The time for expensive taxi rides is over. It is now simpler and much more cost-effective to travel in a city that has a strong ridesharing presence. If you live in a city in which Uber and Lyft operate, you have no doubt noticed the ease with which you can travel. This advantage to consumers has not come without some disadvantages like ridesharing accidents.
Although there are many more private cars available, the quality and training of the drivers are not what they once were. Indeed, not every rideshare driver is safe and reliable. Given that nearly anyone with a car can offer their services through Lyft or Uber, there is a high chance of passengers getting into vehicles driven by people with problematic driving records.
If you have been harmed in a ridesharing accident, you should know your legal rights. A ridesharing accident lawyer will inform you of them and help you defend them.
Ridesharing Accidents on the Rise
Recent research has proven that accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers are on the rise. Two main factors help explain this trend. First, because of the ease of becoming a rideshare driver, people who need extra money do it part-time. Rideshare drivers usually take shifts once they have finished with the jobs that provide their main source of income. This means that they are not fresh when they get behind the wheel, which may make them less alert to dangers on the road.
The second reason involves the nature of the industry itself. People like using rideshare vehicles because of their cost-effectiveness. But lower prices for consumers translates into lower fares for drivers. It encourages drivers who depend on this money to do as many pick-ups and drop-offs as they can during their shift—to make up for the relatively low income.
What to do After a Ridesharing Accident
The last thing you expect when you step into a Lyft vehicle is to meet with the misfortune of an accident. If you are in such an accident, it will leave you confused and frightened at first. Once you begin to get your bearings, you should do the following:
1. Calm yourself and remain at the scene
It is against the law to leave the scene of a vehicle accident that you were involved in. Even if you were not driving the car, the police will still need to take down your statement. You cannot leave until they have released you.
2. Verify your physical condition
Serious injury is not always signified by pain. The only way to know whether you have been seriously injured is to check yourself manually.
3. Call emergency services
Do this immediately. The operator will ask you direct questions about your physical state and that of others. Answer them with detail and precision.
4. Get driver information
You will need the full name, driver number, and insurance information of the driver. You need not discuss the details of ridesharing accidents. Even if you witnessed them making a move that caused the accident, do not mention it. You will need to keep things calm.
5. Talk to witnesses
Speak to bystanders who saw the accident. Write down what they say. You should collect names and contact details of the people you speak to before you leave.
6. Get treatment
You are not a medical professional. You are therefore not qualified to determine your physical condition. Go to the emergency room and have an expert examine you. If you were banged up in the accident, be sure to get photos of your injuries before you are cared for.
7. Gather documents
Make sure you get hard copies of all physician reports related to your health and treatment. You should also record your initial thoughts and recollections of the accident.
8. Call a lawyer
Your first phone call should be to a lawyer. You should contact a ridesharing accident lawyer before you do anything else, including submitting your claim to your health insurance provider. Your lawyer will provide you with the guidance you need to maximize the money you get.
Why You Need an Attorney
Although Lyft has a policy of offering passengers injured in their vehicles up to a $1 million, they do not give out this money right away. The company expects the insurer of the driver to settle accident claims made by passengers. If the driver insurance is inadequate, then Lyft will step in. However, they will still not offer the $1 million immediately. They will make an initial offering that is much less than this.
Whether you take Lyft’s initial offer will depend greatly on the severity of your injuries, the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of them, and the lost wages and employment opportunities you have suffered. You should leave the matter in the hands of your Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyer. They will know how to best evaluate the offer made to you by Lyft. You should allow your Lyft accident attorney to do all the communicating and negotiating with the company. This is the best way to avoid saying or doing anything that will undermine your case against them.
The worst of your injuries, the more money you should demand from Lyft. If the initial offer does not meet your financial needs, your lawyer will demand more. If Lyft refuses, you will need to sue.
The Consequences of Serious Ridesharing Accidents
Severe ridesharing accidents can destroy your life as you know it. Not only will you be forced to undergo painful surgeries, but you will also need to go through an even longer period of recovery and rehabilitation. During this time, you will not be able to make the money necessary to support yourself and your family. If you sustain a permanent disability, you may need to give your career. You may also need to hire full-time care and make modifications to your home.
This can put tremendous strain on you and your loved ones. Lyft should bear some of the responsibility and cost of your injuries.
What Your Lawyer Will Do About Ridesharing Accidents
West Coast Trial Lawyers help ordinary Americans stand up for their rights against big companies like Lyft. The latter has over the last decade maintained that it cannot be held liable for the costs associated with ridesharing driver accidents because it does not employ them, it only contracts them. This line of argument has not found much sympathy with judges and juries, and they have awarded big settlements to people who have sustained serious injuries owing to the negligence and recklessness of unqualified Lyft drivers. Your lawyer will help you do the same.
Your attorney will send their own private investigators to re-examine and re-evaluate the evidence. This will include re-interviewing people who witnessed the accident, which can lead to new insights and even new facts concerning the accident. This often happens when a witness is found to have recorded the accident on their cell phone.
Your lawyer will also get statements from forensic and medical experts. Such professionals can provide explanations of how the accidents occurred and can describe the debilitating effects of your injuries.
If you have been in a Lyft accident, you need a strong and dedicated legal advocate. Contacting West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you sort through your legal options.