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Car Accident Compensation for Rideshare Accidents In New Orleans

Offered by The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC

Find Out Who’s Responsible for Paying For Your New Orleans Uber Accident

Injury expenses can add up fast for people hurt in a ridesharing accident in New Orleans involving Uber or Lyft. Just ask any experienced New Orleans rideshare accident lawyer. From medical bills to the financial impact of not being able to work due to a serious injury, the financial toll of such accidents can easily add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more.

This is why it’s important to understand how the compensation process works for ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, Blacklane, and Carmel, which all operate in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana. Otherwise, you might not get the money you deserve for your New Orleans rideshare accident.

New Orleans Rideshare Regulations

Like taxi companies, rideshare companies must follow strict rules and regulations in New Orleans. Some of these laws are state and federal traffic laws that apply to all drivers. However, New Orleans also has additional regulations that apply specifically to Transportation Network Companies – the legal term for rideshare companies as well as delivery companies like DoorDash.

Adopted in 2015 by the New Orleans City Council, the city ordinance contains numerous rules for Transportation Network Company vehicles and drivers. These rules can be found in Chapter 162, Article XV and include:

  • Mandatory background checks for rideshare drivers in New Orleans
  • Random drug-testing rules for New Orleans rideshare drivers
  • Rules governing how much rideshare companies can charge
  • Maximum number of hours rideshare drivers can work (no more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period)
  • Rideshare drivers cannot refuse to take someone who requested a ride within 10 miles of the city limits in New Orleans once the ride request has been accepted

Rideshare Regulations in Nearby Louisiana Communities

Along with New Orleans’ rideshare company ordinances, many other communities near New Orleans and Orleans Parish have their own unique rules and regulations governing rideshare companies and drivers. Such rideshare laws include:

  • Jefferson Parish requires rideshare companies to perform mandatory background checks, can randomly perform rideshare driver drug tests, and prohibits rideshare companies from picking up passengers unless the passenger has requested the vehicle online.
  • Gretna, Louisiana also has background check requirements for rideshare companies operating in the city, along with regulations governing the age of rideshare vehicles (no more than 8 years old) operating in the city.
  • Kenner, Louisiana has an ordinance passed in 2017 governing rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

Who’s Responsible for Paying for My Rideshare Accident?

Louisiana has an at-fault car insurance system. That means the at-fault party must pay for all expenses for all injury victims involved in a motor vehicle accident. In cases involving rideshare accidents, the at-fault party may be the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, another driver involved in the accident, or even the manufacturer of a defective vehicle.

Who Determines Who’s At Fault?

If you or a loved one was injured in a Lyft or Uber accident in New Orleans you might think that the investigating police officer from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) or the state trooper from the Louisiana State Police has a lot to say about who was at fault.

However, law enforcement officials are only concerned with determining whether any laws were broken. Their investigation does not involve who was at fault, which is very important since the at-fault party is responsible for compensating you and all other injury victims.

So who decides who’s at fault in a New Orleans rideshare accident? For the most part, it’s the insurance company. And the insurance company often does everything they can to find excuses to pay you as little as possible. That’s why it’s important that you have a New Orleans rideshare accident attorney on your side, fighting for the money you rightfully deserve.

How Much Is My Rideshare Accident Claim Worth?

The total value of your rideshare accident claim depends on many different factors. But the bottom line is you should be financially compensated for all your accident-related expenses due to Louisiana’s at-fault car insurance system. Such expenses can include:

  • Cost of your medical care, including future anticipated medical costs due to your car accident injury.
  • Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your injury.
  • Lost future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability.

Your rideshare accident injury claim might also include money for non-economic damages, a legal term for financial compensation for expenses that don’t have a specific dollar amount, including pain and suffering. The best way to know how much your rideshare accident claim is worth is to talk to an experienced New Orleans rideshare accident lawyer.

Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

After your Lyft or Uber accident, don’t be surprised if you receive a settlement offer from the at-fault party for your injury claim. You might be tempted to accept such an offer, especially if you already have a lot of injury-related expenses and unpaid bills due to your rideshare accident.

However, it’s important to realize that once you accept a one-time settlement payment, that’s it. You cannot go back and ask for more money months or years later, even if your injury-related expenses increase dramatically in the future. That’s why many settlement offers soon after an accident only take into account some expenses. The insurance company is trying to settle your case for less than it’s worth and leave you responsible for paying bills out of your pocket, even though you did nothing wrong.

So if you do receive a settlement offer, get it in writing. Carefully review the offer with your New Orleans car accident lawyer and decide whether you should accept or reject it.

Can I Ask for More Money?

Yes. If you believe the settlement offer you received for your rideshare accident is too low, you can ask for more money. Sometimes, the insurance company will agree to negotiate in good faith and make a better settlement offer. Other times, they refuse to negotiate and insist that their settlement offer is their best and final offer.

Either way, the best way to ask for more money is to have an attorney on your side, negotiating with the at-fault party on your behalf. Experienced lawyers know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and any other company responsible for compensating you for your rideshare accident.

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for My Accident?

It depends. Under some circumstances, you may be able to sue the rideshare company directly if their actions caused or contributed to your accident. Under other circumstances, you would sue the rideshare driver rather than the company – but if the driver was on duty, the company’s liability insurance applies.

Often, what matters most is whether the rideshare driver was on duty at the time of your accident. What you might not realize is how many different situations count as being “on duty.” This includes:

  • The rideshare driver had a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
  • The diver was en route to pick up a rideshare passenger.
  • The rideshare driver was looking up directions for a work-related journey.
  • The driver had the ridesharing app on and was awaiting a ride request.

If any of these situations apply, the rideshare driver was on duty. However, which insurance policy applies and how much coverage is available depends on the circumstances. Talk to a New Orleans rideshare accident attorney to learn more about your rights.

How Much Time Do I Have to File A Lawsuit?

If you want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party responsible for your rideshare accident, don’t wait too long to take legal action. This is because Louisiana has a tight deadline for filing a lawsuit in response to a car accident injury claim.

In Louisiana, the deadline to file a lawsuit is one (1) year from the date of your accident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations and applies to all motor vehicle accident lawsuits. The rules can be found in Article 3492 of the Louisiana Civil Code.

Why Should I Hire a New Orleans Rideshare Accident Lawyer?

When you have an attorney, you can take an aggressive approach to your New Orleans rideshare accident claim. Instead of the at-fault party deciding what happens next, you can set the agenda.

Your lawyer can conduct an in-depth investigation of your accident. This is important since the more evidence you have in support of your injury claim, the stronger your legal case. Often, such an investigation involves searching for critical evidence. And the longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the harder it can often be to find such evidence, which can include:

  • Rideshare driver’s driving history, including whether they have been involved in other accidents in the past or cited for speeding, drunk driving or other infractions.
  • Rideshare driver’s electronic records stored on the rideshare app. For example, how long was the driver working before they caused your accident? Was the driver overworked and tired?
  • Traffic camera footage or dashcam footage of your accident.
  • Statements from eyewitnesses who saw your rideshare accident.

Many times, the at-fault party’s insurance company agrees to negotiate in good faith and makes a fair settlement offer once they see you have an experienced New Orleans rideshare accident attorney handling your case. If not, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking damages (financial compensation).

Most accident attorneys offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency fee basis. This legal arrangement means you only have to pay your lawyer a set amount or percentage agreed upon ahead of time if your attorney secures a financial settlement or verdict for you. Talk to a lawyer experienced with handling rideshare accident claims in New Orleans today.

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