Lyft Riders and Drivers: Know Your Rights to Legal Compensation
Many San Diego and Southern California residents have turned to ridesharing services such Lyft for transportation. Although they are convenient and easy to use, accidents still happen during Lyft rides. If you have been injured or have lost property in an Lyft-related accident, it’s essential to understand your rights. Ridesharing policies and laws are constantly changing, so you must understand your rights.
The claim process for Lyft injuries and property losses is particularly complex. There are numerous factors, such as whether the driver logged into the app at the time of the accident. They often lead to multiple claims against the company, the driver, and even other drivers.
If you have been injured in a Lyft accident and wish to file a personal injury lawsuit, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced San Diego Lyft attorney. A leading Southern California personal injury law firm, JD Injury Law, APC has helped many drivers of Lyft-related accidents who require a San Diego Lyft accident attorney. We are here to alert ridesharing accident victims of their legal rights, and that appropriate compensation can be highly achievable.
What Exactly is Lyft?
Lyft is a ridesharing company that develops and maintains and a ridesharing app. Ridesharing apps have become popular because they are convenient and easy to use. The apps connect people who need a ride with drivers, who are independent contractors, willing to offer a ride. The driver doesn’t have to be a taxi driver or a limousine driver. The driver can be a regular person who happens to drive for these apps.
San Diego Lyft Accident Lawyers: Why you need one
In most cases, ordinary drivers only carry enough auto insurance to protect their assets. It’s common for people with few assets to have only the legally required insurance amount of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Being the victim of an accident caused by a driver with little assets typically limits a victim’s ability to recover sufficient financial compensation. When a Lyft rideshare vehicle is involved, however, the situation changes dramatically.
Our San Diego Lyft Accident Attorneys handle the following cases:
As a result of ridesharing drivers carrying $1 million in liability, five separate victim groups can benefit:
- Drivers injured in collisions caused by Lyft drivers;
- Injured passengers in either vehicle where ridesharing drivers are at fault;
- Passengers in the Lyft vehicle, where the other driver was at fault;
- Pedestrians injured by a Lyft driver;
- Lyft drivers injured in an accident caused by another driver
In the circumstances like those above, you or someone you love may be able to recover all or much of their financial and other losses. No amount of money can ever fully compensate for the pain and suffering of a severe accident. Still, appropriate compensation can make the recovery process less stressful and speed the recovery from an accident.
What if I Am Hurt in a Lyft Accident?
As a passenger, you would likely be covered by Lyft’s commercial liability coverage if you are injured in a Lyft accident.
If a rideshare driver injured you, you could also file a claim against Lyft. Thanks to Lyft’s commercial insurance policy of $1 million, if damages exceed the drivers’ personal coverage, Lyft’s commercial insurance may cover the difference.
In addition, if another driver was at fault for the accident, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. Lyft Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist policy typically covers damages up to $1 million per accident if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Determining Liability after a Lyft Accident
The last thing you want to do after a collision is try to figure out who was at fault. But, if you’re involved in an accident, there are certain things you need to consider when determining who is at fault and finding the negligent drivers.
- Did anyone violate any vehicle codes? A violation of a California Vehicle Code is one way to help establish negligence.
- Who failed to use “reasonable care” when driving a vehicle? A driver must use reasonable care when driving a vehicle. This includes keeping a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles and other vehicles. 1 A person must use reasonable care in driving a vehicle. Drivers must keep a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles. They must also control the speed and movement of their vehicles. The failure to use reasonable care in driving a vehicle is negligence.
- DUI. Was anyone charged or arrested for driving under the influence? Drunk driving doesn’t automatically determine fault of that driver, but it is a significant factor.
- Distracted driving, or speeding. This ties back into the reasonable care question above, but distracted driving and speeding are very common in Lyft accidents, so it is important to ask if these were involved. Reckless driving is especially dangerous with the high speeds involved.
- Violating the right of way. Fault lies with the driver who violated the right of way. If the other driver violated your right of way, then you are not at fault. For example, if you are waiting at a stop sign or red light, you have the right of way.
What if the Lyft driver was at fault?
Anyone injured by a Lyft driver will have a claim against that rideshare driver. Liability will depend on the same factors above. However, the amount of insurance available may depend on the different stages of insurance coverage, listed below.
Lyft’s Insurance and Different Periods of Coverage
There are 4 periods when discussing Lyft’s insurance coverage.
Does not have a passenger and did not turn their app on. There is no Lyft provided coverage here.
The app is turned on, but the vehicle is waiting for a passenger. As of November 16, 2021 Lyft provides $50,000.00 in bodily injury per person; $100,000.00 maximum bodily injury per accident; $30,000.00 in property damage per accident.
There is also excess insurance of $200,000.00 (which covers bodily injury and property damage) per accident.
Period 2 and 3
The driver has accepted a passenger or passengers, and is on their way to pick them up(Period 2). Or they already picked the passengers up. For Periods 2 and 3, the coverage is the same.
There is a single combined limit of $1 million per accident, for bodily injury and property damage. There is also $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Periods 2 and 3 are the only periods with such coverage. Lyft UM/UIM Coverage is important, because that protects passengers and drivers when the accident is someone else’s fault.
These factors are important because if a rideshare driver has the app turned off, any accident they cause is treated as an ordinary accident. Furthermore, rideshare drivers’ personal insurance coverage doesn’t apply to these cases, unless they specifically add TNC/Rideshare coverage.
Damages after a Lyft accident
Lyft accidents typically result in the same type of damages as a typical car accident. Damages may include:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of wages
- Health care bills
- Loss of consortium
- Physical therapy
- Suffering and pain
- Loss of earning capacity
Car accident survivors may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of a loved one. A family member may be able to file a wrongful death claim for:
- Loss of financial resources
- Costs of funerals and burials
- The loss of companionship and support.
I Was Partially Responsible, Am I Entitled To Damages?
Yes. California is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are partially responsible for an accident and are injured, you may still be able to receive compensation. A plaintiff’s damages are reduced based on their contribution to the accident. Typically, all parties involved in the dispute will be assigned fault according to the court’s decision.
Is there a time limit for filing a Case against Lyft?
In California, you have two years to file a personal injury case after a Lyft accident. Typically the accident date starts the clock. If you have any questions about when your filing period expires, contact an attorney at JD Injury Law. Our knowledge and experience in personal injury cases allow us to help you find outstanding medical treatment. We work tirelessly to obtain a financial settlement that covers your medical expenses, emotional distress, wage loss, and other damages.
You should file your Lyft case as soon as possible after the accident. Doing so will allow you to preserve any necessary evidence. Do not miss the deadline to file a case. You will then forfeit your right to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
What are the reasons the insurance company might dispute my claim?
Getting a San Diego Lyft accident lawyer is a smart move to anticipate and avoid disputes that might reduce or prevent your financial recovery. Insurance companies investigate all insurance claims to find reasons to dispute it to protect their bottom line. You can expect the insurer to devote considerable resources to investigate if you suffered a severe injury or lost a loved one in a rideshare accident.
Here are a few reasons why you might find yourself in dispute:
You Contributed to the Accident: If your own negligence contributed to the accident, the damages award might be reduced by your own percentage of fault. An insurance company may disagree with how you determine responsibility, causing a dispute. We will attempt to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to you as part of your Lyft accident case in San Diego. We know how to apply widely accepted methods to help our clients pursue the highest compensation possible without unnecessarily increasing the chances of having to go to court.
Waiting Too Long to Call a Lyft Accident Lawyer: You could make an error or oversight if you wait too long to call a lawyer. A recorded statement you give to an insurance adjuster may raise questions about liability or the value of damages. You should pursue medical evaluations as soon as possible, and failure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions could lead to a dispute about the mitigation of damages. Posting about your accident on social media might be used against you to dispute liability or the severity of your injuries.
Pre-Existing Conditions: The insurance company won’t pay for the damages you would have incurred anyway. In general, unless you can prove the accident aggravated your pre-existing condition or delayed the healing process, you can’t receive compensation for the medical expenses related to it.
Lyft’s Insurance Company Disagrees About Settlement Calculations: We’ve already discussed a few reasons why the insurance company disputes the settlement calculations, but there are many more. It is possible to receive compensation for future medical bills and loss of earning capacity if you suffer a long-term or permanent disability. While some formulas for calculating future damages are widely accepted, each case has nuances that make these calculations somewhat speculative. To prevent disputes, our attorneys gather all available evidence of damages and medical records, use widely accepted formulas, and, if necessary, retain medical and economic experts to provide testimony.
What Should I Do After a Rideshare Accident?
It is important to remember these steps if you were involved in a car accident with a Lyft vehicle, no matter what the circumstances:
File a police report by calling the police
Contact the police and file a police report as soon as possible after a collision with a Lyft driver. Collect evidence of the scene, such as photos, after a motor vehicle accident. Photograph the scene as soon as it is safe to do so. When you provide your Lyft accident lawyer with detailed information regarding your auto accident, it will be easier for him to determine liability and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Seek medical treatment
When you get into a rideshare accident, you should seek medical attention even if you don’t feel injured. There may not be any visible injuries right now, but a doctor can identify them and treat you if you have suffered any internal injuries. A doctor can also establish an association between the Lyft accident and your injuries, strengthening your claim against the rideshare company.
How Do I Find The Best Lyft Attorney Near Me?
Over the last few years, Lyft accidents and their associated injuries have been rising in California. Whether you were struck by a ridesharing driver or were in a Lyft vehicle, if you are injured in an accident, contact the accident attorneys at The JD Injury Law today.
Our firm assists individuals injured in car accidents involving ride-hailing companies, like Lyft, or whose loved ones are killed in collisions by filing a wrongful death claim.
How do you contact Lyft about an accident? You most likely don’t need to communicate directly with them or with their insurance provider. Our Law firm has been helping victims of Lyft accidents in San Diego and throughout Southern California. Contact an experienced San Diego Lyft accident lawyer at JD Injury Law to review your case today.
Contact A Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you get in an accident with Lyft, can you sue the company? You likely can. If you are injured in a Lyft accident, you should contact a San Diego Lyft accident lawyer before contacting your insurance company.
Please do not negotiate or accept any offers. The role of an experienced personal injury attorney is to provide professional advice to accident victims and take over some or all of the communication with the car insurance companies and rideshare companies.
A lawsuit is not something most people would find easy or fruitful, even if they have legal experience and understand the psychology involved and the reasoning involved in determining fault and presenting convincing evidence to win the case.
Insurance companies deal with accidents every day. Their investigators deal with many claims against them. Whether they are true or not, certain things you do or say can result in them challenging your claim. Posting pictures on social media, admitting to being at fault for the accident, or stating that your injuries were pre-existing are all possibilities.
Get a free case evaluation from JD Injury Law if a Lyft driver has injured you. We work on a contingency basis in our firm. This means there are no out of pocket costs and you don’t pay until we win your case.