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Los Angeles Lyft Passenger Injury Attorney

Phone on HandAs a Los Angeles Lyft passenger injury attorney I know that the use of ride-sharing apps has skyrocketed in Los Angeles, and many residents and visitors alike are choosing Lyft to get them to their destinations. Overall, the number of people who used this service in L.A. during 2017 reached 23 million, which was double the number of riders in 2016. As the app becomes increasingly popular, it is important for riders to know what to do if the vehicle in which they are riding is involved in an accident. An experienced Los Angeles rideshare attorney may help injured riders to recover damages that sufficiently compensate them.

What you Should do if you are Injured in a Rideshare Accident

If you are riding in a car that you hailed through the ride-sharing app that has a collision, there are several things that you should do to protect yourself and your rights.

Stay Calm and Conduct Injury Self-Assessment

You should begin by remaining as calm as you can. Assess yourself of any injuries that you might have, and ask for medical help. Keep in mind that some injuries may not show symptoms for hours or days after your collision, so you should err on the side of caution. You should not hesitate to seek treatment or to request transportation to the hospital by ambulance if needed.

Take Photographs

If you are able to do so, take photographs of the damage to and positions of all of the vehicles that were involved. The camera on your smartphone is good enough to do this. You should not place yourself in harm’s way in an attempt to get pictures, but pictures that are taken immediately after a collision can be crucial pieces of evidence. In addition to photographing the damage and positions of the vehicles, take pictures of the license plates of all of them as well.

Get the Drivers’ Information

While drivers are required to exchange information after an accident, you should also ask for the information as an injured passenger. Take pictures of your driver’s insurance card and driver’s license as well as those of the other involved drivers.

Keep Your Receipt for Your Ride

Make sure that you save a copy of the receipt for your ride. You can save a digital copy, and it provides proof that you were a passenger.

When Officers Respond

If officers arrive at the scene or come to the hospital, tell them what happened from your perspective. Do not deny that you were injured. Simply say that you would like to get examined by a doctor. Ask for the investigating officer’s name and badge number along with the NCIC number for the incident. In most cases, the officers will write this number down on the officers’ business cards for victims.

Legal Liability Issues

If you are a passenger, you are considered to be an innocent party under California law. You should not be worried about holding fault. The legal fault will likely be with either the driver of your vehicle or the driver of the another vehicle involved in the crash. In some cases, all of the drivers will share some fault. While police reports and photographs are helpful, they are not completely determinative of legal fault. An experienced car collision lawyer understands how to analyze legal fault issues.

Insurance Issues That are Specific to Lyft Wrecks

Liability in a wreck involving a ride-sharing app driver will depend on if you were an occupant of the driver’s car and what the driver was doing at the time. If you were in a different vehicle, the driver was not carrying any passengers and was on his or her own time, the company will not be liable. In this type of case, you may recover from the driver’s own policy. The driver may carry the minimum amount of insurance that is required under California law, which might provide only $15,000 per person up to $30,000 per collision and $5,000 for property damage. Some insurance companies also offer rideshare insurance, which is a type of gap insurance that is available to rideshare drivers, but it is not required.

If the rideshare driver was on the app but was not transporting passengers at the time of the wreck, the company has contingent liability insurance available. This insurance provides coverage to the extent that the rideshare driver’s personal insurance does not up to $50,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage.

If the rideshare driver was actively carrying you on your ride when the wreck happened, the company has commercial insurance that offers protection for up to $1 million per person or up to a maximum of $2 million per collision.

In addition to the rideshare driver, you may also need to file a claim with the insurance company of the other driver. If that driver was not insured, you may need to file a claim with your own auto insurance for your uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage as we have discussed before.

Attorneys who are familiar with collision claims involving Lyft or Uber are normally best suited to analyze how much your claim might be worth and with which companies it should be filed. Within a few days, you will likely be contacted by a representative from the rideshare company as well as representatives of the other insurance companies. It is important that you understand that these representatives do not have your best interests at heart and are instead tasked with minimizing the amounts that their companies might be forced to pay.

What is the time deadline for filing a lawsuit after a Lyft Accident?

Technically, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit or demand arbitration under the California Statute of Limitations.  You would not want to wait this long to make a determination to file suit or demand arbitration.  You always want to obtain as much information as possible immediately following the lawsuit, hire expert legal counsel, and try to resolve the case without the need for formal litigation.  All of this takes time and can't be done until medical treatment has completed.  This makes it crucial to seek out expert legal advice as soon as possible.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been injured in a wreck involving a rideshare driver either as an occupant of his or her vehicle or as an occupant of another, it is important that you remain calm, take photographs and get medical help. The insurance and other issues may be complex in accidents involving rideshare drivers, making it important that you get help from a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling claims involving rideshare drivers as soon as possible. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.