This is the next post in my series on how to proceed after a Peoria, Illinois passenger has been in an accident involving Uber or Lyft. My last article discussed the question of “Can I sue Uber or Lyft after an accident?” The answer to that question is “yes,” as companies are responsible for the actions of their independent contractors. It is important to retain an experienced attorney in such cases as you may also have additional causes of action which may be brought against the companies. In this article I will discuss the process involved in bringing a claim against either of these companies as well as the driver. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with an injury attorney.
The process of bringing an action against a rideshare company will be similar to other cases involving commercial entities. The first step that your attorney will take is the sending of a notice to the insurance companies, for both the driver and the rideshare company, informing them of the representation. The insurers will then deal with counsel directly while the victim focuses on their medical treatment. Also, if there is “dash cam” or other camera footage taken during the rideshare then counsel will request that it be provided. Once the victim’s long-term medical prognosis can be reasonably ascertained, then the lawyer will send a demand for payment to each of the insurance companies. There will likely be a sequence of back-and-forth negotiations which may or may not produce a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached then the lawyer will file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf.
Once the lawsuit has been filed then a process known as “discovery” will start. This is the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit. The victim’s attorney will be able to obtain records showing whether or not the negligent driver was adequately screened by the rideshare company. They will also be able to obtain their driving records and other information. As part of this process, through what are known as “depositions,” the victim’s counsel will also be able to obtain sworn testimony, in the presence of a court reporter, from the driver.
The matter will proceed to trial after the completion of discovery. The victim will present their evidence and witnesses after a jury has been selected. The defense for both the driver and the rideshare companies will then present their evidence and witnesses. The victim will then be permitted to present “rebuttal” evidence. Rebuttal is not a time for the introduction of new arguments. This part of the case may only be used to address claims which have been made by the defendant(s). Closing arguments will be made to the jury after all of the evidence has been presented. The jurors will deliberate and will then return their verdict as to liability and damages. This will mark the conclusion of the case.
It is important to understand that cases involving commercial defendants can quickly become complicated. It is strongly suggested that you retain a law firm which has an emphasis in personal injury law when dealing with such matters. I devote a substantial portion of my practice to protecting the rights of victims and my office prides itself on providing a high level of service. If you or a family member have been injured then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria uber accident lawyer. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.