Representing the Rights of Individuals in Lyft Accidents
San Antonio is a vibrant city with something for everyone. Whether it’s museums, world-class shopping, or a visit to the Alamo and dinner on the Riverwalk, San Antonio has it. And what better way to get around than by hailing a Lyft with the click of an app. Although Lyft offers pure convenience, accidents involving Lyft drivers sometimes occur. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a Lyft driver, your claim may be more complicated because of the additional regulations and insurance rules that apply to commercial drivers. Contact our San Antonio Lyft Accident Lawyers for more information.
New and Confusing
The law is evolving rapidly to keep up with the advent of rideshare companies like Lyft. Rideshare companies appeared with very few attendant rules and regulations on the books. While that’s changing, rideshare companies continue to operate in a somewhat ambiguous legal space. This fact can make Lyft accident claims especially complicated. Don’t leave your Lyft accident claim to chance or to the vagaries of negotiating with an insurance company. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a Lyft driver, seek an experienced Lyft accident attorney.
Every car accident is upsetting, but Lyft accidents may be more complicated. A dedicated Lyft accident attorney can guide you through the process and protect your rights. The experienced car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio have the skill, determination, and knowledge to help effectively and efficiently recover compensation for injuries suffered in and accident with a Lyft driver. We are here to help.
The Rideshare Scene
Because the rules and regulations associated with Lyft drivers and ensuing Lyft accidents are changing, knowing how to proceed with an accident claim is complicated. While the law pushes forward, the claims process remains sketchy. If you’re injured as a Lyft passenger, you’re probably covered by Lyft’s commercial insurance policy, but even this is not a given.
The Insurance Company and Your Claim
Even if your Lyft accident claim is relatively straightforward, and the commercial insurance policy accepts your claim, there’s still plenty to consider. First and foremost, it’s imperative that you recognize how commercial insurance companies operate. While the company may well cover your accident, that does not mean it will cover your damages adequately.
Car accidents often elicit serious injuries that continue to evolve and sometimes worsen over time. Further, the physical, financial, and emotional expenses after an accident can be immense. Without just compensation, it is much more difficult to recover from an accident and move on with your life.
It is important to realize that insurance companies are in business for profit, which means its objective is to keep your settlement as low as possible, which may include using some unscrupulous tactics. Your claim is far too important to leave to the insurance company’s discretion. Get help from an experienced Lyft accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. These accidents and their interrelationship with insurance policies continue to be something of a riddle.
The Insurance Riddle
Lyft drivers naturally carry their own car insurance – just like every other driver on the road. When Lyft drivers are on duty, however, Lyft also carries rideshare insurance covering the trip. If you’re injured as a passenger in a Lyft, or by an on-duty Lyft driver, Lyft’s commercial coverage will apply.
On-Duty Lyft Driver
If the negligent Lyft driver is on duty and carrying a passenger (or is in the process of collecting a passenger), then Lyft’s commercial insurance policy should cover the driver’s liability in the accident. In such an instance, the Lyft driver’s vehicle is considered a commercial vehicle under the law and is therefore likely covered by the commercial policy.
On-Duty Lift Driver With No Passengers
When the Lyft driver in question is on the road and awaiting an active fare, things get a bit more complicated. Lyft drivers naturally have downtime when they wait for customers. If a Lyft driver’s negligence leads to an accident during this holding period, it’s likely that Lyft’s contingent insurance policy – as opposed to its commercial insurance policy – will come into play.
Off-Duty Lyft Driver
If the Lyft driver in question is off duty when his or her negligence causes you to be injured in a car accident, that driver’s own insurance policy will be activated. Your claim in this situation will proceed just like other car accident claims (which are often complicated in and of themselves). When Lyft drivers are off duty, their vehicles turn back into private vehicles, and the law moves forward accordingly.
San Antonio Lyft Accident FAQ
Using Lyft can get you from one place to another quickly and affordably when you need transportation. Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare companies, however, have a duty to screen their drivers to ensure they have a good driving record and sufficient auto insurance.
However, companies sometimes fail to perform adequate background checks, and the screening does not reveal unpredictable driver behavior. A driver may cause an accident by driving erratically, or another driver on the roadway may contribute to causing your Lyft driver to wreck. When riding in an Uber or Lyft, because you are a passenger in the driver’s vehicle, the driver’s insurance should cover costs associated with accident-related injuries and damages.
How do I know if my San Antonio Lyft driver is legitimate?
Before choosing Lyft, always make sure the driver has provided a picture of themselves and their vehicle in the Lyft application. When your ride arrives, make sure the driver matches the picture on their driver-profile. If the driver attempting to pick you up is not the same person you see on the driver-profile, it may be a fake Lyft driver.
If, for any reason, you question whether the driver is who he or she is supposed to be, do not get into the vehicle and contact the Lyft immediately. The same goes for the vehicle photo and description. If the vehicle does not match the description in the driver’s profile, do not accept the ride and contact Lyft immediately.
Additionally, if the driver is legitimate, they should know your name, as they are provided that information through the application when they accept a rider pickup. All legitimate Lyft drivers visibly display the company’s decal on their vehicles. However, riders should not rely solely on a decal when determining whether the ride is legitimate.
What do I do if my San Antonio Lyft driver gets into an accident?
Following an accident, if you can safely move about without worsening or causing additional injury, you should:
- Call first responders.
- Take photos of the accident scene for your own records, even if other individuals involved are documenting the scene. Having access to your own pictures may be critical when gathering evidence to demonstrate damages.
- Speak with the responding officers, as they are required to create an accident report at the scene, which typically includes information about fault and causation.
- Collect your Lyft driver’s contact, registration, and insurance information.
- Take screenshots of your ride in the Lyft app.
- Gather contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek medical attention, even if you believe you have only sustained minor injuries.
- Contact an experienced San Antonio Lyft accident attorney.
Lyft has insurance. Do I really need a San Antonio Lyft accident lawyer?
Yes. Even if Lyft or its driver has adequate insurance coverage, passenger victims should still consult our attorneys. Insurance companies, like most other companies, are businesses aimed at securing profits. Accident injury claims require insurance companies to compensate victims which decreases their net profits.
In fact, if Lyft’s insurance provider contacts you, you should only provide basic information such as the date, time, and location of the accident. Insurance representatives are skilled in using any information they can gather to discredit and devalue victims’ claims. When an attorney represents you, you can direct any communication related to the accident to your attorney.
When an insured is clearly at fault for an accident, insurance companies often employ tactics to try to offer victims the least amount of compensation as possible. Representatives may try to entice victims into accepting an inadequate settlement in exchange for quick cash.
Although quick cash may be attractive for those with significant medical expenses, in most cases, the amount is insufficient to cover all costs associated with the accident. If the accident caused you to suffer catastrophic injuries with long-term or permanent damage, your future medical expenses may be extensive.
What kind of injuries could a San Antonio Lyft accident cause?
Lyft accidents can cause a wide range of injuries varying in severity. The seriousness of Lyft accident injuries depends on the circumstances of the accident. When an average passenger vehicle is in an accident involving a commercial truck, or other large vehicle, individuals often suffer catastrophic injuries.
If your Lyft vehicle is larger, like an SUV, and it collides with a smaller car or motorcycle, your injuries may only be minor. Vehicle speed, road conditions, weather, and the angle of impact, among other factors, will affect the severity of passenger injuries.
Common Lyft accident injuries include:
- Bruises, lacerations, scrapes, and cuts
- Road rash
- Strains, sprains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries
- Simple and compound fractures
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
Which San Antonio Lyft accident injuries can cause long-term disabilities?
Whether an injury causes long-term limitations and disability also depends primarily on an individual’s health and physical characteristics. Two individuals may sustain the same injury, and one may make a full recovery, while the other suffers a long-term disability. Under the Social Security Administration, long-term disability is defined as an injury that prevents individuals from working for at least 12 months or that is expected to result in death.
What damages can I recover compensation for?
Under Texas law, injured victims may be entitled to seek compensation for three categories of damages, economic, non-economic, and exemplary damages.
Economic damages. Special damages, or economic damages, are costs that are tangible and have a specific dollar amount. Economic damages compensate victims for out-of-pocket expenses.
Special damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including expenses for cognitive, physical, and psychological therapy.
- Past and future lost wages.
- Vehicle or home modifications necessary to accommodate the physical limitations of the injuries, for example, hand-controlled steering and wheelchair ramps.
- Replacement or repair of damaged or destroyed personal property.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages. General damages, or non-economic damages, account for intangible impacts resulting from the accident. Victims typically collect non-economic damages due to injuries that cause long-term or permanent limitations or disabilities.
Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the use of a bodily function.
- Loss of the use of a limb.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of companionship.
- Psychological issues caused by the accident, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Exemplary damages. Punitive damages may be referred to as exemplary damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages that are intended to compensate victims for accident-related losses, exemplary damages are intended as a punishment. Punitive damages aim to deter especially egregious behavior in the future, functioning similarly to a court-imposed fine.
To seek punitive damages, the victim has the burden of demonstrating that the defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent. Examples of grossly negligent behavior may, but not always, include driving under the influence, using excessive speeds, or driving while distracted or drowsy.
If you suffer injuries in an accident involving a San Antonio Lyft vehicle, whether you were a passenger or you were in another vehicle, contact The Law Offices of George Salinas for a free consultation. We regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Lyft Accident, Consult with an Experienced San Antonio Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
Lyft accidents can be unduly complex, with new laws in flux. While the legislators adapt the laws applicable to rideshare claims, Lyft accidents continue to happen. If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, it’s no time to handle a complex accident claim on your own. Allow your dedicated Lyft accident attorney to help ensure you recover just compensation for your injuries, while you focus on your physical recovery.
The experienced Lyft accident attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio are here to help victims injured in accidents. Our dedicated legal team has the skill, knowledge, and determination to fight for your rights and the best possible outcome in your case. Please contact or call us at 210-225-0909 to schedule an appointment today.