Rideshare companies have invaded the United States and many countries in the world. It has become a convenient and popular way of transportation even in cities where massive public transit is available, like New York.
These companies like Lyft and Uber started operating in 2009-2012, but it was not until 2011-2014 that they started working in New York. However, they faced challenges due to existing taxi regulations.
Now, for-hire services are regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and must comply with specific rules.
This new type of transportation created a gap of unknown situations regarding the law and liabilities. Many people wondered what would happen if that drive turned into a Bronx Lyft accident.
People were concerned about who would be liable for injuries sustained by the passengers. Therefore, the authorities decided to create laws to regulate these rideshare services with the regulation of TLC.
It is true that due to the massive transportation network that New York possesses, there is a low rate of car ownership compared to other states. However, there is still a market for this rideshare company to get thousands of rides from people that believe the service is easy and convenient.
A driver that uses the Lyft app to provide services is not an employee of this company but an independent contractor. That means the driver is responsible for any accident in their car.
Although there are advances where the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board of New York State is trying to prove that the Lyft company exercises enough control over the drivers where it could be considered an employer-employee relationship.
Common Causes of Lyft Accidents
Indeed, at this moment, we know that millions of vehicles operate as Lyft vehicles, and accidents will inevitably occur. Because the driver is still a human, they can make mistakes or incur negligent behaviors that endanger their passengers.
Distracted driving is a great common cause of accidents. There are millions of accidents a year caused by distracted drivers. We can bring cell phones and other devices into the conversation when discussing an essential distraction.
We all know that to use this service, people need to engage their phones and find a driver over the app. Drivers rely on their mobile devices to find new passengers, which makes them distracted drivers because they might still be on the road while taking their phones to accept or decline new services.
When a Lyft driver gets a notification of a new passenger, they must hurry to the pickup place to provide a good impression. We must remember that these drivers are recognized as good drivers for their punctuality, and some people may be impatient and expect their drivers to arrive as soon as possible.
If they don't, they usually receive a terrible score that will affect future rides. Therefore drivers speed generally from time to time to get a good review from their passengers.
Another cause of accidents is the pickup places. People usually ask for this service in areas that may not be qualified. Many rideshare drivers rely on their GPS to tell them where to drive, but we all know these devices can make mistakes.
Picking up a passenger in a place where it's not safe may cause an accident that can endanger their lives.
Fatigue driving is another factor. Many people work 2 or 3 jobs simultaneously, and if one is driving a car, they are exposing themselves and others to a high chance of getting involved in a Bronx Lyft accident.
Lyft has implemented a solution to avoid drivers exceeding working hours. After 12 hours in driver mode, they must take a 6-hour break. Although 12 hours is a high amount of time to drive, that does not guarantee they were doing other work before that or if they start driving while they are already fatigued.
The role of the Lyft app and the driver's status at the time of the accident
When an accident involving a Lyft driver, it is essential to understand your place as a passenger to navigate your legal options.
The Lyft app plays a pivotal role as it signifies different phases of the ride. Their auto insurance generally applies when the driver is offline and not actively using the app for ride requests.
However, as soon as the driver logs into the app and becomes available for rides, Lyft's contingent liability coverage comes into effect. This coverage can offer compensation for bodily injuries and property damage if the driver is at fault for the accident.
The driver's status is significant in determining the level of coverage applicable. If the driver accepts a ride request and is en route to pick up a passenger, Lyft's higher liability coverage typically applies.
This coverage remains active until the passenger exits the vehicle. If the driver is logged into the app but hasn't accepted a ride, a lower level of coverage might apply, mainly focusing on liability coverage for third-party injuries.
Legal Aspects of Lyft Accidents
When it comes to Lyft accidents, liability is often determined by a careful analysis of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Here's a breakdown of how the penalty is typically assessed and how insurance coverage plays a role, all regulated by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).
Liability in Lyft accidents can extend to various parties, including the Lyft driver, Lyft as a company, and even third parties. If the Lyft driver's negligence or recklessness caused the accident, they could be held responsible for injuries and damages.
The courts still do not determine if Lyft has a real employer-employee relationship, which excludes them as a liable party whenever an accident happens. However, that might be a reality in future years.
In some instances, other drivers involved in the accident might bear partial responsibility.
About The Insurance Coverage
The insurance coverage for Lyft accidents is structured based on different phases of the ride. Their auto insurance typically applies when the Lyft driver is offline and not using the app.
Remember that New York is a no-fault state, and all drivers must carry at least a basic car insurance that covers a minimum of $50,000 for personal injury protection.
However, once the driver logs into the Lyft app, the company's contingent liability coverage comes into play. This coverage covers bodily injuries and property damage if the driver is at fault.
When the driver accepts a ride and is en route to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in the car, Lyft's higher liability coverage becomes active. This coverage remains in effect until the passenger exits the vehicle.
In cases where the driver is logged into the app but hasn't yet accepted a ride, a lower level of coverage may apply, primarily focusing on liability coverage for injuries to third parties.
The insurance coverage and how liability is determined are subject to regulations set forth by the NYC TLC. This regulatory body sets the standards for insurance requirements and ensures that Lyft and other rideshare services adhere to the guidelines to protect drivers and passengers.
Understanding the interplay of liability and insurance coverage is crucial for seeking fair compensation in the realm of Lyft accidents. A qualified Lyft accident lawyer experienced in New York personal injury law and familiar with TLC regulations can help you navigate these complexities.
They can assess the details of the accident, determine liability, and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
Statute of limitations for Lyft accident claims in New York
Regarding Lyft accident claims in New York, time plays a crucial role. The law of limitations, a legal timeframe within which you can file a claim, is fundamental to understand.
While seeking medical attention and coping with the aftermath of an accident is your priority, being aware of the time limit is essential to protect your rights.
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those arising from Lyft accidents, is generally three years from the accident date. This means you have three years to initiate legal action seeking compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the Lyft accident.
It's important to note that if you fail to file your claim within this three-year window, you may lose the opportunity to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. The court will likely dismiss your case if it's filed after the statute of limitations has expired.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist in certain circumstances. For instance, if the accident involves a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until the minor reaches the age of 18.
Additionally, if the injured party is deemed mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations might be tolled until they regain capacity.
Injury and Medical Implications
Being involved in a Lyft accident in The Bronx can lead to various injuries, from minor to severe. Understanding the types of damages that can result and the importance of seeking immediate medical care is crucial for your health and any potential legal claims.
Lyft accidents can cause various injuries due to the impact of the collision. Common injuries include whiplash, which affects the neck and spine, and can often lead to discomfort and pain.
Soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains, can also occur due to sudden jolts during the accident.
More severe injuries like fractures, head and spinal cord injuries are also possible, particularly in high-impact accidents.
Depending on the nature of the accident, the speed, and the side where the vehicle receives the collision, it may cause less or more harm. We have to consider serious injuries when we seek compensation for damages.
Importance of Immediate Medical Care
Following a Lyft accident, seeking medical attention right away is paramount. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, some might not show immediate symptoms but can worsen over time.
Prompt medical care ensures your health and well-being and establishes a crucial link between the accident and your injuries. This documentation becomes vital in any potential legal claims.
Role of Medical Records in Legal Claims
Medical records play a pivotal role in Lyft accident legal claims. These records provide an objective account of your injuries, the treatments you've undergone, and their associated costs.
They create a clear record of the extent of your injuries and the medical care you require due to the accident. When building a compensation case, these records help demonstrate the accident's impact on your health and life.
Your medical records can substantiate the connection between the accident and your injuries, bolstering your claim's credibility. They provide tangible evidence that can be used to negotiate with insurance companies or present a strong case in court.
It's essential to keep track of all medical documents, including doctor's notes, test results, and treatment plans, as they collectively contribute to the narrative of your Lyft accident claim.
Compensation and Damages
Suppose you were hurt as a passenger in a Lyft car accident in the Bronx, NY. You may be entitled to compensation. Indeed, these types of accidents involving a rideshare company are complicated due to their new way of service and the new laws that rule them.
You will require an expert Bronx Lyft accident lawyer to help you determine how your compensation should be. New York is a no-fault state, so the first claim should go with the driver's insurance.
If they are using basic car insurance, they should have at least $50,000 of coverage, and once this limit is reached, you will need to file a claim to the at-fault party. This is another thing that will vary because it will depend on the type of accident.
An injured passenger is entitled to compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages. Medical expenses are usually the first damages that are paid by the insurance. Lost wages and other related expenses should be added too.
Of course, if the wreck caused severe injuries, the primary insurance limit may easily fall short. Then you could file a claim to the at-fault party, your Lyft driver, or the other party that crashed.
Noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Among other similar injuries that may not be tangible.
Call An Expert Lawyer For a Lyft Accident In The Bronx
The Ward Law Group P.L. is committed to helping people hurt in a Bronx Lyft accident. We have a team of experts in New York Law. They are respected because their years of service bring great results to our clients.
We have won multi-million dollar settlements for people who initially thought they would never receive anything for their injuries. We understand the pain and stress you have been dealing with, and for that, we'll fight for your rights.
Contact us at 855-DOLOR-55 for a free consultation of your case.