In most cases, the statute of limitations in ridesharing accidents is three years. If you have been injured in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle and you want to bring a civil claim against the at-fault driver, the ridesharing company, or another negligent party, you need to act quickly before the statute of limitations runs out.
A civil claim allows you to hold the driver financially responsible for the damages you incurred as a result of the accident, and a skilled ridesharing attorney can help you with this process.
A statute is simply a law, and a limit is point beyond which something cannot happen. By extension, a statute of limitations refers to the time period during which you can bring forward legal action related to a crime or negligence.
Every crime has a certain statute of limitations. Minor crimes tend to have relatively short statutes of limitations, and as crimes get more and more serious, the statute of limitations increases. For instance, in Massachusetts, arson has a six-year statute of limitations while murder doesn’t have a statute of limitations.
There is no set statute of limitations for ridesharing accidents. Instead, you have to apply the statute of limitations related to the overarching issue. Usually, ridesharing accidents fall under the category of personal injury, but in some cases, you may need to bring forward a civil suit for property damage or wrongful death. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for all of these issues is three years. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage is three years, but it’s six years for wrongful death.
Minors generally get a longer statute of limitations. For instance, if a minor is disfigured in a ridesharing accident but their parents never bring forward a lawsuit to cover the physical, emotional, and social toll of the disfigurement, the minor has a chance to take legal action after they become an adult. In these situations, the statute of limitations is usually three years after the victim reaches the age of maturity.
Ideally, you should not wait for the statute of limitations to expire. Even if you have three years to bring forward a civil claim, you should act as quickly as possible. Building a civil case requires several elements. Your lawyer has to establish that the ridesharing driver acted negligently, that their negligence led to the accident, and that you suffered damages as a result of the accident.
Then, the lawyer attempts to get you compensation for your damages. Sometimes, the lawyer can simply negotiate with the ridesharing company’s insurer or the driver’s insurer. In other cases, the ridesharing attorney may need to bring forward a lawsuit on your behalf.
To make this process as successful as possible, your ridesharing attorney brings in a lot of details. That may include medical bills, assessments from your doctor, eyewitness testimony about the accidents, depositions from people involved in the accident, and similar pieces of information. After the accident, this information is easier to obtain and more detailed. As time passes, these details can get lost to memory, and that can make building a case harder. To eliminate that risk, you should always act quickly.
Ridesharing companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying claims to people who have been injured by their drivers. They may claim that they aren’t liable because the driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee. They may argue reduced liability if the driver was using the app but didn’t have a passenger in the vehicle and wasn’t on the way to pick up a passenger. A ridesharing attorney can help you deal with these companies and their reluctance to admit liability.
In other cases, the ridesharing company may offer a lowball settlement that doesn’t cover all your damages. In these situations, an attorney can help you accurately assess all your damages including costs you’re likely to incur in the future. For instance, if you can’t work due to injuries sustained in a ridesharing accident, you need to take into account lost future wages. Similarly, you may need to take into account damages that aren’t directly tied to a dollar amount such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and similar types of damages. Again, a ridesharing attorney helps with this process to ensure you are fairly and justly compensated. Remember, ridesharing companies are worth billions — you don’t deserve to suffer for their mistakes.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible after a ridesharing accident. If you have been injured as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, as a pedestrian hit by a ridesharing vehicle, or as another driver involved in a collision with a ridesharing vehicle, you should contact a ridesharing attorney. You should also reach out if you have lost a loved one in a ridesharing accident.
Don’t let the statute of limitations expire on your case. To learn more and to set up a no-cost case evaluation, contact us at Mazow | McCullough, PC today.