El Paso Lyft Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH AN EL PASO LYFT INJURY LAWYER FOR FREE
Millions have subscribed to popular ridesharing apps like Lyft. Despite its ease and convenience, however, you should be aware of the possible ramifications of getting injured while riding in a Lyft or being involved in an accident with a Lyft driver. Because Lyft drivers are not technically employees, a personal injury lawsuit against a Lyft driver can be a bit trickier to navigate than your average automobile injury claim.
If you or your loved one has been injured while in a Lyft or with a Lyft driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our El Paso Lyft injury lawyers.
WHO IS LIABLE?
Liability for Injury After Collision with a Lyft
Lyft drivers are not actually Lyft employees. Lyft drivers are independent contractors. The main difference between an employee and an independent contractor is that a company is generally liable for its employee’s mistakes. However, a company that hires an independent contractor is not liable for the independent contractor’s mistake unless the work the independent contractor is hired to do is inherently dangerous. Though one may argue that driving is inherently dangerous, driving does not generally fall under the legal definition of inherently dangerous.
Nevertheless, Lyft carries insurance. Furthermore, Texas law requires that all drivers are insured. Therefore, you have two sources of potential compensation. However, in Lyft accidents, there is an extra twist compared to regular car accidents. In a regular car accident, there is only the other party’s insurance company you have to deal with. However, in a Lyft accident, there are two insurance companies who will try to throw each other under the bus. Lyft may try to avoid liability for the accident by claiming that its driver is an independent contractor. On the other hand, the driver’s insurance company may claim that the driver was riding underneath Lyft’s aegis, and thus try to deny you coverage.
Liability for Injury that Occurred While Riding in a Lyft
If you get injured while riding in a Lyft, you may still potentially have a claim against Lyft and its driver. However, you may also have a claim against the driver that crashed into your Lyft.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM
Report the Accident
If your Lyft gets in an accident, it is important to report the accident as soon as possible. As you would in any car accident, be sure to call the police. The police will make an accident report that will be vital for your settlement or lawsuit.
Take photographs of the scene of the accident. Also, if you are able, take pictures of your injuries. If there were any witnesses, ask them for their names and contact information.
Report the Crash to Lyft
You should also notify your accident to Lyft. You can do so through your smartphone application or Lyft’s website. If you have trouble contacting Lyft or if you get some hackneyed reply, you should contact an attorney.
Get Insurance Information
Be sure to get the insurance information from all the drivers involved.
Get Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your health is your number one priority. Furthermore, receiving medical attention means your injuries will be officially recorded. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to give claimants as little compensation as possible. If you do not have your injuries recorded, the insurance company may try to say that your injuries were not as serious as you claimed. Without evidence of the extent of your injuries, you may lose out on compensation.
Get a Lawyer
If you decide to file a claim and you believe that you may be able to file a claim on your own without hiring a lawyer, it may be still useful to at least consult with a lawyer to find out if there are any pitfalls in your case.
Hiring an experienced lawyer may increase the compensation you receive from a claim. An experienced lawyer may be responsible for all the bureaucratic paperwork involved in an insurance claim and make sure that you do not lose out on any compensation because of technical errors. Also, a lawyer may help you investigate the accident, collect depositions and interviews, and negotiate with insurance companies to properly value your claim.
LYFT’S INSURANCE POLICY
Lyft has three different insurance policies, depending on whether the Lyft app is off, whether it is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request, and whether it is on and the driver is picking up or driving passengers.
If the Lyft driver gets in an accident while the Lyft app is off, Lyft provides no coverage. The Lyft driver must use his or her own personal insurance. If the Lyft app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request, Lyft is liable for up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury, up to $100,000 in total for bodily injury, and up to $25,000 in total for property damage caused in the accident. If the driver gets in an accident while picking up or driving passengers, Lyft is liable for up to $1 million.
MINIMUM COVERAGE TEXAS REQUIRES FOR DRIVERS
You may also seek compensation even if the Lyft driver was not in app mode. You simply need to file a claim through the driver’s personal insurance company. Under Texas law, drivers must carry insurance that covers up at least $30,000 for bodily injury per person, at least $60,000 in total per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
COMMON CAUSES OF LYFT ACCIDENTS
As rideshare accidents are really car accidents, the causes of Lyft accidents are the same as all other car accidents:
Recall that Lyft does not hire employees to drive. It hires independent contractors. Independent contractors are not screened as carefully as employees, and therefore, Lyft drivers may be less than professional. Thus, a Lyft driver may text while driving, a prime cause of car accidents.
Sometimes, drivers have something other on their minds than driving. When this happens, the likelihood of an accident rises dramatically.
Driving five over the speed limit may be no problem, but twenty or thirty over the speed limit can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Though taxi drivers tend to be more professional and focus on driving, Lyft drivers are not held to the same standard as taxi drivers and are more likely to engage in distracted driving. Distracted driving is estimated to cause 50% of all serious car accidents.
INJURIES FROM LYFT ACCIDENTS
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
HOW IS COMPENSATION CALCULATED?
Compensation is provided for economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic losses may include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Damaged property
- Past and future loss of earning capacity
Non-economic losses include the following:
- Past and future emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
Texas courts use what is called a modified comparative fault rule when it determines how much compensation a victim receives. This rule states that if an injured victim was 51% or more at fault for an accident, then he or she cannot recover compensation.
However, if the victim is found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident, his or her compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury awarded you $100,000 in compensation but also found that you were 50% at fault, then the actual amount of compensation you will receive will be $50,000.
Furthermore, in Texas, you may be entitled to punitive or exemplary damages. This is compensation that may be provided to you to punish the party for its conduct. It is generally awarded when the at-fault party’s behavior was especially egregious, such as reckless driving.
You also may be able to receive punitive damages, which is an additional source of compensation. If the Lyft driver or the driver that collided with your Lyft intended to cause injury to you, you may be able to receive punitive damages. The legal threshold you must prove to receive punitive damages is that the accident involved an act of malice, or willful and wanton conduct (reckless disregard for the safety of others).
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO MAKE A CLAIM?
In Texas, you must file a personal injury claim within two years of the injury. It is important that you file before the statute of limitations expires because courts are unlikely to hear your claim if you file past the deadline.
GET HELP FROM AN EL PASO LYFT INJURY LAWYER TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our Texas personal injury attorneys have helped injury victims recover compensation for their injuries. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and pursue maximum recovery for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.
Our firm also operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your personal injury case. That's our No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.