For decades, Pennsylvania’s cities and towns have depended on taxicabs to provide transportation. However, in recent years, the rideshare industry has revolutionized the way in which people get to their destinations. The rideshare industry has also become a big part of the gig economy, where people have the option to work for themselves go from gig to gig instead of committing their time and talents to one employer. So, essentially anyone with a vehicle and valid license can become a driver for Lyft.
Whether you have been involved in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle, injured while traveling as a passenger in a Lyft vehicle or are a bicyclist or pedestrian struck by a Lyft vehicle, please remember that you have legal rights and options. The experienced Montgomery County accident lawyers at KaplunMarx will be able to stay on top of the accident investigation and help ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected throughout the process.
Understanding How Lyft Works
In order to better understand how you can hold Lyft or Lyft drivers accountable for any injuries or damages they cause, it is important to fully understand how Lyft works. Just like Uber, Lyft is a mobile app for smartphone users, which could be used to get a ride when they need one. Drivers sign up with Lyft and use their own vehicles to operate ride services for the platform. Lyft officials say they perform background checks and screen driver’s licenses to make sure drivers are qualified. When the drivers are ready to pick up passengers, they turn on the app.
Passengers essentially use the app to connect with drivers. Like the Uber app, the Lyft app shows you which driver is close to your location. So, when you ask for a ride, it is likely that the one who is closest to you accepts the ride and heads your way. Lyft acts as the middleman between drivers and passengers. Lyft also maintains that drivers are not employees, but “independent contractors.”
What to Do if You Are in a Lyft Accident
Whether you are a Lyft passenger, occupant in another vehicle or a pedestrian, it is important to understand what to do if you are ever involved in a Lyft accident. A car accident involving a Lyft vehicle is just like any other auto accident. So, the steps you might take if you are involved in a car accident involving any vehicle would also apply to a Lyft car accident.
First, make sure you and yours are safe and uninjured. Get to a safe location as soon as possible. Call 911 if you or someone else has been injured. When the police get on the scene, make sure you provide details from your perspective. Obtain a name and badge number for the officer who responds. After a few days, the detailed incident report should be available at the police department. Make sure you get a copy for your own records.
Get the medical attention you need for your injuries. Don’t decline treatment at the scene. Go to the emergency room if you are bleeding or need assistance right away. Pay a visit to your doctor even if you don’t feel anything right away. The adrenalin rush and shock of being in a car accident cause symptoms to manifest a little after the crash. This could even be a few days later.
So, it’s important you get checked out to confirm that you haven’t suffered serious internal injuries or other types of injuries. When you get medical attention and treatment, not only are you ensuring that you get on the road to recovery as soon as possible, but you are also creating a paper trail that documents your injuries and the treatment you received for your injuries.
Document as much evidence as possible from the scene. This includes getting cell phone images and video from the scene soon after the crash. Talk to anyone who may have seen the accident. Eyewitness statements are often crucial evidence in car accident cases. Preserve all receipts and invoices relating to your Lyft accident expenses. Do not talk to defense attorneys or insurance companies for other parties. What you say can be used against you.
Do not rush into a settlement before you have had an opportunity to fully understand the scope of your injuries including future medical expenses. Doing so could compromise your ability to seek and obtain fair and full compensation for your losses. Contact an experienced Lyft accident lawyer who will remain on your side throughout the claim process and ensure that your best interests are protected.
Insurance and Liability Issues
When the Lyft driver has the app turned off and cause an accident during this time period when they are offline, they are covered by their own personal auto insurance policy. If the driver is online, which means he or she has the app turned on, but has not yet accepted the trip, the type of insurance coverage is a little different. In such cases, Lyft’s insurance policy covers $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 for any property damage that occurs.
When a Lyft driver has accepted the trip, the insurance coverage increases to $1 million per accident. In addition, there is a $1 million policy for uninsured or underinsured drivers. There are also other parties who could be held accountable such as other drivers who cause collisions with Lyft vehicles. If another driver is determined to be at fault, he or she could be held financially responsible.
Lyft car accidents can be complex and challenging to deal with. But, with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side who has successfully handled these types of cases, you significantly increase your chances of getting maximum compensation for your losses.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Montgomery have the knowledge and resources it takes to handle these types of cases. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not take any fees from clients unless we recover compensation for them. So, you don’t risk anything by coming to us. We offer free, comprehensive and confidential consultations to all injured victims and their families.