Lyft has been providing rides to Boston residents and visitors for several years. Rideshare companies like Lyft provide convenience for riders who need to get around the city, whether going to a Red Sox game, exploring historical sites, or simply enjoying a night out with friends or family. Calling a Lyft driver is as easy as pushing a few buttons on a cell phone, making it a popular choice among personal transportation options.
However, the convenience of Lyft also comes with a price for riders and others who share the road with Lyft drivers. Negligent drivers do not always follow the rules of the road, putting riders and others at risk for accident and injury. In the worst cases, fatal injuries take loved ones away from their families.
In addition, Lyft drivers are in a rush to transport riders and make money, sometimes leading to poor choices behind the wheel. Similarly, other negligent drivers on the road can also cause a Lyft accident.
If you are a Boston resident or visitor who suffered injuries in a Lyft accident, Massachusetts law permits you to seek compensation for damages from the responsible party. Severe accident injuries cause physical pain and also leave victims to cope with the financial aftermath of an injury.
The experienced Boston Lyft accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers can guide you through the claims process and help you seek justice after a Lyft driver harmed you. Contact our Boston team today at (727) 351-6129 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your Boston Lyft accident, and learn about the best course of action for your circumstances.
The skilled legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers serves injured rideshare victims throughout Florida and across the East Coast, including Boston Lyft accident victims. The firm’s extensive experience with the settlement, negotiation, and litigation of accident injury claims has led to the recovery of tens of millions in damages for their clients.
In a recent rideshare accident case, Sibley Dolman Gipe recovered a $1,000,000 settlement for the family of a victim who died at the hospital after a rideshare accident. The rideshare driver raced another vehicle to beat a red light and collided.
In another rideshare accident, we recovered $939,000 for a client injured while riding in the backseat of a rideshare vehicle. A drunk driver T-boned the rideshare vehicle. Our client had delayed symptoms that included massive headaches and pain throughout the shoulders, neck, and lower back. Our client originally contacted another lawyer, who never took action. Once we took on the case, we negotiated a settlement with the drunk driver’s insurance company and filed a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance carrier to recover damages.
These are only past results and we cannot guarantee a specific outcome for your Lyft accident injury claim, but we have the knowledge and resources to fight for you. The experienced attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers can aggressively pursue the best outcome possible for your situation.
Negligent Drivers Cause Boston Lyft Accidents
A wide range of situations leads to preventable traffic accidents throughout Boston. Even when poor road conditions or inclement weather contribute to a crash, drivers remain at fault because they were likely driving too fast for conditions or engaged in another dangerous driving behavior.
Lyft drivers have a legal obligation to provide safe transit for their riders, but not all drivers take this duty seriously. Additionally, drivers in other vehicles who make poor choices behind the wheel can also cause an accident with a Lyft vehicle.
Whether you suffered injuries as a Lyft rider or while in another vehicle, negligent driving behaviors that might have caused the accident and your injuries include:
Lyft riders want to get to or from their destination quickly, and Lyft drivers have an incentive to rush, so they can give as many rides as possible in a day. Like other rideshare drivers, Lyft drivers do not get paid by the hour. They get paid per ride. The faster they drive, the more rides they provide, and the more money they make during a shift.
This fast-paced model of personal transportation causes some Lyft drivers to speed. Speeding includes driving too fast for traffic, weather, and road conditions, as well as driving faster than the posted speed limit. The faster a vehicle travels, the more difficult it is to control the vehicle, and the more likely a driver loses control of a vehicle at a critical moment, leading to dangerous accidents.
Speeding also creates conditions for severe injuries. As speed increases, the force of a crash also increases, leading to more property damage, more serious injuries, and a greater chance of fatality.
Fatigue may strike all drivers, but Lyft and other rideshare drivers are especially vulnerable. Lyft understands the dangers of drowsy or fatigued driving, so they require their drivers to take an uninterrupted six-hour break after 12 hours of service.
This helps keep exhausted Lyft drivers off Boston’s roads, but it does not eliminate the problem. The 12 hours of driving does not need to be consecutive; Lyft drivers can sign out of the Lyft app and work another job.
Many rideshare drivers work for multiple companies, so they avoid the 12-hour rule by switching rideshare apps and giving rides for an unsafe number of hours. Similarly, many Lyft drivers have “day” jobs, so they can easily put in a full workday elsewhere before they begin their 12 hours with Lyft.
Many assume that the only danger of fatigued driving is falling asleep at the wheel. However, drowsy Lyft drivers suffer impairment that prevents them from driving safely. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers who go without sleep for 18 hours experience the same level of impairment as those who have consumed enough alcohol to have a 0.08 breath or blood alcohol concentration, making fatigued driving as dangerous as drunk driving.
With the widespread popularity of cell phones, the dangers of distracted driving have been pummeled into the mind of drivers of all ages. Like many other states, Massachusetts prohibits all drivers from using cell phones without a hands-free device while operating a vehicle.
However, the state’s hands-free law does not eliminate the problem, especially for Lyft drivers. They use their phones to log on and log off the Lyft app and check for notifications about picking up riders. Additionally, many Lyft drivers rely on their phone’s navigation features if they do not have a GPS in their vehicle. The fact that drivers need to rely on their phones means that some drivers are using them while they are behind the wheel.
Although cell phone use is certainly a common driving distraction, it’s not the only one that Boston Lyft drivers face when giving rides. In some situations, Lyft drivers have little control over distractions that interfere with their driving. This is especially true when Lyft drivers have drunk or obnoxious riders in their vehicles.
Other activities that manually, visually, or cognitively distract Lyft drivers include:
- Eating snacks or drinking while driving
- Adjusting A/C, heat, or other vehicle features
- Reaching for items on the floor or in the backseat
- Watching other events outside the vehicle
An experienced Lyft accident lawyer can evaluate the facts of a case to find out if distracted driving played a role in the accident that led to your injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
Drugged and drunk driving is not only illegal, it puts Lyft riders and others who share the road at risk for accident and injury. The rideshare industry is not federally regulated, so Lyft drivers do not have to hold commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) and do not have to follow the same rules as other professional drivers. Lyft drivers do not have the reduced legal limit of 0.04 for alcohol, nor do they have to undergo random alcohol and drug tests.
Struggles with drug and alcohol abuse cross all professions and socioeconomic statuses, and Lyft drivers are susceptible to abusing alcohol and drugs like anyone else. Lyft does continuously perform background checks on its drivers. They prohibit drivers with felony drug convictions and DUI tickets from driving. Yet, these measures do not eliminate the problem. Lyft riders are also susceptible to accident and injury when a drunk or drugged driver in another vehicle strikes a Lyft car.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Lyft does not require drivers to regularly inspect their vehicles. Some Lyft drivers take impeccable care of their vehicles and perform regular preventative maintenance such as checking and changing the oil and other fluids, rotating and changing tires, and replacing belts as necessary.
Yet, other drivers do not adequately maintain their vehicles. Seemingly harmless items can lead to mechanical breakdowns at critical points. If an old tire blows out or worn brake pads finally quit working, Lyft riders and others who share the road with negligent Lyft drivers are at risk for accident and injury.
A skilled Lyft accident lawyer can investigate a Lyft driver’s maintenance habits if a mechanical breakdown led to the accident that caused your Lyft accident injuries.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries After a Boston Lyft Accident
If you choose to take legal action after suffering injuries in a Boston Lyft accident, you might receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses incurred because of the accident and your injuries.
If your attorney negotiates a fair settlement or if the court rules in your favor, you might receive compensation for some or all of these damages related to your Boston Lyft accident:
- Medical treatment costs including an ambulance ride, emergency room treatment, doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery and associated costs, aftercare, diagnostic scans and lab tests, prescription medication, and transportation costs to and from the doctor/hospital
- Rehabilitation costs including physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services, and other specialized treatments that help accident victims cope with the physical and emotional trauma of accident injuries
- Estimated future medical treatment costs when a Lyft accident leads to a permanent condition or disability that requires continued care and treatment
- Lost wages from time away from work due to a Lyft accident, injuries, hospitalization, and recovery
- Lost earning capacity when a catastrophic injury prevents a Lyft accident victim from returning to work or seeking future employment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Punitive damages when the accident occurred because of intentional actions or egregious disregard for the law
If a loved one suffered fatal Lyft accident injuries, a compassionate and knowledgeable Boston Lyft accident attorney can advise you on the right course of action for you and your family.
Massachusetts law permits eligible surviving family members to sue responsible parties for damages related to the loss of their loved ones. Your attorney can review your case and determine your eligibility for recovering damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Boston Lyft Accident FAQs
If you have suffered injuries in a Boston Lyft accident, you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what comes next. You are not alone. It’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer sooner than later to get advice about the specific course of action for your circumstances. Until you have the opportunity to meet with an attorney, we’ve put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions about Boston Lyft accidents.
Below, you will find general information about some of the decisions you need to make in the aftermath of a Lyft accident, and information about the process of recovering compensation for your Boston Lyft accident injuries.
How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action After a Boston Lyft Accident?
Massachusetts law has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. If you have suffered injuries in a Boston Lyft accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit against the negligent Lyft driver or another party responsible for your injuries.
The same time limit applies if you have lost a loved one from fatal injuries in a Boston Lyft accident, and you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. The law does allow for rare exceptions, typically related to the physical and mental capacity of a victim.
However, in most cases, it’s doubtful a court will hear your case if you bring a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run out. It’s best to contact a Boston Lyft accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss your chance to recover damages for your injuries.
Does My Mandatory Massachusetts PIP Coverage Kick In After a Boston Lyft Accident?
Unless a Lyft driver hits you while you are riding a motorcycle, it’s likely your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will apply after a Boston Lyft accident. Massachusetts requires drivers who register a vehicle to purchase at least $8,000 in PIP coverage, but many people purchase a higher limit.
The coverage typically extends to the policyholder’s immediate family to cover medical bills and lost wages after an accident, up to the policy limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Once you have exceeded your PIP coverage limit, you will have to resort to other options to recover additional compensation.
I Do Not Have PIP Coverage. What Now?
Massachusetts PIP coverage extends to everyone who lives at the same address as the policyholder. For example, if you are a Boston University student who doesn’t own a car, your parents’ PIP benefits would cover your medical expenses up to their policy limit if you suffered injuries in a Lyft accident.
Lyft will pay up to $10,000 for medical treatment costs if you do not live with a family member. You must prove you do not own a vehicle and complete an affidavit. Your Boston Lyft accident lawyer can guide you through this process.
What Insurance Requirements Do Boston Lyft Drivers Have?
Fortunately, Massachusetts has strict insurance requirements for rideshare companies such as Lyft. Under Massachusetts law, Lyft drivers must carry additional coverage, but the requirements vary based on whether they have riders and whether they are logged into the app. In either case, if you suffer injuries in a Lyft accident, you likely won’t have to deal with any issues related to an uninsured Lyft driver.
In Boston and throughout Massachusetts:
- Lyft drivers must comply with the same insurance requirements as other drivers when they are not logged onto the app or carrying riders.
- Lyft drivers who log into the app without carrying riders must carry at least $50,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 in body injury liability per event, and $30,000 in property damage liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
- Lyft drivers who transport riders must carry a minimum of $1 million in liability for death, bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorist coverage.
If the Lyft driver does not carry the proper insurance, Massachusetts law also requires that Lyft provide the coverage under their carrier. They must investigate the claim and make a decision.
Who Pays My Medical Bills from My Boston Lyft Accident Injuries?
You are always responsible for paying your medical bills even if someone else caused the accident or you were injured as a Lyft rider. The first money most accident victims receive after injuries is their PIP benefits. If you have PIP coverage, it will pay you for medical expenses up to your policy limit.
Depending on the situation, you might submit the bill to your insurance company. In other cases, you might pay out-of-pocket and receive reimbursement from your carrier. After exhausting your PIP policy, you will file a claim and possibly a lawsuit against the Lyft driver or another at-fault party.
It can take months or years to resolve a claim, and you are not guaranteed compensation. While you wait to settle or litigate your case, your health insurance will cover some of your medical bills. You are financially responsible for anything not covered by insurance.
You must communicate with your provider and let them know your story. Some providers put accounts on hold or negotiate small monthly payments for medical expenses while a patient is in the midst of a lawsuit. We can help you make these arrangements with your medical providers. If you ignore the bills and wait for your case to settle, you risk ruining your credit if your provider sends your account to collections.
How Do I File an Accident Injury Claim with Lyft?
First, you must meet the requirements of Lyft’s insurance coverage. You must have suffered injuries as a rider and exhausted any PIP policy options before you file a claim with Lyft. If you meet these conditions, you can start the claims process directly with Lyft by visiting their app or reporting the accident online. Their website prompts you for your phone number. Once you enter your number, they will return your call to take your report over the phone.
Be sure not to provide more information than needed when writing about the accident in the app or speaking with a Lyft representative. Their insurance company will attempt to use any information you provide to devalue or deny your claim.
Once you file a report, Lyft will notify their insurance provider, input your claim into their system, and provide you with a reference number for your claim. Once you receive this claim number, any communication surrounding the accident will go through Lyft’s insurance carrier instead of the Lyft representatives who take accident reports.
What Should I Do If I Haven’t Heard from Lyft’s Insurance Company After I Filed a Claim?
Unfortunately, there is no specific time that an insurance company has to respond to a claim. However, they do need to respond to claims within a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes investigations take longer than anticipated. Other times insurance companies ignore claims, hoping they will go away. This is rare and also constitutes acting in bad faith. If you haven’t heard anything in a few weeks, you can follow up.
However, if you are concerned the insurance carrier isn’t taking your claim seriously, or they are acting in bad faith, you need a lawyer on your side. Once claimants have legal representation, insurance companies often process claims more quickly.
Letting a Boston Lyft accident attorney handle communications with the insurance carrier also protects the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters intently look for things a claimant might say that they can use against them.
If a Lyft Driver Caused My Injuries, Can I Directly Sue Lyft?
Rideshare accident claims are notoriously complex because they typically involve more than two parties. This makes it difficult to know exactly who you need to sue to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Your lawyer will evaluate your case and advise you on the parties you should name as defendants in a lawsuit.
Many rideshare companies designate their drivers as contractors to avoid providing employee benefits and to protect themselves from lawsuits emerging from accidents caused by drivers. Yet, sometimes suing Lyft is the right thing to do. For example, if they failed to perform a proper background check, your lawyer might suggest that Lyft was negligent by letting drivers provide rides through their app.
Will My Lyft Accident Claim Go to Trial?
Most accident injury claims settle without going to court. In some cases, your attorney might resolve your claim without filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement amount that adequately compensates you for losses related to the accident and your injuries.
Sometimes, negotiations fail because of liability disputes and disagreement over the value of the claim. If this happens, your lawyer will have to prepare your case for trial. Although it’s unlikely your claim will go to trial, you should be prepared for the possibility. Your attorney will review your claim and identify any challenges you might face that could impact the success of settlement negotiations.
How Much Money Could I Get for My Lyft Accident Injuries?
We cannot predict or promise a specific financial outcome for your Lyft accident claim. Your lawyer might prove a range of possibilities based on similar cases, but many factors add to or detract from the value of your claim.
Compensation typically includes economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. These costs are simple to calculate. If you suffered permanent injuries that prevent you from working and require ongoing treatment, calculating the value of future lost wages and future medical expenses is trickier. Lawyers often enlist the help of medical experts and financial planners to help.
Compensation for accident injuries also includes non-economic losses, which refers to the ways an injury has impacted your life. Those who suffer the most severe injuries often have more economic and non-economic losses, resulting in larger settlements or court awarded damages. If your Lyft driver showed total disregard for the law, your lawyer might also ask for punitive damages.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
Although Lyft carries a large policy for drivers and drivers must have increased coverage, it does not mean the insurance company is eager to pay out a claim for their policyholder.
Insurance providers stay in business by paying out the least money possible on each claim. One common strategy they use to reduce their payout is to offer an accident victim a settlement offer soon after the accident.
In the aftermath of severe accident injuries, many victims and their families face economic hardship. Insurance companies make predatory offers to tempt them. These are typically low-ball offers and do not include fair compensation for someone’s injuries and losses.
If your Lyft driver’s insurance company or Lyft’s insurance company contacts you with a settlement offer, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney. Once you accept the offer, you waive your right to take further action to receive compensation. If you do not recover from your injuries or suffer a permanent injury, you could be left without the funds you need for additional medical treatment. Instead, let a lawyer negotiate a better outcome for your circumstances.
How Can I Afford a Boston Lyft Accident Lawyer?
When you choose a Boston ridesharing accident attorney to represent you after your Lyft accident, you do not have to pay an upfront retainer as you do with many other attorneys. Personal injury lawyers, including those who represent Lyft accident victims, take new clients on a contingent fee basis. If you prevail in your claim, your Boston Lyft accident lawyer will deduct attorney fees only from any compensation you receive for your injuries from a settlement or jury award.
Injured in a Boston Lyft Accident? Contact Sibley Dolman Gibe Accident Injury Lawyers Today
The aftermath of a Lyft accident can leave you with mental anguish and financial hardship in addition to the physical pain of injury and healing. You should not have to shoulder the economic burden of your accident injuries when someone else is responsible.
Instead, you can let a skilled Boston Lyft accident attorney handle the details of your claim while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers today online or call (727) 351-6129 for a free case review to discuss your Boston Lyft accident, your injuries, and the way they have impacted your life.
We understand the challenges you face and want to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Compensation will not undo the harm you have experienced and the injuries you have suffered, but it can help you pay for the care and treatment that you or a loved one needs after a Boston Lyft accident.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114