All You Need To Know About Lyft Accidents and Passenger Rights
We seem to be living in a world where there is a smartphone app for virtually everything.
Do you need a reliable taxi service to go to a special event, meeting, date, or even just a quick run to the store?
There is an app for that transportation network company too. Below, top Lyft accident lawyer, Michael Ehline, will uncover the secrets of winning compensation from negligent and reckless rideshare companies after you’re assaulted or injured in an accident. Have problems with an Uber or Lyft transportation network company in Los Angeles after a mishap? Uber or Lyft is not always the cause of the problem. But sometimes you will need to use their insurance, and they are not always helpful. This service, commonly known as rideshare, has completely revolutionized the transport industry.
But customer service (Trust and Safety Team) for both Uber and Lyft has a lot left to be desired. Since Uber and Lyft are different companies, this article is about Lyft rideshare passenger claims. If you need a well-known and trusted service provider, you can choose Uber or Lyft.
Over the years, Lyft drivers have built a reputation of being reliable and trustworthy, which has helped the company become a major competitor of established brands such as Uber.
However, like all other vehicles on the road, Lyft cars can also be involved in car accidents. Everything about Los Angeles Lyft accidents and passenger rights is discussed here. When this happens, you might need a good Uber or Lyft accident attorney by your side, and Michael P. Ehline, the founder of Ehline Law Firm, is just the man you need to contact for a personal injury in Los Angeles County.
There is a difference between Uber and Lyft in how they pay claims for accident injuries. This article discusses all there is to know about Lyft accidents, passengers’ rights, and why you would need a lawyer’s assistance in such cases. Read on to find out more about how to file a claim and recover compensation for multi-million dollar passenger injuries and property damage!
How Do Rideshare Apps Work?
These days, there are a wide variety of rideshare companies to choose from, and this is because this type of service has managed to address a specific need that has been overlooked for a while. That is the need for quick, convenient, safe, and reliable transportation alternatives.
The Lyft rideshare app, for example, basically allows you to quickly hail a cab from the nearest Lyft vehicle in your area. By inputting your basic information, such as destination and number of passengers in your group, you will help the app link you to the appropriate Lyft driver.
Upon arrival, the Lyft driver already knows where you need to go, and you also know how much the journey will cost, so all you need to do is hop in and be on your way. This has proven to be a very efficient alternative to traditional taxi services, and most people now have a ride-request app installed on their phones.
Pros and Cons of Hiring an Uber or Lyft Vehicle
Even though the popularity of Uber and Lyft has skyrocketed, like any other service, there are some downsides to using them as well. Before going further, it is worth looking at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using these rideshare vehicles.
- Rideshare vehicles are generally considered affordable, safe, and convenient ways of getting around compared to traditional taxi cabs.
- Rideshare companies create jobs when employment opportunities for unskilled individuals are scarce.
- The elderly, people with disabilities, and people from the lower parts of the income bracket benefit the most from the cheat and reliable option of calling a Lyft driver.
- Using rideshare apps helps eliminate racial discrimination, a significant problem in the taxi industry.
- Lyft vehicles are usually in better condition than other taxi cabs, thanks to the minimum vehicle specifications to which every Lyft driver is expected to adhere.
- Increase in traffic congestion due to the extreme popularity of using rideshare apps, especially during the peak hours
- The need for Lyft drivers to be constantly on the road ready to pick up passengers increases emissions of greenhouse gases.
- In many cases, rideshare drivers are poorly paid, sometimes falling below the minimum wage.
- Incidents of poor driver screening by rideshare companies have been known to risk passengers’ safety.
Lyft vs. Traditional Taxi Cabs
Besides the advantages of using a rideshare vehicle listed above, the main difference between using Lyft and using a traditional cab is that rideshare cars are booked using an app that has a wide range of options available such as ride-pooling, which is a great way to save transportation costs.
While it is possible to call a cab, the waiting period is usually much longer, and you have limited control over things such as the type of car you want. With Lyft, you are given a variety of vehicle classes to choose from.
If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for the cheapest cars, which are by no means trash vehicles, or if you feel the need to spoil yourself and arrive in style, there are expensive top-of-the-line executive models.
Traditional Taxi companies often use branded vehicles as well, whereas, with Lyft, you can be a little more discreet and arrive in a plain, nondescript vehicle. All this comes at a usually much lower cost than traditional taxi services.
Insurance Cover for a Lyft Car Accident
Insurance can be a complicated issue, especially when multiple parties are involved. In the case of rideshare service providers such as Uber and Lyft, the insurance companies have to consider three distinct parties: the rideshare company, the Lyft drivers, and the Lyft passenger.
The other consideration made by insurance companies is using cell phones while driving. Significant data proves that using a phone while driving negatively impacts the driver’s ability to react to situations and has been linked to many serious road accidents.
However, since Lyft drivers need constant access to the mobile app, the driver’s insurance company has come up with two distinct policies to cover damages incurred in either of the following two scenarios under California personal injury law:
Coverage When the App Is Off
While waiting for a ride request, the driver might choose to park or drive around for a while. In either case, a Lyft accident due to negligence can occur.
The coverage offered by the driver’s insurance company for this situation is as follows:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident, also covering bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident to cover any property damage.
Coverage When the App Is On
As soon as the driver receives a ride request, the app has to be turned on and usually remains on for the duration of the ride to provide vital information to the driver, such as the location of the passenger and their intended destination.
This impairs the Lyft driver’s ability to remain focused on the road, and to make up for this, the driver’s insurance company offers the following cover packages:
- $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability insurance
- Unspecified coverage for uninsured motorists to cover damages in the form of bodily harm
- Comprehensive collision cover not exceeding the cash value of the vehicles involved, of which $2,500 is deductible.
What if the Guilty Party Is Uninsured?
In cases where an uninsured motorist has caused a Lyft accident, Lyft’s insurance policy has primary liability insurance covering the accident.
In all the above scenarios, many unique details can complicate liability insurance policies for insurance companies and all parties involved, such as if the accident was linked to a crime if a minor was involved, and many such examples.
If you are involved in a Lyft accident, the best option is to seek quality legal advice. Michael Ehline and his top-tier legal team can be reached at (833) LETS SUE for a free consultation to determine your next steps.
Common Causes of Lyft Accidents
Although Lyft puts a lot of effort into screening its drivers and ensuring that the vehicles meet their quality standards, accidents happen occasionally.
A rideshare driver is, after all, human, and as such, the following typical causes of road accidents apply to them as well:
The downside of being a Lyft driver is that your earning potential is directly linked to the number of pick-ups you can make. Many Uber and Lyft drivers drive high speeds to meet their financial targets. In many cases, speeding has been the primary cause of car accidents.
Distracted driving is one of the most likely causes sought by law enforcement officers when they realize that an Uber or Lyft driver has caused a car accident. The need to constantly look at their phones while driving has been pointed out many times by rideshare detractors as a significant road hazard that needs to be addressed. Voice-activated control systems may go a long way in preventing this sort of car accident from happening.
Even though the Lyft rules and regulations expressly prohibit driving while intoxicated or even having an open bottle of alcohol in the car while on duty, some Lyft drivers still do it.
To counter this, Lyft has an instant customer feedback option that can be used to rate customer experience. Although it is generally limited to using the five-star rating system, customers can also contact the company directly to report intoxicated drivers and those with other signs of confusing or aggressive behavior.
Another car accident cause linked to the pursuit of a more significant number of customers is driver fatigue. A lot of times, Rideshare drivers will push themselves beyond their physical limitations to make more money, and this results in them not getting proper rest.
Insurance companies look at this very closely when investigating the cause of or what contributed to a car accident. If the driver’s insurance company finds that they have been driving for too many hours daily, this might affect their liability insurance coverage.
Inexperienced Rideshare Drivers
Jobs such as driving for Uber or Lyft are relatively easy to get, and many young people who are looking to earn a few extra dollars usually go for such forms of employment. The result is that Lyft drivers have a disproportionate number of young drivers within their ranks, and such large numbers of inexperienced drivers mean that the likelihood of a car accident is high. It is for this same reason that insurance companies usually have higher premiums for younger drivers.
Violation of Traffic Laws
Car accidents caused by the violation of traffic laws are also on the rise, and in many cases, the at-fault driver turns out to be a rideshare driver. Such a car accident is usually the result of drivers wishing to complete a ride quickly or stopping at undesignated parking spots while waiting for passengers. The need to please their passengers to get a higher rating has been suggested as the cause of such behavior.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Despite efforts by both Lyft and insurance companies to make drivers adhere to a high standard of vehicle maintenance, some vehicles still go for long periods without being serviced.
Considering a rideshare driver’s high mileage, having a poorly maintained vehicle is very hazardous. A car accident has often been attributed to failing brakes or poor tires, all of which could have been picked up during regular maintenance checks.
Types of Lyft Accidents That Usually Occur
The similarity in the driving behaviors of many rideshare drivers means that they are often involved in the same types of accidents. Insurance companies and Lyft accident attorneys usually see the following common types of Lyft accidents:
This type of car accident is usually hazardous for both the Lyft driver and the passenger, especially in cases where it is a high-impact collision. Going through intersections without paying attention or executing illegal U-turns are the significant causes of this type of Lyft accident.
Whenever Lyft driver is impatient to reach their destination, they tend to be involved in rear-end collisions due to a habit called tail-gating, whereby the vehicle behind drives too close to the one in front. In such situations, the other driver’s insurance company will quickly blame the Lyft driver for not leaving enough braking distance between the two cars.
Another common type of car accident is the side-swipe, whereby the Lyft driver attempts to switch lanes without checking to see if it is safe. Last-minute lane changes due to misreading the GPS or trying to beat traffic congestion are the most likely causes of such Lyft accidents.
Hit and Run Car Accidents
At times, a distracted Lyft driver can run over a pedestrian, and they may end up fleeing the accident scene d due to the fear of facing the consequences. Besides being illegal, such actions can complicate things for the insurance company providing liability insurance for Lyft and its drivers.
A car accident does not always have to involve two vehicles. At times, reckless driving can result in a Lyft driver hitting a stationary object, such as a lamp post or a tree.
This type of car accident is usually easy for an insurance company to handle because only one Uber or Lyft driver is involved. So any settlements will be made with just the driver and the rideshare company unless litigation determines otherwise.
Common Types of Injuries From a Lyft Car Accident
An Uber or Lyft rideshare accident can be fatal, but in less serious situations, victims can escape with the following injuries:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe neck and back pain
- Dislocated, fractured, or broken bone
- Organ damage or internal bleeding.
What To Do After a Lyft Accident
What you decide to do immediately after a Lyft accident is significant for your health and your chances of winning any potential lawsuit that might arise.
Therefore, it is essential to remember the following simple steps:
Take Care and Seek Safety
Before considering anything else, the safety of all parties involved in the Lyft accident is the most important thing. Making a report and seeking compensation should not be your primary concern at this point.
If possible, you should move yourself and other drivers and passengers away from the accident scene. Furthermore, you can also try and move the vehicle, but only if it is safe and if you feel it might cause a secondary accident. Otherwise, leave it where it is for the law enforcement officials.
Take Note of the Damages On the Car
Take pictures if possible because these will be very important when determining the damages awarded by the insurance company. Any potential witnesses to the Lyft accident will also help prove the damage incurred.
Call the Police
The rideshare accident report made by the attending officer is one of the most powerful tools you will have in your arsenal should you be required to sue the insurance company for any damages or injuries sustained.
Make sure you call them as soon as possible so that the report can be made while details are still fresh and before any important witnesses leave the scene.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel okay and do not have any immediately apparent signs of injury, it is essential to seek proper medical attention. Some injuries are internal and can be life-threatening, such as head injuries, and it takes an experienced medical professional to give you the all-clear.
A medical report and proof of medical bills are also of vital importance should you take the insurance company to court. A piece of medical information will be the first thing a reasonable Lyft car accident attorney will ask for.
Contact The Other Driver’s Insurance Company
The next important step is to call the other party’s insurance company and inform them of the accident involving their client. In most cases, the insurance company will be willing to pay the damages for all parties involved in the Lyft vehicle accident as long as all documentation is in order.
If you face any problems getting the compensation you deserve, then it is time to seek legal help from a qualified Lyft accident attorney.
Call Ehline Law Firm
After all the required documentation has been gathered, and your health and safety have been assured, it will be time to call an experienced personal injury attorney, such as Michael Ehline. Time is significant in such cases, so be sure to contact us as soon as possible.
Whether you intend to sue or not is not essential at this point because it is best to be prepared for any situation. Since Ehline Law Firm offers a free consultation, you have nothing to lose by calling us. The contact information is available on the website.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations regarding Lyft accident claims varies from one state to another, and it is essential to be sure about the law concerning rideshare car accidents in your state. In California, for example, the statute of limitations for car accident injury claims is two years from the date of the Lyft car accident.
Furthermore, if a fatality occurs, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years. If the victim is a minor, an extension is awarded until the victim turns 18 years old. Once the specified time limit is reached, the victims will be barred from seeking compensation.
There are certain exceptions to these rules that victims can exploit to their advantage, such as in the case where mental incapacitation can be proved. This situation will require a detailed medical report to confirm that the victims need more time to prepare for the lawsuit properly.
Risks of Using Rideshare Apps
When using rideshare apps, such as Uber or Lyft, you will come into contact with total strangers, and there is always a certain level of risk involved in such a situation. These risks affect both the Lyft passenger and their driver.
Before you decide to use a rideshare app or seek employment as a Lyft driver, you should be aware of the following risks:
Various situations can result in an accident, and due to the many reasons outlined above, the risks can sometimes be compounded when using rideshare services. As much as the rideshare company will try to minimize such incidents, accidents still occur.
Hiring drivers lacking professional qualifications and not conducting proper background checks are usually highlighted as the most common causes of Lyft accidents.
No Liability Coverage
Lyft drivers are independent contractors, and the insurance company can deny any liability in the event of an accident. This denial means when you step into a rideshare car. You are placing your life in the hands of a total stranger without any significant accountability from their parent company.
Drivers are always at risk of being robbed when they pick up passengers. This threat exists because, while background checks may be done to screen drivers before being employed by Lyft, the same cannot be done for every single passenger that orders a ride. Therefore, the driver will pick up a stranger, and the chances of meeting criminals are very high.
Lyft Passenger Rights
As convenient as sending for a Lyft driver to take you anywhere you want, the risky nature of the situation means that you always have to be well aware of your rights as a passenger. Passenger rights have been in place for a while, while others have only recently been implemented because of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
The following is a list of some of the most important rights you have to know before you step into an Uber or Lyft:
The Right To Safe Trips
One of the promises made to passengers by a rideshare company is that the driver involved will do as much as they can to keep the occupants safe throughout the entire journey. This applies to driving safely, obeying all the road rules and regulations, and not exposing the passenger to any dangerous or illegal activity.
The Right To Not Be Discriminated Against
Part of the reason for the popularity of rideshare apps is that it offers a positive step away from common forms of discrimination that plague traditional taxi companies. Lyft has implemented company policies that expressly prohibit drivers from discriminating against a passenger for any reason whatsoever.
That is why passengers are urged to use the feedback facilities available on the Lyft app to alert the company of any drivers who are guilty of discrimination.
Rights Related To the Covid-19 Pandemic
The arrival of the coronavirus has led to many changes in how business is conducted. Most of these changes are in response to the need to improve health and safety regulations to curb the spread of the disease.
However, it should be noted that these rights may be subject to change at any time according to the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.
As such, the following rights have been implemented:
The Right To a Sanitized Vehicle
Rideshare vehicles must be properly sanitized before they can pick up passengers. While it is the of the Lyft driver to sanitize his own seating area, it is up to the Lyft passenger to clean the back seat area. The Lyft passenger will be supplied with the required sanitizers to facilitate this.
Both Drivers and Passengers Should Wear Masks
All drivers and passengers are required to put on masks at all times during the ride. The driver has the right to deny entry to passengers who refuse to wear masks. Additionally, the passenger can refuse to use the service if the driver is not wearing a mask. They can take it further by reporting the offending Uber or Lyft driver to the company.
How a Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help
There is a lot that the right law firm can achieve, and all it takes is to give them a call and get things started. When the odds of winning seem to be very slim, it takes the vast amount of knowledge and experience that Michael Ehline and his team of personal injury lawyers have to recognize the best strategy to win in challenging situations.
By dialing (833) LETS-SUE, you can look forward to the following services:
Discuss the Details of the Case
As soon as victims contact Ehline Law Firm, their assigned personal injury lawyer will first offer them a free case evaluation so they can thoroughly discuss the case. Victims of rideshare car accidents can get the clarity they need regarding how to delay with the insurance company, their insurance coverage, and compensation for medical bills and personal injuries.
Before proceeding any further, a personal injury attorney will analyze all the available evidence, including photos, videos, witness reports, medical records, car insurance coverages, and other information, to establish who is at fault. Typically you will get the other driver’s insurance policy information from them or the CHP. The injured passenger has a right to ask the other driver and the Lyft driver to exchange information before establishing liability. This process is sometimes complicated by various circumstances covered during your free consultation.
Give Legal Advice and Formulate a Strategy
Winning a case takes much more than presenting the available evidence to a judge or car insurance adjuster. A good strategy is needed because when the subject is brought before the courts, in many cases, the insurance company will be fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying any insurance coverage for Uber and Lyft accidents.
Negotiate Out-of-Court Settlement
Suppose the at-fault driver has adequate insurance coverage and no exceptional circumstances that may complicate the rideshare accident. In that case, the insurance company may opt to settle the matter out of court up to the insurance coverage limits. In such cases, having a reasonable Lyft accident attorney is essential to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for missed work, lost wages, and pain and suffering coverage.
Fight for Victims To Receive Fair Compensation
A personal injury victim of an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident is entitled to receive damages that cover medical expenses, reduced wages, pain, suffering, reduced quality of life, and wrongful death. Without proper coverage, the California Ehline Law can collect other damages that the car accident attorney can prove.
The claim’s value is usually determined by how well a good California car accident lawyer can prove these damages in court or any other official hearing.
Damages That a Good California Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Win for You
With the best legal team, such as Ehline Law Firm, on your side, you can walk away with large sums of money for any of the following damages:
- Cost of medical expenses covering all medical bills, procedures, rehabilitation, aftercare, and psychological treatment that the rideshare accident victim might require
- Income compensation for lost wages, reduced working ability, or loss of employment due to permanent disability.
These are generally awarded for any pain and suffering the victim might experience and are usually left to the court’s discretion and the insurance coverage to compensate you if any. That covers everything about Lyft accidents and passenger rights.
Call Ehline Law Firm Lyft Accident Lawyers Today
Have you been dealing with a stressful Lyft car accident? Call the best legal team from Ehline Law Firm today. Whether you are a driver or a Lyft passenger, our proven lawyer team can help maximize the compensation and justice you deserve. Our office will hold the rideshare company or their car insurance coverage provider accountable for covering your medical bills, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you may have endured.
A good personal injury attorney can be the difference between winning and losing your Lyft accident claim. Get in touch and consult with Michael Ehline at (833) LET-SUE today! We respond 24/7 for distress calls and emergencies, and we’ll come to you anywhere in California without a doubt. We help with Uber and Lyft claims and are ready to take your call.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.
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