Lyft accidents are on the rise – crucial steps you should probably be taking
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, then you do have legal options.
Ridesharing as an idea is here to stay. People find it more convenient to request a Lyft or Uber car than to call a taxi. Indeed, the two companies dominate the industry, but their rise has not come without problems.
What distinguishes ridesharing from other forms of transport is the availability of cars and cost-effectiveness. These are the result of the fact that nearly anyone with a vehicle and a license can become a Lyft or Uber driver; this, in turn, has given rise to an oversupply of such drivers.
The ease with which someone can become a rideshare driver makes accidents inevitable. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, then you do have legal options.
The Rise in Lyft Accidents
There has been a rise in Lyft accidents. This has been established by researchers who have studied the company and its rival, Uber since they have been in business. The cities in which Lyft has a dominant presence have seen an increase in car accidents. When all other factors are accounted for, the remaining factor that most such accidents have in common is the involvement of a Lyft driver.
There are numerous reasons why this is happening. Most Lyft drivers do not work as passenger carriers full time. They do the job as a way of making ends meet. They have other jobs during the day, and by the time they get around to their driving shift, they are often tired, run-down, and unalert.
The recklessness that comes with trying to get as many fares as possible is another contributing factor to Lyft accidents. Unlike a taxi, a Lyft fare is set before the journey. Lyft drivers have no incentive to drive leisurely and slowly. Just the opposite is the case. They have every incentive to get to each destination expeditiously in order to get the next fare. This sometimes leads to bad decisions.
What to do as a Passenger in a Lyft Accident
If you are involved in a Lyft accident, the shock of it will leave you momentarily dazed and confused. Once you have recovered your senses, you should take the following actions:
1. Check yourself and everyone else
You will want to determine whether you or your fellow passengers have sustained any serious injury. If you are bleeding, you may not be able to tell it straight away. You should rub your hands over your body; it is the fastest and most effective way to find the source of such an injury.
2. Call emergency services
Do not assume that the driver or people who witnessed the crash have done so. The 911 operator will ask you questions about the location of the crash and the condition of the people involved in it. Try to be as detailed as you can. And you should not worry about the delay; the operator will dispatch the ambulance and police to your location as soon as you call.
3. Take photos of the accident
If you are able to leave the car, you should do so and take as many photos of the accident as you can.
4. Get information from those involved
You should, of course, take the name and insurance information of your Lyft driver. You should also get the same information from the person in the other vehicle. When the police arrive, you should give them a detailed account of the incident as you can.
5. Have yourself medically examined
Even if you are not in pain, you should allow yourself to be taken to the hospital. You need to be examined by a medical professional. They may spot a condition or injury that you can neither see nor feel. If you have sustained serious injuries, you should take a photograph of them before they are cleaned, treated, and bandaged.
6. Contact a lawyer
You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are up to it. You should call a personal injury lawyer even before you contact your health insurance company. The latter may do what is right, but you cannot take the chance. Your lawyer will inform you of what to expect as a policyholder; they will also help you explore options for getting money from Lyft.
Lyft has a standing policy of offering passengers who have been in an accident up to $1 million. To get this money, you must prove that you were a passenger in a Lyft vehicle when the accident occurred and that you sustained serious injuries as a result of it. You must also show that the insurance of the Lyft driver will not cover the expenses associated with your medical bills, lost wages, and the emotional and psychological turmoil you have endured.
This is where a Lyft accident lawyer can be helpful. If you were seriously injured in a Lyft accident, you may be forced to spend months getting better again. It could also lead to long-term disability and even the loss of your livelihood. These are life changes that require a large amount of money to finance. And the billion-dollar company that is liable for your accident ought to pay.
What a Lyft Accident Lawyer Will Do
West Coast trial lawyers help ordinary people get justice from large companies like Lyft. The company will not offer you a million dollars straight away. In fact, they will first offer you a small dollar amount to settle the case. However, if your condition is graver and your expenses much greater, then your ridesharing accident lawyer will advise you to reject the offer and they will press Lyft to offer a larger sum of money.
One of the most common tactics used by Lyft is to claim that their drivers are not employees, but contractors. Numerous court cases across the country have shown that judges and juries are skeptical of that argument. A consensus is emerging that ridesharing companies must make a greater effort to screen and regulate the people who drive for them.
If the accident owed to the recklessness or inattention of the Lyft driver, then your ridesharing accident lawyer will find out about it and will use this evidence to get you a larger settlement.
Your lawyer will go beyond the police report. They will employ their own in-house private investigators to gather the eyewitness statements and forensic evidence needed to prove the truth of your claim. They will re-interview people who witnessed the accident. Some people do not like dealing with the police but do not mind speaking to civilian investigators. In some instances, there will be eyewitnesses who took phone camera footage of the accident, which can go a long way toward demonstrating how it unfolded.
These same investigators will look into the history and driving record of the Lyft driver. Any past problems with traffic violations or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be found.
Your lawyer will also call in medical experts who can explain the nature of your injuries and how they have affected your ability to work. This is an important part of your case in that it shows the consequences of the accident.
If you have been in a Lyft accident, you need legal representation. West Coast trial lawyers can give you the kind of legal help you require.
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