What You Need To Know About Lyft Car Accidents
Rideshare companies revolutionized the use and definition of public transportation. However, the industry’s occupancy of a unique niche has made it difficult for lawmakers across the country to determine how best to handle Uber and Lyft accidents. This makes it difficult for passengers to get the compensation they deserve. If you have been in a Lyft car accident, an experienced rideshare accident attorney can help you determine an appropriate course of action.
What Is a Rideshare Accident?
Uber and Lyft are the largest, most popular and most widely available rideshare companies in America. A rideshare accident is a traffic accident that involves at least one driver who works for these or other rideshare companies. In most cases, difficulties arise when you are a passenger in the vehicle operated by the rideshare driver. However, bikers, cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers may also have a challenging time navigating the process of getting compensation.
What Are the Main Types of Lyft Accidents?
There are many different ways to categorize Lyft accidents. Most people consider accident types in terms of what happened in the crash, such as fender benders or rollovers. However, when it comes to the internal policies of rideshare companies and the laws governing their services, there are three main types of accidents. State laws have varying ways of treating rideshare accidents, but most consider which of these situations best describes the incident.
1. On the Job
These accidents occur when the driver is engaged in executing a trip. The driver may be on the way to pick up a passenger or is taking a passenger to the next destination. When passengers share rides, the driver could be engaged in both at the time of the accident. In these cases, one passenger is already in the vehicle, but the driver still needs to make a detour to pick up another passenger who is sharing the trip.
2. Off the Clock
Most rideshare drivers operate their vehicles for personal reasons as well. When an accident occurs in this instance, the law and insurance companies treat it as they would any other type of accident. Unfortunately, the drivers are sometimes actually on the job, despite being logged out. There are times when the app kicks drivers out of the system but they agree to drop the rider off anyway, especially if they are already close to the destination.
3. Available for Work
Rideshare drivers often spend a lot of time waiting for work. Some prefer to drive around to busier areas while being on call. It is also possible for a passenger to be in the vehicle while the driver is logged in but not on an active trip. As with rideshare accidents that occur off the clock, the app may drop the ride but the driver agrees to drop off the passenger. If the driver is still logged in when the accident takes place, the passenger may have some protections.
How Can a Lyft Car Accident Passenger Seek Compensation?
Rideshare accident cases may share some similarities. However, even small details can lead to big changes in how to approach them. Because of this, only an experienced Lyft accident lawyer can advise you on how to pursue compensation. Below, you will find only general recommendations.
1. Determine Medical Injuries
The only way to determine if you have injuries is to seek medical attention. Do so as soon as possible. Otherwise, the defense may argue that you sustained the injuries elsewhere or that other activities made the injuries worse, so the other party is only partially liable. You also need medical records to document your injuries.
2. Report the Accident
Lyft sometimes makes it possible to report if you have been in an accident. If you are able to do so immediately after the accident, begin the process via the app. Otherwise, begin the process whenever you are able to do so. This may not amount to much of anything, but it may be worth trying. An experienced Lyft accident attorney can advise you on how to proceed through the steps.
3. Estimate Property Damage
While taking the Lyft ride, you may have had personal items with you that were damaged in the crash. These could include a laptop when on the way to work, expensive gifts while going home from the airport or home improvement items when heading home from the store. Tally up the cost of damages to see what your losses look like.
4. Participate in the Investigation
Before Lyft or insurance companies pay out a settlement, they will try to determine who is responsible for the accident. While the companies do their investigations, they may reach out to you for information on what happened. You may need to submit your account of what took place, video footage you may have recorded during the crash or photos you took afterward.
5. Seek a Settlement
The ideal situation involves you settling outside of court with the relevant insurance company. If the insurance companies determine another driver is at fault, you may need to settle with his or her insurance company. When insurance companies determine the rideshare driver is at fault, you may need to settle with the driver’s insurance company, Lyft’s insurance company or both.
6. File a Formal Claim
If after following Lyft’s established process and participating in the investigation, you do not receive a fair offer, your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury claim. Some attorneys may even advise you to do so from the start. This is because Lyft remains committed to treating drivers as independent contractors, which mostly absolves it of responsibility for drivers’ actions.
Why Do Crash Victims Need To Work With an Experienced Lyft Accident Attorney?
Rideshare accidents are among the most complex motor vehicle accident cases taking place in courts right now. Your case deserves an experienced personal injury attorney to review the local laws and exhaust every available option to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. You also need to find an attorney who is willing to take on a rideshare accident case.
We can connect you with a Lyft accident lawyer who is eager to handle cases just like yours. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!