Did you suffer an injury in a Lyft accident? If so, you may not know where to turn for help. You may feel scared and confused about the steps you need to take to get compensation.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Pennsylvania Lyft accident lawyers can help you through this difficult time. We know the best ways to investigate these cases and can ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
How Common Are Lyft Accidents?
Uber releases a “safety report” every couple of years that details the number of fatal accidents that Uber drivers were involved in, Lyft does not. In April 2019, Lyft announced it would conduct more thorough background checks for all its drivers. Today, Lyft conducts continuous criminal background checks for drivers and yearly screening.
While it may or may not correspond to accidents and safety, about 75 percent of Lyft drivers reported being satisfied with their experience driving for Lyft. In comparison, only about 58 percent of Uber drivers reported being satisfied with their driving experience. It stands to reason that the more Lyft and Uber drivers there are on the roadways, the more often these drivers will be involved in auto accidents.
Since many Lyft and Uber drivers are replacing a drive that the passenger would otherwise have done in their own vehicle or a rental vehicle, an increase in accidents is virtually inevitable.
What Should You Do Following a Lyft Accident?
A Lyft accident, like any auto accident, can leave you shaken up and uncertain of what steps to take to protect your health and a future accident claim against the at-fault driver to pay for your damages. Your health is the most important issue following an accident. A medical professional should check out everyone involved in the accident as quickly as possible. Even if you think you are fine, symptoms of serious injury could manifest hours, days, or even weeks later. If you have not been checked out for injuries, the at-fault driver’s insurer may attempt to deny your claim on the grounds that your injuries are from a subsequent accident.
Following your Lyft accident, you should do the following:
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver
- If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle, obtain contact and insurance information with the Uber driver and the other driver
- Call 911 and ask the police officer when a police report will be available
- If you are able, take photos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved in the accident
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident
- Jot down all details of the accident once you are home
- Contact your own insurance company
- Speak to a knowledgeable Lyft accident attorney as soon as possible
How is Liability Proven After a Lyft Accident?
Following your Lyft accident, liability must be definitively proven for you to receive a full and fair settlement for your injuries. The police officer or officers that arrive on the scene will investigate the accident, questioning each party involved in the accident and witnesses if there are any. If one driver was clearly at fault, perhaps by running a red light or texting while driving, that driver might receive a citation. This citation can go a long way in proving liability for your Lyft accident. The insurers who may be filed against following the accident will conduct their own investigation if fault is unclear.
Proving liability is one of the most important components of any auto accident, including an Uber accident. Liability can be shown in many ways, starting with the police report. The police officer or officers that arrive on the scene will question all involved in the accident and witnesses, if there were any, to determine the accident’s cause. If fault is apparent, the report may state that, or if there were citations given, this could also point to the responsible party. If the police cannot determine fault, then it is likely that the insurers involved will perform their own investigation.
Since that investigation is likely to be skewed in their favor, you must have a highly skilled personal injury attorney who can conduct his or her own investigation. In some instances, your attorney may bring in an accident reconstructionist and look for traffic cameras or cameras from local businesses that may have recorded the accident. Most newer vehicles also have a “black box,” indicating the vehicle’s speed and whether there was a “hard brake” immediately before the accident.
What Are Common Injuries Following Lyft Accidents?
Whiplash is the most common injury following an auto accident due to the “whipping” action between your head and neck. As a soft tissue accident, you may not feel immediate pain. However, without prompt treatment, you may experience the effects of a neck injury for weeks, months, or even longer. Whiplash can be a complex injury that requires medical treatments, physical therapy, and pain management for recovery. Other common injuries include cuts and bruises, sprains and strains, neck and back injuries, and broken bones.
More severe auto accident injuries include traumatic brain injury and concussions. Concussion symptoms include headaches, confusion, inability to remember, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and unusual fatigue.
Spinal cord injuries can cause numbness, pain, or paralysis. Paralysis can alter your life forever, costing millions of dollars to treat. Internal organ damage, limb amputations, and disfiguring burns are other serious injuries auto accident victims may be forced to deal with.
Does Pennsylvania Have No-Fault Insurance?
Like a dozen other states, Pennsylvania has a no-fault car insurance version. Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance is a bit more complex than most, however. You can choose either limited tort or full tort no-fault insurance. Limited tort insurance is less expensive, and if you are involved in an auto accident, your insurance will pay for your medical treatments, lost wages, and auto damages up to the policy’s limits. The minimum required limited tort insurance pays $5,000 toward medical expenses, which can be used up very quickly if your injuries are serious.
Under limited tort insurance, once your limits are exhausted, you can file against the at-fault driver’s insurance. However, you cannot file for pain and suffering damages unless you have suffered a disfiguring or disabling injury. If you choose full tort insurance, you can immediately file against the insurance company representing the at-fault driver. Under full tort insurance, you can file for pain and suffering even when your injuries are not disabling or disfiguring.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, you could potentially file against that insurance. Your Lyft accident attorney can file against Lyft for damages for severe or catastrophic injuries that have exhausted all insurance limits.
Can I Sue Lyft for My Injuries?
Whether or not you can sue Lyft for your injuries will depend on many different things, including whether liability is evident following the accident. If liability is clear, then whether you can sue Lyft will depend on the extent of your injuries and the auto insurance of you and the others involved in the accident.
Assuming liability is clear, and you have exhausted your own insurance and that of the at-fault driver yet still have expenses related to the accident, assuming the driver was either on the way to pick up a passenger or had passengers in the vehicle, you can sue Lyft for your injuries. Your attorney can help you determine whether suing Lyft is the right decision for you. Lyft carries the following insurance limits:
- When the app is off, the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage applies.
- When the app is on, and drivers can receive ride requests, Lyft’s third-party liability insurance for covered accidents if the driver’s insurance does not apply includes $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
- When the app is on, and drivers are en route to pick up passengers or have already picked up passengers, Lyft offers at least $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability. First-party coverages may include uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, PIP, MedPay, or other Occupational Accident coverage.
What Damages Are Available Following My Lyft Accident?
You can always sue for medical expenses and lost wages after your own insurance limits are depleted when you have limited tort no-fault insurance. Once your insurance limits have been reached, if you still have significant damages, you can file against the at-fault driver’s insurance for medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages, and, if your injuries are disabling or disfiguring, pain and suffering damages. If you have full tort insurance, you can ask for medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance, and, potentially, from Lyft as well.
Do I Really Need a Lyft Accident Attorney?
You must have a highly experienced Lyft accident attorney by your side during the aftermath of your accident. Not only can your Lyft accident attorney help prove fault, but he or she can then fight for you to ensure you receive the damages you are entitled to receive in a full and fair settlement.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a Lyft accident, the Pennsylvania Lyft accident lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help. Our law firm knows how to investigate these cases and establish liability clearly, so you can obtain the money you deserve. Call us today to learn more about your legal options.