What Is a Lyft Personal Injury Settlement?
Rideshare passengers hope for a safe, uneventful ride, but that does not always happen. When rideshare accidents result in injuries, victims may have the right to a Lyft personal injury settlement. This settlement works like standard car accident claims, providing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.
Injured passengers must educate themselves on their rights in these unique auto accidents, and they deserve proper legal representation. Lawyers with experience handling rideshare accidents know how companies like Lyft and Uber navigate insurance coverage for drivers. These legal advocates understand when to pursue compensation from a driver’s personal auto insurance policy rather than from the company that employed the rideshare contractor.
What Should Lyft Passengers Do After an Accident?
In the immediate aftermath of a collision, ridesharing passengers should proceed as they would in a regular auto accident:
- Check everyone involved in the incident for injuries.
- Call for an ambulance if anyone needs immediate medical attention.
- Contact the police so officers can come out to the scene and create a police report.
- Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles, injuries sustained, weather and road conditions.
- Get witness statements and contact information.
One major difference with rideshare accidents is that harmed passengers must get each drivers’ insurance information. Also, passengers should contact Lyft to let a representative know about the collision and find out how to proceed.
Passengers may feel fine in the hours after an accident, but having a physician look them over is a good idea. Sometimes injuries take days to show up, as adrenaline can mask them.
Whose Insurance Covers Lyft Accidents?
Much like regular motor vehicle accidents, several factors determine which party’s coverage pays for injuries and similar damages. If the Lyft driver’s auto coverage accounts for the policyholder operating as a rideshare driver, then that policy covers the accident. That said, it is uncommon for rideshare drivers to carry this special provision.
Ridesharing companies have third-party liability insurance coverage for property damage and personal injuries. One caveat is that the company’s coverage only activates after Lyft drivers exhaust their personal policy limits. Further, passengers only have access to third-party liability coverage if a Lyft driver bears fault for the accident.
When another motorist becomes the at-fault party, harmed passengers must go through this person’s coverage provider for compensation. In both instances, passengers make a third-party insurance claim. If the at-fault driver does not have a policy sufficient to cover all resulting damages, then those harmed may file a personal injury lawsuit.
Before taking legal action, injured Lyft passengers should determine if they can tap into the company’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. UM/UIM coverage only applies in specific instances:
- The at-fault driver’s identity is unknown.
- The responsible party’s policy cannot cover the victim’s injuries.
- The responsible driver does not have auto insurance.
Successful legal actions do not always result in victims receiving compensation. The person deemed at fault may not have the assets to pay a judgment, putting injured passengers back at square one. Further, a defendant may file for bankruptcy after a judge rules in the victim’s favor. Anyone who declares bankruptcy no longer bears responsibility for paying a judgment, which also leaves accident victims still in need of a Lyft car accident settlement.
When Can Accident Victims Directly Sue Lyft?
Rather than sue rideshare drivers who may lack the assets to pay legal judgments, accident victims may feel that it makes more sense to go directly after Lyft to recover their compensation. The biggest obstacle to this strategy is that rideshare companies go out of their way to professionally distance themselves from the motorists they employ, categorizing them as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” Some states, such as California, established laws to make it harder for companies to claim that they hold little to no responsibility for negligent drivers.
In states where such laws are not in place, victims should try to tap into Lyft’s UIM or liability coverage before taking legal action against the company. Suing could become an uphill battle that lasts longer than injured parties (or their finances) can bear.
How Much Is the Average Lyft Accident Settlement?
It is difficult to calculate an average value for a Lyft passenger car accident settlement. As with any personal injury, several factors determine how much compensation harmed individuals can recover for a rideshare accident:
- The victim’s current and future rehabilitation and medical costs
- The severity and extent of injuries sustained
- Future earning capacity, loss of income and similar economic damages
- The insurance policy in effect during the collision (ridesharing companies determine coverage according to whether the driver has the app on, if the vehicle has a passenger inside or if the driver turns the app on and is en route to pick up a passenger)
- The attorney’s expertise and access to resources
Settlement amounts also depend on whether punitive damages apply. Such damages may be on the table when the accused acted recklessly or intentionally. Another determining factor is whether a case qualifies for non-economic damages such as physical pain and emotional distress.
Accident victims can do their part to maximize their settlement amount. Organizing all medical bills and health facility correspondence helps, as does following a physician’s orders and taking all prescribed medication. Defying a doctor’s or pharmacist’s orders could give the impression that the injured individual is not as hurt as she or he claims. Attending all physical therapy appointments and following a prescribed rehabilitation treatment plan demonstrates the extent and severity of the injury and supports a requested settlement amount.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Were you involved in a recent accident while riding in the car with a Lyft driver? Meet with an experienced, trusted personal injury lawyer in your area to explore and protect your rights to fair compensation for your Lyft settlement. You should not have to face major corporations alone, nor should you pay for another person’s negligent driving. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!