If you were injured in a New Orleans Uber accident, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer
Claims involving rideshare accidents in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana can quickly turn into complicated legal cases. Whether you’re involved in a crash caused by an Uber or Lyft driver or someone working for another rideshare company, knowing what steps you need to take to pursue compensation for your losses can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s important to understand how claims with rideshare companies work. Here's what you should know.
What is ridesharing?
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have millions of drivers paid to transport passengers from one destination to another. Lyft only operates in the United States and Canada, while Uber operates in 72 countries worldwide. Both companies also operate in New Orleans.
This might sound like a traditional taxi service, but it’s completely different. That’s because rideshare passengers must schedule a ride by using a smartphone app. Rideshare companies like Uber are officially known as a "Transportation Network Company" or TNC.
When is a rideshare driver on duty?
One of the most important factors when it comes to claims involving rideshare accidents is whether the driver was on duty when the accident happened. If the driver was on duty, you may be able to pursue a claim with the rideshare company's insurance instead of the driver's personal insurance policy. To be considered on duty, a rideshare driver must be:
- Transporting a passenger.
- Driving to pick up a passenger.
- Have the rideshare app on. (There doesn’t even need to be anyone in the vehicle. The driver is still on duty.)
- Looking up directions for a work-related purpose.
Keep in mind that claims involving Uber and Lyft can be complex, and trying to navigate the situation without the help of a lawyer can put you in a tough position where you may miss out on the compensation you're entitled to. Remember, it's always best to know your legal rights and options after you've been injured in an accident, and the best way to pursue full compensation for your losses is to consult an experienced attorney.
How much time do I have to file a rideshare claim or lawsuit in Louisiana?
Whether you decide to file a claim or pursue a lawsuit, you have one (1) year from the date of your accident in Louisiana to respond. This is due to Louisiana’s statute of limitations (the legal term for deadline) which can be found in Article 3492 of the Louisiana Civil Code.
One year is a tight deadline. If you wait until the last minute, you might have a hard time finding important evidence in support of your legal case, such as:
- Electronic records stored on the rideshare app. This can help prove the status of the driver at the time of your accident, which as we mentioned above, affects which insurance policy is responsible for paying costs.
- Traffic camera footage of your accident, which can be deleted or overwritten in a matter of days or weeks.
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw your accident. Locating witnesses months after an accident is difficult, especially in busy cities like New Orleans with a lot of tourists.
Talk to a New Orleans rideshare accident lawyer today
You might think you don’t need a lawyer if your rideshare accident is being investigated by a police officer from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) or a state trooper from the Louisiana State Police. The reality is law enforcement officials are focused on determining whether any criminal charges should be filed as a result of the accident. It's not their responsibility to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injury-related expenses.
That’s our job. That’s why attorney John S. Williams wants to meet with you right away. He can answer your questions, explain your legal options, and fight for the compensation you're entitled to under the law.