Philadelphia Lyft Accident Attorney
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 crash in Philly, call 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.
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.