It’s easier than ever before to get a ride somewhere. In the not-too-distant past, getting a ride meant hailing a cab or calling a taxi company and hoping that they sent a driver. Today, you can get a ride with just a few taps – and you don’t even need cash on hand to pay for it.
As convenient as ridesharing apps may be, they do come with some dangers. Drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber don’t need much more than a driver’s license and a vehicle to get started – and they’re often distracted by the very apps that they use to arrange rides. When you’re in an accident with a rideshare driver, the question of who is responsible for your losses can get very tricky.
In comparison to regular car accident cases, Lyft accident claims are more complicated because the crash may be covered by the driver’s insurance policy or Lyft’s insurance, depending on what was happening at the time of the crash. Our team of lawyers will advocate for your right to full compensation after a Lyft accident – and won’t charge you a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney in our San Rafael, California personal injury law firm.
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident with Lyft
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a Lyft driver, then there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself. This is true regardless of whether you are a passenger in the vehicle, another driver, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist who was hit by a Lyft driver.
Lyft policy is for its drivers to call 911 after an accident, to make sure that their passengers are OK, and to make sure that everyone who needs it gets medical attention. If the driver does not call 911, you may want to call yourself. When the police arrive, they will write an accident report that could be used to support your claim.
One of the most important things that you should do is to get medical care – even if you don’t think that you were badly hurt. Seeing a doctor right away can help you get a prompt diagnosis and treatment for any injuries. It can also establish a link between the crash and your injuries.
If you are able to do so, gather information while you are still at the accident scene. This may include:
- The name and contact information of the Lyft driver;
- The name and contact information for any other driver involved in the collision;
- The personal insurance information for the Lyft driver and any other driver involved;
- Information about the vehicles involved, such as the make, model, and license plate number; and
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
If you can, take pictures and/or videos of the accident scene and your injuries.
Once you have gotten medical treatment and are able to do so, schedule a free consultation with a San Rafael car accident lawyer. While Lyft provides a way to file an accident report online, it is always a smart idea to consult with an attorney before you put anything in writing. Your lawyer can help you with this process.
Depending on what happened, you may be dealing with three or more insurance companies – including the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy, Lyft’s commercial policy, and/or any other driver’s insurance policy (including your own). This can get confusing – and complicated.
Lyft only provides coverage for accidents when its drivers are actively working. Otherwise, if the app is off, you can only seek coverage through the driver’s personal insurance policy. If they are working, then Lyft’s commercial policy will cover:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury (up to $100,000 per accident) and $25,000 per accident for property damage, if the app is on and the driver was waiting for a ride; or
- Up to $1,000,000 in coverage if the app is on and the driver is either picking up or transporting passengers.
This means that your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses depends on what exactly was happening at the time of the crash. A personal injury law firm can help you navigate this aspect of your Lyft accident claim, working to ensure that you get top dollar for your injuries.
How to File a Lyft Claim
If you have been injured in an accident with Lyft, you will need to file a claim with their insurance company. This is true whether you were hurt as a passenger, the driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Through Lyft’s website, you can report an accident directly to the company. This puts Lyft on notice that there has been a wreck, and that they may be financially responsible for it.
When you file an accident report with Lyft, the company will connect you with their claims center representatives. It is important to be incredibly careful about what you say or write to these representatives. Even if they seem caring and helpful, they still work for Lyft – and part of their job is to get claimants to say something that may undercut their claim for damages.
When talking to a claims center representative, try to stick to the very basic facts of when and where the accident happened. Avoid talking about the cause of the accident, who you think may be responsible, or the extent of your injuries. For example, you could say something like, “The crash occurred at 4:15 p.m. on Main Street when I was a passenger in a Lyft vehicle.”
If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, they can take over these communications for you. They can even file the accident report with Lyft on your behalf. Allowing your lawyer to handle all conversations with Lyft and their insurance company reduces the risk that you may say or do something that reduces the value of your claim.
Dealing with a Lyft Insurance Adjuster
Most people believe that other people are inherently good and fair. In reality, this isn’t always the case – particularly when you are dealing with an insurance company or major corporation like Lyft.
After you file an accident claim with Lyft, a claims adjuster may reach out to you. They may tell you that they accept responsibility for the accident or even offer you a settlement right off the bat. You may be tempted to give a statement, sign paperwork, and move forward with your life. But doing so without consulting with a personal injury lawyer first is almost always a bad idea.
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Their goal with an accident claim is to resolve it for as little money as possible. If they can deny it completely, that is even better for their bottom line.
In other words, the insurance company’s interests are not aligned with yours. Your goal is to get maximum compensation, while their goal is to minimize the amount that they have to pay you. So how can you resolve your Lyft accident claim and get the money that you deserve?
The best way to protect yourself is by working with an experienced San Rafael car accident attorney. Regardless of which insurance company is handling the claim for Lyft – Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Travelers, or another insurer – you can level the playing field by having a seasoned lawyer who knows all of the tricks that insurance companies use to try to get out of paying for a claim.
With an attorney by your side, you can turn down the initial settlement offer from Lyft with confidence, knowing that you can get more money for your losses. Your lawyer will investigate your case and put together a strong claim for damages. From there, they will negotiate a fair settlement that truly covers your losses and comes as close as possible to making you whole again.
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a claim against Lyft’s insurance policy. Negotiations will typically continue even after the lawsuit has been filed. Most personal injury lawsuits are resolved outside of court, up to the eve of trial.
What to Expect from a Settlement
Settlements for Lyft accident claims are based on a number of factors, including the nature and severity of your injuries and what insurance policies apply to the claim. Generally, you may be entitled to compensation for your:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are meant to penalize an individual who acted intentionally or with gross recklessness. An example of when punitive damages may be available is if the Lyft driver was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the crash.
The amount of money that you can recover may be limited by which insurance policy or policies apply. A skilled attorney can analyze every aspect of your claim to ensure that Lyft and any responsible driver are held accountable for the full extent of your injuries.
How Long Does It Take for Lyft to Settle a Claim?
It may take as little as 2 – 3 months for your Lyft accident claim to be resolved. However, if Lyft disputes liability or there is some question as to what insurance policy applies, it may take 6 months or longer to settle your claim. If you have to file a lawsuit, then the final resolution will likely take a year or more.
One of the best ways to get Lyft accident claims settled quickly is to hire a skilled San Rafael car accident lawyer. When you work with an attorney, Lyft will know that you mean business – and they will be more likely to offer you a fair settlement. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is the First Step in a Lyft Accident Claim?
The first step in Lyft accident claims is filing a report of the accident with Lyft. This puts Lyft on notice of the claim. An attorney can and should help you with making this report, along with any other claims against the Lyft driver’s insurance policy or another driver’s insurance company.
Rideshare accidents are different from other types of motor vehicle accident claims because of the thorny legal issues surrounding Lyft and their employees/independent contractors. That is why it is so important to work with a personal injury law firm that has experience handling these types of claims. In San Rafael, contact the Kuvara Law Firm for a free consultation.
What If Another Driver Was at Fault for My Lyft Accident?
Even if another driver was responsible for the crash, you may still be able to file a claim with Lyft if that driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. Lyft’s commercial insurance policy provides coverage for underinsured and underinsured motorists. If you were a passenger in a Lyft when it was in an accident, this means that you may be able to seek compensation with Lyft even if your driver wasn’t responsible for the collision.
To ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries, reach out to a San Rafael Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will investigate your claim and work hard to make sure that you get the money that you deserve.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
If you have been hurt in any type of accident involving a rideshare driver, one of the most important things that you can do is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. These types of cases are more complicated than an average car accident claim, which makes it critical that you work with an experienced attorney who can get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
The Kuvara Law Firm represents accident victims throughout Northern California. For each client, we work hard to help them achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a San Rafael Uber accident lawyer, give us a call at 415-479-7070 or fill out our online contact form.