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  • Ridesharing Accident Attorney in New Mexico

    by Caruso Law Offices, P.C. | 2020-09-07 | Car Accidents

  • Understanding Your Rights After an Uber Accident or Lyft Accident in New Mexico: Ridesharing Accident Attorney in New Mexico Explains

    Ridesharing has rapidly transformed from a luxurious mode-of-travel option to everyone’s go to mode-of-transportation in 21st century. But not any one form of transportation is completely accident free – that holds double for individual rideshare entities working with riders that are more freelancers than regular employees.  This is why our ride sharing accident attorney in New Mexico wants you to understand some basic information about ridesharing with Uber and Lyft, as well as your rights after an accident.  There are also some common issues with liability with ridesharing which can help protect a victim after a serious accident.  

    If you or a loved one were ever involved in a serious ridesharing accident in New Mexico, call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. to learn what your rights to compensation may be under New Mexico law.  Our experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyers are dedicated and skilled in helping victims and their families protect their rights in a serious crash.  Learn more with a FREE consultation today.

    Ridesharing Liability: Are Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

    Determining who to sue in an auto accident case is important. There is a stark difference between an employee and an independent contractor in the eyes of the law.

    Uber reached a settlement with almost 400,000 of its drivers, stating them as independent freelancers which resulted in some compromising factors at the expense of passenger’s-safety. For instance, rideshare companies now cannot “deactivate” their drivers without sufficient proofs and two warnings. Sadly, this increases the risk of drivers behaving potentially reckless, carry out acts of discrimination, illegal conduct, sexual assault, fraud or even put passengers at risked security since they have the “two warning” time period until they lose their job. 

    Thus, the law is murky here because, even though Uber has stated its drivers will be independent contractors, or freelancers as they call it, there is still some control over them.  There are also issues with liability meaning that Uber and other ridesharing companies do have control and domination over the independent contractors, which means that they can have some liability interposed against them.

    Vicarious Liability and Insurance Manipulation by Rideshare Companies

    A legal term called vicarious liability is what allows a victim to hold a company liable for the actions of an employer.  This means that employers with employability policies such as rideshare companies are liable to compensate the fault of their “hired employees” by paying compensation damages to victims. Thus, as long as the employee’s actions were within the scope of employment, the employer may be liable.  In an employee-employer situation, the term of vicarious liability actually becomes respondeat superior. 

    Many rideshare companies hire aggressive insurance adjusters that try to do this by trying to minimize your injuries, weaken your claim by claiming strong proof that may be impossible to give, confuse you by twisting the legal facts, or straight away avoid taking responsibility through shifting vicarious liability on each other (between rideshare companies and drivers).

    Unfortunately, accidents happen and rideshare companies like Uber/Lyft are aware of this, which makes filing for lawsuits against the drivers or their hiring companies very difficult. After the recent changes in state laws allowing rideshare captains to be titled as independent contractors instead of employees, most rideshare passengers who get accidental injuries during the ride or as a result of driver-at-fault assaults, find it extremely confusing and/or difficult to file for a ride-sharing accident claim.  This is why an experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyer is necessary to help protect your rights to compensation under New Mexico law.

    Who to File a Lawsuit Against for your Rideshare Injuries

    A ride-sharing accident claim or lawsuit is designed to compensate passengers for their on-ride injuries which may have been caused due to various reasons such as driver’s fault, misconduct, discrimination or planned acts of violence of assaults, illegal activity or drunk driver accidents.  While for some accidents, passengers may be satisfied with a little settlement with the driver or even their own insurance company covering partially or fully all the damages of the accidents, but this may not be the case for others. 

    The best course of action is to simply ask an experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyer how we can help protect your rights to compensation under New Mexico law.  The parties who may be liable for your ridesharing accident include the following:

    • The ridesharing company, even if the driver is an independent contractor because the ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft still have control and domination over the employee
    • The driver
    • Another motorist who hit the vehicle you were riding in
    • Municipal or state authorities for road construction or maintenance
    • Another passenger in the vehicle
    • A third-party that assaults someone getting out of a ridesharing vehicle
    • Another motorists, or
    • Any other individual having fault for the collision in New Mexico.

    Filing for Rideshare Lawsuits in Personal Injuries in an Accident

    With the current state laws for car insurance rules regarding rideshare lawsuits, passengers could almost instantly file for a lawsuit. However, most lawsuits who actually get claims are the personal injury rideshare claims/lawsuits against either rideshare companies or the at-fault drivers. In either case, the rideshare claims process involves a complex web of documentation, requirements of proofs, representation of your case and possibly presenting any witnesses/testimonies. With the trauma of the rideshare accident itself, many passengers make the mistake of attempting to do all of this claims filing process on their own and not get the expected results due to wrong execution of their rideshare claims process. This means even a little mistake can cost passengers in a reduction of compensation money or losing the whole compensation money in the lawsuit.

    This is why victims should always work with an experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyer to protect your rights in the event of a serious ridesharing accident in New Mexico.  Never try to negotiate a claim without the proper assistance and help that you deserve.

    The Nature of Rideshare Claims: Other Forms of Liability Against the Ridesharing Company

    While many rideshare claims are made for drivers mismanagement, misconduct or discriminatory policies, some are also directed solely towards the rideshare companies. This may involve negligent hiring, negligent retention of a bad driver, negligent training, and, in some egregious cases, punitive damages. An example of this may be a rideshare accident involving a drunken driver (for which the rideshare company is obviously responsible for negligent hiring).

    A successful rideshare lawsuit requires extensive research on the driver and a thorough investigative approach before filing for the rideshare claims. Moreover, a complete understanding of the rapidly changing insurance policies is very important since almost all rideshare companies frequently revise their insurance policies, procedures and coverage limits. 

    Due to the varying nature of every rideshare claim, driver’s mistake, rideshare company and its insurance policies or even your own insurance company provider’s policies, we suggest you seek counsel of professional ridesharing attorneys to get the rideshare compensation amounts for personal injury in case of the unfortunate rideshare accident you were involved in. 

    Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for Help with a Ridesharing Accident in New Mexico 

    If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a ridesharing accident in New Mexico, call our experienced Albuquerque ridesharing accident lawyers to learn how we can help protect your rights in a serious collision.  Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., to learn more how we can help you and your family by dialing (505) 883-5000 for a FREE appointment or use our contact us box here.

    We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico.  Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000.