Rideshare driving services like Lyft offer Floridians a private, convenient alternative to taking public transportation or relying on their own vehicles. Lyft and other major rideshare companies like Uber encouraged the narrative that streets would be safer because they eliminated some number of potential drunk drivers. However, rideshare drivers are just as prone to causing car accidents as the rest of the populace.
In fact, research has shown that rideshare services may have actually increased the number of car accidents in places where services like Lyft and Uber operate. If you have been injured in an accident involving a negligent Lyft driver, you may be unsure about determining liability and recovering damages. Dolman Law Group's expert Lyft rideshare accident lawyers have years of experience navigating complex rideshare laws. For more information on the benefits of our services, reach out any time via our website or call (727) 451-6900.
Causes of Lyft Rideshare Car Accidents
Like any other driver, a Lyft rideshare driver can cause a car wreck if their attention is divided from the road in front of them or their judgment is compromised. There are a variety of ways this may happen. For example, a Lyft rideshare driver may become distracted by a text and run a red light. Common causes of Lyft rideshare accidents include:
- drowsy driving
- drunk driving
- distracted driving
- road rage
- disregard for traffic laws or carelessness
The difference between most drivers and Lyft rideshare drivers is that rideshare drivers may be under an additional level of stress while navigating the road. Lyft drivers are aware their livelihoods are contingent on tips and evaluations of their driving performance. This can create pressure to entertain passengers, which can be distracting.
They may also take risks to reach their destination as soon as possible in pursuit of a five-star rating. Lyft drivers also have to contend with passengers who may be unruly or even dangerous. These conditions may cause Lyft drivers to engage in dangerous behaviors, like speeding, that cause motor vehicle collisions.
Common Types of Lyft Rideshare Accidents:
- rear-end collision
- sideswipe accident
- T-bone accident
- head-on collision
- multi-car crash
- single car accident
Common Injuries in Florida Rideshare Accidents
While many victims of rideshare accidents walk away with only minor injuries, not everyone is so lucky. Additionally, some injuries seem minor at first, but can quickly result in severe complications if undiscovered. If you experience any of these common car accident injuries, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible:
- Spinal cord injuries – Back injuries may lead to nerve damage, which can impact the control you have over your body. In some cases, these injuries lead to permanent paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries are common in car accidents and can range from mild concussions to permanent cognitive impairment. You may require long-term medical care to treat these injuries.
- Internal Injuries – The physical inflicted by a car accident can damage the internal organs of a Lyft's occupants. Internal injuries can be particularly serious since the damage can affect essential organ function and put a person's life in danger. Depending on the type of accident, internal injuries can affect almost any organ and lead to permanent damage.
- Mental/psychological Injuries – Many of those that have been harmed in Lyft accidents can suffer from mental trauma that can lead to psychological disorders. The violence of a severe Lyft accident can lead to someone developing disorders like depression, anxiety, or Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These injuries may not have the same tangibility as physical wounds but they can still be debilitating and deserve compensation.
- Whiplash – Whiplash is common in rear-end accidents. The injury commonly results in swelling, but serious whiplash can lead to vocal cord paralysis and long-lasting neck pain.
- Broken bones – Broken bones and fractures commonly occur in accidents, and healing can be a lengthy process that hinders your ability to work. Some broken bones even require surgery.
Finding Fault in Lyft Rideshare Accidents
Ridesharing apps like Lyft are still very new industries. In many cases, the legal precedent does not yet exist. To battle this complexity, your personal injury attorney will need to work diligently to ensure negligent actors are held accountable.
Whether or not ridesharing services are held accountable for accidents depends on the case. Drivers who work for these companies are considered independent contractors under Florida law, not employees. For this reason, Lyft may deny responsibility for any accidents involving their drivers.
In most cases, drivers for these services are unlikely to have the means to compensate the victim of a serious accident; additionally, many insurers may refuse to honor a claim depending on the terms of the driver's policy. Large enterprises like Lyft also retain highly experienced legal teams to shield the organization from liability; it is important to retain a Lyft attorney to maximize the strength of your case.
The Liability For Lyft Drivers
Drivers for ridesharing services are required to hold an auto insurance policy, though they are not required to have commercial insurance. If you are the driver of a rideshare vehicle and caused an accident, you may be on the hook to cover some expenses.
If you are concerned about your risk of liability as a driver for Lyft, it's important to speak with a rideshare attorney; a skilled attorney can help you understand how to properly mitigate your risk of liability, and how to obtain the proper coverage to ensure you are protected in the event of an accident.
If the driver of another motor vehicle caused the accident, your personal injury case might be comparable to other car accident cases. Both drivers and passengers alike are protected under the law and may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damage caused by the negligence of another driver.
Recovering Damages from Rideshare Accidents
You may recover a variety of damages from Lyft rideshare accidents. Even if your injuries are not permanent, you have the right to seek compensation for your expenses in court. A skilled auto accident lawyer can help with that. If you are considering filing a Lyft accident insurance claim, you should be aware of the damages you may be eligible to recover.
Common Lyft rideshare accident damages include:
- Lost wages: Your injuries from a rideshare accident may result in time away from work for medical appointments and recovery. Some injuries may even prevent you from returning to work at all. When lost wages add up, you may find yourself in dire financial straits; in many cases, both past and future losses of income may be awarded.
- Lost Earning Capacity: Car accidents can cause injuries severe enough to inflict permanent damage, affecting a person's ability to work. As a result, many people involved in Lyft accidents will have to deal with career and job-related issues. They may have to work in another position, be let go from their work, or be unable to work in the career they used to altogether.
- Pain and suffering: You may be eligible to receive compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. If you are contending with permanent disability, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life, you may receive compensation.
- Medical bills: With the rising costs of medical care, paying for even minor injuries can quickly become overwhelming. Individuals with health insurance still find themselves paying for emergency room care, hospitalization, medications, surgeries, and other treatment. Compensation for injuries may also include therapeutic treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing expenses resulting from disability.
What You Should Do After Being Injured in a Lyft Rideshare Car Accident
In the initial aftermath of a Lyft rideshare accident, many people feel overwhelmed. This can lead them to make choices that will later impact the quality of the Lyft rideshare accident claim. Knowing what to do before you are involved in a Lyft car accident can be instrumental in protecting your right to seek damages.
Prioritize Getting Medical Treatment After a Lyft Car Crash
We recommend this for two reasons. The first is that your health should come before anything else. The sooner you see a healthcare professional, the sooner they can administer treatment and detect any injuries before they worsen. The second reason injured rideshare accident victims should seek prompt treatment is because it helps protect their future claim. This prevents insurance companies from arguing you exaggerated your injuries or allowed them to worsen to collect a larger settlement.
Document Everything Related to Your Lyft Rideshare Accident
This includes pictures from the accident scene, witness contact information, and medical records. Ask for copies of your medical records and police reports, and keep receipts for any expenses you incur that are related to your injuries. Evidence is key in demonstrating liability. This is especially true in Lyft rideshare accident lawsuits, as the insurance coverage you are able to draw on is dependent on the circumstances of the crash.
Seek Out a Reputable Rideshare Accident Attorney
Do not speak to other insurance companies about your Lyft rideshare accident without consulting a rideshare accident attorney first. Without a rideshare accident lawyer's help, insurance companies may twist your statement to offer a lower settlement. This is because they believe they can convince you to agree to a settlement that is less than your damages are worth because you won't know any better. An experienced Lyft rideshare accident lawyer will be able to handle communications with the insurance company and help you draft statements.
FAQs About Lyft Rideshare Accidents
When is Lyft Liable for Damages in a Lyft Rideshare Car Accident?
Lyft drivers are just as susceptible to becoming dangerously drowsy, distracted, drunk, or reckless as any other driver, but they are not the only ones who can be held accountable for negligence resulting in a serious Lyft rideshare accident. If the driver was logged on to the app and actively driving to pick up a ride or was transporting a passenger, an injured accident victim would likely be eligible for Lyft's own insurance coverage. This coverage can vary, so you will need an experienced Lyft accident attorney to advocate for your claim.
What Should I Do If I'm Injured in a Lyft Car Accident as a Pedestrian?
Florida is known as the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many people are injured each year in pedestrian accidents involving Lyft rideshare cars. Like in any other pedestrian accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. This is especially important for pedestrians, as their injuries are often more extensive.
It is also critical in establishing the facts of the claim, as Lyft's lawyers may attempt to dispute the extent of your injuries. You should also seek capable, qualified legal representation as soon as possible. Major rideshare companies like Lyft are highly motivated to avoid setting a precedent for being sued for their driver's negligence. You'll need a rideshare accident attorney who is familiar with their tactics and rideshare laws in Florida to have a better chance of recovering your damages.
Does Lyft Screen Their Drivers Before Hiring Them?
Rideshare companies are required to conduct background checks on the drivers who work for them, even though they are still technically classified as independent contractors. These background checks include running drivers through the National Sex Offender Registry and ensuring that they do not have a history of crimes like drunk driving that could potentially jeopardize passenger safety.
Why Should I Hire a Lyft Crash Attorney to Handle My Rideshare Accident Lawsuit?
Rideshare services like Lyft are often able to dodge responsibility for rideshare accidents. While Lyft may hold $1 million in liability coverage, it is still common for rideshare enterprises to avoid liability for your injuries. Drivers should know that company coverage includes liability, but it does not necessarily pay for damage to your vehicle or your medical expenses if you are deemed at fault for the accident.
If you are a passenger in a Lyft, you may experience difficulty getting in touch with the company to report a loss. Other drivers and their insurance companies are also often able to shirk responsibility for automobile accidents. They may shift blame to other drivers, or even to you. Hiring an attorney can make sure that doesn't happen.
Millions of people are injured in car accidents each year. To prevent negligent parties from getting out of paying their fair share, it's vital to consult with an experienced Lyft accident attorney right away. The laws regarding rideshares are continually shifting with new regulations and technology. A skilled personal injury attorney can ensure victims aren't proceeding without the proper protection.
Why Choose Dolman Law Group to Handle Your Lyft Car Accident Lawsuit?
All law firms are not the same. It is essential the Lyft accident attorney or law firm maintains an active litigation practice. If the lawyer or firm is not consistently filing lawsuits to keep insurance carriers accountable, you may be represented by counsel that will not maximize the damages in your Lyft accident case. At Dolman Law Group, we represent a variety of clients who have experienced severe injuries from car collisions.
While past examples are not a guarantee of results, the Lyft rideshare accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group have successfully handled numerous complex cases involving severe injuries and complicated questions of liability. Many of our clients have experienced catastrophic injuries, and we understand how complicated claims can become with the added component of ride-share vehicles.
You can depend on the rideshare accident attorneys of Dolman Law Group to assist you in seeking medical treatment, managing communication with the insurance company, reviewing evidence related to the car crash, and working to ensure the cumulative medical bills fall within the confines of any resolution. It's not fair for clients to be left holding the bag on medical bills after the case is resolved.
Dolman Law Group Has a Reputation for Success
We built Dolman Law Group via word-of-mouth referrals from very satisfied former clients. Our team accomplishes this by providing personal attention to our clients and ensuring we get to know their individual stories.
Our goal is to maximize your damages. Insurance carriers are unfair by design. The only way to truly hold them accountable is to aggressively advocate on your behalf. We consider everything from the permanent restrictions of your injuries to how the injuries have impeded your quality of life when calculating the value of your damages. In most cases, a few hospital bills do not demonstrate the full value of your losses.
Dolman Law Group Delivers Impressive Results
At Dolman Law Group, we have the financial resources and experience to battle any insurance carrier. In fact, our track record speaks for itself. Having successfully litigated against corporate giants such as Walmart, Target, Hyatt, Uber, Outback, Winn Dixie, Publix, Costco, and insurance goliaths like State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and a host of others, we are more than capable of advocating against any defendant.
Our rideshare accident attorneys recently recovered a 1 million dollar settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a father who was killed in a rideshare accident. We have also successfully recovered maximum compensation for rideshare accidents involving serious injuries. In 2015, our team was able to negotiate a settlement of $939,000 for an injured rideshare accident victim.
Dolman Law Can Help With Your Lyft Rideshare Accident
As the victim of a rideshare accident, you might be wondering if you can afford to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case. Victims of negligence should never forego justice due to the inability to pay. This is why cases are managed on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront to hire an attorney. Your medical health should be the first priority following an accident. The next step is securing legal counsel as soon as possible.
The law firm you select can greatly impact the settlement value of your claim. At many mass advertising personal injury law firms, the volume takes priority over quality. With Dolman Law Group at your side, you can rest assured that we will relentlessly pursue a fair settlement. Our rideshare accident lawyers won't settle for an inadequate offer. Instead, we'll take your rideshare accident lawsuit to trial to recover the full value of your damages.
By hiring a Lyft accident lawyer you are helping your future. If you have been injured in a Lyft rideshare accident, get in touch with our attorneys to learn how we can assist you with your case. Call (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online for a free consultation.
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