Lyft Accident – Passengers’ Rights
Since Lyft began operating in California in 2012, Lyft accidents resulting in passenger injuries have become far too common. Despite existing negligence laws and current insurance rules governing rideshare services, obtaining compensation after an accident can be complicated. If you have been injured while traveling as a Lyft passenger, it takes a skilled ridesharing injury attorney to protect your rights.
With offices throughout Northern and Southern California, J&Y Law is currently handling accident claims on behalf of passengers injured in Lyft accidents. While the state’s personal injury law allows an injured rideshare passenger to file a lawsuit, obtaining compensation hinges on his or her status at the time of the Lyft accident. Generally, rideshare passengers may be protected by Lyft’s liability coverage, the Lyft driver’s personal automobile insurance policy, or both. When you become our client, we will fully explore all of your options and never stop fighting for you.
Determining Liability in a Lyft Accident
The California Vehicle Code requires Lyft to carry a mandatory minimum of $1 million in liability insurance, which is designed to be primary coverage for damages for injured Lyft passengers. However, this coverage only applies if the app is turned on, the passenger is in the vehicle, and the Lyft driver is determined to be at fault.
Generally, the same rules of negligence that govern car accidents in California also apply to Lyft accidents. To have a valid claim you must be able to show that:
- The Lyft driver owed you a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner
- The Lyft driver breached his or her duty
- The Lyft driver’s actions were the cause of the accident
- The Lyft accident was the direct cause of your injuries and losses
If a third-party is found to be at fault, it is necessary to look to that party’s automobile insurance policy for coverage. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or has insufficient insurance to fully compensate the injured party’s losses, Lyft also provides additional UM coverage. Finally, the rules of comparative negligence apply to Lyft accident claims in California.
Depending on the circumstances, Lyft, the Lyft driver and another motorist may each be deemed partially at fault, in which case a claim can be filed against all three parties, based on the percentage of liability that is assigned to each one. In any event, if the driver causes the accident and the app is not online during a ride, Lyft will do everything in its power to avoid the claim.
Lyft Accident Injuries
Although Lyft accident claims are handled differently than claims for other automobile accidents, they typically involved similar injuries, such as:
- Back injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Internal bleeding/organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Given that the medical and emotional costs of a Lyft accident can be overwhelming, it takes a highly skilled personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Depending on the circumstances, you may be awarded compensatory damages for such things as lost wages, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Lyft Accident
After a Lyft accident, much like any car accident, the first thing to do is call the police and seek medical treatment. The reports of first responders will be important evidence in support of your Lyft accident claim. Also, make sure to take pictures of the accident if possible and exchange contact information with the Lyft driver, other passengers, and witnesses. Finally, report the accident to Lyft through the app. This is critically important because Lyft is required to preserve such electronic communications, and reporting the accident in this manner will create a permanent record.
Contact Our Los Angeles Lyft Passenger Injury Attorney
At J&Y Law, we are keenly aware that Lyft and other rideshare service providers have disrupted the paid transportation market. At the end of the day, the public is paying a price for the proliferation of rideshare services: a spike in the number of automobile accidents, along with the related injuries and fatalities.
If you are hailing a Lyft ride, remember to be mindful of your own safety. While Lyft drivers encourage passengers to sit in the front seat, it may be best to sit in the back. In any case, always wear a seatbelt — failing to do so puts you at a greater risk of injury and can impact the value of your Lyft accident claim.
If you have been injured in a Lyft accident, the best decision you can make is to consult J&Y Law.
Our attorneys will personally handle your case, investigate all the details of your Lyft accident, represent you in all dealings with the insurance companies, and fight tirelessly for your right to just compensation. Whether through a negotiated settlement or litigation, we are committed to helping you get every dollar you deserve. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation.