Unfortunately, car accidents in Lyft vehicles happen all the time.
A Lyft accident lawyer at Sadaka Law in Englewood, New Jersey, is available to ease your road to recovery by helping you seek compensation for your medical bills and financial losses. Read on as we discuss what you need to know about Lyft (or Uber) accidents and hiring a lawyer.
Likely Dangers With Riding Lyft and Other Rideshare Apps
Ordering a rideshare vehicle is always risky, especially around Englewood, NJ. Densely populated areas near New York City experience extreme traffic congestion. The more cars on the road at one time, the more chances you have of getting into an accident.
Drivers in Bergen County, NJ, had 19,472 car accidents with 38 fatalities in the year 2020 alone. A study by the University of Chicago and Rice University found a 2% to 3% increase in traffic fatalities due to rideshare apps like Lyft. Driving is always dangerous, especially with increased rideshare vehicles on the road.
When riding with Lyft or other rideshare apps, common accident causes include:
- Texting and driving
- Controlling the GPS while driving
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Failing to adhere to traffic laws
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speeding or driving aggressively
- Driving distracted
- Traveling to unfamiliar places
- Illegal turning
- Lane changing and u-turning
- Inexperienced driving
- Driving in poor weather conditions
- Entering the wrong side of traffic
Note that any of these scenarios can put you in danger, whether your Lyft driver acts hazardously or if the problem is another driver on the road. Frequently, people order Lyfts later at night after drinking alcohol instead of making the mistake of driving drunk. While you might enjoy fewer traffic risks related to drunk driving, taking a Lyft at night exposes you to other potentially dangerous drivers on the road.
Common Injuries You Can Get From Riding Lyft or Other Rideshare Apps
Car accidents typically result in a range of injuries. Their severity can depend on many factors, like seatbelt usage, vehicle speed, and impact angles.
Any Lyft accident lawyer can tell you that passengers without seatbelts frequently suffer the worst physical traumas and highest fatality risks. In 2020, 51% of fatalities from car accidents were passengers who didn’t wear seatbelts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts that seat belts helped save 14,955 lives in 2017.
Common car accident injuries you could suffer from riding Lyft or other rideshare apps include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Delayed back injuries
- Severe burns
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Facial disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Knee fractures, bruises, and tears
- Ankle and foot sprains and fractures
- Shoulder injuries
- Wrist and hand fractures
- Bruises, lacerations, and road rash
- Bone, tissue, organ, and muscle crushing
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Permanent scars
Your medical costs will add up, whether you suffered a life-threatening injury or a minor bruise. Visiting the emergency room for any injury, regardless of severity, costs far more than many can afford. Seeking compensation for your damages with a Lyft accident lawyer can help you resolve your debts and focus on healing.
Lyft’s Insurance Policy
New Jersey state laws follow the no-fault insurance rules, which means that most drivers use their own insurance companies to pay for accident damages, regardless of how the crash happened. Even if you did nothing wrong and another car smashed into you, you would still file through your insurance.
Lyft uses a commercial insurance organization that covers drivers who are actively using the app. The coverage includes the following scenarios:
- Before the driver selects a passenger: $50,000 per person in injury liability, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage
- When the driver accepts a passenger: $1.5 million in coverage
- When the driver isn’t using the app: Zero coverage
When you’re riding in a Lyft, your driver has coverage from the $1.5 million policy above. Should anything happen, your driver can file a claim with the Lyft insurance company.
Can You Sue Lyft for Accidents That Happened During Your Ride?
Generally, you wouldn’t sue Lyft for accidents during your ride. Instead, you would file a lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation. After the lawsuit, the driver’s insurance company should pay any required damages.
In less common scenarios, you can file a lawsuit against Lyft, as a company, for hiring a hazardous driver. For example, if your Lyft driver drove recklessly, you might claim that Lyft hired, retained, and supervised a negligent employee.
Who Is Liable After a Lyft Accident?
Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, the driver is always liable after a Lyft accident. If you were riding in a Lyft during a crash, your driver was responsible. If you got hit by a Lyft while driving your vehicle, you would still need to file a claim with your insurance company.
Liability can feel unfair in no-fault states. Without professional legal support, understanding how to deal with the complicated car accident legalities and giant insurance organizations can be overwhelming. Our Lyft accident lawyer from Sadaka Law can represent your legal rights and ensure that no one takes advantage of you.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt?
While we always recommend wearing a seatbelt at all times in any vehicle, we understand that everyone makes mistakes. You can still sue for your personal injuries if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt during your Lyft accident.
You might not receive enough compensation to cover all of your medical bills if the opposing side can prove that you suffered increased injuries from not wearing a seatbelt. Many believe even this partial compensation is a huge help.
Steps To Take After a Lyft Accident
If you are in a Lyft accident, how you respond determines your case’s strength in court. Whether you are riding in a Lyft or driving your vehicle and get hit by a Lyft, you should follow the steps below to protect your legal rights. If you are driving, be sure to pull over immediately to a safe area before moving on to step one.
1. Call the Police
If you have any serious injuries, you should call 911 instead of your local police phone number.
Many people falsely assume that you don’t need to call the police after a car accident. The other driver might try to persuade you that they’ll accept liability and don’t need authorities. Unfortunately, you can’t trust anyone to adhere to such claims.
Even in minor accidents with zero injuries, you should call the police immediately to file a report. A police report helps define when, where, and how the accident happened so involved parties can’t change their story to insurance companies later.
If any police officers or involved parties ask about your injuries on the scene, tell them you’re unsure until you’ve received a confirmed diagnosis. You don’t want a police report falsely defining your condition before receiving an evaluation.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention immediately after your car accident helps prove that your injuries resulted from the crash. Often, people think they feel fine and decline emergency services. The next day, they wake up feeling all the pain from their injuries and have to see a doctor.
To build a solid claim, you should always seek medical attention, even if you feel okay. Accept an ambulance ride to the emergency room for serious injuries. For something more minor, go to Urgent Care or see your doctor on the same day of the accident.
Keep all medical records, bills, and prescriptions associated with your accident. Organizing these documents ensures that you won’t forget any vital damages when seeking compensation.
3. Gather Evidence
Before leaving the scene of the accident, try to gather any evidence that may support your claim, including:
- Photographs of all injuries
- Pictures of any vehicle or property damages
- Each party’s contact and insurance information
We also recommend speaking with potential witnesses who saw what happened. Gather their contact information for future reference.
4. Contact a Lyft Accident Lawyer at Sadaka Law
Before proceeding with any claims, you should contact our Lyft accident lawyer to support your case. When you file a claim with your insurance company, they’ll ask you many confusing questions. If you don’t know how to deal with such companies, you may pay more than you need to.
You’ll likely get a call from Lyft’s insurance organization asking you about the accident. They might ask about your injuries, property damages, and how the crash happened. You shouldn’t answer any of these questions without an attorney who can help you communicate in a way that serves your legal interests.
5. File Claims
After you hire a Lyft accident lawyer from Sadaka Law, we can help walk you through the process of filing claims with your insurance company and suing the Lyft driver. Your attorney will be your liaison with insurance companies, gather evidence, determine liability, build a case, and fight for you in court.
6. Continue Medical Treatment
As your case progresses, you must follow all doctor advice regarding your treatments. If your healthcare provider recommends medications, procedures, therapies, or surgeries, you should listen to these suggestions. Not adhering to doctors’ orders hurts your case because the opposing party may argue that you caused your condition to worsen by not following the treatment plan.
What Do I Do If a Lyft Driver Hits Me?
If a Lyft driver hits you while driving or crossing the street, you must respond as you would to any accident. Follow the critical steps we defined above. Rather than only filing with your insurance company and accepting the liability costs, sue the Lyft driver to try to take advantage of the $1.5 million coverage policy (if they had a rider).
How Do You File a Lyft Accident Lawsuit?
After your accident, your lawyer will help you file a Lyft accident lawsuit. Attempting to sue without legal representation may not work out. We recommend leaving the legalities to an experienced attorney so you can focus on your recovery.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a Lawsuit after a Lyft car accident in New Jersey is two years. Minors typically have two years to file after they turn 18. While this may seem like plenty of time, we recommend filing as soon as possible.
Suing while recovering from severe injuries may feel overwhelming, but your Lyft accident lawyer can handle all the legal complications for you. The sooner you file your lawsuit, the better odds you’ll have.
If you’re reading this article after having a Lyft accident, don’t wait any longer; Find an attorney and begin building your case!
How Long Does It Take for Lyft To Settle an Accident Claim?
Settlements refer to the lawsuit outcome. Often, when you sue a Lyft driver, the company’s insurance company offers a monetary settlement to avoid taking the case to court. Your lawyer will negotiate the offer until you receive an amount we see fit for your case.
Depending on the scenario and whether or not you have to fight the case in court, Lyft settlements may take one to six months. The process takes so long because of these steps:
- Your lawyer must file a complaint with the court.
- The court serves the complaint to the negligent driver.
- The negligent driver (or their lawyer) files an answer to the complaint.
- Both sides must answer interrogative questions.
- Each side must enter depositions (sworn evidence).
- The negligent driver’s insurance company usually hires a medical examiner.
- You must undergo the additional medical exams insurance requires.
- Each side must offer expert reports.
- Parties must attend non-binding arbitration to discuss rights.
- Your lawyer will attend a settlement conference to discuss the case background with the judge.
- The case goes to trial.
You might settle faster than six months, depending on the details of your case, though you should expect it to take longer rather than less time. After agreeing on a settlement, the funds should hit your account within two weeks.
Types of Compensation You Can Get From a Lyft Accident
Many people don’t realize all the compensation you can seek for a Lyft accident. You may assume that car accident lawyers only fight for medical bills and property expenses, but with the right attorney, you can pursue finances to cover all your damages.
Your Lyft accident lawyer from Sadaka Law can help you seek compensation for the following items:
- All past, current, and future medical bills: Bills include medical equipment and devices, hospital and specialist visits, procedures, surgeries, prescription medications, etc.
- Physical therapy appointments and rehabilitative care: Compensation may also cover future therapy or care needs. For example, if your doctor predicts that you will need to attend physical therapy twice a week for the next six months, you can seek compensation for the total cost of all appointments.
- Loss of wages as you recover: Loss of wages includes each day you couldn’t go to work while recovering from your injuries. If your job paid you during this time, you would not be able to seek compensation for this.
- Future wage losses: If your injuries prevent you from earning your prior salary, you can seek funds to compensate for your future decreased earnings.
- Loss of household services: If you can no longer complete certain household services due to your injuries, you can seek compensation to cover the cost of hiring someone else to complete them for you. Services might include child care, driving children to work, cleaning, cooking, etc.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering: Seeking compensation for non-quantifiable items like pain and suffering is challenging. Your attorney can help you seek these additional funds to ease your recovery journey.
- Wrongful death damages: In fatality situations, you will likely file a wrongful death lawsuit, which includes additional compensation for the emotional suffering, funeral costs, and loss of household services you endure after losing a family member.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages penalize drivers for acting recklessly. Such expenses discourage individuals from acting negligently again.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Lyft Accidents?
Yes, you should hire an attorney for Lyft accidents to protect your legal and financial well-being. Insurance companies do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. When you don’t understand complex car accident legalities, companies may try to manipulate you into accepting low-ball settlement offers that don’t reflect your needs.
A Lyft accident lawyer knows how to deal with these accidents and will fight for your compensation. At Sadaka Law, our team will:
- Analyze all of your case details
- Collect relevant evidence
- Determine liability based on facts
- Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiate settlements
- Represent your case in court
Tips on Finding a Lyft Accident Lawyer
Finding an exceptional Lyft accident lawyer isn’t easy when so many options exist. Finding legal representation who has ample knowledge and experience in your situation is the key to building a solid case. When searching for an attorney, you should look for someone with:
- Multiple years of experience representing Lyft or Uber accident cases
- An excellent track record of recovering damages in past cases
- Ample positive reviews from past clients
Aside from the individual lawyer, you should pick a firm that regularly deals with car accident cases. Some attorneys may only work in one practice area, so you should find a firm that practices what you need. The more knowledge and experience you have on your side, the better.
Sadaka Law: Helping You Recover From Your Lyft Accident
If you need a Lyft accident lawyer in Northern New Jersey or surrounding communities in New York, look no further. At Sadaka Law in Englewood, NJ, we want to fight your legal battles so you can focus on recovery. We represent injured people daily and know how to deal with all the complex legalities surrounding your case.