Can I Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident?

Can I Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident?

You can sue Lyft after an accident involving a rideshare driver. However, you (through your attorney) must prove that Lyft’s negligence contributed to your accident. Otherwise, you may more likely seek compensation from insurance companies covering Lyft or the at-fault motorist.

Lyft accident cases are generally more complicated than cases involving two motorists not engaged in ridesharing activities. For this reason, many Lyft accident victims hire attorneys to seek the compensation they deserve.

Sue Lyft After an Injury Guide

When Can You Directly Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident?

Can I Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident

Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber understand that they have fleets of drivers that pose a risk of causing an accident every time they’re on the clock. These companies take every possible step to protect themselves from liability, including maintaining robust insurance policies.

Even so, Lyft’s non-driver employees can act negligently. This is when accident victims like you may sue Lyft for accident-related damages.

Negligence happens when someone with a duty of care (such as a Lyft employee) engages in behavior that a reasonable person in similar circumstances will consider unreasonable. If this happened in your case, you may have grounds to sue Lyft.

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Reasons Why You May Sue Lyft 

A few potential reasons to sue Lyft after an accident with a rideshare driver include:

  • Lyft disregarded a driver’s alarming driving history: While Lyft vets drivers and evaluates their driving record, this may not be a perfect system. If Lyft allowed a driver with a borderline record to work as a contractor, and that driver caused an accident through dangerous driving, Lyft may be deemed negligent.
  • Lyft disregarded a driver’s criminal history: Lyft states that it disqualifies driver applicants convicted of violent crimes, sexual crimes, and certain other offenses. These crimes may indicate the applicant’s general instability and can be a warning sign of problems like road rage. If Lyft allowed a driver with a questionable criminal background to drive, and that driver caused your accident, Lyft may be liable.
  • Lyft did not follow up on tips about the driver’s dangerous driving or erratic behavior: If Lyft received tips about a driver operating their vehicle erratically, driving under the influence, or engaging in any other risky behavior, it had an obligation to investigate and take any necessary punitive action. If Lyft handled such tips improperly, it can be wholly liable for your accident-related damages.
  • Lyft allowed the driver to operate an unsafe or outdated vehicle: If Lyft allowed a motorist to drive an unacceptably old vehicle or known to have defects, the company might be liable for a defect-related accident.

You may hold Lyft financially responsible for an accident victim’s damages in other circumstances. Your attorney will obtain all relevant details about your accident as they determine liability for it.

Lyft Provides Drivers Substantial Insurance Coverage, and a Third-Party Claim Could Be a Viable Option for You (But There’s a Catch)

While Lyft has some liability for an accident, the company requires that its drivers have personal liability insurance to use the app. Furthermore, Lyft has a (somewhat complex) insurance framework that provides $1 million in liability coverage for third parties affected by a rideshare accident.

However, Lyft’s auto insurance coverage does not apply if the driver did not use their app at the time of the accident.

Furthermore, Lyft may provide far less than $1 million in insurance coverage if:

  • The driver is waiting to accept a ride
  • The driver accidentally closes their app while carrying a passenger or is on the way to pick up a passenger

Other circumstances can void Lyft’s usual insurance coverage.

Lyft notes that its $1 million coverage is the primary coverage for Lyft drivers once they have accepted a ride. This may cover most accident-related damages.

Reasons Why You May Sue the At-Fault Rideshare Driver

Depending on the insurance coverage available to you (either through Lyft’s insurer or the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance), your lawyer may need to consider suing the at-fault driver.

You may need to sue the at-fault motorist or their insurance company if:

  • Lyft’s insurance does not cover your accident
  • Lyft did not engage in any negligence that makes it liable for your accident
  • The Lyft driver is underinsured
  • The Lyft driver’s personal auto insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement

As you can see, nothing is simple about seeking compensation after a Lyft rideshare accident. There are several possible avenues for seeking the money you deserve and many factors determining your path.

Unsurprisingly, rideshare accident victims rely on experienced attorneys to handle every detail of their cases.

What Should a Rideshare Accident Victim Do After Their Collision?

Focus on two clear priorities after any auto accident:

  1. Ensuring your physical and psychological well being
  2. Protecting and working toward a financial recovery

Consider these priorities as you move forward from your own auto accident.

How to Protect Your Health After a Lyft Accident

Prioritizing your health and protecting your pursuit of financial recovery are, to some degree, one and the same. By getting medical treatment, you also establish that your accident harmed you —harm you may deserve compensation for.

Health-specific steps to take after your rideshare accident are:

  • Going to the doctor (yes, again): If you have already been to the doctor, don’t immediately discount this advice. If you have not received images of injuries, a clear diagnosis for accident-related injury symptoms, or documentation for your treatment, it may be worth visiting a medical professional. This is pivotal documentation to have in a Lyft accident case.
  • Keeping a journal of physical symptoms: X-rays and CT scans do not always capture the full extent of injuries. You should also keep a journal documenting the nature of your symptoms (pain in your back, for example) and how those symptoms interfere with your day-to-day life (preventing you from exercising and causing you distress, for example).
  • Documenting psychological and emotional symptoms: You may seek treatment for accident-related psychological and emotional symptoms. Whether you see a therapist or other mental health professional, it’s important to document the nature of your invisible injuries. You can also keep a journal documenting the emotional and psychological hardship caused by your accident.
  • Following your doctor’s advice: You must follow your doctor’s treatment plan, which may include plenty of rest. By following the physician’s guidance to a T, you can prevent liable parties from alleging that you’re exaggerating your injuries or symptoms.

You cannot ever have enough documentation when it comes to accident-related injuries and trauma. Keep every type of documentation related to your injuries, from doctors’ diagnoses to medical images and bills.

How to Move Your Case for Compensation Forward (While Protecting Your Rights)

One way that Lyft accident victims prioritize their financial recoveries is hiring an attorney. Knowing that accident-related damages can cost thousands of dollars, many victims prefer to have an attorney lead their case.

Some common motivations for hiring a Lyft rideshare accident lawyer include:

  • Freeing yourself of the worry that comes from an unresolved claim
  • Granting yourself the option of pursuing a lawsuit (which you might not pursue on your own)
  • Avoiding the stress you will face from handling your own claim or lawsuit 
  • Dedicating as much time and effort as possible to your recovery

Lyft accident lawyers generally offer their services on a contingency-fee-basis. This means the client pays no upfront compensation to the law firm, and the firm covers the entire cost of the case. This is one more reason to consider hiring a lawyer for your Lyft accident case.

Is It Worth Hiring an Injury Lawyer After a Lyft Rideshare Accident?

For many accident victims, the services a Lyft accident lawyer provides are well worth the fee that the lawyer requires. Consider what may happen if you don’t hire an attorney.

Without a lawyer fighting for your financial recovery, you face the risk of:

  • Presenting a weak case: If you have not built a claim or lawsuit before or have only limited experience, you may find it difficult to build a strong case. Lyft accident lawyers build strong cases day in and day out for a living. This level of experience is difficult to put a value on.
  • Failing during negotiations: Settlement negotiations are one of the most important and most difficult steps in a Lyft accident case. Ask yourself whether you are truly prepared to go head-to-head with lawyers for high-powered insurance companies. 
  • Paying a hefty sum to complete your case (even if it is unsuccessful): Accident victims face a conundrum when they lead their own claim or lawsuit. They may pay a high cost to hire experts and build a strong case and still lose. On the other hand, if you try to save money when building your case, you may increase your odds of losing. This is why many Lyft accident victims allow an injury firm to fund their cases.
  • Compromising your mental and physical health: The exertion, stress, and energy you exhaust on a case can negatively affect your condition. Liable parties may even allege that your decision to lead your own case proves your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.

You can avoid all these risks simply by hiring a Lyft accident lawyer to represent you.

What a Lawyer Can Do for You as a Rideshare Accident Victim

Your Lyft accident lawyer will accept responsibility for the outcome of your case. They will want to handle every detail of the claims process and lawsuit (if you pursue a lawsuit). After all, the law firm’s financial recovery directly correlates to yours, so your lawyer will have great reason to fight for all the money you deserve.

Lyft accident attorneys generally help rideshare accident victims by:

Building an Evidence-Based Case

Evidence is the bedrock of a strong motor vehicle accident case.

Your lawyer will quickly gather any relevant evidence in your case, including:

  • A police report
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Expert testimony
  • A reconstruction of the accident 
  • Video footage
  • Photographs of vehicle damage

Your lawyer may collect many other types of evidence to help your case.

Documenting Damages in as Much Detail as Possible

Your lawyer will rely on tangible documentation to prove your damages. They may seek medical images, medical bills, invoices for property repairs, and expert testimony.

Calculating a Fair Settlement

Your lawyer will calculate a settlement figure that reflects your:

  • Current damages 
  • Likely future damages
  • Economic damages (such as vehicle repairs, lost income, and medical bills)
  • Non-economic damages (such as lost quality of life, physical pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder)

Attorneys have tried-and-true methods for calculating your every accident-related damage.

Relentlessly Attacking Settlement Negotiations 

Your lawyer won’t request a fair settlement from liable parties. Your lawyer will demand a fair settlement.

Negotiations offer the greatest opportunity for a lawyer to prove their value to a Lyft accident victim.

Proceeding to Trial When Necessary

Most civil motor vehicle accident cases result in a settlement. All parties may worry about the risk and cost of a trial, so each side has some motivation to settle. However, when a Lyft accident victim does not receive a fair settlement offer, their lawyer should take the fight to court.

Damages Your Lawyer May Seek Compensation for After Your Auto Collision 

Recoverable damages in a Lyft accident case may include:

  • Pain and suffering (and related treatment)
  • Property expenses (including vehicle repairs)
  • Medical expenses
  • Professional damages (including lost income)

If you have lost a loved one because of a Lyft accident, an attorney will compassionately identify your damages. Your attorney will fight for justice in the form of a financial recovery.

Find a Lyft Accident Lawyer Today and Let Them Fight for You

Do not wait to retain a personal injury lawyer, as strict deadlines may require them to file your case as soon as possible. The right attorney will identify how you can obtain the full compensation you need from Lyft and other parties.