What Is a Lyft Accident Lawyer?
A Lyft accident lawyer is an attorney who represents victims of accidents involving Lyft vehicles. These lawyers have experience in handling complex rideshare cases. They can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Attorneys who handle Lyft accidents can also apply their professional knowledge and experience to other rideshare accidents, such as those involving Uber.
What Are Some Common Causes of Lyft Accidents?
Rideshare accidents often occur for the same reasons as any other car crash. It’s also important to remember that other road users can cause rideshare accidents. Here are some common causes of Lyft accidents.
When most people discuss impairment among road users, they refer to drunk drivers. After all, drunk driving claims the lives of 28 people each day in America. However, impairment can extend far beyond this. Drunk passengers can cause accidents by attacking drivers or drunk pedestrians could stumble into roadways.
Alcohol is also not the only form of impairment. Antihistamines, recreational drugs and sleep deprivation are additional causes of impairment. While you might not automatically think of a driver who took an antihistamine as impaired, it can have significant side effects. For example, drowsiness is a common symptom of antihistamines.
Texting behind the wheel is one of the most well-known forms of distracted driving. Unfortunately, this is not the only form. Passengers can be a major source of distraction for rideshare drivers. In addition, the Lyft app, music controls and electronic devices can take a driver’s attention away from the road.
Rideshare drivers may speed to reach their destinations more quickly. The more rides they complete, the more money they make, so this can incentivize speeding. Passengers might also be in a hurry and pressure the driver to speed. Unfortunately, speeding is dangerous and contributed to the deaths of almost 9,500 people in America, in 2019.
Failure to Obey Road Rules
Rideshare drivers might be unfamiliar with an area, causing them to miss or disobey road signs or traffic signals. In some cases, they or other persons might choose to ignore road rules to speed up arrival times. For example, someone could crash into a rideshare vehicle after running a stop sign or failing to yield at a traffic circle.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Rideshare vehicles generally have higher mileage than other vehicles. This amplifies maintenance requirements, such as oil changes and brake replacements. Servicing vehicles takes time and money that rideshare drivers might not want to spend. Consequently, they could delay repairs until these become the cause of an accident.
Poor Road Maintenance
In some cases, the condition of the road itself could cause an accident. For example, a large pothole might cause a rideshare driver to lose control of the vehicle after swerving to avoid it. Potholes could even cause a tire to blow. Poorly designed roads and construction zones can also lead to accidents.
What Should You Do After a Lyft Accident?
If you have been involved in a Lyft accident, most people agree that you should first seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are injured, only a medical professional can confirm this. In some cases, injuries may not appear immediately after an accident.
Here are some additional actions that legal and medical professionals often recommend:
- Call the police. A police report can help prove liability for an accident. You might also need to call the police if someone suffers injuries or becomes belligerent.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. This includes taking photos of the accident scene, getting contact information for any witnesses and obtaining a copy of the police report.
- Speak to a Lyft accident lawyer. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options after an accident.
- Reconsider speaking to an insurance adjuster without speaking to a lawyer first. The insurance company may try to lowball you or deny your claim altogether.
- Consider filing a claim with Lyft or its insurance company. Even if you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit, you might still need to do this.
- Keep all documentation related to the accident. These documents include medical records and bills, police reports and insurance correspondence.
Why Are Lyft Accidents More Complex?
Lyft accidents are more complex than other types of accidents for a few reasons. First, you might be wondering who is responsible for your accident. Is it the rideshare driver, Lyft or another party? This can be difficult to determine without the help of an experienced attorney.
Law enforcement or the insurance company could hold you partially liable in some cases. Partial blame could negatively impact your case. Some states might not allow you to pursue a claim at all. Others might discount your awarded compensation by the percentage of the fault attributed to you. For example, if the court grants you $1 million and 30% of the blame, you might receive $700,000.
Another complexity arises from the fact that Lyft drivers are independent contractors. As a result, they are not covered by Lyft’s insurance policy when not driving for the company. Determining what counts as “driving for the company” also dictates how the insurance coverage from Lyft works. These questions commonly arise:
- Is the Lyft driver actively transporting a customer?
- Is the Lyft driver on his or her way to pick up a customer?
- Is the Lyft driver driving around while “on-call” on the app?
- Is the Lyft driver logged out of the system?
Finally, when an accident does occur, you might need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Doing this can be complicated and time-consuming.
What Are Some Types of Compensation for Rideshare Accidents?
If you have been injured in a Lyft accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages. Payment can take many different forms and not all apply to each case. For example, if a rideshare driver crashed into your parked vehicle, you would likely have no medical expenses to claim. Your Lyft accident attorney will review eligibility for the following types of damages.
These can include the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication and rehabilitation. If you now have a permanent disability or disfigurement, you could also receive compensation for future medical care.
If you were unable to work because of your injuries, you might be able to recover lost wages. This could also include future lost earnings if you cannot return to work or must take a lower-paying job. Your current earning power and future earning potential both play a role in estimates.
Pain and Suffering
This attempts to compensate for the physical pain and emotional suffering you endured from the accident. Putting a number on pain and suffering is very difficult, but experienced attorneys create formulas based on professional experience.
Loss of Consortium
If you are married, you might be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship and intimacy with your spouse. Loss of consortium might also play a role in wrongful death cases.
In rare cases, the court could award punitive damages. These aim to punish the at-fault party in cases of gross negligence and discourage similar behavior in the future.
If you have lost a loved one in a Lyft accident, you might be able to recover funeral and burial expenses. Eligible persons might choose to claim this as part of a wrongful death suit.
How Does Hiring a Lyft Accident Lawyer Help?
When dealing with the aftermath of a Lyft accident, the last thing you want to worry about is fighting for compensation. An experienced attorney can take on that burden for you. Your lawyer may also handle the following tasks:
- Investigating your accident
- Gathering evidence
- Filing your claim
- Dealing with the insurance company
- Representing you in court (if necessary)
An attorney can also help you understand your state’s laws and how they might impact your case. For example, some states have a deadline for filing personal injury claims, known as a statute of limitations. In most states, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you do not take action within that time frame, you could lose your right to compensation.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and other factors, you might decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against Lyft, the driver or another responsible party. Our attorneys can help you meet deadlines and build a strong case. We can also review the case to determine the most effective approach and who to hold accountable.
Why Should You Choose a Judd Shaw Injury Law Attorney?
If you have been injured in a Lyft accident, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your legal options. Judd Shaw Injury Law is ready to demand justice for your case. It all starts with a free consultation.