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Over the last decade, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft gained mass popularity for a multitude of reasons. These companies allow users to easily request an on-demand ride to their destination for often a cheaper fare than taxi cabs or personal drivers. Additionally, they provide many Americans with a flexible second income stream so people can drive on their own time, schedule and vehicle. With these companies are a great benefit, they also present many legal challenges when both riders and drivers become involved in a rideshare accident.

While these companies provide many benefits to travelers and drivers alike, Uber has made media attention in the last several years about the downsides and potential danger associated with rideshare companies. Questions are asked such as: Which insurance company is liable in an Uber accident? Or: What happens if an Uber driver is attacked by a passenger?

Let’s look at the protections in place for both passengers and drivers for rideshare companies should an unfortunate accident or injury occur during a ride.

Which insurance company is liable if I am in a rideshare accident?

Thankfully for both riders and drivers, Uber maintains auto insurance coverage on behalf of their drivers. This covers drivers while they are available or waiting for a ride request, as well as while a driver is enroute to pick up a passenger or during the actual trip. Lyft maintains a similar policy.

While the driver apps are turned off or the driver is not actively engaged in work as a driver, their own personal insurance policy applies. As independent contractors, drivers are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation.

As with any car accident, there are actions you should take to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available to you. You can receive compensation for things like:

Our Houston car accident lawyers are well-versed in what to do, and you can find answers to frequently asked questions about car accidents here.

What happens if I am assaulted or injured while in an Uber?

Last year, Uber was the subject of a lawsuit from 550 passengers over its failure to protect female passengers from kidnapping and sexual assault from ride share drivers. Inadequate background checks on drivers, and a lack of willingness for victims to disclose sexual assault, can create a breeding ground for this type of injury to occur.

Passengers are not the only people at risk during an Uber ride. There have been numerous news stories around the drivers themselves being the victims of assault, robbery or car-jacking.

What protections are in place for both drivers and passengers during a ride? Here, the legal protections can be difficult to decipher. An experienced Houston rideshare accident attorney is well-equipped to advise on your options to obtain justice for your injury.

A Houston rideshare accident attorney can help!

If you are in an accident in an Uber or Lyft, you should not take the next steps alone. Give us a call, and our legal team will discuss your claim with you and the best options for moving forward with your case. We are available 24/7 at 713-888-9000.

A contingency fee is frequently used by many personal injury law firms, but what is it exactly? Do you really not pay anything out-of-pocket? What happens if you do not win your case? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

How Are Lawyers Paid for Their Services? Hourly, Flat Fee, and Contingency Explained:

There are different ways lawyers can be paid for their services. The first way is to pay an hourly rate and the client will be charged the total amount of time worked on a case. This type of fee agreement is often used by larger law firms. The lawyers and various support staff, like paralegals, bill for their hours worked on a case.

Lawyers can also work on a fixed fee. This is when the attorney charges a flat rate for specific legal services they will perform for you. This type of arrangement is common for estate planning attorneys who may be setting up a will or offering a package of estate planning services.

A contingency fee is structured differently from hourly or fixed fees. Clients do not pay any money upfront or out-of-pocket to the attorney. Instead, the lawyer only gets paid if there is a settlement, judgment, or verdict. When the case is completed and your attorney has successfully secured a recovery, they receive a percentage of that recovery as their attorney’s fees. However, if no recovery is made, then you do not owe anything to the law firm. So, the lawyer only gets paid if he or she gets you compensation.

The percentage of recovery paid to the lawyer can vary anywhere from 33% to 45%. The percentage and an explanation of the contingency fee must be clearly outlined in the agreement you receive at the outset of your case.

How Are Expenses in My Case Paid?

Throughout the course of your case, there will be various expenses incurred. Examples of expenses include:

In a contingency fee agreement, the attorney will front the expense money necessary to pursue the case. The client does not pay any expenses out-of-pocket. The agreement will disclose  that these expenses paid for by the lawyer will be reimbursed to their firm when there is a recovery for the client (via settlement, judgment, or verdict). However, it is important to note that these case expenses are typically not owed to the law firm by the client in the event there is no successful recovery.

What Are the Advantages of a Contingency Fee Agreement?

The advantages of a contingency fee agreement are numerous. The first, and most obvious, advantage is that a client does not have to pay any fees upfront to hire their attorney. This takes financial stress off the client so they can focus on getting better and recovering from their injury.

Because a lawyer will not make any money if they do not win the case, it gives them a large incentive to do everything they can to secure the maximum amount of money possible for you. This can also make them selective in which cases they will accept. If your lawyer takes on your case, they likely think you have a reasonable chance at winning a recovery.

The last advantage is that if you do not win your case, then you do not owe any money to your attorney – either for fees or case expenses. It is important, however, to be sure to review your specific fee agreement, make sure it specifies these terms, and discuss it with your attorney at the beginning of your case so there are no surprises in the end.

Should I Hire a Lawyer on a Continency Fee Basis?

Here at Scott Callahan & Associates, this is the only fee structure we offer and believe strongly in the advantages and flexibility it gives our clients. If you have been injured, give us a call today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are here 24/7 to review your claim and answer all your questions.

As anyone who has suffered serious injury knows, it is not easy and there are a lot of things to consider to move your life forward. Sometimes, despite being injured, we see people put medical treatment on the back burner, stress about medical bills, struggle to take off work, or not going for treatment altogether. We’re here to talk about why treatment is so important not only for your health and recovery, but why it is critical to your personal injury claim.

Don’t Delay, Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

After you’ve been injured, it’s important to seek medical care right away. Especially if you did not go to the emergency room or get immediate medical attention on the scene, do not wait days, weeks, or months to go for your first appointment after your injury. A large gap in time between the accident and seeking treatment can incorrectly lead the insurance company to think your injuries are not serious or that your claim lacks credibility. They could low-ball the amount they offer for your claim, or even deny compensation altogether.

Medical Records for Your Treatment Are Key

In addition to medical records, things like treatment plans, test results, hospital bills and any other documentation related to your treatment can help build a stronger claim. This is factual evidence to support the severity of your injuries and justify any long-term and ongoing medical treatment. Medical records can also help quantify financial losses, such as lost wages or out-of-pocket expenses one is likely to incur after a serious injury.

Medical records also serve as proof of consistent medical care which validate the severity of your injuries. These medical records are also essential for down the road should you decide to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

The Physician You Choose For Treatment Is Important

Though we encourage you to seek competent treatment of any kind following an accident or injury, the type of treatment you receive can matter in a personal injury claim. For example, an insurance company may give more weight or consideration to a claim with extensive specialist treatment over treatment with an alternative or holistic therapy provider. We know this might not always be possible given your finances or the availability of specialists in your area. However, we encourage you to seek treatment with a physician best suited to treat your injuries.

It’s also important you are comfortable with the physician treating your injuries. Make sure you are detailed in describing your pain and limitations, so the doctor can provide thorough documentation in your records and potentially be a strong ally in your personal injury claim.

Never Be Afraid to Seek a Second Opinion

If you feel it is too difficult to get appointments, or you feel your physician isn’t listening to you or acknowledging what you are saying, seek a second opinion! You want to be on the path to getting better and getting your life back, while also maximizing the amount rightfully owed to you in a personal injury claim. Thus, you want to treat with a physician who is very much on your side.

Seek a Free Legal Consultation from a Board-Certified Houston Personal Injury Attorney

Much like choosing the right physician, we encourage you to seek the appropriate personal injury lawyer to help you win your claim. We are here and available 24/7 at 713-888-9000 to provide a free and confidential consultation to get your case started. There are no fees until we win; and we are on your side every step of the way.