, make sure you seek medical attention after the accident. Even if you aren’t experiencing significantly painful injuries, the adrenaline in your body could be masking your injuries. Failing to seek medical attention could not only increase the chances of your injuries getting worse, but the insurance company could claim your injuries are worth less than you say based on your actions.
It’s also important to follow up with your doctor, follow their medical advice, and only return to work when you’re officially cleared. We understand that taking an extended period of time off work can be challenging, but we’ll work to ensure those lost wages are included in your settlement. If you return to work too early, your injuries could worsen, and the insurance company could use that against you.
Finally, stay off social media. While it’s likely you want to update friends and family on your condition, keep those conversations private. Anything you post is something else the insurance company could use against you when you seek compensation for your injuries. If your social media accounts make it look like you’re doing just fine, you won’t have the leverage to receive a fair settlement offer.
Contact the Rideshare Law Group
No matter the extent of your injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident, our New Mexico rideshare accident lawyers are here to help you get your life back in order. We understand the challenges of recovering from a claim, and we’re well aware of how intimidating it can be to go up against a rideshare company.
When you work with the Rideshare Law Group, we’ll provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to make the best decisions for your family. To learn more about your rights and options, or to schedule a free case evaluation, contact us today.