Uber Accident Lawyer in Beaumont TX
Texas is one of the few states that have regulated rideshare companies like Uber. It happened in May 2017 when Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 100. The Bill ended the war between Texas municipalities and the rideshare companies like LYFT and Uber. It now represents the starting point for every Uber accident lawyer and LYFT accident lawyer in Beaumont, TX. If you were involved in a Rideshare accident whether it was Uber or LFYT or another Rideshare company, contact an Uber accident lawyer at the B. Coon Law Firm today.
Despite the new rules, rideshare cars still get into accidents. What happens when they do and who covers the losses? The answer depends on the specifics of the case. To uncover it, those interested should contact an Uber accident attorney.
The latter will determine whether the rideshare driver or the company violated the rules. Their findings will dictate the subsequent steps. Before we discuss those steps, it helps to understand Texas rideshare company regulations. Their violation could make Uber in Beaumont, Texas responsible for any accidents their drivers cause.
Every Texas Uber Accident Lawyer Should Discuss House Bill 100 With Their Clients
House Bill 100 eliminates the local rules in force in cities like Austin, Houston, or San Antonio. It implements new statewide rules. Exceptions refer to large events, airports, and cruise ship terminals. Perhaps the most important rules refer to the requirements rideshare drivers have to meet.
Violations of these rules ease the work of any Uber accident lawyer. They justify a claim against the transportation network company or their insurer. We will review the most important of them in the following lines.
Requirements Referring to Uber Drivers in Beaumont Employment
All rideshare drivers need a state permit. To obtain it, they have to be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. They will also have to show proof of insurance and registration. If they do, they will then have to undergo a background check.
If a rideshare driver causes an accident, any Uber accident lawyer will check their records. Perhaps the rideshare company hired them despite the fact that they did not meet the requirements of the House Bill 100. If that is the case, the Beaumont Uber accident attorney may succeed in holding the rideshare company responsible. It would be easy to prove that they broke state rules.
The background verifications will focus on the driver’s local, state, and national driving record. Rideshare companies cannot accept drivers with criminal convictions on record during the past 3-7 years. The following convictions disqualify drivers:
- Three or more moving violations on record
- Convictions for eluding police officers, reckless driving, driving without a license, DUI
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony
- Convictions for felonies involving property damage, theft, fraud, acts of violence or terrorism
- Registration as a sex offender in the national public database.
Nothing makes a Texas Uber accident attorney happier than discovering that the rideshare company broke the rules. It would mean their case is half-won. The rideshare company will do everything in their power to avoid bad publicity. They will most likely pay the requested compensation. But their obligations do not end with checking the background of their drivers.
Obligations of Transportation Network Companies
Rideshare companies have to pay an annual fee representing law administration costs. This fee will not take into account the number of cars or drivers activating within the company. All transportation network companies will have to carry minimum insurance coverage between rides of:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury or death
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury or death
- $25,000 per accident for property damage or destruction.
During the rides, the required coverage reaches a total aggregate liability limit of $1 million per accident. The coverage refers to bodily injury, death, and property damage. These requirements make the rideshare companies’ insurance coverage easier to access. Claimants will still need an Uber accident lawyer on their side, but their success chances will be higher.
The rideshare companies have the obligation to disclose their fare calculation method to their passengers. They should do so online and/or through the app before the ride begins. The clients should know how much the company charges and have access to fare estimates.
Local Regulations the Bill Annulled
Cities like Austin had their own regulations in place. House Bill 100 eliminated them. Before, an Uber accident attorney in Beaumont, TX taking cases in different municipalities had to learn the local regulations. Starting with May 2017, they have only one set of regulations to worry about. Here are some of the most important local regulations eliminated:
- Penalties for transportation network companies violating city ordinances
- Fees payable by the rideshare company and the calculation method established through a city ordinance
- The need for transportation network companies to have operating authority in town
- The requirement for rideshare companies to provide 24h customer telephone and email service
- The obligation of the transportation network company to report specific data to the local authorities
- The obligation for rideshare vehicles to display an approved emblem
- Minimum drivers’ age of 21 years
- Fingerprint-based criminal background checks
- Maximum driving period of 12h within 24h.
As shown above, the new statewide regulations should make things easier for any Uber accident lawyer. Whether in Beaumont or elsewhere in Jefferson County, Uber accident claims will be easier to prove. In the past, it was nearly impossible.
Past Challenges an Uber Accident Attorney Had to Face in Beaumont, Texas
Before the new regulations, holding rideshare companies responsible for their driver’s actions was nearly impossible. The success chances of an Uber accident lawyer depended on several factors. Here are the four most important:
The driver’s status in the app at the time of the accident.
To seek compensation from the rideshare company, the claimant had to show that the accident occurred during a ride. Now they may do so even for accidents caused by drivers between rides.
The driver’s insurance coverage
Uber’s insurance only stepped in after the driver’s own coverage had been exhausted. However, most insurance companies did not cover instances of driving for profit. Uber’s coverage now takes precedence over the driver’s.
The party at fault for the accident
Rideshare passengers injured in accidents could not seek compensation from Uber if someone else was at fault. Now, companies like Uber have 3rd party liability insurance.
The claimant’s actions at the accident scene
Many accident victims give in to rage, panic, or despair, and say or do things against their interests. If their client signs a right waiver, there is little an Uber accident lawyer can do to help them.
Even with the new regulations, cases against transportation network companies are still challenging. They should be left to an experienced Beaumont Uber accident attorney. The first thing an Uber accident lawyer does when accepting a case is to check the available coverage.
Insurance Coverage for Uber Drivers Available in Case of Uber Accidents
Insurance Coverage for Uber drivers is highly specific. They are required to hold individual coverage that at least meets the states minimum coverage limits. Additionally, the may be covered under an Uber corporate level policy, but that policy is highly dependent on the drivers exact status within the Uber app at the time of the accident. Did they have the app turned on? Were they had on the way to pick up passengers, or were they waiting on a request to come in? These differences matter greatly to your Uber accident lawyer, so any relevant information you may have can be highly beneficial. The four statuses within the app are as follows:
1. When the Uber Driver Is Offline or Unavailable
When offline, Uber drivers and their victims do not benefit from the rideshare company’s coverage. If the driver causes an accident, they will be directly responsible for it. Their victims will have to either sue the driver or file a compensation claim with their insurer. In order to identify the best solution, it helps to consult a Beaumont Uber accident attorney. The latter will analyze all options and recommend the most convenient one.
2. When the Uber Driver Is Online or Available / Waiting for a Request
Uber provides third-party liability coverage to drivers in this situation. This means the company or their insurer will cover the losses of anyone injured due to the Uber driver’s actions. The minimum coverage available for this situation is of $25,000/event for property damage. For bodily injury, the minimum coverage is of $50,000/person and $100,000/event.
3. On Way to Pick Up a Client
Drivers on way to pick up clients benefit from third-party liability coverage. The minimum coverage available is $50,000 bodily injury/person and $100,000 bodily injury/event. They also have $25,000 coverage for property damage to third parties. This coverage precedes the driver’s personal coverage. The only exception is when the driver maintains separate coverage including commercial use or rideshare services. Depending on the circumstances, the Uber accident lawyer may have to file separate claims against the driver’s insurer and Uber’s.
4. During the Ride
This is the most convenient situation for any Uber accident attorney and their clients. The available coverage is of $1 million for 3rd party liability and underinsured/uninsured motorists. Of course, Uber’s insurer will do their best to pay as little as possible. In the end, it all comes down to the available evidence.
The company’ insurance coverage includes physical damage to the rideshare driver’s vehicle. The contingent comprehensive and collision insurance comes with a $1,000 deductible. It steps in only if the driver carries comprehensive and collision coverage.
The Importance of Working with an Uber Accident Lawyer in Beaumont TX
An Uber car involved in an accident does not guarantee access to the rideshare company’s insurance. That is why it is important that the victims contact an experienced Uber accident attorney. Depending on when they take over the case, the latter can:
Provide Assistance at the Scene of the Accident
A passenger may have a hard time figuring out how the accident occurred. They will find it difficult to focus on gathering information and evidence. Most Uber accident victims neglect reporting the accident to the rideshare company. They also do not realize the importance of proving their status as an Uber client.
A Texas Uber accident lawyer will know exactly what to do. They will guide their client, collect information and evidence, and use anything they see or hear. In fact, many Uber accident attorneys build their case right at the accident scene.
Identify the Party at Fault and the Best Legal Strategy
Before filing a compensation claim, accident victims need to identify the party at fault. They also need to gather evidence to support their claim. If they decide to hire an Uber accident attorney in Texas, the latter will take over the hassles.
They will analyze how the accident occurred and who was responsible for it. Depending on their findings, they may decide to seek compensation from Uber, their driver, or a third party. In some cases, filing a claim with their client’s own insurer is the best strategy.
An experienced Uber accident lawyer will explain all options and enable their client to make the best decision. They will inform the latter of any actions they take. Generally, filing a claim with an insurance company is preferable to a court trial.
File the Claim and Negotiate a Settlement
The deadline for filing Uber accident claims is of two years from the accident date. However, the claim preparation should begin at the scene of the accident. That is when evidence is easier to gather and witnesses are easy to identify.
Upon receiving the compensation claim, the insurance company will probably offer to settle. The Uber accident attorney can review it and assess if it is worth accepting. If the settlement offer is too low, there is always the possibility to file an appeal or take matters to court. An experienced and dedicated lawyer will always secure the best possible outcome for their client.
With their help, their client can save valuable time and money. They will also enjoy peace of mind and avoid important hassles. They will have no formalities to worry about, no forms to fill in, no tiresome procedures to handle.
Obtain the Compensation You Deserve with a Brent Coon & Associates Uber Accident Lawyer in Beaumont TX
If you were injured in an Uber accident in Beaumont, you should protect your right to compensation. The best way to do it is to discuss your case with an experienced Beaumont Uber accident attorney. You will find one at Brent Coon & Associates. Call (409) 222-2722 and schedule a case review at our office in Beaumont! You will receive all the advice and guidance you need to secure fair compensation, at no risk to you, with our Beaumont, Texas Uber Accident Lawyer.