Can I Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident?
In most cases, no, you cannot directly sue Lyft after an injury accident. The only time you can take legal action against the rideshare company is if it practiced negligent hiring, negligent retention, or general negligence.
However, if you were in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle, you may file a claim with Lyft’s auto insurance company, depending on the Lyft driver’s work status. A rideshare accident lawyer can review your case and determine your options for compensation.
Circumstances Where You Can Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident
All transportation network companies (TNCs) must properly screen their drivers and ensure they and their vehicles meet safety standards. Otherwise, they may be liable for your damages.
In general, you can sue Lyft if they engaged in:
Many things could constitute general negligence on Lyft’s part. For example, Lyft must ensure all vehicles are in good working order. If it didn’t enforce regular maintenance checks on vehicles and one of its drivers got into an accident due to faulty brakes, it may bear liability for the damages.
Lyft must carry out background checks on potential drivers’ driving (e.g., traffic citations) and criminal records (e.g., convictions) before it hires them. Should it fail to do so and hire a driver with a long rap sheet, it may face liability for your injuries after an accident. Had Lyft been more thorough with the vetting process, you never would have been hurt in a crash.
As mentioned, Lyft must properly vet each of its drivers to ensure they are fit to drive. However, it must keep up with their records and address any complaints about their poor driving.
For example, let’s say a driver was clear to work for the company, but passengers complained they were always on social media while driving, constantly distracted, and had many close calls. Then, when you’re riding as a passenger, they run a stop sign and crash into another vehicle, resulting in your injuries.
Lyft should have done its due diligence, taken the complaints seriously, and reprimanded, suspended, or terminated the driver for negligent driving. Since it didn’t, you may have grounds to sue them.
When Does Lyft Insurance Coverage Take Effect?
If you were hurt in an accident involving a Lyft driver, you may seek compensation from Lyft’s insurance policy. However, your eligibility will depend on whether the Lyft driver was logged into the app at the time of the crash.
To illustrate, according to Lyft:
- If a driver was not signed in, their personal auto coverage would take care of any losses, depending on their degree of fault.
- If a driver was signed in and waiting for a ride, Lyft’s insurance would kick in.
- If a driver was signed on and in the middle of a ride or going to pick one up, Lyft’s third-party auto liability, uninsured motorist coverage, and/or comprehensive and collision coverage may apply.
A personal injury lawyer can collect evidence to help you determine which policy applies to your situation, if any.
Damages You Could Seek Compensation for After a Lyft Accident
If you sustain injuries in a Lyft accident, you can seek compensation from the liable party. The damages you incurred because of the Lyft accident directly affect how much compensation you can seek. Your attorney can analyze the damages you sustained to estimate the value of compensation to seek in your case.
An attorney can help you recognize the value of your losses. Many people believe they can only seek compensation for the monetary losses the accident caused. Fortunately, you could also seek compensation for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
To receive compensation for your medical expenses, you must prove you sustained them using evidence, like medical bills, doctor’s notes, prescription receipts, and other documentation.
Medical care you could require after a Lyft accident includes:
- Emergency medical care
- Medical equipment
- Diagnostic tests
- Follow-up doctor’s visits
You may also pursue compensation for future medical bills you could face later. These bills could continue coming for years if you continue to need treatments for your injuries.
While trying to heal from your injuries by resting at home or going to the doctor’s, you may have to take time off work.
As a result, you may not collect your regular income, as well as:
- Paid time-off
- Employee benefits
- Business opportunities
If you cannot go back to work at all or in the same capacity, you may seek compensation to cover this lost pay.
Pain and Suffering
Your injuries or the trauma from the accident could cause you to deal with physical and emotional pain, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleeping problems
Mental health issues can significantly impact your quality of life. If you can prove you developed these issues because of the injury accident, you can pursue compensation for these losses.
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one to the Lyft injury accident, you may recover compensation for:
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Final medical care costs
- Loss of financial support
Another recoverable intangible damage that surviving family members of someone who passed away or suffered serious injuries in an accident may include loss of consortium. If your loved one can no longer provide the love and compassion they could because they passed away or remain in a vegetative state, you could seek compensation for these damages.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney to Sue the Other Party?
An attorney can provide significant help to your case. To recover compensation through a claim or lawsuit, you must prove negligence. The laws regarding accidents with Lyft can get complicated, so you may want to consider hiring an attorney if you choose to sue the other party.
They can build your case to prove the other party acted negligently by showing the elements of negligence exist in your case.
The elements of negligence you must prove to win your case include the following:
- Duty of care: For example, the Lyft driver had a duty of care toward you. Drivers on the road have a duty of care to drive in a safe way that a prudent person would.
- Breach of duty: Once you establish the other party owed you a duty of care, you must prove the defendant breached their duty. You could prove they breached their duty by showing evidence, such as the police report, witness statements, or traffic camera footage.
- Causation: Next, you must prove the Lyft driver’s breach of duty directly caused the accident and your injuries. If the Lyft driver had not breached their duty to provide care, you would not have suffered injuries.
- Damages: You must show that you sustained financial or non-financial harm because of the accident and your injuries. Common damages Lyft accident victims could incur include medical bills, lost income, loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
While you can pursue the liable party after an injury accident, you must build a strong case based on negligence for a jury to award you compensation. When you seek legal assistance from an attorney, you can go into the lawsuit with a solid case.
Evidence You Can Use to Prove Negligence
Evidence serves as the backbone of every personal injury case.
Common types you may want to collect include:
- A copy of the official accident report
- Photographs of your injuries, the damaged vehicles, and the scene of the accident
- Traffic camera footage
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Your medical records and bills
- Relevant data from the Lyft app
- Traffic citations
If you have any other evidence in your possession, bring it to your attorney. The most seemingly unimportant shred of evidence could make all the difference in recovering fair compensation.
What a Lyft Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
An attorney can take care of all aspects of your case while you recover from your Lyft accident injuries.
Some responsibilities they can assume for you include:
- Collecting, organizing, and presenting evidence
- Identifying all the negligent and liable parties
- Determining which insurance policy will cover your damages
- Communicating with the insurance companies
- Negotiating a sufficient settlement
- Taking your case to a trial, if needed
Don’t worry about not being able to afford a lawyer to lead your case. Most personal injury firms serve accident victims on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they don’t charge a fee to get started on your case. Instead, they only receive payment if they receive compensation for you.
You Have a Limited Time to Sue the Other Party After an Injury Accident
When you sustain injuries in an accident involving a Lyft, it’s recommended that you contact a law firm as soon as you can. Each state enforces a statute of limitations that gives injury victims a set timeline they have to file a lawsuit. It usually ranges from one to three years, depending on state law. If the deadline passes and you still haven’t filed suit, the likelihood of recovering compensation decreases drastically.
While a few years seems like you have a long time to prepare your case, this process could take longer than you originally expected. Car accident investigations can take a lot of time. In addition to the investigation, your attorney may need ample time to build your case and then negotiate with the insurance company to help you settle your case outside of court. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
If you settle your case outside of court, you can receive compensation faster and avoid the stress of a trial. However, if the insurance company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve, you may sue the liable party. Then, a jury can decide the resolution on the case your legal team presents to them. When you choose an attorney that advocates for you, you can feel confident throughout the claims and legal processes.