Ridesharing has made it easier for people without cars to get from one point to another. But, a recent study showed that ridesharing resulted in a 2% to 3% increase in accident fatalities. Even when they do not lead to death, car accidents may result in severe injuries, income loss, and expensive medical bills. You can seek compensation for the damages if you are a victim of an Uber or Lyft accident. When choosing ridesharing accident lawyers, there are many factors to consider.
Hiring an attorney to represent you in a rideshare accident case increases your chances of winning. But, choosing ridesharing accident lawyers is not always easy. Here are seven vital things to consider before hiring a rideshare accident attorney.
An attorney’s experience makes the difference between a good or disastrous case outcome. Therefore, when talking to prospective lawyers, ask about their ridesharing accident case experience.
Because an attorney has handled many car accident cases does not mean they can take a rideshare accident. Rideshare accident cases are more complicated than regular car accident cases.
First, there’s the issue of who to sue. Rideshare companies consider drivers as independent contractors and not employees. Thus, depending on the circumstances under which an accident occurred, a rideshare company may deny its liability.
All rideshare companies must ensure all their drivers have the training and experience to transport passengers safely. They must also respond to customers’ complaints and consider a driver’s record before hiring them.
If a rideshare company fails in any of the above obligations, you can hold it responsible for the accident. But remember, you must have enough evidence to prove the company neglected its responsibilities.
Besides, rideshare drivers have personal insurance, and rideshare companies also have insurance policies, for example, Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies max out at $1,000,000. Hence, knowing which insurance provider to claim compensation from becomes difficult. This is why filing a claim against the correct party is crucial.
An attorney who has handled many similar accidents can quickly determine who is at fault in a rideshare accident. They also help you gather evidence to prove your claim, improving your chances of a win.
Ideally, when you hire a lawyer, they should be available to answer all your questions and take you through the case. But, this is not always the case. Sometimes, attorneys take on several clients and have to divide their time between them all.
If the cases an attorney has taken on go on for a long time, their availability may not be a problem. But, if your attorney is too busy with other clients, it may feel like they have not prioritized your case. Other times, you hire an attorney who hands over your case to another lawyer in their law firm.
When interviewing rideshare accident lawyers, ask how many ongoing cases they are in charge of. Ask also if they shall personally represent you or if they will hand over your case to an attorney in the firm.
How an attorney communicates with you also points to their availability. If a lawyer takes too long to get back to you after an inquiry or has a heavy case load, they may not be the best person to handle your case.
3. Client Reviews and References
References and reviews tell you how an attorney treats their clients. After determining your options for lawyers, do research online or ask around your community to find reputable reviews.
Check what former clients had to say about the attorney. Check whether the negative reviews outweigh the positive ones. Did the attorney win most cases? Have any clients complained of communication issues?
If a law firm’s website does not have a client review section, check its social media pages. A firm that doesn’t readily offer reviews may not be a firm that you want to work with. You may also ask any attorney you interview to provide references you can ask about their services. Be wary of attorneys who refuse to give you references.
Before choosing ridesharing accident lawyers, inquire about attorney’s fees and pricing plans. Comparing lawyer fees helps you settle for one you can afford. Most rideshare accident attorneys charge clients on a contingent fee basis. That means an attorney charges you a percentage of the settlement amount.
Typically, the contingent fee ranges between 20% to 50% of the settlement amount. If you hire an attorney who charges a contingency fee, you do not have to pay them if you lose the case. This is the most typical structure for a rideshare accident lawyer. Other lawyers may operate on an hourly fee or flat fee structure.
5. Trial Experience
Many rideshare accident injury cases are resolved outside the court through negotiation. However, when negotiation fails, the case moves to trial. If an attorney has only ever done negotiations or mediations, they do not have the experience to defend your interests in court.
A lawyer with trial experience may have stronger speaking or presentation skills. They will be able to command a courtroom and persuade the jury with the facts of your case.
They may hold greater confidence in the courtroom as well. Finally, this will give you greater peace of mind, knowing that going to trial is something that your lawyer is prepared for.
6. Success Rate
Hire an attorney with a high success rate to increase your chances of winning a significant settlement. An attorney with excellent negotiation and litigation skills will ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Client testimonials and the track record indicated on a law firm’s website can tell you about an attorney’s success rate. If you want to fact-check this information, contacting the state/local jurisdictions in which the lawyer has practiced can help uncover their success rate or local reputation.
Get in touch with your local bar association at americanbar.org and check if an attorney has been subjected to disciplinary actions. It also helps to get referrals from other lawyers. Reach out to members of your network and ask if anyone has heard of your lawyer.
If you don’t have any legal connections, you can ask your lawyer which jurisdictions they’ve worked in. From there, go to that jurisdiction’s website and look up their name. You can find the cases they’ve worked on there. Finally, use online review websites to search your lawyer and read former clients’ experiences with them.
Consider the Above Factors When Choosing Ridesharing Accident Lawyers
The aftermath of a car accident is stressful. But, choosing ridesharing accident lawyers should not be a hassle. Following the above considerations will help you find a reliable attorney. Contact us today for legal representation if you are a rideshare accident victim in Newport.