Lyft has become widespread in Atlanta, and that means there are more accidents out there involving Lyft drivers. If you were injured because your Lyft driver got in an accident, you have the same legal rights as any other accident victim–regardless of which driver was at fault.
You could recover all your costs and a substantial cash settlement to offset your damages. You need to talk to a Lyft accident lawyer in Atlanta. Our personal injury lawyers understand Lyft accidents and the special legal issues involved in ridesharing.
How Lyft Accidents in Atlanta Are Unique
Traditionally, paying passengers would ride in licensed taxis. But ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber work differently: each driver is an independent contractor, not an employee, and they use their own private cars to transport passengers. That means they don’t fit the usual legal categories of car accidents.
That does not change your rights, however. Here’s what you should know:
- Lyft drivers, like all drivers, are required to carry insurance
- Lyft itself has insurance that can help cover your claim
- You, as the passenger, are almost never at fault for a Lyft accident
- You should always be covered by the insurance of at least one of the drivers.
A Lyft accident attorney in Atlanta can help you sort out the insurance coverage details for your unique case. Finding out who is the most liable driver is crucial to know which insurance companies need to know about your accident.
Liability in Atlanta Lyft-Related Car Crashes
All drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe way. When they don’t meet that obligation, they are legally considered “negligent.” A negligent driver might have been texting while driving, weaving in and out of traffic without signaling, or speeding, for example.
A negligent driver is responsible for paying for the injuries and property damage that result. Passengers are almost never at fault. Except in rare cases where the passenger was distracting the driver and caused the accident, one of the drivers will be at fault and considered liable.
Until we know all the details of your case, it may be impossible to know who is most responsible. Don’t be quick to blame one driver or the other, especially to an insurance agent. Your job is to recover from your accident. Let us handle the legal side.
Will Lyft Pay for My Accident?
In some ways, as a Lyft passenger, you have extra protection: Lyft has $1 million in insurance coverage for injuries to passengers per accident. This means you can seek a recovery from Lyft itself.
However, Lyft’s insurers have the same motivation as any other insurance company: to pay out the absolute lowest amount they can. It still helps to have an experienced Atlanta Lyft accident lawyer on your side.
One way they may try to deny coverage is by putting the responsibility on another insurance company, or requiring policies to run out of cash before they’ll pick up the slack. The details, for you, truly don’t matter. What’s important is that you get paid so that you can get the care you need for your injuries.
Injuries Covered in Lyft Wrecks
Like any other automobile passenger, Lyft passengers can suffer anything from minor bruises to devastating head injuries, and even fatalities. The type of injuries you have will depend on the circumstances of the accident, where you were sitting in the car, and whether you were wearing a seat belt.
Common accident injuries include the following:
Hitting your head against the seat in front of you or another part of the car’s interior can lead to anything from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury.
The impact of the collision can “whip” your head and neck around, causing painful tears in the muscles and tissues of the neck, also known as whiplash.
The inside of a car is full of hard surfaces. When you hit your hands, arms, or face against them, bone fractures are often a result.
Cuts and Bruises
The impact of the accident, plus broken glass, can lead to minor or severe bruises and cuts.
No matter how minor your injuries seem, always see a doctor as soon as you can after a car accident. There are two reasons for this. First, it helps with the healing process. Some injuries get worse or develop complications if you wait to start treatment.
Second, seeing a doctor helps you make a stronger claim and prevents the insurance company from claiming you are exaggerating your injuries. Be sure to follow all instructions from your doctor and take your medication. If you don’t, that will look bad for your case.
Getting Compensation in a Lyft Passenger Accident Claim
Georgia allows you to recover for ALL the damage you suffer in any car accident that is not your fault. The amount of money you can get will depend on the circumstances of the accident and how badly you were hurt. Usually, Lyft accident victims are entitled to recover money for the following:
- Medical bills
- The cost of prescription medicine
- Physical therapy expenses
- Lost wages, if you had to miss work because of the accident
If you are more seriously injured, you may recover additional money for things like a permanent disability or pain and suffering. If the driver at fault was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be eligible for a large punitive damage award. Our Atlanta Lyft accident attorneys will help you fight for every penny.
Filing Your Claim After a Lyft Car Accident
The sooner you file a claim for compensation after suffering injuries as a passenger in a Lyft-related accident, the better. Georgia has a legal deadline, called the statute of limitations, by which all personal injury claims must be filed. They set this at two years from the date of your accident.
However, rideshare car crashes can involve lots of unique twists and turns, and there are a variety of situations that can reduce the amount of time you have to file your claim. Speak with an experienced Lyft accident attorney in Atlanta to learn more about how long you have to file for compensation.
Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights Against Lyft’s Insurance Companies
Lyft’s insurance company may have already offered you money, but we caution you not to accept this money or sign any insurance company paperwork until you have talked to a car accident law firm in Atlanta.
We say this because insurance companies are profit-making businesses, and one way they improve their profits is to avoid paying out any more than they have to. Their first offer is almost certainly less than your claim is really worth.
A lawyer can help you by making sure you see a doctor who can give you a full evaluation and estimate exactly what your injuries are going to cost over the long haul, including both medical care and time lost from work. This keeps you from jumping on an offer that won’t begin to cover your losses.
What if Another Driver Was at Fault?
If another driver is the one who is at fault, you may not need to worry about Lyft’s policies at all. You’ll pursue your claim with the other driver just like a normal car accident. However, the other driver may not carry insurance. Lyft drivers must have it to be permitted to pick up passengers.
In that case, you may need to file an uninsured/underinsured driver claim. You may have to go through your own auto insurance. A lawyer can handle these issues for you, working on getting you paid while you focus on your recovery.
Other Ways an Atlanta Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help
Our Lyft accident attorneys in Atlanta can help you strengthen your case for compensation in a variety of ways. For example, our team excels at:
- Gathering and preserving evidence of your injuries
- Gathering and preserving evidence of the driver’s or Lyft’s fault
- Speaking to eyewitnesses of the accident
- Collecting your medical records
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to establish liability
- Negotiating with opposing legal counsel to avoid taking the case to court
- Representing you in court and protecting your right to compensation
Will I Need to Take Lyft to Court?
Likely not, and it would be difficult to do. Nearly all car accident cases end in a settlement and do not need to go to trial. Also, because Lyft workers are independent contractors, Lyft does not have the same liability that an employer would have.
If you need to go to court, it would be against the insurance companies covering the at-fault driver or Lyft’s third party liability insurers. Your accident attorney can discuss the pros and cons of going to court with you and advise you on whether it’s a good idea for your situation.
Talk to an Atlanta Lyft Accident Lawyer for Free
Our Atlanta Lyft accident lawyers are devoted to helping injured people get the money they need to recover and put their lives back on track. Our policy is to never charge you any money unless we get money for you.
Let us give you a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your Lyft passenger accident and explain how we can help. Call our team or fill out our online contact form to get your free consultation today.