Lyft service can be a helpful alternative when you don't want to drive and deal as a driver with traffic in Queens or New York in general. Or maybe you're just visiting the big city and have decided not to rent a car, avoiding high parking costs and the time it can take to find a parking space.
While not always the cheapest option, it can get you out of the most unexpected situations. Are you at an airport far from your hotel? Or did you get away from the city by train and want to get back faster by car? In recent years, this app-based cab service has become mainstream in most parts of the world.
Many of these start-ups have revolutionized how people move from point to point, generating new forms of consumption and opening new job possibilities for drivers, usually self-employed taxpayers.
Taking a Lyft can be a practical option when you need to get around. But have you ever wondered about the implications of getting into an accident while riding a Lyft? Does the company itself have any legal liability for any possible harm you may be exposed to? Or is it that in some of the small print of the contract that you accept when you "accept terms and conditions," they have found a way to eliminate any adverse legal implications or consequences for them?
It is so common that sometimes we accept "terms and conditions" without actually reading them. How risky is it to do that? Is it that we are giving up some of our rights through this kind of small-print agreement? How could we always protect ourselves in this type of scenario?
Accidents in this type of vehicle provided by the private cab service are not so rare. As these applications become more massive, the number of users has increased exponentially in recent years. More and more users trust Lyft or Uber more than specialized cab companies that have been in the market for more years.
Why is this happening? Possibly because the digitalized times in which we live mean we are always just a click or a button away from getting what we need. However, there are rights and obligations that we must be aware of.
Complying with the rules that regulate this type of service will favor the work of prevention and awareness in the Queens community. Being aware of the legal implications of an everyday occurrence, such as app-based cab services, will help you understand the consequences of a Lyft accident in practical terms. It will also give you a general idea of the compensation you may be entitled to if you are involved in an accident while using these services.
We will explore some of the most relevant points about these events in New York and assess together the relevance that a Lyft accident attorney in Queens could have in favoring results in your favor in a legal case of this type.
At The Ward Law Group, we love sharing knowledge with our community and clients. Knowledge should be transferred to generate awareness and create a safer, more informed society. Join us in discovering these types of facts and learn with us about your rights.
Legal Aspects of Lyft Accidents:
The legal system for Lyft accidents can be challenging to understand. Even for our trained Queens Lyft accident lawyers, it took years to interiorize the legal knowledge. For victims seeking compensation, being aware of the various parties who might be held liable and the particular laws that apply is crucial. Consider the following critical legal factors:
- Liability in Lyft Accidents: This aspect is determined by carefully examining the circumstances leading up to the accident. Multiple parties, including the Lyft driver, Lyft, and even third parties, may be held liable.
New York's liability laws follow the principles of comparative negligence. This implies that the parties involved can each be held partially accountable for the accident. For example, if another driver was negligent in addition to the Lyft driver, the percentage of fault attributable to each driver could be used to determine their respective liability.
Section 388 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law holds vehicle owners accountable for the carelessness of drivers using the vehicle with the owner's permission. This implies that, even though drivers are considered independent contractors, Lyft may still be held vicariously accountable for the activities of their employees in the context of accidents involving Lyft.
According to each party's level of fault, New York uses a comparative negligence system to determine who is responsible for an accident. This theory strongly emphasizes evaluating each party's behavior and how it affected the accident.
- Recognizing the Insurance Policy and Coverage Limits of Lyft: Lyft offers its driver's insurance protection, but the safety and applicability are based on the driver's circumstances at the time of the collision. When a Lyft driver is not working, their private insurance is still in effect. Lyft offers contingent liability coverage to supplement the driver's insurance when the driver is online but hasn't accepted a ride request.
However, Lyft's primary liability coverage is in effect when a driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in the car. For each accident, this coverage provides up to $1 million in bodily injury coverage. In addition, subject to a deductible, Lyft provides contingent comprehensive and collision coverage for physical damage to the driver's vehicle.
- Statute of Limitations for Lyft Accident Claims in New York: A statute of limitations limits the amount of time that victims of Lyft accidents have to file a legal claim. Claims involving Lyft accidents are typically three years from the accident date.
It's important to remember that the sooner a claim is filed, the better. Prompt action makes preserving the evidence, witness accounts, and necessary paperwork possible, improving the case. Waiting until the statute of limitations is about to run out may seriously reduce your ability to obtain fair compensation.
Injuries and Medical Considerations in Lyft Accidents
The health consequences of this type of accident can be varied. However, we have compiled some examples of the most common injuries and situations following the accident's impact. Hence, it is possible to identify the most common problems that must be dealt with to overcome these types of adverse events.
- Whiplash, strains, and sprains are common soft tissue injuries brought on by the collision's abrupt motion. These injuries might not be immediately apparent; if they are not treated immediately, they could become chronic pain.
- Broken Bones: The impact of a Lyft accident may result in fractures. These wounds can range in severity from minor fractures to more serious ones that need surgery.
- Concussions or more serious TBIs can result from head injuries, known as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Even seemingly insignificant head trauma can cause neurological and cognitive problems that last a lifetime.
- Lyft accidents could also damage the spinal cord, resulting in partial or total paralysis. These injuries frequently significantly and long-lastingly impact the victim's quality of life.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Immediately:
- Quick Diagnosis and Treatment: Even if injuries appear minor initially, seeking medical attention immediately after a Lyft accident is essential. Treatment delays risk making injuries worse and making recovery more challenging.
- Making a Connection: Quick medical intervention makes drawing a direct connection between the incident and the victims' injuries easier. If treatment is delayed, insurance companies and courts might question the validity of claims.
Role of Medical Records in a Legal Claim:
- Keeping Track of Injuries: A detailed account of the injuries suffered in the Lyft accident is provided by medical records. These records contain the diagnosis, treatment plan, prescribed medications, and required rehabilitation.
- Establishing Cause and Effect: Medical records prove that the accident and the injuries were somehow related. The opinions of medical experts are crucial in showing how the accident caused the injuries.
- Calculating Damages: Medical records provide the basis for calculating compensation related to medical expenses, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, and potential future medical needs.
Types of Compensation Available for Lyft Accident Victims
- Medical costs: This includes medical bills, the price of any prescription drugs, hospital stays, surgeries, medical care, or rehabilitation needed to recover from injuries sustained in a Lyft accident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for money lost due to missing time at the office while ill from the Lyft accident injuries.
- Non-economic losses such as bodily suffering, emotional discomfort, and mental agony brought on by the accident are referred to as "pain and suffering."
- Property Damage: Reimbursement for fixing or replacing items damaged in the Lyft accident, like your car.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation given to family members for the companionship, care, and support the victim's injuries have taken away from them.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages may be granted to punish the at-fault party and deter future misconduct involving extreme negligence or willful misconduct.
Factors Affecting Compensation Amounts
- Severity of Injuries: Injuries' extent and long-term impact greatly influence compensation amounts. More severe injuries often result in higher compensation.
- Degree of Negligence: If the Lyft driver's negligence was incredibly reckless, compensation may increase to reflect the severity of their actions. One of our Queens Lyft accident attorneys will investigate this in detail.
Case Studies or Past Verdicts/Settlements in Queens:
- In a recent Lyft accident case in Queens, the driver failed to yield at an intersection, resulting in a passenger suffering a severe traumatic brain injury. The victim received $1.5 million in damages for past and future medical care, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
- In another Lyft accident in Queens, a driver struck a pedestrian crossing the street. The pedestrian needed extensive rehabilitation after suffering multiple fractures. To pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, the case was settled for $750,000.
Lyft accident victims looking for fair and just compensation may find understanding the different payment types available—these helpful variables affect an amount and the results of previous cases. A skillful Lyft accident attorney can assist in evaluating the particular circumstances of your case and direct you toward a successful claim.
FAQs about Lyft Accidents
We have identified the most common questions and answers around this topic. Let's dive into it:
What to Do Immediately After a Lyft Accident?
- Prioritize your and others' safety first; make sure everyone is safe. Move away from traffic to a safe area if at all possible.
- Contacting Help Call emergency services to report the collision and, if necessary, request medical attention.
- We share information with the Lyft driver and any other parties involved in the collision, trade contact, insurance, and driver's license details.
- Record the Scene: Take pictures of any visible injuries, the accident scene, and the damaged vehicles. These images can later be used as substantial evidence.
- Gathering Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ensure you have their contact information in case you need their testimony.
- Avoid making statements that could be used against you in the future or admitting fault. When discussing the accident, stick to the facts.
How to Report an Accident to Lyft?
- Through the App: Open the Lyft app and navigate the ride history. Select the ride during which the accident occurred and tap on "Get Help" to report the accident to Lyft.
- Contact Lyft Support: If you cannot use the app, you can report the accident to Lyft's Critical Response Line. Remember to provide accurate details about the accident.
What if the Lyft Driver Was at Fault?
- Driver's Insurance: If the Lyft driver's carelessness contributed to the collision, their private auto insurance might be relevant. This applies if the driver was not signed in to the Lyft app during the crash.
- Insurance from Lyft: If the Lyft driver used the app but had no passengers, Lyft's contingent liability coverage might be applicable. This offers protection against property damage, bodily injury per person, and bodily injury from accidents.
In conclusion, we can see that several aspects come into play in this type of accident, which must be analyzed in detail while an exhaustive investigation is carried out. It should be possible to determine the responsibility of the driver and the company in the accident.
That is why, in our law firm, we will accompany you from the beginning to obtain the best process results. Trust our advice. Contact the Ward Law Group today for the best possible advice and receive a free evaluation of your case.