If you commute every day, if you have a busy travel schedule, you have no doubt noticed how easy it is to get around the city. You are no longer compelled to wait for a taxi and to pay excessive fees to get to your destination. Nor must you dole out extra money to hire a private car. The ridesharing industry has made this possible. It has allowed ordinary people greater access to private transportation at reasonable rates.
Lyft and Uber have revolutionized the transportation industry. It is now possible for anyone to be collected by a private car at the touch of their cell phone keyboard. This great change has not come without disadvantages. The most glaring of the latter is the erasure of all standards in driver safety and training. Nearly anyone can become a Lyft driver; all one needs is a driver’s license and their own car. This development has put millions of people across the country at risk as they unknowingly get into cars driven by people with poor driving records.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a reckless Lyft driver, it is important to know your legal rights and to protect them. A Lyft accident attorney can help.
A Rise in Lyft Accidents
More and more accidents are occurring that involve Lyft drivers. The facts suggest two main reasons for this development. First, most Lyft drivers do not drive full-time. They take a shift between work that pays more, which means they are tired and not as fresh and alert by the time they get behind the wheel. Second, the money saved by passengers in the highly competitive ridesharing industry works as a disadvantage to drivers. They must make up for the shortcoming somehow. Many do it by breaking traffic laws to collect more fares.
The Steps to Take Following an Accident
You have probably put little thought into how you would respond to an accident. It is not something that is pleasant to dwell on after you have stepped into the backseat of a Lyft vehicle. However, you should reflect a little on what you would do if the unthinkable occurred. Doing so will help you respond with the kind of effectiveness that will reduce confusion at that moment and will also prevent long-term problems. Here are some of the steps you should take after a Lyft accident:
1. Stay at the scene
If you remember nothing else, you should remember to stay at the scene. It is illegal for you to do otherwise. The police officer who responds to the accident will release you after they have taken your statement.
2. Check your body
Pain is not always an indicator of injury. You may have sustained serious injury even if you cannot immediately feel it. You should check yourself manually to determine if you have broken bones or suffer from excessive bleeding.
3. Call emergency services
You should call 911 at once. Try to be as clear and accurate in your response to the operator’s questions.
4. Collect driver information
In the confusion of an accident, you might forget to do certain things. Do not forget to get the driver’s name and driver number.
5. Speak to witnesses
You should talk to people who have witnessed the accident. Some of them will be eager to tell you what they saw. You should speak to them first. Be sure to get their personal information before you leave.
6. Go to the hospital
The only way to find out the extent of your injuries is to undergo an examination by a trained physician. You should admit yourself to the nearest hospital for care. If you were cut and bruised in the accident, make sure you to take photos of the injuries before they are treated.
7. Get documents
Before you leave the hospital, you should ask for hard copies of all documents related to your care.
8. Call an attorney
A Lyft accident attorney should be the first person, aside from members of your family, you speak to after the accident. They will give you the counsel and advice needed to get compensation.
Why You Need an Attorney
Lyft has a generous compensation policy. It gives up to $1 million to passengers injured in vehicles operated by its drivers. However, you will not get this sum right away. The company will insist that the driver’s insurance company offer you a settlement. If the driver’s insurance policy does not cover such contingencies, then Lyft will offer you a settlement. But the initial offer will be less than $1 million. The moment the company contacts you it is essential that you refer them to your lawyer. This is the best way to avoid confusion and of saying something that may weaken your case.
If you sustained only minor injuries and the sum of money offered covers your medical bills and lost wages, then your attorney may advise you to accept it. If you were seriously hurt in the accident, and you need serious medical care, your attorney will demand more money on your behalf. If Lyft refuses, then you will need to sue.
Why You May Need to Sue Lyft
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you will need to go through all kinds of medical procedures and operations. They all cost money, and you will not be able to earn any while you are hurt. Even when you are well enough to be discharged from the hospital, you will still need to undergo a period of recovery. If the injury has permanently disabled you, it may be necessary for you to leave work altogether. This can lead to serious financial strain—the kind of stress that can break you and your family.
Lyft should do its part in helping you get your life back. If the negligence or recklessness of one of its drivers put you in such a situation, then the company should offer you money that will help you recover and to live a decent life. If the company offers you anything less than what you need, then it is your right to file a civil suit against them.
What Your Attorney Will Do
A ridesharing personal injury attorney will help you get justice by getting you the compensation you are entitled to. Lyft has argued over the last few years that is not responsible for the actions of its drivers as they are contractors not employees. Few courts have acceded to this legal theory, and the company has been forced to pay large settlements to the people injured in its cars.
The ridesharing personal injury attorney will dedicate themselves to getting you the same kind of justice. They will employ in-house private investigators to re-evaluate the evidence. Carrying out further eyewitness interviews will be part of this process. Some people don’t like dealing with cops, but they don’t mind speaking to a private investigator. Your team may uncover evidence, including cell phone video footage, that strengthens your case.
Your attorney will also bring in medical experts who can explain the extent of your injuries and the impact they will have on your ability to work.
If you have been hurt in a Lyft accident, you need a dedicated and highly skilled legal advocate. You should call a Lyft accident attorney today to discuss your options.