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People turn to rideshare services for many different reasons. And when using these services, we all share this common belief: Trust in the service’s ability to safely get us where we need to go. If you’ve been seriously injured when that trust was broken because of negligence, you deserve to seek compensation for your damages.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely suffered serious injury in a rideshare accident. You may be dealing with pain as you recover. You’ve probably missed work, causing you worry over your finances. And you are most likely looking for someone to answer your questions about a rideshare accident claim.
We are here to help by offering free legal advice. Contact our Utah rideshare accident lawyers today.
Don’t pass up pursuing compensation out of fear you’ll need money to retain a lawyer. Call us today to schedule your free legal consultation.
When it comes to filing a rideshare accident claim, it’s not uncommon for people to wonder if they really need to retain a lawyer. It’s just an insurance claim, after all… just a paperwork hassle, really… Right?
The truth is, while insurance companies market themselves as the people’s champion in tough times, they are businesses in an industry that has become very tough to take on and win.
As businesses, insurance companies need to bring in more money than they spend. They do this by challenging every claim they get.
Confirming the veracity of each claim involves making sure the person requesting compensation is actually covered for their injuries according to the terms of their policy.
In addition to piling on the paperwork and unleashing an investigator, the insurance company will employ tactics to try and lower what they must pay you at every opportunity. The right lawyer can help you in a number of ways, many of which protect the value of your rideshare accident claim.
There are many pitfalls to avoid in the protection of your claim’s value. Hiring a lawyer will enable you to avoid many of them. But there are things you need to be aware of so you can protect your claim’s value until you’ve got an attorney in your corner.
Not everyone realizes they are injured right after an automobile accident. The fight or flight response that accompanies traumatic experiences can easily mask you pain and provide a misleading boost of energy and strength. The key to protecting your health and your claim is an awareness that this is likely what’s occurring and seeking medical attention no matter how you feel.
Internal injuries that you don’t immediately feel and cannot see can be life-threatening. Always make sure you’re okay. If you are, you’ll have the peace of mind of being sure. If you’re not okay, getting checked will allow you to get treatment. It will also give you proof of injury to support your claim. The closer your exam is to the accident, the stronger your proof will be that the accident caused your injuries.
After you’ve been treated and discharged from the hospital or medical facility, you’ll be given a treatment plan. This will include ways you can help yourself continue to heal as efficiently as possible. Adhering to it is crucial to your health and to protecting your claim.
It’s not uncommon for people to wonder how adhering to their treatment plan is relevant to the value of their claim. The answer is that your claim’s value is going to depend in large part on your damages: all the ways the accident has negatively impacted your life.
The way damages are determined includes the shortfall between where your health was before the accident and where it ends up because of the accident. If you encounter difficulty in healing, you may not be able to return to your previous level of health. If the accident is to blame, the insurance company owes you compensation. However, if the accident caused your injuries, but you are even partly to blame for not reaching your recovery potential, the insurance company will devalue your claim.
Don’t give the insurance company any excuse to blame you for problems in your recovery. You are protecting your health and the value of your claim when you take your medications according to direction, attend all your physical therapy appointments (or any other necessary treatments), and make sure you don’t take on activities that are beyond your capabilities until you’ve recovered.
For example, imagine that the insurance company’s investigator discovers you are competing in a triathlon competition when you’re recovering from a knee injury. The physical requirements of this competition are likely far beyond your scope of recommended activity during recovery. If the insurance company attains proof you’ve participated in such an event, your compensation will probably be jeopardized.
Preserve the value of your claim by sticking to your treatment plan after the accident.
A classic insurance company tactic for lowering the value of your claim is calling and asking you for your recorded statement about the accident.
Such conversations may be presented as “routine” and helpful to the processing of your claim. While it is routine for the insurance company to do this, it will not help your claim. The goal of this call is to record you saying something that can be twisted to save the insurance company money.
Adjusters are very good at conducting these interviews, and if you take this call, you may not even realize something you’ve said was misinterpreted. Don’t roll the dice by giving the insurance company permission to record your statement. An experienced attorney will know just what to say — and what not to say — to protect your claim. Present the insurance company with a united front by delegating all communications to your attorney.
When you’ve been seriously injured in a rideshare accident, you’re not likely to place “search for a lawyer” at the top of your To Do list. You’re more likely in survival mode, taking things day-to-day, especially if you’re still in pain.
Despite the understandable reasons you may be putting it off, retaining an attorney quickly is essential to protecting the value of your claim.
Long before you’re in danger of missing your claim’s filing deadline, you’ve got to make sure you don’t miss out on evidence, including witness statements. This is one of the areas in which having an experienced rideshare accident lawyer is essential.
Your rideshare accident lawyer can begin our accident investigation while you’re still laid up in recovery. They have the experience and knowledge to seek out as much information as possible to support your claim. And while this will include police reports, your attorney will want to visit the scene of the accident as well and may hire an accident recreation specialist to help support your claim.
The sooner your lawyer can walk the scene of the accident, the better chance of finding any overlooked evidence. They will also have more time to build our claim and seek out information that may otherwise become unavailable. Local business security cameras may have caught valuable information, for example, which may be recorded over if not requested by investigators.
Your lawyer will want to make sure the data from the vehicle’s black box is collected, as well. The bottom line is, your attorney will want to review everything that’s been done and pursue any avenue of investigation that may still be untapped.
Time is also a critical factor when it comes to witnesses. The sooner your lawyer can begin collecting witness testimony, the better the chances are of reaching those witnesses, and the sharper witnesses’ memories will be.
It’s not uncommon for people to mistakenly assume that any lawyer can provide them with equal results, even though they don’t do this when choosing doctors. Would you go to a foot doctor for a problem with your vision?
Just like doctors, lawyers have many practice areas to choose from. Your brother’s real estate attorney may be brilliant, but if she is not regularly involved in personal injury claims, she’s not the right lawyer for your rideshare claim.
The best person to handle your rideshare accident claim is a personal injury trial lawyer with a successful track record resolving rideshare claims both via settlement and in court.
We are using the following client story to illustrate key elements of your rideshare claim. The details and names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients, but you’ll gain valuable insight just the same. Please read to the end and then reach out to schedule your own free legal consultation.
Early on a warm summer morning in Salt Lake City not so long ago, Marie Berard’s husband Tim found his wife half-wedged under bottom shelf at the back of the walk-in pantry.
“Lose something, Honey?” Tim asked, stepping away from Marie’s kick radius as she struggled to reach all the way into the far corners of the pantry.
He only made out a fragment of her muffled answer.
Meringue? Tim repeated to himself as his wife unfolded from her contortion and stood upright “I like lemon meringue, yes.” Tim offered. “You’re making some?” He asked hopefully.
Marie laughed, swiping her hair out of her eyes with the back of her hand. “I said, ‘I think the cat took my ring,’” she repeated, holding up her bare left hand.
“Oh,” Tim responded, disappointed and more than a little confused. “I thought only ferrets stole shiny objects. And maybe crows…” Tim was now completely lost.
“Well, thankfully Kayla didn’t saddle us with babysitting a crow,” said Marie, leaning against the counter.
“I left my ring on its holder on the edge of the sink while I washed the dishes. I’m always careful to put it there when I take it off, so it doesn’t get lost. If it’s not on my hand, it’s on its holder.
While I was washing the dishes, Mr. Cratchit was on the stool beside the counter, staring at me like he does.”
They both gave the cat the side-eye. He glared back without blinking and they both shuddered. Their son and his fiancé would return from their camping trip in three days, they hoped.
“I remembered Kayla saying Mr. Cratchit likes to steal shiny objects.”
Tim’s eyes slid to the garbage disposal. “And you checked the garbage—”
“Twice,” Marie answered, eying the cat again. “Does he look pekid to you? Maybe he swallowed it.”
Tim joined his wife in looking at the cat. Mr. Cratchit cocked his head at their scrutiny, and they cocked their heads in unison, as if mesmerized.
“I’d better take him to the vet, just in case,” Marie said in a flat tone. “Get an x-ray.”
“Better safe than sorry,” Tim agreed in the same tone, lost in the cat’s green-eyed glare. “Should I take the morning off to drive you?” They’d lent their son their second car for the camping trip.
“No, but if you can drop me off on the way to work that would be great. I’ll get a rideshare home.”
Ninety minutes later, a vet tech returned to the waiting room without the cat. “We didn’t see anything on the X-ray. We’d like to keep him until the end of the day for observation, just in case. Would that be possible?”
“Yes. Better to be safe than sorry,” said Marie. Tim could pick the cat up on the way home from work.
“He’s pretty matted,” the tech continued. “We can bathe him before you pick him up, if you’re interested.”
“You do cat baths?” Marie asked, trying to picture Mr. Cratchit in a cloak of soapy bubbles. Better them than her.
The tech smiled, nodding with pride. “Not many places can.”
“You know what, go for it,” said Marie. No way was she going to take any chances during their first “babysitting” assignment. With luck, the X-ray would turn up nothing and they’d know for sure Mr. Cratchit was okay. Even better, she’d return home and find the ring and Kayla would never need to know they’d suspected her precious, furbaby.
Marie’s rideshare picked her up fifteen minutes later. As they rode south toward the high school, she felt her phone buzz. It was Kayla asking how Mr. Cratchit was doing.
Marie swallowed her panic and typed back a less-than complete response that was technically true.
He’s great. Just dropped him off for a bath to get rid of some mats he won’t let me brush out. Our treat. Long-haired kitties, LOL!
She held her breath, watching the text dots dancing as Kayla responded.
Wow! You didn’t have to go through the trouble but thanks that’s so nice!
Kayla closed her eyes exhaling her relief. She didn’t see the rideshare driver speed through the school zone as he changed the Pandora station on his phone.
The driver looked up last-minute to see a group of summer school students frozen in the cross walk ten yards away. He managed to swerve around them, but lost control of the car as it spun into a telephone pole.
Marie woke up in the hospital in traction with Tim by her side. She had a broken arm and a spine injury. She would be in the hospital for a week and then need to spend three months in a halo vest to continue traction. It would be slow-going, but the doctors were hopeful they might be able to avoid surgery.
We met Marie at her home ten days after the accident. Her son and his fiancé had returned from his camping trip and insisted she consider a free legal consultation about an accident claim.
As a self-employed designer, Marie wouldn’t be able to collect disability or have paid medical leave while she healed. Overwhelmed at the idea of meeting with a lawyer while she was still struggling just to get through each day in her vest, Marie agreed so long as her son made all the arrangements. After some online research, he made an appointment for her with the personal injury law firm of Parker McConkie.
As rideshare accident lawyer Jim McConkie sat down with Marie and Tim in their living room, Marie made it clear her first concern was expense.
“How much will it cost if we were to hire your firm?” She asked, looking warily at Attorney McConkie.
“There is no up-front cost to you,” McConkie replied. “We utilize a contingency-fee model, which means we cover all case expenses from start to finish. That includes the investigation, research, all administrative costs, as well as communicating with the insurance company, and if necessary, litigation. Our firm only receives compensation when we bring your claim to a successful resolution.”
“That works for you?” Marie asked.
“Yes, it works quite well, actually,” McConkie said, smiling.
“You must be pretty good at what you do,” Tim said, nodding.
“How much is a claim like this worth?” Marie asked.
“For us to give you a reliable answer, we’ll need some specific information. This will include information from our accident investigation and from you, Marie. You will have to reach what’s called ‘maximum medical improvement.’
“We can begin our investigation immediately, going through the police reports, gathering evidence, and speaking to witnesses, if there are any.
“There are at least half a dozen if memory serves. Most were in the crosswalk, but I’m pretty sure there were others in front of the school. Thank Heaven no one was hurt.”
“You were hurt,” said McConkie and Tim in unison.
Marie rolled her eyes. “I know, and that counts, but you know what I mean. It’s a miracle the driver didn’t kill those kids. So, what is maximum whatever it was — the second thing you need?”
“Maximum medical improvement. It means recovering as much as you possibly can back to the level of health you enjoyed before the accident. This is necessary for us to accurately assess your damages.
“Your doctors will help us determine when you’ve gotten to maximum medical improvement. You’ll have to be done with surgeries, and the doctors will need to be confident of any future care your injuries may need and any future impairments you will be facing.
“When you get to maximum medical improvement, we’ll know your damages, and that’s when we can tell you the value of your claim. Until then, follow doctor’s orders. Do any physical therapy you need to do, but don’t overdo any physical exertion.
“Your focus must be on rest and recovery. Our firm can take care of everything involved with your claim.”
Marie sighed. “Well, I suppose that’s a realistic answer. In fact, if you’d just quoted a claim value in this meeting without having seen the police report or any medical information about my injuries, I doubt I’d have believed you.”
“Nor should you have,” said Attorney McConkie. “This is how claim value is determined. Though claims fall into various areas, such as rideshare and slip and fall, etcetera, every claim is truly unique in that its value and timeline will largely depend on the specific circumstances of the claim, the injuries, and the claimant’s health before the accident.
“So, as you interview potential attorneys, I strongly urge you to be skeptical of an attorney that instantly quotes you a claim value,” McConkie said. “Because that number won’t be based on anything concrete.”
Marie sighed but understood. “Okay.”
Tim asked, “How long should we expect a claim like this to take?”
“Since we’ll need Marie to reach maximum medical improvement to determine the value of her claim, the claim can’t move any faster than the speed of her recovery.
“Once we know the claim’s value, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company. From there, the timeline of the claim will depend on how agreeable — or not, the insurance company is. If they offer us the settlement she deserves, we can wrap up her claim quickly. If not, we’ll file the claim in suit and see them in court.
“As you can imagine, going to court will extend the timeline of your claim, Marie, starting with the scheduling availability of the court. That said, please don’t let this possibility put you off pursuing the compensation you deserve. Every lawyer in our firm is an experienced trial lawyer. We’ll be ready to take on the insurance company no matter where we must meet them. That’s why I urge you to hire a personal injury trial attorney, no matter whom you chose to retain for your claim.”
Marie and Tim thanked Attorney McConkie and promised to give him their decision after they’d discussed what they’d learned.
As Tim walked him out, Jake and Kayla entered the living room with huge smiles and handed Marie an envelope.
“We have something to show you,” Jake announced.
Uh-oh, thought Marie. I hope they really were camping and didn’t go off to Vegas to elope. She looked at the envelope in her hands as if it may bite her.
“Open it,” Jake urged, still smiling ask Kayla tried on her best poker face and failed.
“What?” Tim asked warily as he came back into the living room and saw his wife gingerly opening an envelope as if it were booby trapped.
In it was a thank you note. Marie slid the card out and was stunned to find her wedding ring taped inside.
“Missing something?” Kayla asked, dissolving into giggles.
“Where on earth?” Marie asked as she returned the ring to her finger.
“We found it in Mr. Cratchit’s bed,” Jake said as the everyone burst out laughing. “Sorry, mom!”
Marie and Tim were content with the information they received during their free legal consultation. They retained Parker & McConkie and Attorney McConkie got Marie six times the amount the insurance company initially offered her.
We hope this information has helped provide you with a good overview of what to expect in a rideshare accident claim. Since each claim is unique, we recommend you call our Utah rideshare accident lawyers as soon as possible to schedule a free legal consultation. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Let us fight to bring you the compensation you deserve.
Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!