Hiring a Lawyer After Your Lyft Accident in California
Have you been injured in a Lyft accident? Ridesharing services have enjoyed growing popularity as a convenient, cost-effective option for getting around. Passengers are connected with nearby drivers with the tap of a button through a smartphone app. Lyft is one of the leading providers in California. Unfortunately, with so many ridesharing vehicles on the road, collisions are bound to happen. If you were injured in an accident with a Lyft vehicle in and around North San Diego County, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses from the at-fault driver.
More Lyft Vehicles on the Road Means a Higher Risk of Accidents
Around 36 percent of Americans have used ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber. While such companies have become integrated into daily life for many people, there is little public data available about the number of ridesharing accidents in recent years. Lyft has yet to release any numbers about collisions linked to its platform.
A 2018 study conducted by the University of Chicago found that the arrival of ridesharing services in major U.S. cities has resulted in a 3 percent annual rise in the number of auto accident deaths. That amounts to an additional 1,100 deaths each year, reversing a previous downward trend. Before the introduction of Uber in 2011, there had been a steady decline in auto accident fatalities nationwide.
The researchers also identified traffic congestion as a leading cause of auto accidents. The presence of ridesharing vehicles on the road is a contributing factor to increased congestion. Along with picking up and transporting passengers, ridesharing drivers spend 40 to 60 percent of their time looking for passengers, a practice known as deadheading.
In just one month in 2015, California had 1,100 ridesharing accidents that ranged from vehicles running over passengers’ feet to devastating collisions, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. The San Francisco Police Department said that in three consecutive years, over 50 percent of traffic citations issued in downtown areas were given to ridesharing vehicles for blocking bicycle lanes and other similar violations.
Establishing Liability in a Lyft Accident
What makes Lyft accidents different from other types of crashes is the question of liability. Under California law, negligent drivers who cause accidents are generally responsible for paying compensation to injured victims. This rule applies whether you are a pedestrian, a Lyft passenger or another motorist who is hit by a ridesharing driver.
Determining liability in a Lyft accident is more complex as ridesharing vehicles differ from both personal and commercial vehicles. Ridesharing firms are classified as technology companies rather than taxi services, and their drivers are considered independent contractors instead of employees. Unlike taxi drivers, Lyft drivers operate their own vehicles.
As a result, Lyft accident claims are typically filed against the negligent driver rather than the ridesharing company. In certain situations, however, Lyft may be held liable. Establishing liability involves considering the facts of a crash including, but not limited to:
- Statements from witnesses who saw the accident
- Police reports from the accident scene
- Driving records for all parties involved
- How much time the Lyft driver spent behind the wheel
The experienced Carlsbad and Oceanside Lyft accident lawyers at Levinson Law Group can help you determine who is responsible for your injuries and make sure you understand your legal options for filing a claim. We will also conduct a thorough investigation into your ridesharing accident to ensure your case is supported with strong evidence. Our goal is to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Damages Recoverable in a Lyft Accident
Just like other auto accidents, Lyft accidents can cause many different types of injuries such as lacerations, whiplash, broken bones, back injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Severe injuries may even require you to take time off work to recover.
The compensation you receive for a Lyft accident should fully cover all your losses. In California, there are several different types of damages you may be entitled to obtain after a Lyft accident:
- Medical Expenses: Current and future medical bills, hospital stays, temporary disability, rehabilitation, medication and assistive devices like wheelchairs.
- Lost Wages: Loss of current income due to injuries from the Lyft accident. Also covers loss of future earnings arising from long-term disabilities that affect employment.
- Property Damage: Includes vehicle damage and repair costs incurred due to the crash.
- Pain and Suffering: Covers emotional distress, mental anguish, disfigurement, inconvenience and other intangible negative effects of an accident.
In some cases, Lyft accident victims may be eligible for punitive damages when the at-fault party engaged in particularly reckless or egregious conduct. If someone is killed in a Lyft accident, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain damages.
No matter the type of Lyft accident case, the Levinson Law Group can help you calculate the damages you are owed. Do not end up settling for less money than you deserve.
Protecting Your Right to Pursue Compensation After a Lyft Accident
Insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying you compensation. Because of this known tendency, documenting a Lyft accident properly is important. Remember to take the following steps after a crash:
- Call the police. Once they arrive at the scene, they will create a police accident report that can be helpful when you file a claim.
- Take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles that were involved. Make sure to capture details, including where you were hit.
- Get the names and contact details of any witnesses who saw how the accident happened.
- Obtain the insurance information of all parties involved in the crash. If you were a Lyft passenger, make sure to note down your driver’s details.
If you are unable to do any of the above because you are badly injured, ask a friend, family member or bystander to help out. Another essential thing every Lyft accident victim should do is to seek prompt medical treatment for any injuries, no matter how minor they seem. Seeing a doctor is a good way of documenting your injuries through medical records and proving how an accident happened.
A Guide to How Lyft Accident Insurance Works in California
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering your losses in most cases, but there are exceptions. While California law requires all drivers to have insurance, many carry only the minimum amount required. Our clients often sustain serious injuries that are likely to exceed the driver’s personal insurance policy.
At this point, Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy for accident claims kicks in. Coverage depends on the Lyft driver’s status at the time of the collision. Lyft’s liability insurance applies from the time a Lyft driver accepts a ride request and is on the way to pick up a passenger until the passenger leaves the vehicle.
If the driver was using the Lyft app without accepting a passenger request, the driver’s own insurance policy applies. Lyft would only pay the amount the driver’s insurance does not cover. There is $50,000 per person available for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. If the at-fault driver was not logged into the Lyft app when the accident occurred, then the claim must be made on the driver’s personal insurance policy.
If the crash involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist, Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy applies. A knowledgeable California Lyft accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the different insurance policies and laws involved with ridesharing collisions, negotiating the best possible settlement for you.
Do I Need a Lyft Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a Lyft accident, choosing a qualified California Lyft accident lawyer to represent you will provide the best chances of recovering full compensation. Ridesharing collisions tend to involve tricky legal issues of liability. Not only can it be overwhelming trying to settle a case on your own, but you may also end up leaving a lot of money on the table.
An insurance company is likely to contact you after a crash. You should avoid giving any kind of statement to the insurer without first speaking to your lawyer. Otherwise, you could say something that may harm your claim.
A Lyft accident attorney will determine who is at fault, investigate your collision, calculate your losses and negotiate with the liable parties on your behalf. The lawyer will protect your rights throughout the process. If the insurance company fails to make a satisfactory offer, the next step may be to sue for compensation.
How Can We Help You?
At the Levinson Law Group, you will find skilled lawyers who have years of experience in litigating Lyft accident cases in California. The at-fault party will try to limit the compensation they pay out, questioning the seriousness of your injuries and arguing that your claim is not worth the amount you think it is.
Our job is to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for all your losses including property damage, future medical care, rehabilitation and more. With the Levinson Law Group representing your best interests, you will have a Lyft accident lawyer who is not afraid to stand up to negligent drivers and their insurance companies.
Our legal team will thoroughly investigate your claim and consult leading experts to help establish liability. If a settlement is not possible, we are not afraid to fight your case in the courtroom by filing a lawsuit.
Contact the Levinson Law Group Today
If you were injured in an accident with a Lyft vehicle in California, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Levinson Law Group. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no payment required unless you win. Contact us online or call (760) 840-2304 today to schedule your free consultation.