Since Uber launched the first rideshare app in 2009, many companies have emerged on the market to participate in the sharing economy. Few have reached the same level of success as Uber, but Lyft is one of them. With Lyft drivers in every city in California, the likelihood of an auto accident involving one is significant. However, the nuances of a Lyft accident can become complex for someone without legal expertise. Thankfully an accident lawyer can help you navigate your legal options and get the compensation you need.
Who Is Liable for a Lyft Accident?
Liability in a Lyft accident works much like any other accident. Like all drivers on the road, Lyft drivers owe others a duty of care, meaning they are responsible for driving within the bounds of traffic law and ensuring their behavior is reasonably safe. Failure to do so could result in an accident, making them liable for damages. The difference between a standard accident involving two drivers and an accident involving a Lyft driver lies in the insurance claim.
With whom's insurance do you file a claim? It depends on who is responsible for the accident and whether or not the Lyft driver acted within the scope of their job at the time of the crash. The person responsible would likely be the driver that violated the law. For example, if the Lyft driver ran a red light while speeding and crashed into another car, they would be liable. If a pedestrian attempted to cross the road somewhere other than the crosswalk, causing the driver to swerve and crash, the pedestrian would be at fault.
The Elements of Negligence
If you want to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party, you first need to prove their negligence. This means you must provide evidence to support the three elements of fault in a personal injury case:
- The person you claim is responsible for the accident owed you a duty of care.
- The person responsible did not uphold their duty by violating a road law and causing an accident.
- The accident resulted in your injuries and the financial, emotional, and physical damages you incurred.
Without all three elements, your negligence claim would not be valid. However, an experienced Lyft accident lawyer will investigate the accident and ensure you have all the necessary evidence to support your claim.
How Can You Protect Your Right to Compensation?
You can start building your case right away. Consider the few things you can do in the aftermath of an auto accident that will protect your right to compensation:
- Speak only to the police about what happened and avoid talking about it to the other parties involved and on social media.
- Contact an attorney before speaking with the insurance adjuster.
- Take photographs or videos of the accident scene. Include any injuries immediately visible on your body, the damage done to both vehicles, and the surrounding area.
- Collect the names, phone numbers, and insurance information of everyone involved. Then, ask the Lyft driver for Lyft's company insurance policy information.
- See a doctor for a complete medical evaluation even if you feel like you do not need professional care. Documentation of your injuries in a medical record helps prove your right to compensation for bodily harm.
- Record your statement regarding the events leading up to the crash and afterward. The sooner you do this; the more reliable your account will be.
During your initial meeting with the Lyft accident lawyer, bring all the information you collected to give them a better understanding of your case's circumstances.
Does Lyft Offer Insurance Coverage for Parties Involved in the Accident?
Lyft requires all drivers to meet the minimum state auto insurance requirements. In California, that means having liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Additionally, Lyft provides coverage for drivers while they use their vehicles for the job. If an accident occurs when the app is off, the driver's private insurance will apply. However, when the app is active, Lyft provides two stages of coverage.
As the driver awaits a ride request, Lyft's third-party liability insurance covers $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for damaged property. Suppose an accident occurs while the driver is en route to pick up a passenger from an accepted request or en route with the passenger. In that case, Lyft liability protection covers $1 million for third-party liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If the driver has comprehensive and collision coverage through their private policy, Lyft will also maintain contingent comprehensive coverage.
What Does a Lyft Accident Lawyer Do?
A Lyft accident lawyer specializes in tort law, also known as personal injury law. Most personal injury cases involve auto accidents with varying circumstances, including commercial truck collisions, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and ridesharing collisions. Their job is to represent victims of negligent parties in the fight to receive compensation for their injuries and related losses. Some common tasks your Lyft accident lawyer will handle include:
- Acting in your place during all conversations with the insurance company and potentially Lyft's legal representation
- Preparing all the paperwork necessary to file your claim with the insurer or file a lawsuit with your local civil court
- Investigating your accident and gathering all the information needed to prove the defendant is liable for damages and responsible for the accident
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and working with relative experts during the investigation
- Drafting a demand letter and the questions you want the defendant to answer during their deposition
They also offer unwavering support during a trying time because auto accidents can have devastating consequences, regardless of who is at fault.
Victims may accumulate financial losses in the form of medical bills, lost wages from missing work during recovery, property damage, and many other unanticipated out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and their injuries. A severe auto accident can also have more than just a physical or financial effect. Survivors often deal with emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. They may need to learn to live with a permanent disability or face the devastating reality of a disfigurement. Part of a personal injury lawyer's role is to recognize those losses and calculate a monetary value for them.
When Can You Schedule a Consultation With a Lyft Accident Lawyer?
It is never too early to contact an attorney after an accident involving a Lyft driver. Whether you have questions about liability or need help navigating the legal process, lawyers specializing in personal injury offer a free consultation where you can speak directly with a legal expert about the details of your case and better understand your right to compensation.
At Johnson Attorneys Group, we take a personal position when dealing with our clients. Our team has assisted many auto accident victims in California, and we understand the financial, physical, and emotional burdens these cases can present. Lyft is a large corporation with extensive legal resources. They have the power to combat a valid personal injury claim. However, we know how to adequately value your claim and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group at (800) 208-3538 for your free case evaluation today. An attorney is ready and available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.