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lyftHave you been hurt in a crash while a rideshare passenger?

The District of Columbia is a tightly packed city, not only because it is the home of the government, but also because it is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. People are always coming and going, at all hours. These days, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies have taken over from the taxi as the most common way to get around town. They are generally a quick and easy method of transportation, and are sometimes easier to figure out then the Metro system! Unfortunately, while most drivers are competent motorists, collisions involving Uber and Lyft Vehicles still happen!

Car crashes in DC that involve Uber and Lyft vehicles are just as common as accidents involving private automobiles, and in many cases even more so. That makes sense when you recognize that Uber and Lyft cars are not special vehicles like taxis, but merely cars and SUVs owned by regular members of the public, picking people up through the app.

If you have been hurt as a passenger in one of these Uber and Lyft vehicles, then you may and be entitled to compensation. An experienced ride-sharing attorney in Washington DC is going to immediately investigate and figure out who was responsible, and work to hold the negligent parties accountable. Call an experienced ride sharing accident lawyer at Blaszkow Legal 703-879-5910, and learn how we can help you, and begin fighting for your rights to get justice today!

Ride Sharing Car Accidents

Washington DC has not released any specific statistics on the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles that are involved in automobile accidents every year. Of course, the ride-sharing companies themselves will not volunteer this information, nor is any database maintained. All the same, Uber and Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies, do serve an important purpose, as one of the biggest benefits they offer is keeping drunk drivers off the road. People can go have a good time, and get home safely, without getting behind the wheel of their own vehicle.

The Statute of Limitations for Ridesharing Accidents

If you have been involved in a ride-sharing car accident in Washington DC, then generally, PC law imposes a statute of limitations of 3 years (DC code 12-301). This means that you have to file the underlying lawsuit within 3 years of the date of the crash.

However, do not hang your hat on this 3 years! Remember, that after a car accident, there are two different places that you can file the underlying lawsuit: either the location of the crash, or the location of the defendant's residence.

For example: If the crash happened in Washington DC, but the at-fault driver lives in Alexandria, then you have the option of filing your case in either Washington DC, or in Virginia. This is an extremely important distinction, as the Virginia Statute of Limitations is only 2 years!!!!

Contact an attorney at Blaszkow Legal to discuss your case, and figure out the pitfalls right away. If you have been hurt anywhere in the DMV, you need a law firm that fights for clients in every one of our jurisdictions. Blaszkow Legal handles cases in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia!

Your Safety as a Rideshare Passenger

As a passenger in a Rideshare vehicle, there is generally nothing that you can do to impact the actions of the operator. In fact, most Uber passengers look at the scenery, or occupy themselves on their cell phone. There are a few things you can do however, to ensure that you are always safe, no matter what happens:

  • Look both ways before crossing the street to get to your ride;

  • Verify that the ride is yours, via the name and license plate on the app;

  • Sit down in the backseat, as it is generally safer in the event of a collision;

  • Always wear a seatbelt! If there is no seat belt, then do not get into the car!

  • If you are involved in an accident, always get all of the pertinent information. This means the full name, driver's license number, phone number, email, and address of your Uber driver. Do not rely on Uber to give that information to you, as the telephone number that you received on the app is a robo-dialer, and not that person's actual contact information. Uber and Lyft, even after an accident, will never give information freely;

  • After an accident, do not be so quick to jump into another Uber or Lyft and keep going. You need to call the police, and you need to ensure that you are protected;

  • Go get checked out. If you have been hurt, then you need to get evaluated by a hospital or urgent care facility right away!

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uber passenger car accidentInvestigating Washington DC Ridesharing Accidents

After a crash involving an Uber or any rideshare vehicle, it is our job to begin investigating the case, and find out who was responsible. Just because you are a passenger in an Uber, does not mean that Uber is responsible. It is our job to begin running down witnesses, and investigating, to see if the Uber driver did something wrong, or the accident happened as a result of the negligence of another motorist. Maybe both!

Always make sure you call the police after an accident. But remember that the police have a very narrow focus in car accident investigations. They are not always trying to determine negligence - that is something that a civil attorney does. It is our job to investigate. So always make sure you contact the lawyer right away, so we can begin developing the information that we need to prove your case, and get you the compensation that you deserve.

One of the most important kinds of evidence that we can obtain is camera footage. Camera footage, however, does not last forever. Digital Data Recorder systems record data for a finite period, and then begin to overwrite the earliest footage over time. We have to identify these cameras, and then work on preserving the data to prevent it from being lost forever.

Kinds of Injuries in DC Ride-sharing Crashes

Car accidents involving Washington DC Rideshare vehicles are all different. Just because you were in an Uber accident, and your best friend was in an Uber accident a year ago, does not mean that you are going to have the same case, because you may not have the same injuries. Each case has to be evaluated individually.

Some of the common injuries sustained in car accidents by passengers include:

  • Sprains and strains of muscles and joints

  • Chest pain

  • Whiplash

  • Injuries to the neck

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Concussions

  • Internal bleeding

  • Broken bones

  • and even death

Your Claim for Damages After a Ridesharing Accident

After being injured and in Washington DC car accident, you have the ability to file a claim for your injuries. Your injuries include many elements, but are often going to include some of the more common categories:

  • Medical costs and expenses

  • Future medical expenses, if any

  • Time lost from work

  • Future lost wages

  • Loss of earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Psychological injuries

  • Post traumatic stress

  • and more

Additionally, there are a lot of insurance issues at play when a vehicle is being used to Uber and Lyft or other rideshare service. In most cases, when you are a passenger, the insurance company for the Rideshare app is going to be your primary source of recovery, assuming that the Rideshare driver was responsible for the crash.

As of this writing, Farmers Insurance handles claims for Uber, while Travelers handles Lyft claims.

Depending on the facts of the crash, and depending on where you live, you may be eligible for other coverage as well. If, for example, you have a car at home and you live in Alexandria, then you may have a claim for some of your own medical expense payments benefits (through your own car insurance coverage, which does not make your rates increase!), in addition to a third party claim against the at-fault driver who caused your crash.

Contact a Washington DC Rideshare accident lawyer to talk about your case today!

If you have been injured as the passenger in a ride-sharing accident, you already have enough to deal with including mounting medical bills, and insurance companies that are banging down your door to talk to you. You should never go through this experience alone. Call Blaszkow Legal today and learn how a Washington DC Rideshare accident lawyer can help you, and start fighting for you. We will begin investigating, we will contact insurance companies, and we will get started documenting your damages, all to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Get Justice with joe, and call us today for a free consultation!

Meet Joe Blaszkow

Joe Blaszkow is a Georgetown Law graduate, and has been fighting for injured clients throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia for over 40 years. He developed the Blaszkow Legal Method for taking the fight to the insurance companies, and maximizing client recoveries.

Call today to talk to Joe, and discuss your car accident case for free! 703-879-5910