• Uber Lyft FAQ

    • Do I need a lawyer if I’m in an Uber or Lyft accident?
      If you have serious injuries, high medical bills, significant property damage to your vehicle or a loss of income related to the accident, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who can advise you about next steps and whether you need to file suit against Uber or Lyft. Insurance companies use algorithms and formulas that may undervalue your damages. The more serious the accident, the more important it is to have an experienced legal team in your corner.
    • Do Uber and Lyft track their drivers?
      Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft send location pings from a driver’s smartphone to the company’s servers. This process ensures the driver is accurately tracked on a GPS, which improves safety for riders and drivers alike. The information used to track drivers can also be useful when building a rideshare accident claim because it might show that the driver was speeding, taking an unsafe route, driving against the flow of traffic, etc.
    • How long does it take Lyft to investigate a car accident?
      In some cases, it can take up to a month before an investigation is completed. Complex cases with injuries, major property damage, or multiple vehicles may taken longer. The results of the investigation could be vital to your claim, though, so be sure to notify your attorney if Lyft contacts you with investigation information.
    • Does Uber or Lyft give you money if you’re in an accident?
      Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare company will not simply pay money or compensation to people who are injured by rideshare accidents. An investigation into the accident will need to be conducted to determine if the rideshare company’s insurance policy will provide coverage, and if so, how much. In some cases, no coverage or compensation will be offered at all, so injured parties will have to consider legal action like filing an injury claim in civil court.
    • What should I do immediately after an Uber or Lyft accident in Austin, TX?
      If you find yourself involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Austin, Texas, the first and most pressing step is to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Check if anyone is hurt and move to a safe location. Immediately call 911 to report the accident and request medical help if necessary. Sometimes, injuries are not immediately apparent. So, it's crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the rideshare accident. Once you've ensured everyone's safety and contacted authorities, document the scene as thoroughly as you can. Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and any other relevant details. Collect contact and insurance information from all parties involved in the accident, which includes the rideshare company. Don’t forget to report the accident to the rideshare company through their app or website. It's important to do this as soon as you can, as there may be time limits for reporting accidents. Finally, consider whether you should consult with an experienced attorney to help you seek compensation.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • How much time do I have to bring a claim against the government for military medical malpractice?
      In most cases, claimants have 2 years from the date of their injury to bring an administrative claim against the government.
    • Can victims and families sue for injuries or wrongful death that occur outside of the United States?

      Only administrative claims can be presented under the Military Claims Act for injuries sustained overseas on military bases. Lawsuits cannot be filed for overseas injuries.

    • What is Federal Tort Claims Act medical malpractice?
      The FTCA is a federal law that allows plaintiffs injured by the negligent acts of federal employees to present claims against the United States for damages. FTCA coverage extends far beyond traditional VA and military base health care. Medical malpractice resulting from care provided by Indian Health Services on an Indian reservation is also covered under the FTCA. Congress further extended FTCA medical malpractice coverage to include federally funded clinics. The federally funded clinics must apply in order to be “deemed” a FTCA covered center, and the application must be renewed from year to year, so coverage can change. Federally funded clinics that may apply for FTCA coverage include all clinics funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, including Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless Centers, and Public Housing Primary Care Centers. In 2004, Congress extended FTCA coverage again to volunteer health professionals at certain free clinics.
    • What about claims against federally supported clinics and free clinics?

      How do I know if the clinic was federally funded?

      If injured while at a federally funded clinic, a civilian can sue the federal government under the FTCA, if they have first exhausted all other administrative remedies.  Any clinic that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is federally funded.  This means that anyone who has been injured at one of the facilities must seek a remedy under the FTCA.

    • Can you sue the VA Hospital?
      Veterans can bring administrative claims and sue the VA hospital for military medical malpractice under the FTCA. Active duty military utilizing a VA hospital due to a sharing agreement or emergency situation can bring an administrative claim against the VA under the Military Claims Act.
    • Can you sue the military?
      If the victim of medical malpractice is a civilian dependent or veteran, the injured patient and their family must first present an administrative claim for their injuries. If the administrative claim is not settled, then claimants may opt to sue the government in federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If the victim of medical malpractice is an active duty service member, the only remedy is to bring an administrative claim under the Military Claims Act.
    • What's the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence?

      Legally, the terms “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence” are the same. If a health care provider does something that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar circumstances would not have done, or doesn’t do something that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar circumstances would have done, the action or inaction of that health care provider may rise to the level of malpractice, or negligence.

      An example is a doctor who fails to diagnose cancer in a person who has cancer, despite knowing about signs and symptoms that were consistent with cancer. Another example would be a doctor who does not deliver a baby in a timely manner despite the fact that the baby’s heart tracings on a fetal monitor strip are non-reassuring for a period of time.

    • What's the average payout for medical malpractice?

      Medical malpractice lawsuit payouts vary greatly depending on the circumstances.  The vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits that result in compensation are resolved outside of the courtroom, with a financial settlement. The settlement amount is determined through negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant(s) (through their attorneys) and is based on economic losses caused by the plaintiff’s injuries, plus any agreed compensation for non-economic damages which include things like emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment, and disfigurement.

      It is important to note that many states have caps on the amount of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Those state caps do apply to FTCA cases.  For example, in Texas, non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are capped by law, as follows:

      • $250,000 for all doctors or health care providers other than a health care institution (like a hospital);
      • $250,000 against a single health care institution;
      • $250,000 for each additional health care institution.

      It is very rare for cases to involve more than one health care institution. Most of the time, the non-economic damage cap in a given medical malpractice case is either $250,000 or $500,000 total.

      In FTCA cases, state substantive law will apply to your claim, including state caps on medical malpractice cases.

    • How long does it take to settle a malpractice suit?

      The pursuit of a medical malpractice case can be a lengthy process.  There are many steps including consulting with an attorney, evidence gathering, hiring experts, presenting administrative claims, and if the case moves into filing a lawsuit in federal court, there will be court filings, discovery, expert designations, depositions of parties, treaters and expert witnesses, negotiations, mediation, and possibly a trial.  Cases that are settled before suit is filed can take anywhere from six months to a year on average.  If your case goes to trial, it will probably take twice that long, and maybe longer if the trial judgment is appealed.

      Many plaintiffs prefer to reach a settlement because it resolves the case more quickly and avoids the inconvenience and expense of a lengthy trial.  Recounting the details of a medical injury or wrongful death in front of a courtroom full of people is a painful experience that most prefer to avoid.

    • How common is medical malpractice?
      When you consider the number of provider-patient interactions that take place every day, medical malpractice is relatively uncommon.  That being said, a recent Johns Hopkins study claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000. Malpractice can occur during surgery, childbirth, in the administration of anesthesia or medication, during diagnosis of a disease, at a clinic or in the hospital.
    • What is the difference between state civil suits and federal medical malpractice?

      If you have been injured by an agent of the federal government (for example a worker in a military hospital or a federally funded clinic), your only method of redress is to pursue a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act or the Military Claims Act.  If the U. S. government is not the wrong doer, your case will probably be filed in a state court, however, in some situations, a federal court may be an appropriate venue for this type of medical malpractice lawsuit as well.

      National Trial Law handles FTCA and Military Claims Act cases anywhere in the U.S. and represents clients in medical malpractice cases heard in Texas and California courts.

    • Where should the lawsuit be filed?

      In general, a medical malpractice lawsuit should be filed in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have options on venue and it may be advantageous for you to file suit in a federal court or in one particular state court versus another.  Your attorney will help you determine the best venue for your particular case.

      If the medical malpractice was committed in a military or veteran’s hospital or in a federally funded clinic, you must pursue a remedy from the United States Government by filing an administrative claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act first before you can file suit.

    • What if the provider was a contractor, volunteer or board member and not a federal employee?
      The FTCA applies to injuries caused by any employee or agent of the federal government who is acting within the scope of their responsibility when the injury occurs. If one of your health care providers turns out not to be a federal employee, you may need to file suit against them individually in state court. If both federal employees and independent contractors were involved in your medical malpractice, you may have a hybrid case that requires suing both the federal government and individual providers.
    • Can the family sue the military for wrongful death?
      Yes, a family can sue the federal government for wrongful death if that death is caused by the negligence of an agent of the United States Government if the victim of malpractice was not active duty at the time of the negligence, after first presenting an administrative claim for damages against the appropriate federal agency. If the malpractice victim was active duty at the time of the negligence, and the provider was a military provider or federal employee, the only remedy is to present an administrative claim under the Military Claims Act.
    • What happens after an FTCA claim is presented?
      After an FTCA claim is presented with a Standard Form 95, the government has a minimum of six months to determine whether or not the claim is valid. Often the administrative claims process takes much longer than six months to result in a settlement.
    • Where is your law firm located and do you travel to cases?
      The attorneys at National Trial Law are located in the greater Austin, Texas area.  Our team travels across the United States as needed to secure the best results for our clients. We have filed lawsuits and tried cases in a number of states coast to coast, from Washington and  California, to Texas and Oklahoma and New Hampshire, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida,
    • What do you charge clients?
      Instead of requiring our clients to pay us in advance, we work on a contingency fee basis.  This means there are no prepaid costs to you. We advance the costs of your case and if we win the case or negotiate a settlement, our fee is a percentage of the recovery we get for you.  At this time, we are also reimbursed for our out-of-pocket costs to pursue the case. If you don’t receive a recovery, you pay nothing.
    • Do you offer a free consultation?
      We offer a free telephone consultation. During this call, one of our trained medical malpractice intake specialists will review the details of your case with you and gather information to help us evaluate your case. This information goes directly to one of our attorneys for additional review.  There is no charge for this evaluation.
    • To which federal and state courts is your firm admitted?

      The attorneys at Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham and Jacob, PLLC are admitted in multiple federal jurisdictions across the country and, where not already admitted to practice before the jurisdiction where your case will be filed, we will affiliate with local counsel.

    • Medical Malpractice Dos and Don'ts
      Wondering what you should and shouldn’t do regarding your medical malpractice case? Read on for our full article on the topic.
    • If you are injured by the U.S. Government, can you sue?
      Our firm handles a wide range of medical malpractice and personal injury cases against the United States Government. We often represent military (Army, Navy, and Air Force) service members or veterans, but our firm represents anyone who has been injured by the U.S. Government. Read on for our full article on the topic.
    • Can I sue the VA, Army, Navy, or Air Force?
      Yes, the VA, Army, Navy, or Air Force can be sued in certain circumstances. For details on how, visit our guide on the topic here.
    • How do I sue a military hospital for medical malpractice?
    • How do I sue the VA?
      See here for more information.
    • Can Active-Duty Military Service Members Bring a Claim Against the United States Army, Navy, or Air Force?
      For the past 70 years, the short answer to this question has been no. But for the first time, active duty military service members can bring a claim against the government under the Military Claims Act for injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice.
    • What is the Military Claims Act (MCA)?

      The Military Claims Act (MCA) allows active duty service-members  to recover damages from the federal government for injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice or damage to their personal property that are caused by military personnel, so long as the injury was the result of non-combatant military activities. Unlike the FTCA, the MCA covers damages that occur anywhere in the world. Civilians who are injured overseas on military bases may also bring MCA claims.