As an American citizen, you feel as if there are just some basic rights that you have. Privacy is one of these rights that we all hold dear to our hearts. When it comes to getting into a ridesharing vehicle, you want to know that your privacy is being upheld by the driver. Unfortunately, there have been videos released by unsuspecting passengers who were recorded by the ridesharing driver.
Many patrons who have been recorded have enlisted the help of West Coast Trial Lawyers to take suit against the driver. There have been a few major cases that have hit the news which has provided some shocking results for citizens. In today's article, we're going to take a look at what these case results are and why the courts ruled in favor of who they did. Visiting https://westcoasttriallawyers.com/ca/los-angeles-uber-and-lyft-accidents-lawyer/ can help with obtaining more information.
A Brief Case History
Jason Gargac was an Uber driver in the state of Missouri. He put cameras in his vehicle and taped unsuspecting passengers. To take it even a step further, he live-streamed the video to his Twitch account. The public was able to comment on the so-called private conversations of the passengers as well as their demeanor and appearance. For most, this would be a major violation of their privacy.
However, to the shock of the plaintiffs in the case, Gargac won. This was decided due to the fact that the so-called crime took place in the state of Missouri. For those who are unaware, Missouri is a one-party consent state. This case has set a national standard when it comes to videotaping passengers who are unaware or did not give expressed consent.
What Is One-Party Vs. Two-Party Consent?
As you just learned above, the state in which the videotaping occurred will determine whether or not the judge rules in favor of your case. Each state has its own laws regarding video consent. These are broken down into two main categories. There is one-party consent and two-party consent.
In states where two-party consent is required, all parties must give expressed or written consent to be recorded. In states with one-party consent, only one party in the recording must give their consent. Yes, this means that the other party has no legal standing to sue the party that consented in a one-party consent state. Your personal injury lawyer can help you to determine whether or not your current state is a one or two-party consent state.
While it may surprise you to find out, only 11 of the 50 states in our great country require two-party consent. These states include Delaware, California, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington. If you live in one of these states, you can enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer to sue the other party. If you don't live in one of these 11 states, then you have no legal standing to sue the driver.
What To Do If You Think You're Being Recorded
If you believe that you're being recorded without your consent, you should act swiftly. Get as much information about the car and driver as possible. With the Lyft and Uber apps, you should be easily able to get the driver's information. Take a screenshot of the driver's information in case it's removed from the Uber or Lyft app later on.
You should be writing down the vehicle that you're in and the license plate for it. Use your smartphone to take a picture if need be for quick reference. Notate where you believe the cameras are. If possible, take pictures of the cameras to use as evidence. The more proof you can bring to your Los Angeles ridesharing accident lawyer, the more likely you are to win your individual court case.
While it may be suggested on many sites online to contact Uber or Lyft about the driver, we recommend you don't. Rather, start by enlisting the help of West Coast Trial Lawyers. They can continue the evidence gathering and alert the ridesharing company of the violation. It's best to let your lawyer handle all the conversations and only speak to the ridesharing company or driver with your lawyer present.
Know The Statute Of Limitations
If you've been unwillingly videotaped in an Uber or Lyft vehicle and live in a two-party consent state, then you must act quickly to take up suit. West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you to determine the appropriate statute of limitations regarding the specific case that you have. There are varying statutes depending on the rights of yours that have been violated.
It's important to note that different two-party consent states have different statutes of limitations. While in one state you may have three years from the date of the incident to take suit against the Uber or Lyft driver, in another state you may only have two years. After this set period, you lose your right to legally sue the driver for damages. It's vital that you speak with an experienced Los Angeles ridesharing accident lawyer to learn about the active statutes of limitations in your individual state.
Why Is Hiring A Lawyer So Important To Your Case?
While you may think that hiring an attorney can get expensive, the truth is that they're worth it. Your lawyer will have the knowledge of your state's laws regarding this type of privacy violation, traffic laws, and statutes of limitation. They can easily answer your questions regarding your rights and they know how to swiftly act to ensure you have a solid case against the ridesharing driver.
Your attorney will act as your buffer between the ridesharing driver, the ridesharing company, and so forth. They can ensure that your words don't get twisted around by the defense for their own benefit. Plus, your lawyer can let the ridesharing company and driver know that you mean business. They're much more likely to take your case seriously if they know that you have hired a knowledgeable lawyer to fight your case.
There is no real substitute for knowledge of the law when it comes to filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will have in-depth knowledge of what papers need to be filed and can handle any contact from the defense about settlements and other issues. These are problems that you would have to face alone if you don't hire a lawyer.
Knowing when to settle and when to continue with your case is a tricky one if you don't have experience regarding the case. An attorney will be able to advise you on which course of action will provide you with the highest compensation amount. This will ensure that you get the most money possible out of the defense.
Lastly, hiring an attorney can provide you with priceless emotional support when it comes to the violation of your rights. It's can be an extremely shocking experience to find out that someone videotaped you without your consent. Facing that individual and keeping a calm demeanor can be difficult. Your lawyer can be a necessary buffer and an emotional confidant during the case. They can help you to keep a clear head and weed through the emotional trauma of the case to ensure you get the outcome you deserve.