People choose ridesharing options like Lyft as a way to safely get from one place to another. Whether they’re intoxicated or not a driver themselves, they rely on the ridesharing service to get them where they need to go safely.
Unfortunately, even the safest of Lyft drivers can cause an accident. Filing a lawsuit against a Lyft driver, however, can be much more complex than a regular car accident claim. Osborne & Francis is here to walk you through the process and get you the compensation you need to pay for your damages.
So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:
Number One: See a doctor immediately.
A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.
A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care.
Number Two: Write everything down.
Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain.
You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered.
Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.
Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them.
So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.
Injuries Associated with Lyft Accidents
As with any other type of car accident, a Lyft accident can cause a large variety of different injuries. These injuries can range from minor to severe or life-threatening based on the severity of the accident.
If you’re the passenger of the Lyft and sitting in the back seat, the severity of your injuries will also be impacted by where the collision occurs. If the vehicle is struck on the side you’re sitting on or the back, your injuries will likely be more severe than a head-on or opposite side collision.
Here are some common injuries associated with Lyft car accidents:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Spinal cord injuries, leading to complete or incomplete paralysis
Lyft drivers may also speed or drive more aggressively than other drivers as a way to get their passengers where they need to go faster. If they drive faster, they get better tips and can offer more rides.
Because Orlando is a city with a lot of tourists, there may be more Lyft drivers on the road. This could lead to an increase in accidents as well, especially if Lyft drivers drive recklessly or speed to get tourists where they want to go as fast as they can.
Types of Lyft Accidents
Depending on the type of accident you were in, your case may be different.
You’re the Driver of Another Vehicle
If you’re the driver of another vehicle and were hit by a Lyft driver, you may be able to sue the Lyft driver and the company to recover damages.
You’re a Lyft Passenger
If you’re the passenger of a Lyft, you also may be able to sue the driver and Lyft to recover damages. These types of lawsuits can be more complex, especially if the passenger doesn’t carry their own insurance. This is often the case in those who don’t drive.
Why App Status Matters
Lyft is a unique system, and therefore the status of the driver’s app plays a huge role in your lawsuit. Within the app, drivers are required to set their status to “online” when they’re ready to drive. The amount of insurance coverage that they have changes based on what their status is and whether or not they have a passenger on-board.
If the app is offline, they are not covered by Lyft insurance and you would file a lawsuit as if they were a regular driver.
If the app is online but they don’t have a passenger, Lyft offers some insurance coverage.
If the app is online and they’re en route to pick up a passenger or they currently have a passenger on board, Lyft offers the maximum insurance coverage.
Lyft’s insurance coverage for drivers is as follows:
When the app is on but they don’t currently have a passenger:
$50,000/person for bodily injury
$100,000/accident for bodily injury
$25,000/accident for property damage
When the app is on and they’re en route to pick up a passenger or a passenger is on board:
At least $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability
First party coverage (including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, MedPay, and occupational accident coverage)
What to do After a Lyft Accident
If you’ve been involved in a Lyft accident, it’s important to take the following steps after your accident:
If you’re severely injured, you should seek immediate medical attention and ignore all steps that reference sticking around at the scene of the accident. Your health is the most important.
If you can stick around, start by exchanging information with witnesses and the at-fault party. When speaking with the at-fault party, keep your conversation brief. Do not admit fault or apologize. Make sure to get any information you need in order to contact Lyft when needed.
Take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles included. Take pictures of your injuries.
Record a personal statement about what happened. This is a great way to get all the details down while they’re still fresh in your mind. This can be a voice memo or a written note.
Contact the police to file a police report.
Once you leave the scene of the accident, seek immediate medical attention. You don’t want to give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately they may claim your injuries weren’t that serious or that they occurred on another date.
Contact an experienced Lyft accident attorney. By working with an attorney from the get-go, you save yourself from accidentally damaging your case by speaking with the insurance company or Lyft by yourself.
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Types of Damages You Can Recover
Money can be incredibly stressful after a Lyft accident, but we’re here to help. We’ll work diligently to ensure that you get enough compensation for your damages. You can recover two types of damages from a Lyft accident, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include Past and future medical bills, Past and future lost wages, and Lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages include Pain and suffering, Emotional distress, Disfigurement and scarring, and Loss of consortium.
Speak to an Experienced Lyft Accident Attorney; Call Osborne & Francis Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a Lyft accident, it’s time to seek compensation. To schedule a free case evaluation or learn more about how Osborne & Francis can help you, contact us online or at (561) 293-2600.
Frequently Asked Questions
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925 S. Federal Highway, Suite 175 Boca Raton, FL 33432