Philadelphia Lyft Accident Lawyer
Handling Complicated Claims After Lyft-Related Accidents And Injuries
There is no question that rideshare companies have changed transportation in Philadelphia for many people. If you have too much to drink or your car is in the shop, you no longer have to wait for public transportation to get around. Instead, you simply open an app, touch a button, and wait for your ride to appear and take you where you need to go. If you are visiting Philly, you can use rideshare services instead of paying for costly car rentals. You don’t even need to have cash on hand, as payment happens automatically through the app.
Uber and Lyft are the two main rideshare companies operating in the Philadelphia area. While they basically provide the same service, Lyft has always had a more relaxed, friendly approach to ridesharing, while Uber originally focused on providing luxury transportation. Many people enjoy driving for Lyft because of the company’s culture and the laid-back passengers the company attracts. The company’s website indicates that Philadelphians regularly use Lyft to travel to and from sports games, Center City, the King of Prussia Mall, Reading Terminal Market, and popular restaurants such as El Vez.
While Lyft promises “friendly drivers and serious safety,” everyone should be aware that Lyft accidents happen on a regular basis. While these may seem like ordinary car accidents, the legal process following the accident can be significantly more complex. Anyone who suffers injuries in a crash involving a Lyft driver needs the right lawyer on their side who has experience handling this type of case. After a rideshare accident in Philly, call The Lyft accident attorneys at the Levin Firm for help right away.
Traffic Accidents In Philadelphia
There is little specific information regarding Lyft accidents in particular areas. However, you only need to drive (or ride) in Philadelphia traffic to know that accidents happen regularly. Philadelphia drivers can be aggressive and often violate traffic laws to get where they are going faster, and Lyft drivers are no different.
The following are some statistics regarding overall traffic accidents in Philadelphia County, as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):
- People reported 11,160 crashes in Philadelphia County in a single year
- 7,977 of those accidents resulted in injuries
- 91 of those accidents resulted in fatalities
- There were more fatal accidents in Philadelphia County than any other county in Pennsylvania
When you consider that about 36 million rideshare rides occurred in a year in Philly, it should be no surprise that many of the reported traffic accidents involved Lyft drivers.
How Lyft Drivers Cause Injuries
There are many different reasons why a Lyft passenger or another individual may suffer injuries because of the actions of a Lyft driver. Lyft drivers are only human, after all, and can make mistakes or errors in judgment even when they are responsible for a passenger’s safety. The following are some examples of negligence on the part of Lyft drivers:
Violating traffic laws – Lyft drivers can violate Pennsylvania traffic laws like any other driver. Traffic laws are in place to keep everyone on the roads safe, and when a Lyft driver fails to comply with all applicable laws, serious accidents can result. Some ways Lyft drivers can break the law include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit
- Driving too fast for adverse weather or traffic conditions
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Improper passing of other vehicles
- Failing to yield when merging, turning, or at traffic signals
- Running red lights or stop signs
While Lyft drivers may receive citations for traffic violations, accident victims must take separate legal action to protect their rights to compensation.
Distracted driving is an epidemic that certainly affects rideshare drivers, as well. Lyft drivers connect to the Lyft app during their working hours, which tells them which people need rides, where the passenger pickup location is, and how to get to the passenger’s desired destination. Lyft drivers are constantly checking their phones, and they may even answer or make other phone calls while they are on the road. There are numerous other distracting activities that Lyft drivers may engage in, all of which can result in drivers being unable to avoid a crash.
Many people use the Lyft service after a night out to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol. For this reason, they likely don’t expect their Lyft driver to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. However, Lyft does not perform regular drug or alcohol tests on its drivers, so there is nothing to stop drivers from getting behind the wheel while they are intoxicated. Perhaps a driver has a few drinks and then decides to make some quick cash afterward by picking up passengers on the way home. Maybe a tired driver uses stimulants to try to stay awake and work longer, and those drugs impair their driving abilities. In any case, impaired driving is always unacceptable, especially for someone driving Lyft passengers.
Lyft allows drivers to remain in “driver mode” on the app for up to 14 hours before they must take a six-hour break, and Pennsylvania does not have more stringent restrictions. 14 hours is a long time for anyone to be on the road, as drivers can easily become tired and lose focus. To make matters worse, many people drive for Lyft as a second job, which means they have likely already worked many hours before they even begin driving. Lyft drivers often prefer driving late into the night, as they can often get more passengers at this time after events or nights out on the town. All of these circumstances regularly lead to dangerously fatigued Lyft drivers who can fall asleep and cause accidents.
Anyone can get frustrated and impatient in Philadelphia traffic. Traffic can keep Lyft drivers from taking more rides and making more money, so they generally want to finish each ride as quickly as possible, even in the face of traffic jams. This can lead a Lyft driver to engage in aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, excessive speeding, or even trying to intimidate other drivers. When a Lyft driver becomes aggressive, they put passengers and other motorists at risk of harm.
It is important to determine exactly what caused your Lyft accident to prove liability for your injuries. This can be more difficult than it can seem, even if you witnessed the dangerous behavior yourself. Insurance companies will want proof of the driver’s negligent actions, so you should always have the help of an experienced Lyft accident attorney who knows how to gather evidence of what (and who) caused your crash and injuries.
Liability For Lyft-Related Injuries
Identifying who caused your crash is necessary to file the right insurance claims to collect compensation for your injury-related losses. Attention may first go toward the Lyft driver, as they are often the negligent party in accidents. However, Lyft drivers are not the only ones who cause crashes involving Lyft vehicles, as the following parties may also be liable for your losses:
- Lyft– The law requires Lyft to take certain steps before allowing people to drive through its app, such as conducting a background check. If Lyft discovers that a driver has recent convictions for drunk driving and still allows them to drive, the company may be liable if the Lyft driver gets into an impaired driving crash. In addition, if a person has criminal convictions for assault, sex crimes, or other violent offenses and is approved to drive, Lyft may be held liable if the driver assaults and injures a passenger.
- Third-party drivers– Sometimes, drivers in other vehicles will collide into a Lyft vehicle, causing injuries to Lyft passengers. Drivers can engage in many negligent acts to cause accidents, and in this situation, a Lyft passenger would need to prove the other driver’s liability in order to recover for their losses.
Simply identifying who may be liable can be a challenging task after a Lyft accident. This is especially true if an accident victim is dealing with serious injuries and the stresses of medical treatment. Our law firm regularly investigates the cause of Lyft accidents to ensure that injured victims can recover for all of their relevant losses.
Extensive Losses From Lyft Accidents
Many people can suffer injuries and incur losses from Lyft accidents. Victims can include Lyft passengers, pedestrians or bicyclists hit by Lyft vehicles, motorists in other vehicles involved in the collision, and more. Lyft passengers are often particularly at risk of sustaining severe injuries as many rideshare passengers fail to use their seat belts. Unrestrained passengers can be thrown around the interior of the vehicle or may even be ejected, resulting in devastating injuries.
Car accident injuries can range from cuts and bruises to life-threatening conditions. Even relatively minor injuries should be properly diagnosed and treated by a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident. In some cases, treatment may last for a few weeks while in others, accident victims may require ongoing treatment and care for the rest of their lives. Car crash victims may face medical for some or all of the following:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency care
- Intensive care unit (ICU)
- Time in a rehabilitative facility
- Assisted living
- Physical therapy
- Home health care
- Medication and medical equipment
While some accident victims may need crutches and a cast for a couple of months, others may need costly prosthetics, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices for years to come. We regularly seek compensation for both past and future medical expenses for our clients.
In addition to medical bills, many injured accident victims may lose a substantial amount of income. Injuries often require you to miss work, whether your recovery requires rest or your injuries prevent you from performing your specific job duties. Some serious injuries may result in lasting impairments that prevent you from going back to your job ever again. You may need to find a different type of work that may pay less, or you may not be able to work at all. You deserve to recover for all of your lost income as well as your future lost earning ability.
There are also car accident losses that do not directly stem from bills or lost funds. These intangible losses can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Permanent disabilities
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You need a skilled Lyft accident lawyer who knows how to calculate and prove your intangible losses to ensure you seek the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Recovering Your Losses
After a Lyft accident, we can help identify which insurance claims you need to file. Different insurance policies may be at play, including:
- You Lyft driver’s personal coverage
- Lyft’s $1 million policy that covers drivers at certain times
- A third-party driver’s insurance coverage
- Your own personal injury coverage if you have a no-fault policy
- Lyft’s uninsured motorist policy if an unknown or uninsured motorist hit your Lyft
Determining the right insurance claims to pursue can be a complicated matter, as can the insurance process itself. No matter what insurance company is involved, you can be sure they will try to limit your payment at every turn. Insurance companies have tricks and tactics they use to minimize claims, and you never want to end up with less compensation than you deserve.
The Levin Firm can handle Lyft accident insurance claims from start to finish. We fight for the full amount you need to cover your losses, and we will not hesitate to file a personal injury claim when needed to protect your rights. We provide Lyft accident representation you can trust and make the legal process as stress-free for you as possible.
Philadelphia Lyft Accident FAQ
Did you suffer injuries in a Lyft accident in Philadelphia, as a Lyft passenger, Lyft driver, or occupant of another vehicle? Do you have questions about your legal rights, such as how much compensation you should expect for your injuries? Below we answer some general questions about Lyft accidents and the legal rights of Lyft accident victims. For answers to specific questions about your Philadelphia Lyft accident, contact an experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident attorney today.
1. Who owes damages to victims of a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
A Lyft accident, like any motor vehicle accident, can have many causes. Those causes determine who might have a legal liability to accident victims to compensate them for their injuries and losses.
Some of the parties who might have liability in a typical Philadelphia Lyft accident case can include:
- A Lyft driver whose actions result in a crash.
- Another driver who causes a crash with a Lyft vehicle.
- A Lyft passenger whose conduct during a rideshare leads to the Lyft driver losing control.
- Lyft itself, in cases where the company’s decisions or conduct ties directly to the cause of the crash.
- Third parties whose dangerous decisions or actions in the minutes, days, months, or even years before the crash directly led to it happening. This may include automotive manufacturers, local government entities, or pharmaceutical manufacturers, for example.
To find out who may have legal liability for the injuries you suffered in a Philadelphia Lyft accident, contact an experienced rideshare crash injury attorney today.
2. Does someone always owe damages to victims of a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
Not always, but usually. The vast majority of Philadelphia car crashes, Lyft accidents included, stem from some person’s or entity’s mistakes or bad decisions. In most cases, that person or entity will have a legal liability to the crash victims.
Sometimes, more than one person/company/entity has legal liability for the same crash. For example, both the Lyft driver and the other driver in a two-car accident might have made mistakes behind the wheel, and so both of them might owe damages to a Lyft passenger injured in the collision. In that case, auto insurance carried by both drivers, as well as supplemental insurance Lyft provides to its drivers, might contribute to a damages payment.
3. How much compensation should I expect after a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
It depends on the circumstances of your accident, the severity of your injuries, who has a legal liability to you, and what financial resources the people or entities with liability have available to pay you with. There is no guarantee, in fact, that a Lyft crash victim will receive any compensation, although with the right legal help chances are usually good that some compensation will be available.
As a general matter, victims of Philadelphia Lyft accidents often have legal rights to receive compensation for:
- Their medical expenses related to the accident, such as emergency care, doctor appointments, medications, medical equipment, surgeries, hospitalizations, and long-term therapy. These expenses can result in medical bills rising into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, even when a victim has health insurance.
- Their non-medical expenses related to the accident, particularly the costs of hiring services to help with performing everyday activities, like driving, house cleaning, or childcare, that an injury prevents the victim from handling.
- Their lost income when injuries suffered in a Philadelphia Lyft accident result in missing substantial at work or not being able to return to work at all. Disability insurance may cover a small portion of these losses, but it rarely makes up for the full amount.
- Their physical pain, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life, all of which can flow from living with severe injuries suffered in a Philadelphia Lyft accident.
Talk to an experienced Philadelphia rideshare accident injury lawyer today to learn more about the damages you might recover through taking legal action after suffering injuries in a Lyft accident.
4. How long does it take to receive compensation after a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
Again, it depends a lot on the circumstances of your Lyft crash. We have represented clients in matters that lasted only a month or two before they settled out of court. We have also had cases that went to trial and took a year or more before our client received payment after a favorable jury verdict.
The timeline for a Philadelphia Lyft accident matter depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The number of parties involved;
- The amount of money at stake;
- The degree of dispute about the facts or a party’s legal liability;
- The availability of insurance to cover a party’s liability;
- The objectives of the parties; and
- To some extent, the ability of the injured party to hold out for the best possible resolution.
Be sure to discuss your priorities and needs with your Philadelphia Lyft accident attorney as early as possible, so that your attorney can plot a legal strategy that serves your interests as efficiently and effectively as possible.
5. How should I handle paying my medical bills after a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
Because the timeline for a Philadelphia Lyft accident claim can vary, our clients frequently need to figure out how to pay for their medical care while they await compensation from the party who owes them damages.
Here are some options they often have available to them:
- Their own personal injury protection insurance. If you own a car in Pennsylvania, then you must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as part of your standard auto insurance policy. PIP serves as the primary (or first-in-line) insurance to pay for medical expenses resulting from car accident injuries, no matter who was at fault for the accident, and no matter if you were a driver or passenger.
- Their health insurance. Health insurance will typically pay for medical expenses resulting from a Philadelphia Lyft accident after a victim reaches the limit of their PIP policy, or if they do not have coverage under a PIP policy, subject of course to copayments, deductibles, and policy limits. Keep in mind, however, that health insurance typically does not cover the cost of long-term care.
- Making arrangements with medical billing departments. Victims of a Philadelphia Lyft accident may have the option of negotiating payment terms with a medical billing department, to defer paying bills until victims receive money from legal action. An experienced Philadelphia rideshare accident injury attorney can often help a client with making these arrangements.
6. Someone else’s insurance company offered me a settlement for my Lyft accident injuries. Should I take it?
No. Consult our experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyers first.
An insurance company for the person or entity legally-liable to you for your injuries will sometimes offer a settlement that does not reflect the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, hoping you will take it because you need the money. Although this type of offer can get money in your hands quickly after an accident, it will almost always fall well short of the compensation you really need to cover your medical bills and other expenses after a Philadelphia Lyft accident.
Accepting a settlement offer relieves a legally liable party of further financial responsibility for your injuries and losses. In other words, it is a one-shot deal. If you agree to a settlement that turns out to have paid you too-little, you cannot go back to the party or its insurance company for more.
Instead of jumping at that first check, work with a Philadelphia Lyft accident attorney who has the skill and knowledge to calculate how much compensation you should insist on receiving following your accident. An attorney can also handle negotiation with any legally-liable party, defense attorney, or insurance company, so that you can focus your energy on healing from your injuries.
7. Does Lyft owe me money?
There are two ways to answer this question.
First, as we mentioned above, Lyft provides its drivers and their passengers with supplemental insurance that covers victims in a Lyft accident in amounts over and above the limits of the Lyft driver’s own personal auto liability insurance.
The insurance offers tiers of coverage depending upon the driver’s status as a Lyft operator at the time of the crash. It offers a small amount of extra coverage for victims of a crash that happened when its driver had logged into the Lyft app but was not driving to or engaged in a ride. It offers a larger amount of coverage for victims of a crash that occurs when a driver was on the way to pick up a passenger or carrying a passenger. So, depending on the circumstances of the crash, Lyft’s insurance may owe you money as compensation for your injuries.
Second, as we also mentioned above, Lyft itself could (at least in theory) have taken actions or made decisions that directly led to the crash and your injury. Lyft tries very hard to protect itself from having legal liability for crashes involving its drivers. However, that does not mean that Lyft enjoys total immunity. So, yes, Lyft itself could also owe you money, at least in theory.
Talk with an experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyer today to explore the possibility of taking legal action against Lyft, and not just against one of its drivers.
8. Do I need an attorney after a Philadelphia Lyft accident?
Yes! You absolutely do need an attorney. In fact, you have no time to waste. The sooner you hire an attorney to represent you, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Every Philadelphia Lyft accident has its own unique aspects, of course, but an attorney serves your interests by:
- Investigating the accident to identify whose bad decisions or dangerous actions caused it, making them legally liable to you. An experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyer knows the importance of moving quickly in this investigation to secure crucial evidence that can affect whether Lyft’s supplemental insurance covers you. Do not wait – hire an attorney to begin this investigation as soon as possible, so that evidence does not go missing and so that you do not miss out on thousands of dollars (or more) of extra compensation.
- Negotiating compensation on your behalf with insurance companies and defense lawyers who will do anything to try to minimize their financial exposure to your injuries. Experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyers know exactly how to approach these negotiations to get you the most money available.
- Fighting for your rights in a Philadelphia courtroom when negotiation alone does not obtain the compensation you deserve. A skilled Philadelphia rideshare accident attorney always prepares every matter as if it will end up going to trial. Although most cases settle out of court, this kind of thorough preparation ensures that you will put your best foot forward if it takes presenting your case to a judge and jury to get you paid.
9. How much will a Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyer cost me?
Experienced Philadelphia rideshare accident injury lawyers virtually always offer clients a free consultation to discuss their Lyft-related crash. When lawyers and clients agree to move forward together, virtually all Philadelphia Lyft accident attorneys also represent their clients on contingency, which means that they only receive a fee for their services if they recover compensation for their clients.
So, to answer the question, it costs you nothing to meet with a lawyer for the first time, and it costs you no money out of your pocket to hire the attorney to represent you. Instead, you agree to pay the lawyer a percentage of what the lawyer recovers for you. That arrangement makes it possible for you to retain top-notch legal services without worrying about the financial strain it will put on you and your family.
For detailed answers to questions you have about your legal rights after getting hurt in a Philadelphia Lyft accident, contact a skilled, experienced Philadelphia Lyft accident lawyer at the Levin Firm today.
Contact An Experienced Philadelphia Lyft Accident Attorney To Discuss Your Rights Today
When you request a Lyft, you never expect to suffer injuries in an accident. If this happens, know that The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to help. To discuss your legal options with a skilled Lyft accident lawyer for free, please call (215) 825-5183 or contact us online today.