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In the last five years, ridesharing services such as Lyft have transformed the way we get from place to place. In 2013, California created a new business category of “transportation network companies,” becoming the first state to legalize ridesharing services. Since then, Lyft has gained momentum in cities all over the country and world. But what happens in the event of an accident?

Lyft drivers and passengers are covered by the company’s commercial automobile insurance policy. Still, the eligibility and amount of that coverage depend on the driver’s activity at the time of the collision. Are you aware of the extent of the insurance coverage? The laws surrounding ridesharing accidents are still not mature, yet a Lyft accident can cause you substantial physical, emotional, and financial losses.

This is why it is sensible to contact a Lyft Accident Attorney in California right away and protect your rights and receive compensation for your injuries.

Lyft Ridesharing

Lyft was launched in the summer of 2012 by two computer programmers who wanted to facilitate ridesharing in California. The Lyft platform matches drivers with passengers who request rides through a smartphone app, where passengers can pay automatically.

This American ride-hailing company now operates in 644 cities in the United States and 12 cities in Canada. According to Second Measure, a tech company that analyzes customer behavior based on anonymous expenditure, Lyft is the second-largest ridesharing company in the United States with a 28% market share after Uber.

With the introduction of ridesharing services, the transportation market was revolutionized. Even if this easy way to book a ride made many people sell their cars in the city, the number of rides also increased dramatically over the last 7 years. This also led to an increase in car accidents, including Lyft ridesharing accidents.

Car accidents create the most personal injury cases in the United States. The statistics below about traffic accidents in California and Los Angeles speak for themselves. In the unfortunate event of a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can best represent you.

If the incident involves a Lyft ridesharing accident in California including Los Angeles, Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, or Van Nuys, then it is best to contact an experienced ridesharing attorney who knows the complex California laws. We can review your case for free.

Californian Accident Statistics

According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety 2015 Annual Performance Report and OTS online rankings:

  • In 2014, there were 3,074 traffic fatalities and 10,664 serious traffic injuries in California.
  • Since 2010, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities has increased.
  • Observations of distracted driving (cell phones) have increased from 6.6% in 2014 to 9.2% in 2015
  • In cities with populations over 250,000, the top three cities for fatal and injury collisions were in Southern California (Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Los Angeles)
  • Los Angeles had 3,836 nighttime fatal and injury collisions.

Fatal Traffic Accidents With Ridesharing Services

The University of Chicago and Rice University recently examined the effect of the introduction of ride-hailing services in U.S. cities on fatal traffic accidents. According to this study, the introduction of ridesharing services in the U.S. led to an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents. This amounts to an additional 1,100 deaths per year. The increase is seen since 2011, the year that Uber launched. At that time, the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities was declining.
And in 2010, it even reached its lowest point since 1949. Whereas a total of 32,885 traffic fatalities were reported in 2010, in 2017, the number of registered traffic deaths increased to 37,461. This study relied on accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and included drivers, passengers, truck drivers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.

Other conclusions were that traffic has increased substantially because of ridesharing and that the increase in accidents appears to persist and even increase over time.

Lyft Ridesharing and Relevant Statistics

Common Causes Of Lyft Accidents

The causes of Lyft accidents are similar to those of other vehicle and car service accidents. The most common causes are:

  • Driver inattention
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver intoxication
  • Traffic violations
  • Vehicle malfunction

Although an accident may be the result of the rideshare driver’s negligence, another driver or third party may be at fault. As with all vehicular accidents, the California Vehicle Code applies. Personal injury attorneys that have experience with Lyft accidents in California will be able to navigate the related complexities of the Californian law.

Contact a LA Lyft Accident Attorney after a Lyft accident in Los Angeles, Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, or Van Nuys to get the maximum compensation for your damages.

What To Do When You Get Into a Lyft Accident?

  • Seek medical attention immediately - health always comes first.
  • Call the police - make sure a police report is filed for the accident.
  • Collect contact information - this applies to all parties involved, as well as witnesses.
  • Take pictures - capture the damages of all vehicles involved.
  • Contact an experienced Lyft Accident Lawyer in California.

Lyft Accident Insurance

When you get into a Lyft accident a number of factors may complicate the situation. An experienced California Lyft Accident Attorney knows all about the insurance policy of Lyft, personal injury laws, and the local laws that apply to traffic accidents that occur throughout all the cities of California.

As with all traffic accidents, there are many factors to take into account that can influence the coverage of the damages. In general, you could ask three questions to get more clarity on the situation:

  • Who caused the accident?
    • This could be the Lyft driver or someone else.
  • Who is liable?
    • This can be the Lyft driver, the Company Lyft, or some else.
  • What was the status of the Lyft driver?
    • It makes a difference if it was a personal or professional ride and if the driver had a passenger at the time of the accident or not.

Lyft’s coverage depends on the driver’s mode and defines three stages of coverage:

  • Stage 0 - Lyft driver mode is off. This means the driver is not available to pick up passengers, and the ride is personal. In this case, the driver must rely on a personal policy.
  • Stage 1 - The driver mode is on, but no ride has been accepted. In the event the driver’s personal insurance is unresponsive, Lyft offers contingent liability coverage.
  • Stage 2 - The driver mode is on, a ride has been accepted, and the driver is on his way to pick up his passenger.
  • Stage 3 - Driver accepted a registered ride. In this case, the primary liability insurance of Lyft is activated, and the coverage can be up to 1 million dollars per event.

These coverages are available in all states in the U.S., but it may depend on the additional laws that are in effect in a particular state. Lyft works with various partners, including Latitude, Travelers (Constitution State Services), Progressive (United Financial Casualty Company), State Farm (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company), and Sedgwick.

Even if coverage theoretically may lead up to 1 million dollars per event, keep in mind that the company will protect its own interests as well and may look for ways to pay the lowest amount possible.

For example, liability and collision may be covered, but medical bills, lost wages, or even potential short-term disability may not be compensated. Just relying on Lyft insurance may not be in your own best interest.

Complexities of California Law Concerning Lyft Accidents

Until recently, rideshare companies such as Lyft had no legal obligations to provide insurance to their drivers. There is always the question of who is liable for an accident. Is it the Lyft driver or the rideshare company itself? After some unfortunate ride-hailing accidents, coverage is now obligatory and the liability and coverage depend on the status of the driver and the damages caused. (See the different driver status stages that are described above.)

Regardless of the value of your case, claims are often rejected or low offers are given by insurance companies that don’t cover all your damages like medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of wages that may have been a result of the Lyft ridesharing accident.

If you are a victim of a Lyft accident and you suffered injuries, contact an experienced Lyft Accident Lawyer in California to handle your case promptly.

At California Personal Injury Attorneys we handle your entire case from A to Z with amazing results. We handled many cases successfully for our clients throughout the State including Los Angeles, Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, and Van Nuys areas.

Why Should You Hire A Lawyer For A Lyft Accident?

If you have been involved in a Lyft rideshare accident and have suffered injuries or losses, you are entitled to legal help and may be eligible for compensation. Because of the number of parties involved –and possibly injured– in a ride-hailing related accident, it can be difficult to navigate the compensation process.

It is important to know the intricacies of insurance coverage as it pertains to the occupants in a ridesharing car. It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure that you have the best representation when seeking damages.

Possible Damages After a Lyft Accident

A traffic accident is an unfortunate event that no one wants to experience. The impact may include physical, emotional, and financial losses. While most accidents result in vehicular damages, in the worst cases the outcome may be irreversible such as invalidity, paralysis, or even death.

The most common damages after a traffic accident or Lyft accident are:

  • Physical Injury
  • Medical Bills, now and in the future
  • Disability or Disfigurement
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Emotional Distress
  • Property Damage or Loss

Why Choose California Personal Injury Attorneys

As the new ridesharing industry continues to grow, the legal landscape is changing. At California Personal Injury Attorneys, we are experienced vehicular accident attorneys and can navigate the regulatory and liability laws that affect ridesharing companies.

Settlements that may be offered through the standard claim process may not be enough to cover all your damages⁠—even more so when it concerns a serious accident or wrongful death. When it comes to hospital bills, lost wages, and even loss of career because of long-term or permanent disabilities, additional costs may be considerable. We advocate for our clients, working diligently to get the financial settlement they deserve.

Our attorneys understand how difficult an injury or loss can be. If you are a Lyft driver or passenger who has suffered an injury during a trip, contact California Personal Injury Attorneys in LA. We serve the residents of Encino and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, including Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys.