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How Uber and Lyft Accidents Are Different From Other Vehicle’s

Car Accident Lawyer

More and more, rideshare methods are becoming a common way to travel. Rather than take a taxi or public transportation, people are using Uber and Lyft on vacations, on business trips or even for getting around their own hometowns. These vehicles are subject to the same risks on the road as any other automobile. Accidents can occur while riding in one, whether the fault is another driver’s or the person operating the Uber or Lyft you are traveling in. There are some differences between these incidents and those in other cars.

How They Work

Unlike a taxi or bus, a rideshare driver is operating his or her personal vehicle, not one owned by the company. Uber and Lyft hire freelancers, who then pick up passengers in the area who schedule pickups using a smartphone app. Both Uber and Lyft have insurance on the vehicle while the driver is operating it for the company. On top of that, the driver must also carry personal auto insurance.

Who Covers What?

Auto accidents can be complicated, but they are often cut and dried when it comes to determining who is at fault. The same is the case for what auto insurance will pay claims. For Uber and Lyft accidents, these matters work a little differently. If another driver collides with a rideshare vehicle, and you are injured, you should file a claim with that person’s insurance. However, if the Uber or Lyft driver is to blame for the accident, one or two insurance companies may get involved. Uber, for example, carries up to $1 million in insurance per incident if there is a passenger in the car or if the driver is on the way to pick someone up. If a rideshare driver hits another vehicle, causing injuries, the policy will pay up to $50,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage. Though a driver’s personal insurance may cover more than this, as an injured passenger, you may have to go through Uber or Lyft first.

At Attorneys Help

If you are injured in or by a rideshare vehicle, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, right away. Your lawyer will have the knowledge and training to work directly with the insurance companies to protect your interests.

Uber and Lyft insurance policies are designed to protect the companies. You will need someone on your side who will make sure you get the settlement you deserve.

What You Can Do After an Accident Caused By an Uninsured Driver

If you were injured in a car accident caused by the other party, you’ll typically file a claim with his or her insurance company. What should you do if the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured? The following are some steps you should take.

File a Police Report

If anyone was injured in the accident, you’ll need to call the authorities at the scene of the incident. If any injuries are life-threatening, it’s important you call 911 to seek emergency assistance. When a police officer arrives at the scene, he or she will begin to assess the situation. Statements will be taken from both parties, as well as from witnesses.

If for some reason there isn’t an officer that responds to your accident, you should go to the police department as soon as possible to file a report. This is typically only applicable in very rural or desert areas where a police presence is low.

Contact Your Own Insurance Provider

If you’re properly insured, you should have coverage called “uninsured or underinsured motorist.” Many insurance companies cap the amount at the same amount you carry in liability. For example, if your liability coverage is $100,000, you’ll also have $100,000 or less in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Not every insurance company functions this way, so be sure you speak with your insurer to find out how much coverage you have.

Seek Financial Assistance

More than likely, you’ll need to seek financial assistance to help you pay medical bills after your accident with an uninsured driver. Though you might seek compensation through a lawsuit, there are some other ways to get those bills paid in the meantime. For example, you could seek Medicaid or Medicare coverage if you fall within a certain income bracket. You could speak with your medical providers about discounts or a payment plan. You could also turn to PIP if you are properly insured yourself.

Contact a Lawyer to File a Lawsuit

If the driver who caused your accident is uninsured, you could end up paying for more than your fair share in the case of injuries and property damage. A car accident lawyer may be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind, many people who are uninsured also don’t have the assets required to pull a settlement from. Your lawyer can help you decide whether it’s worth your time and money to pursue a case. Contact a car accident lawyer, like from Barry P. Goldberg, today.

What to Do Following a Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day on the road in the U.S., but many people aren’t prepared for them when they happen. Even if you’re a safe driver, unfortunately, you may one day need to know how to handle the situation. Learning the proper procedures in advance can help you make the right decisions in the heat of the moment that lead to better outcomes down the road. Here are the top things to do following a car accident.

Assess the Immediate Situation

First and foremost, check to make sure no one is injured or needs to go to the hospital. If someone is hurt, get them medical attention immediately. If you are injured but think it is not bad, don’t wait to see a doctor. A doctor’s report is very valuable in proving that your injuries were caused by the accident when you go to file a personal injury claim, so don’t create extra hassle for yourself by not going soon.

Call the Police

Always contact the police after your accident, and don’t let the other driver leave before they arrive. A police report is required to file any car accident claim in a large number of states, and you don’t want to be barred from this because you were talked out of not calling them. The police can also help determine who was responsible for causing the accident when the insurance companies start investigating.

Gather Essential Information 

Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact info and their insurance companies and policies. If they were at fault for the crash, you’ll need to call their insurance company to file a claim. In addition, you should take pictures of the accident and collect any witness statements (if available) to use to help prove who is at-fault. Many insurance companies will fight over this if it is unclear because they do not want to pay the claims, so don’t give them any reason to doubt your claim.

Contact Your Insurance 

It’s important to inform your own insurance company of the accident shortly after it has happened. They can help guide you through next steps and how to file a claim.

If you’re having trouble with any of the insurance companies involved, it may benefit you to consult with a personal injury lawyer, like from Darrell Castle & Associates, about your case. They can clarify how state laws impact your case and guide you when it comes to dealing with insurance claims adjusters and other matters.

Property Division During Divorce

A couple who chooses to divorce must face quite a few life-altering decisions. One of the most decisive issues during a divorce is the division of money, assets, debts and other property. Couples do not always agree on who should get what, and as such, the court may ultimately have to decide. While negotiating through your divorce, you may find it beneficial to understand how states handle this task. Discover the two ways in which a court may delineate who gets what during a divorce absent an agreement between the spouses.

Community Property States

A community property state handles the division of financial matters in a black and white manner. In this way, the judge will look at all the money acquired while the couple is married as part of the marital bank or pot. Likewise, the judge will also consider debts incurred while the couple is married in the same way. Once these numbers are calculated, usually with the help of each spouse’s financial disclosure, the court will split them evenly. One spouse may request that the judge award more, but absent a compromise between the couple, the court will probably deny the request. If one spouse is unemployed or underemployed, the judge may award a narrow window to find gainful employment.

Equitable Division State

Most states subscribe to an equitable principle when dividing money-related property during divorce. If the couple doesn’t compromise, a judge will look at the financial picture, as in community property states. However, the court also may consider other factors such as:

  • Each person’s emotional contribution to the marriage
  • Whether one spouse stayed home to raise children
  • How much premarital property each spouse will retain
  • Earnings of one spouse over the other
  • Evidence of a spouse’s detrimental behavior

Once the court examines this information, a decision is made on the fairest way to divvy up the money and debt. Thus, one spouse may get a more significant percentage of the assets, while the other gets more debt.

Keep in mind, if you have a valid prenuptial agreement, marital finances will be divided as set out in that document. Each state has different laws, and so consulting with a divorce attorney, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, can help you know how a judge will rule where you live. The best way to get through this aspect of divorce may be working with your spouse to enter into an agreement on which you both agree instead of having the decision taken away completely.

3 Ways to Get Through a Construction Zone Safely

Car Accident Lawyer

Improvements in roads lead to safer driving conditions. However, the process for those improvements may involve changes in the flow of traffic and the overall condition of the road for a while. Road construction can be a hassle for commuters because of the delays it may cause by forcing drivers to divert to alternative routes or sit in endless lines of traffic. Aside from creating diversions, these areas of a road can also be the most dangerous for drivers. Construction zones may create hazards for drivers and workers alike. Reflect on these three tips to help you navigate through a construction zone safely.

  1. Stay Alert

When crews go out to work on a road, they may do so around the clock. To improve a road, crews typically have to tear it up, so they often close lanes. Those working on roads utilize barricades, flashing warning signs and traffic cones to help alert drivers to a change ahead. However, drivers must be paying attention to see these warning signs effectively. Therefore, keeping your eyes and mind on the road ahead is critical. Distractions inside the car, like cell phones and GPS instructions, may create a distraction, and you may miss the clues that there is construction ahead. Failure to pay attention in or near a road construction zone causes accidents involving other vehicles, construction equipment, and even the workers themselves.

  1. Slow Down

Construction zones appearing on highways may be inconvenient for many reasons, but especially for the change in speed limit. Often, the speed limit approaching and in a construction zone is substantially lower than usual. On a highway, this may mean going from 70 to 35 quickly. If you are not paying attention, you may plow into the vehicle ahead. The failure to slow down in a construction zone can also prove devastating. Cars that speed through these areas when people are out working may strike a worker and kill them.

  1. Find an Alternate Route

The safest way to deal with construction zones is by avoiding them if possible. It may seem inconvenient to route yourself around construction, but it may be safer than trying to make your way through it. While you may be cautious around roadwork, others may not be. Thus, you may find yourself a victim of an accident in these areas.

A car accident lawyer can help you should you find yourself in an accident. Since your injuries may require medical care, you may want to consult with someone, like a car accident lawyer from Johnston Martineau, PLLP, in your area sooner rather than later.

What Are My Rights If I’m Hit By a Cab Driver?

Car Accident Lawyer

Taxi cabs transport thousands, even millions, of people every day in large settings and small towns all over the country. As a result, crashes involving cabs are common. If you are a passenger in a taxi cab accident, or if a taxi driver hits your car, you should be aware of your rights and how to protect them.

How Are Taxi Accident Claims Different?

When you are involved in a taxi cab accident, you still have the right to file a claim for damages, just like you would in any other car crash. However, because taxi drivers are mostly self-employed or working as contractors, they may fight harder against your claim. Paying out damages may affect a driver’s ability to earn a living.

What Happens If a Taxi Hits My Car?

If your car is hit by a taxi, the accident is treated like any other incident involving two vehicles. The person filing the claim for damages must prove that the other party is at-fault and substantiate the amount of money demanded. If you can demonstrate that the cab driver caused the accident and show why you are asking for the amount of your claim, you may be able to win the argument.

What Happens If I Am Injured While Riding as a Passenger in a Taxi?

If you are injured while riding in a cab, the accident is like any other with an injured passenger. Either the taxi driver or the driver of another vehicle has the liability, so you don’t have to prove that point. You would file your claim against whichever driver is deemed negligent. Sometimes you will file against both drivers, and they sort out liability between themselves.

What Should I Do to Preserve My Rights?

If you can do so safely at the scene, get names and contact information for everyone who was part of the accident as well as anyone who witnessed it. Take pictures of the surrounding area, the cars, and anything else that might be relevant. Be sure to take photos from different angles so that you capture various details. Call the police and get an accident report. In most states, law enforcement must be called if the accident causes injuries or property damages.

Where Can I Get Help With a Taxi Accident Claim?

The best way to preserve your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are due is to hire a competent and experienced car accident lawyer, such as from John K. Zaid & Associates. Laws vary from state to state, so it is essential to choose a professional who understands your local rules and procedures.

Factors Behind Your Car Accident Settlement Timeline

Auto Accident Lawyer

After suffering injuries due to a car accident, you have the right to file an accident claim. Before you file the claim, it’s natural to wonder how long it’s going to take. After all, when you suffer damages, you’ll want compensation as soon as possible. It’s difficult to narrow down exactly how long it will take for you to receive your settlement, however. It can take as little as a few months to several years.

What Contributes to Your Timeline?

There are many factors involved when it comes to your car accident claim timeline. Some factors include:

  • How complicated your case is
  • How serious your injuries are
  • How much fault you have
  • How quickly the insurance company responds
  • How much money you are asking for

When it comes to filing a claim for damages after a car accident, there are a lot of considerations involved. This is why it is almost impossible to predict how long every person’s claim will take to settle. When you discuss your case with an attorney, he or she may be able to give you an estimated timeline.

How Long Will it Take to Reach a Settlement?

When you file a claim, odds are you are looking forward to the settlement. After all, the goal is to recoup your losses after an accident. Once your fault has been determined and your lawyer has come up with a dollar amount to ask for, you may still have some waiting left to do.

Generally, the insurance company will make an offer once they accept your claim. Your lawyer will have an idea of what you deserve and can advise you on whether you should accept the offer or deny it. If you reject it, then you can negotiate for a higher settlement. If this results in a back and forth negotiation with no resolution, then you can file a lawsuit against the company for compensation.

If you accept a claim right away you will receive the settlement sooner. Of course, you also don’t want to accept less than you deserve based on the timeline. Once a lawsuit goes to court, however, it can take much longer.

If you have a straightforward settlement, you may receive compensation sooner. This is because it requires less work. The best way to receive your settlement as soon as possible is to file the claim shortly after an accident. Contact an auto accident lawyer, such as from Barry P. Goldberg, as soon as possible to discuss your options.

How Do You Pay for Medical Bills Before The Insurance Company Settles?

Personal Injury Lawyer

After a car accident, you may wait on the other driver’s insurance to pay your medical bills. Meanwhile, the bills pile up. The doctors, hospital, and therapists want their money. What are your options? It would be nice if you could just explain to the healthcare providers that you’re waiting on the insurance, but that is not usually how it works. Here are some things that you can do.

Use Your Personal Health Insurance  

Since you are responsible for your medical bills after a car accident you can, and should, use your own health insurance to pay the bills. Even if the medical provider tells you that another insurance is primary, you should still have them file your personal health insurance. Make sure to save any bills you receive and track your co-pays. You will want to be able to verify your expenses later. Your health insurance company may expect to be paid back if you do receive a settlement from the other driver. Since nothing is guaranteed, this is the best option to make sure your bills are paid.

Check with Your Auto Insurance Coverage 

If you have PIP and live in a no-fault state, you may have coverage for your medical bills through your own auto insurance policy. It might also be called “Med Pay.” Check with your own auto insurance policy to know whether you should file with them to pay your medical bills. It might seem like a long-shot, but you may have coverage that you aren’t aware of.

Negotiate with Your Healthcare Providers 

If you don’t have insurance, your next option is probably to try and negotiate with the hospital or doctors. Most hospitals will send your account to collections if you aren’t dealing with it. You may be able make payments until the settlement comes in. As a last resort, you may want to sign an agreement with the healthcare provider that you agree to pay when you receive a settlement. This can keep your account out of collections and from hurting your credit.

Don’t Pay Anything 

Although this is an option, it isn’t your best one. You may be stressed out from dealing with the accident and its aftermath, but you should try to find a way to deal with your medical bills. Your lawyer may be able to help you negotiate with the providers and find options that fit your needs. Talk to a  lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, about your case to figure out what the next step you should take is. 

Defining Domestic Abuse

Domestic Violence Lawyer

Violent or abusive acts committed on a family or household member is very traumatic. These actions are considered domestic violence in the criminal justice system. Domestic violence may also include child abuse or spousal abuse. Things that describe domestic violence are predominant, forceful, and menacing. No matter what type of close relationship you’re in, whether you’re married or unmarried, straight or gay, living together or just dating, domestic violence can happen. Often times called “spousal abuse,” domestic violence usually has: 

  • A repetition of physical or psychological abuse
  • A “cycle of violence”

Crimes that have been charged differ based on:

  • The severity of the injury on the victim
  • If a minor was around
  • If there was a violation of a protective or restraining order.

Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate, so anyone can be an offender or victim. Forms of domestic violence can include rape and murder, but for the most part, domestic violence usually occurs with other forms of physical abuse. Forms of lighter domestic violence include slapping, punching, and stalking.

What Is Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery is a crime that can be a close relative to domestic violence, which can also be called “spousal abuse.” When violence and force are both used on or against an individual, that crime would be known as battery. To be charged with battery, a person doesn’t necessarily have to be bruised or injured. Usually, you would think that domestic battery would be the charge that someone would be found guilty of, but at the end of the day, it all falls under a domestic violence case. 

Is Domestic Violence a Specific Crime?

Domestic violence is seen as a crime in a big number of states. Because of this, a person can be charged with domestic violence rather than being charged with any other crime such assault and battery if they happen to strike their significant other. A prosecutor will likely acknowledge that a domestic abuser takes advantage of their significant other’s trust and confidence in order to get a harsher sentence than an assault crime between two strangers.  

In the event that you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence, it is best to speak with a skilled attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in Decatur, GA from The Lynch Law Group, that will be able to better explain the charges as well as help you in building a defense for you in the courtroom.

The Basics of Punitive Damages

Personal Injury Lawyer

When someone is injured in an accident, he or she can typically seek compensatory damages to cover medical bills, property damage repairs, pain and suffering, and other losses. Sometimes a judge will award the plaintiff punitive damages as well. What are they and when are they awarded?

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a punishment for the defendant after he or she acted in a grossly negligent way. Most states will award a plaintiff punitive damages if the defendant showed intentional misconduct, acted with recklessness, showed gross negligence, or acted in deceit or malice. While the plaintiff may have already been awarded compensatory damages, he or she would be given an additional amount as a punishment and a statement to the defendant.

When Are They Awarded?

There are specific situations in which punitive damages are awarded. For example, if two people are in a car accident because someone failed to see a red light, causing a head-on collision, the at-fault party would more than likely owe compensatory damages. If the plaintiff’s lawyer is able to prove the at-fault party knew the light was red and took a chance anyway, punitive damages may be awarded.

Another example would include a faulty roof on a commercial building. If a portion of the roof fell and injured a customer, the owner of the building would typically owe compensatory damages. If an inspector had recently discovered damage and recommended a replacement, but the owner chose to ignore the recommendation, punitive damages may be awarded.

Are There Limitations?

There are some states that put a limit on how much a plaintiff can receive in punitive damages. For example, some states limit the amount at three times what the compensatory damages equaled. Other states have an actual amount, such as $500,000, and punitive damages cannot reach beyond that amount in any case.

How Strong Is My Case?

If you plan to sue for personal injury, and hope to receive punitive damages, you may wonder how strong your case is. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as every case is different, but your lawyer can give you some answers after he or she has a chance to look over all the evidence. The more evidence you have against the defendant, the stronger your case will be. If you only suspect gross negligence, and have nothing to back up your suspicion, you may not end up with any punitive award.

Contacting a Lawyer to Get Started

If you’ve been injured in an accident, one of the best things you can do is get a legal professional on your side. Contact an attorney like a personal injury lawyer, at the law offices of Davis & Brusca, LLC, for more information.