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"I had a tough case in the beginning but it ended wonderfully and I grossed more than I expected. I recommend each & everyone who has an accident or any other legal matters, to please call Duboff & Assoc." -Terrence Edwards.
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"I had a great experience working with Duboff & Associates through my legal case. I was involved in a car accident by a tuck tractor at no fault of mine. Mr. Duboff was such pleasant person that he guided me through the process and through by medical care." -Mohamed A..
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There was a time when you called a taxi if you needed a ride to get somewhere. Times are changing though, and taxis are no longer the only option. Riders now have a choice, and many are opting for app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. These companies are not only changing transportation, they are changing the way auto insurance works as well. The way these companies work has become known as a special category of transportation called ridesharing.
As ridesharing has gained popularity over the past few years, lawmakers have had to step up and create laws that cover the unique circumstances that these services present. This can leave passengers (or anyone else involved in an Uber or Lyft accident) somewhat confused, wondering who is responsible in a car accident when they are riding with Uber or Lyft.
When these vehicles are involved in an accident, it’s not the same as when two regular passenger vehicles have a problem. Circumstances for everyone involved; passengers, drivers, and even pedestrians or bicyclists are different. These services sit somewhere in the middle of professional service and a private citizen driving their own car.
When someone is involved in a rideshare accident, they’re often confused about what their next step should be and where to start. Do accident victims need to deal with the drivers, the companies, or both? And how does the process even work?
If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident, you have all the same rights to file injury and damage claims just as you would in any other accident. It’s important, though, that you speak with an accident attorney familiar with the differences between a straight accident case and an accident claim involving an uber vehicle.
Even though the rideshare companies carry plenty of insurance coverage, you can surely understand that they’re not just going to hand over their money because you file a personal injury claim against them. They are large companies, with large and experienced legal teams. You need to make sure that you work with a law firm and personal injury lawyer that knows how to deal with these companies and the tactics their legal departments will use against you.
Just like any other motorist, Uber and Lyft drivers must have specific liability coverage in order to drive. Under Maryland law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum level of coverage and are responsible for purchasing their own insurance in order to be able to drive. The minimum insurance coverage that is required for every driver in the state is 30/60/15, or $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident for two or more people, and $15,000 property damage.
In fact, rideshare service drivers require special rideshare insurance to be able to legally provide their services at all. If there is an accident while one of these drivers is working, it will not be the rideshare driver’s own personal liability insurance that covers any damages, it will be the rideshare insurance purchased by the driver or the company they are working for. The driver’s insurance will only provide coverage when the vehicle is being used for personal reasons.
Commercial drivers are typically covered by the insurance policy their employer carries. However, Uber and Lyft drivers have a unique work situation. They drive their vehicles for personal use but also drive the for work. They are not considered to be employees. They are independent contractors. This means that different insurance policies cover their vehicle depending on whether they are on duty or off duty.
The driver may have his or her own insurance for when they are driving their vehicle for personal reasons, but receive coverage from the ridesharing companies when they are working. Some drivers also have a single two-in-one type of insurance policy that provides the necessary coverage for both situations.
Regulations can change the exact insurance coverage between different states and locales, but, at a minimum, Uber’s insurance and company policies provide the following coverage to protect both drivers and Uber passengers:
Lyft maintains similar insurance and policies for their drivers and passengers.
Accidents happen, even to Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. In fact, statistically speaking, drivers for rideshare companies are more likely to get in an accident simply because they are spending more time behind the wheel than regular drivers.
Rideshare drivers are also more likely to get into an accident because of what’s come to be known as distracted driving. Their job revolves around checking the Uber app of the Lyft app on the screen of their smartphone (or another mobile device) to see if there are passengers available, to follow directions to an address, receiving messages while they’re en route, and for other reasons.
When they reach a destination to pick someone up, they may also get distracted as they begin looking around, trying to find the passenger that sent the ride request. Even if they’re moving slow, they can easily bump into other cars or injure a pedestrian or bicyclist because they weren’t paying enough attention to the street in front of them. Even slow-moving vehicles can cause serious injuries.
A driver could also be in an unfamiliar place at the time of the accident. Some passengers may request to be picked up or dropped off in a place where the driver has never been. The driver may not be aware of sudden turns, unusual traffic patterns, or other hazards that locals pass through every day without a second thought.
If you are a third-party motorist involved in an accident with a Lyft or Uber rideshare driver, and especially if you were in need of any medical attention, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the company, the driver of the car, or both.
It’s also extremely important to contact the police from the scene of the accident and make sure that a police report is filed. If you speak with a car accident lawyer and have a police report stating that a Lyft or Uber driver was at fault in an accident, you have much higher chances of a successful claim.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and the driver gets into an accident, both the driver and the company may be held liable. You may have physical injuries that incur expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and future medical costs. Pain and suffering may also be involved. You would need to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance as soon as possible.
Rideshare situations are unique and very complex from a legal standpoint. While the company insurance for Uber or Lyft does provide coverage while the car is on duty, the drivers are still independent contractors. They are not actual company employees. This means that the insurance coverage from the rideshare company can have certain limitations. For instance, if the driver was acting recklessly and caused an accident intentionally (i.e. road rage), or if they were driving under the influence (DUI), it could cause the claim to be denied. In that case, a claim would need to be filed against the actual driver.
If you’re involved in any type of accident with Lyft or Uber, no matter if you were a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, there are several things you should do to improve the chances of filing a successful claim against either the driver or the company they are working for.
Even if the accident seems minor, don’t let the other driver talk you out of calling the police. You should call 911 immediately and request the presence of the police to be sure they can investigate the circumstances and file a proper police report of the incident.
As a passenger, you should ask the driver for their license, insurance, and registration information. If you are another driver, you should exchange this information with the rideshare driver and any other driver that might have been involved. If anyone refuses to give you their information, you should simply wait for the police to arrive and they will be able to help you get the information you need.
If possible, take photos of everything you can think of at the accident scene. Take pictures of the car(s), specific damage to the vehicles, any injuries you or anyone else has sustained, damage to property, marks on the roadway, etc. You should, of course, make sure you are standing in a safe place as you take pictures, but get as many pictures as you can. You never know what might turn out to be the proof that you need to make your case. The more visual information you have, the more your lawyer will have to work with.
If you (or anyone else involved) have sustained serious injuries, you should request an ambulance for medical treatment at the same time when you call 911 to request the presence of the police.
Even if you think you only have minor injuries, or perhaps none at all, you should still see a doctor and get a full medical report of your examination. Some injuries can seem almost insignificant at first and develop into something much more serious over the next few days or weeks. It can be difficult to prove that these “delayed onset” injuries were caused in the accident if you haven’t been examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Filing a personal injury claim against Uber or Lyft can be a complex process that will take a lot of work and time, but it can be summed up fairly simply.
First, we’ll ask you to come in too our office for a free and confidential consultation with as much information as you have about the accident and any medical treatments you’ve received since then. We’ll go over the information, photos, and reports together and we’ll discuss the possible first steps we can take. We’ll give you a complete case evaluation and determine whether or not it looks like your claim will hold up if it’s filed.
If we think your case looks like it’s worth pursuing, we’ll discuss some of the first steps we can take to get things underway and give you our honest legal advice for your particular case.
We’ll conduct our own investigation of the incident, have experts review the available information and evidence, and start putting together our plan to move forward. We’ll file the personal injury claim on your behalf and the official legal process will begin.
There will be plenty of paperwork sent back and forth as well as talks and negotiations with insurance companies and the opposing legal team. We’ll take care of all of the “heavy lifting” but we’ll always keep you informed of what is going on and where we are in the process. Whenever we come to a fork in the road, the decision on which way to go will be up to you.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to negotiate a settlement between you and the insurance company that makes both sides happy, but we’ll be ready to go to court if we have to as well. If we can’t come to a settlement agreement, our team has the experience needed and is fully ready to take the case to court.
In court, we will present a concrete case using all of the evidence we have at our disposal and take advantage of expert witnesses to help prove that the other side is liable for the injuries and damages you have suffered. Once both sides have made their arguments, a jury will decide the outcome of the case and you’ll know the result as soon as they make their decision.
To put it in the simplest terms, we will do everything within our power to defend your legal rights and make sure that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and a rideshare vehicle was involved, you need an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner fighting for your rights. You can bet that a company like Uber or Lyft will have an entire legal team working for them.
At DuBoff and Associates, we have the experience and knowledge to handle these complex rideshare cases. Contact us online anytime or call us at 866-461-9330 for a free consultation. We’ll walk through your case with you, give you honest, direct feedback, and make our recommendations on how to proceed. We care, and we want to see you on the road to recovery. Let us handle the insurance company; you concentrate on healing.
Parts of Maryland and surrounding areas, including Washington, DC, are very walkable. It is easy for pedestrians and cyclists to get around the city, even commute to work, by walking, running, or riding their bikes. The walkability of these areas also makes it very appealing for people who enjoy outdoor fitness activities. This means that there is a lot of foot traffic on the City streets. Cyclists are abundant in the area as well and it isn’t unusual to see accidents involving cars and pedestrians or cyclists.
Accidents like this can be traumatic and the injuries can be quite dramatic and catastrophic. Filing an insurance claim can compound the difficulty and stress when the victim seeks compensation for damages or injury. Most states recognize these difficulties and maintain a “comparative fault” policy when a crash occurs. However, a handful of states, Maryland and DC included, have long maintained a “contributory negligence” policy. This has changed in DC for certain persons but not all. Maryland meanwhile has tried but not passed anything as of this legislative term through the Annapolis legislature.
In most states, comparative negligence is used when judging personal injury cases. lt looks at both the defendant and claimant, weighs the negligence of each, and bases the damages awarded on the percentage of the fault of each side. For instance, if the claimant was found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident, they would recover 75 percent of the damages they sought instead of 100 percent. In some states, if the court finds the claimant to be at least 50 percent at fault, they are not entitled to any damages.
In personal injury claims, contributory negligence refers to behavior or action of the plaintiff that contributed to the accident, thus causing the injury. The plaintiff could be partly responsible or wholly responsible for their injuries or damage. For instance, if a person was crossing against the light at an intersection and they were hit by a car, they would be at least partially responsible because they were crossing against the light. If the pedestrian was in a crosswalk their claim may survive if the defendant driver then ignored the danger or gunned his engine.
In the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, Senate Bill 465 was presented, establishing comparative negligence in the state. This would have been a huge sea change from Maryland’s long standing strict contributory negligence policy and it has been met with outright resistance from insurance companies as well as local governments and defense attorneys. The logic presented in the bill is that contributory negligence policies inhibit recovery of the plaintiff whereas comparative fault allows the plaintiff to recover at least part of the damages if they are partially at fault. This allows them the opportunity to recover from the accident.
This would definitely help pedestrians and cyclists who are on Maryland streets like what is allowed in Washington DC now! That would allow recovery now barred from recovery by the prohibitive confines of contributory negligence policies. Victims would be able to move forward and get the medical treatment and lost income recovery they need; lt seems the tide is turning, and the bill was gaining traction. The legislative session is over until next year but we will be back next year to encourage a fairer treatment for victims of negligence. Only time will time.
For decades Washington, DC was among the few states that had pure contributory negligence policies, but in November 2016 that changed. With the passage of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of comparative negligence policies were put in place. Specifically, the Act allows a plaintiff to recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault in an accident with a vehicle. This was welcome news for all pedestrians and cyclists in one of the most walkable cities in the country. The Act covers all non-motorized users which not only includes bicycles, but also skateboards and Segway’s. This Maryland bike law was passed by the City council signed by the Mayor and approved by the United States Congress.
The few states that still subscribe to the harsh contributory negligence policy are receiving a lot of pressure from cyclist groups and others to come in line with the 46 state majority (92%) and offer more protection to cyclists and pedestrians. Whether or not they will follow suit is something we will just have to wait and see.
If you have been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, you need legal representation right now. The laws surrounding these types of accidents are very complex and you shouldn’t try to go it alone. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and an experience, knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you get it. Contact DuBoff & Associates today and get the representation that you deserve.
Your initial consultation is free, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum that you deserve. Don’t wait to see if things will work themselves out, let us take your case so you can get back to living your life and healing. We are handling these new D.C. comparative negligence cases right now.
When driving down the street, you are taking all the necessary safety precautions. You are yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, giving the right of way to other vehicles, and obeying all traffic laws. Yet accidents still have a way of happening even to the best drivers. Fortunately, you try to minimize the severity of your injuries by always having your seat belt on and by having a vehicle that is equipped with airbags.
Yet, what if an accident occurs where you are actually injured by the airbag? These supplemental safety devices are put in place to inflate during the event of a crash. The airbag fills with a harmless gas, such as argon or nitrogen, that inflates to prevent your body from striking the steering wheel, dashboard and side doors to prevent fatal injuries. However, injuries have occurred such as bruises, burns, concussions, eye injuries, bone fractures, internal bleeding, hearing damage and many others due to the airbag inflation.
Many injuries that occur are minor as the speed of the vehicle or the force of impact was so severe that it caused the person to slam into the airbag. In these instances, where the lack of the airbag would have caused even greater injury or even death, many people will forego any lawsuits. However, there are times when you should definitely seek out legal advice and representation regarding injuries that are caused by airbags.
A person may have a case if it is determined that the airbag did not inflate fully, and this lack of full inflation caused you to sustain an injury when your body stuck other parts of the vehicle. This issue may have been caused by the manufacturer or installer of the air bag. Malfunctions and defects could fall under legitimate reasons to file a lawsuit. What you would have to prove is that the airbag was either designed, manufactured or installed in such a manner that it became unreasonably dangerous to have in the vehicle.
One of the largest vehicle recalls in United States’ history is currently in effect due to faulty air inflators being installed into airbags. In 2017, it was discovered that Takata airbags posed a serious health risk as 21 people worldwide have been killed and over 180 people have been injured due to the airbags exploding. Currently, 14 automobile manufacturers are recalling vehicles as tens of millions of cars and trucks may have this type of airbag installed. This recall will be in effect up to the end of 2019.
You may be able to sue if you were involved in an accident and sustained injuries due to a faulty airbag. Even if your vehicle is not currently on the recall list, it still may have this type of system as new recall information is being released by vehicle manufacturers. Speaking with an experienced attorney will allow you to decide on your legal options as well as who the liable party would be in this circumstance.
An airbag may have been manufactured and installed correctly, but was tampered with due by other parties that caused it to malfunction. This tampering may have been unintentional or intentional, as it could occur if you are getting your car worked on at a garage by a mechanic or when you allow someone to borrow your vehicle.
When it comes to suing over injuries caused by an airbag, you will need to prove that you did not cause the airbag to malfunction. You will also have to establish that the accident and collision was not the cause for your injuries. In addition, you also have to prove that you did not cause or contribute to your injuries.
By proving that there was no personal negligence that caused the injury, you may be able to successfully sue the liable party for compensation if you are injured during the accident. Talking with a professional attorney who handles accident cases will allow you to determine your rights, as they can review the circumstances of the accident and provide you with the advice you need in regards to pursuing a personal injury case. Here at DuBoff and Associates, Chtd., we help people in the Silver Spring area of Maryland who need legal representation when they have been injured in an accident. If you or a loved one sustained injuries from an airbag and want to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, contact our office today. We can help protect your rights during your legal matter.
Every client who schedules a consultation at DuBoff & Associates, Chtd. asks about the value of their car accident case. It has less to do with greed and more to do with wanting stability since high medical bills, lost wages, and uncertain recovery is unsettling. Knowing whether a monetary award will be enough reclaim losses is often reassuring to people.
It is difficult to put exact values on car accident settlements because every case is different. Injuries present unique impacts to every individual too. A hairdresser is more likely to face work limitations from whiplash than a sedentary office worker. When considering distinct circumstances and lifestyles, the following four factors are the most influential when valuing car accident settlements.
More serious injuries generate higher medical expenses. Whiplash may require chiropractic treatment, massage, and physical therapy which costs less than multiple fractures requiring surgery and long term treatment plans.
Medical expenses do not just show the overall seriousness of an injury but also the impacts to the patient. While a soft tissue injury may not require extensive treatment when suffered by a healthy 28-year-old, it may cause considerable pain to the client who also manages arthritis. Some people require more treatment for certain injuries than others and that is always an important distinction to make during settlement discussions.
This makes medical bills among the first considered when valuing cases. They are a solid dollar amount as to the cost of an injury. However, they can also be a starting point for insurance adjusters to question treatment they consider too expensive or unnecessary.
Many clients miss work due to car accident injuries. Even if you receive paid sick or vacation time to recover, that can still be reimbursed in a settlement offer. After all, if the accident had not occurred, you would not need the time off.
If you do not have paid sick time, that reduction of pay is documented through time sheets and presented as part of the settlement package. This is not limited to days missed due to pain but also any time off you need for doctor appointments. If you are paid hourly instead of salaried, that missed time can also add up quickly so never discount it.
Serious injuries may result in physical disability. That can limit your employment opportunities and result in longer-term medical expenses.
For example, if you have a job that involves mostly manual labor but sustain a back fracture in a car accident, you can be compensated for not only your lost wages but also loss of future income. Any expenses for being re-trained into a new field could also become part of your settlement award.
The same theory works if you must undergo treatment your entire life or require mobility devices. Your settlement amount includes the amount of money you require to maintain this treatment or even make modifications to make life manageable, such as ramps in your home for a wheelchair.
Pain and suffering is the most subjective element in a personal injury case. Stoic types tend to avoid discussing pain and it can be difficult to assess how it affects them. There are also sensitive people for whom a headache is enough to miss work and make them miserable. Just as injuries have different effects on people, so does pain.
This is often documented by explaining limits on beloved activities and overall life impacts. If your car accident injury left you unable to compete in a marathon you trained for during the last year, that is significant and shows you faced substantial pain and suffering. However, if your lifestyle was sedentary before the accident and the pain did not limit your day-to-day activities much, it may be more difficult to prove you suffered greatly.
Records for prescription pain medication may also be considered. If you required a particular pain reliever to sleep or merely function during the day, that is also indicative of significant pain and suffering.
This is not limited to physical pain. If you have nightmares about an accident or develop a fear of driving, for example, those emotional and mental impacts may also be considered in this category.
In many ways, pain and suffering is a catch-all phrase that discusses all possible impacts from an accident. You may discover limitations after a car accident in the form of fatigue, depression or physical abilities. It is not uncommon for clients to hire house cleaners or landscape workers because they simply cannot finish this work on their own.
Proving these damages so you secure a fair settlement amount is often challenging. Even if you are involved in a rear-end collision where liability is obvious, insurance companies will question you throughout this ordeal. That is why hiring a personal injury attorney is essential.
DuBoff & Associates, Chtd. is the law firm that cares. We offer the experience, empathy, and dedication to secure the best result possible in your car accident case.Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Rear-end collisionsinstill a feeling of helplessness in our clients. Sustaining injuries because another driver followed too close or failed to stop on time is the ultimate definition of negligence. Since these collisions catch people unexpected and often lead to painful injuries, many Maryland residents are interested in how much they can receive in settlement and payout for their rear-end accidents.
Duboff & Associates, Chtd. sees these accidents frequently and preparing them for settlement or litigation is a daily task in our office. Here is an overview of what goes into rear-end collision settlements and why you should call us soon if you fell victim to one.
There is good news about rear end accidents, although they are never a good development to your day. Liability is normally left undisputed. The only possible scenario for the car in front to be negligent in a rear-end case is if the driver cut off the other driver too closely either in a moment of inattention or road rage. That is not the most common scenario with these accidents.
Most of the time, the driver sustaining the impact was stopped. The collision occurs because the driver behind was following too closely or was simply not paying attention. These accidents can be especially serious on highways as a sudden stop in traffic may lead to a chain reaction of rear-end collisions that result in drivers being killed or seriously injured. It can become a large mess to determine which driver is at fault and accurately assess the damages of each injured victim.
While there will still be argument as to the extent of your injuries and how they affected your life, it is unlikely you will have to prove you were not negligent. These are fairly cut-and-dry cases where the main dispute centers on damages.
Your settlement amount is a combination of economic and non economic damages. Economic damages are objective. They include medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of repairs to your car. Non economic damages are personal. They are a subjective estimation meant to make up for what you lost in quality of life. Pain and suffering, emotional effects, and limitations on work and hobbies can all be assessed with non economic damages.
It is difficult to give exact amounts you could expect in settlement because ever rear-end car accident and its resulting injuries are unique. Verdicts involving the high four figures for neck injuries are rare unless there were extraordinary circumstances that move the jury. A rear-end collision that results in minor injuries will most likely attract a few thousand dollars but if your accident involved being hit by a semi truck with many painful surgeries following, you may find yourself looking at a six-figure offer.
Being a victim of a rear-end collision is a painful and disruptive experience. Even if your only injury is whiplash, you still require time to recover and need to focus on that goal.
Call DuBoff & Associates, Chtd. for assistance with your rear-end collision in Maryland. We offer the experience necessary to negotiate with insurance companies and assure a fair payment for rear-end accidents.Contactour office to schedule a consultation.