Whether you were flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, working out at the West Gwinnett Aquatic Center, or taking your child to school at the Notre Dame Academy, you have likely used a rideshare service.
Lyft is one of the successful ridesharing platforms and is available to travelers in nearly every area of the country, including Duluth. If a ridesharing accident has injured you or someone you love, you need an experienced Duluth Lyft accident lawyer from Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm on your side.
Traffic Accidents: A Duluth Ridesharing Problem
Although ridesharing services are convenient, economical, supportive of the gig economy, and environmentally friendly, they are not without their downfalls. One of them is the incidence of car accidents that impacts ridesharing vehicles.
A new study from the University of Chicago and Rice University reveals some troubling statistics. Ridesharing services have increased traffic fatalities by as much as 2 percent to 3 percent in the U.S. since 2011; as many as 1,100 mortalities annually. The yearly cost in human lives ranges from $5.33 billion to $13.24 billion. Keep in mind that these figures don’t represent the hundreds of thousands of injured rideshare users and the costs of their injuries.
Liability in Duluth Lyft Accidents
Liability in Lyft accidents can be very tricky. Many car accidents have liability problems but Lyft even more since so many insurance companies and scenarios are involved. Lyft does provide extra protection to drivers and riders through their own insurance coverage.
Suppose the Lyft driver is not at fault for the accident. In that case, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is typically the first insurer liable for damages. However, an experienced Duluth Lyft accident lawyer is keenly aware that additional layers of insurance coverage are available after the first insurance company.
Lyft provides additional insurance to protect passengers if the Lyft driver is at fault. Suppose the Lyft driver is not at fault and the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage, which happens often. In that case, Lyft provides additional uninsured motorist coverage to protect both the driver and passenger.
If the Lyft driver is at-fault, Lyft’s insurance coverage will pay for injuries to any passengers. However, suppose you were another driver hit by a Lyft driver. In that case, liability will depend on whether the driver was logged into their app or en route to pick passengers up. If Lyft did not consider them to be on-duty, you would need to file a claim with their private insurance company. If they were on duty, you could file a claim through Lyft’s auto insurance company.
What Should You Do After a Duluth Lyft Accident?
Any auto accident can be confusing and shocking. Being in an accident while in a Lyft or with a Lyft driver can be even more so. Your immediate actions can profoundly affect the outcome of your accident claim.
If you are in a Lyft accident, here are the steps to follow:
- Safety – If possible, move the vehicles out of traffic and to a safe place. If the vehicles aren’t moveable, everyone should move away from the road. Call 911 or the local police department dispatch for help. They can send paramedics for anyone that is injured and the police. If you are injured, get medical treatment right away, as this can impact your claim. Even though you may not feel like you sustained any injuries or that your injuries aren’t substantial, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor.
- Make a police report – Depending on the value of the property damage or whether anyone is injured, the accident might need an official police report. Even if it is not, it’s always a good idea to have a police report as it will serve as evidence in your case. Now is also a good time to get information from all involved drivers, such as their insurance information and driver’s license numbers.
- Collect evidence – If possible, document the accident with photos and videos. Be sure to include any injuries, vehicle damage, property damage, and the surrounding environment, such as road conditions and weather. If there is anything unusual such as construction or animals that could have contributed to the accident, document them as well.
- Report the accident to Lyft – You can use the Lyft app or their website to report the accident. If you can, you can complete this at the scene. Be sure not to accept any responsibility, apologize or agree to a settlement offer without first consulting with a well-versed Duluth Lyft accident lawyer. In taking any of these actions, you could cause the insurance company to deny your claim or not pay you fairly for your damages.
- Report the accident to your auto insurance company. If you were a driver involved in an accident with a Lyft driver, you might want to report the accident to your auto insurance as soon as possible. They will begin their own investigation into the accident.
- Be quiet on social media – Many people take to social media to talk about all aspects of their life. Such frequent and public communication can create problems after any type of injury accident. Information on your social media is typically discoverable in a lawsuit, meaning the insurance carrier can access and can use your posts, messages, pictures, and videos as a basis to deny your injury claim. Whether it’s true or not, they could use their findings to contend that you aren’t really hurt, your injuries aren’t serious, the accident hasn’t impacted your life, you are in financial trouble and need money.
- Call a Duluth Lyft accident attorney – It’s also crucial that you contact a Duluth Lyft accident attorney as soon as you can. Lyft accidents involve many layers and quickly become difficult to manage when it comes to getting compensation for damages. Without trusted legal counsel on your side, it’s unlikely that you will receive the monetary recovery you actually deserve.
- Continue medical care and treatments – If your doctors or other healthcare professionals advise you to continue with medical treatments or give other specific advice, follow it. Not adhering to their advice will hurt your claim. Insurance companies may refuse to pay for your medical bills if you don’t follow medical advice. It’s also essential that you don’t obtain unnecessary medical care as insurance companies can refuse to pay for that as well. If you have questions about what types of medical care you should continue to receive, check with your primary care doctor and your Duluth Lyft accident lawyer.
Is Getting a Duluth Lyft Accident Lawyer Worth It?
Many Lyft accident victims wonder if obtaining the representation of legal counsel is financially worthwhile. Those injured in a car accident typically obtain significantly more compensation than those who choose to settle their claim on their own. Even though you will need to pay your Duluth Lyft accident attorney for their services, they generally increase your compensation enough that their services pay for themselves plus some.
A Duluth Lyft accident lawyer can bring a lot of value to your claim.
Your lawyer can:
- Advise you of your rights
- Send formal letters of representation
- Hire expert witnesses
- Conducts case investigation and discovery
- Speak to the insurance companies on your behalf
- Ensure that you take every action you need to for a successful claim
- Request and review applicable insurance policies
- Review and document your insurance companies’ subrogation rights
- Analyze potential legal issues
- Request medical records
- Accumulates hospital records and medical bills
- Locates medical experts
- Organizes all accident and claim-related documents
- Requests lost income information
- Participate in alternative dispute resolution
- Present you with settlement offers and their opinion as to what is fair for your claim
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Prepare for trial
- Take your claim to trial, if needed
As you can see, Duluth Lyft accident attorneys and their staff have nearly innumerable tasks. They do whatever it takes to get you rightful compensation. Handing your claim on your own is not recommended for many reasons, but it can be quite burdensome and time-consuming. Most injured individuals don’t have legal experience with rideshare companies. Lack of experience, time, and effort can be detrimental to a Duluth Lyft accident claim. Pursuing your claim with the help of a Duluth Lyft accident lawyer will likely be much more successful and less stressful than doing it on your own.
How Long Will My Duluth Lyft Accident Claim Take?
As most Duluth Lyft accident attorneys can attest to, receiving fair compensation for your damages requires patience. Although many insurance companies are willing to settle almost immediately, these offers will likely never be anywhere near what you deserve for your injuries.
Unfortunately, most injury claims can take time to settle if you want to recover your claim’s full value. Your Duluth Lyft accident lawyer can do everything possible to keep your claim moving so that you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary to receive the money you need.
Compensable Damages in a Duluth Lyft Accident
Damages refer to your losses in an accident for which you deserve compensation. There are economic or special damages and non-economic or general damages. Proving these damages is a critical part of your claim. Your Duluth Lyft accident attorney will ensure that there is enough evidence in your claim to establish the losses you suffer.
Depending on your claim and whether you were a passenger or another driver in a Lyft accident, your damages could include:
- Cost of your car repair or replacement
- Other property damage, such as eyeglasses or jewelry broken or lost in the accident
- Medical treatment
- Expected future medical treatment
- Loss of income from not going to work while recovering from your injuries
- Loss of income potential from permanent injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium and companionship
While attorneys typically settle economic damages or request a jury award based on their original value, non-economic damages are subjective. Your Duluth Lyft accident lawyer must convey how these damages have harmed you. For example, maybe you can no longer take care of your infant, play sports you were once passionate about, or participate in your relationships like you once did. Non-economic damages are typically assigned a value based on how much your economic damages are worth.
Despite what some might think, ridesharing is not a recent trend. It was born out of necessity rather than convenience or technology. Ridesharing began in 1942 during World War II. During this time, the federal government mandated ridesharing for workplaces when other transportation options weren’t available. These actions saved rubber during the war. The oil crisis and spike in gasoline prices during the 1970s stimulated another period of ridesharing.
Modern ridesharing was predicted as early as the 1990s, with better matching techniques and more convenience. Today ridesharing is possible due to the development of GPS, smartphone technology, and electronic payments. What they might not have predicted is the number of ridesharing injuries and deaths.
In the first quarter of 2020 alone, Lyft reported 21.2 million in profits. Their annual revenue for 2019 was $3.6 billion. Lyft has about 30 percent to 40 percent of the rideshare market, depending on different sets of data.
To better understand how popular this ridesharing service is, consider these statistics:
- Lyft operates in 644 U.S. and 12 Canadian cities or towns.
- Lyft services are available to 95 percent of the U.S. population.
- There were 2 million Lyft drivers in the third quarter of 2019.
- Over 40 percent of U.S. rideshare users used Lyft in 2019.
- Lyft users hail rides an average of 4.9 times per month.
- Collectively Lyft drivers made $1.1 billion in tips as of 2020.
However, far too many innocent individuals have learned; a successful business model doesn’t always equate to a safe business model.
Lyft Accident FAQs
What are contingency fees?
After a Lyft accident that causes you harm, you need reliable legal representation. However, you could be without the money to pay for an experienced Duluth Lyft accident attorney. The “contingency fee” arrangement between attorneys and their clients solves this very dilemma.
A contingency fee is a form of payment to a lawyer that only happens when and if you receive some kind of monetary compensation in your case. Your Duluth Lyft accident case must settle, or you must win your case at trial for your attorney to receive payment for their services when a contingency fee arrangement is in place.
With a contingency fee, payment for your attorney’s services is “contingent upon” your obtaining compensation of any amount. This way, you can get the legal help you need now to help you recover the money you need for your damages.
If you decide to hire a Duluth Lyft accident attorney on a contingency fee basis, you will sign a contract. With this contract, you will agree to pay a predetermined percentage of your compensation to your attorney directly out of the proceeds from your settlement or court award. Typically this percentage can increase if your case goes to court but is generally between 30 percent and 40 percent.
What is a rideshare company?
Rideshare companies, sometimes called Transportation Network Companies, hire freelance contract drivers who use their personal automobiles to transport others. As such, they are generally not considered to be employees. Potential passengers use a convenient smartphone app to arrange rideshare services on demand, although they can also schedule their rides in advance. Passengers can request a ride through the app, and the app handles the payment, including tip, automatically.
Do Duluth Lyft drivers require any extra training?
No, Lyft doesn’t require its drivers to obtain extra training; however, they do have to meet specific requirements. Drivers must be 21 years of age and have a valid U.S. driver’s license and at least one year of driving experience. Lyft also performs a DMV check and background to review the applicant’s driving history or criminal history.
What causes Duluth Lyft accidents?
Unfortunately, Lyft drivers are prone to causing car accidents because of the nature of their job. Most Lyft drivers aren’t familiar with the place they are taking their passengers. As such, they must rely on their cell phones or GPS to get directions. Their attention is always lured away from the road and their driving to get directions.
As if that weren’t enough, their smartphones are continually going off when a new passenger requests a ride, which further diverts their attention away from safely driving their car. At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, we can obtain cell phone records in car accident claims to determine whether a driver was active on their cell phone at the time of the collision or not.
Fatigue is another substantial factor when it comes to Lyft accidents. Drivers are not highly compensated for their time and often have another job, so they sometimes work long hours. These circumstances often put exhausted people behind the wheel of Lyft vehicles. Considering that drowsy driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving, this is a scary prospect.
Another factor is other distractions. With a constant rotation of new people in their vehicles, some drivers may find that they focus more on their passengers than on the road and driving.
Do you need to report an accident to Lyft in Duluth?
You should always report any accidents to Lyft as soon as you can. If you were a passenger in the Lyft vehicle, you could report it by using the app. If you were in another vehicle and were involved in a crash with a Lyft driver, they recommend using their website. Don’t forget that if you were injured, you shouldn’t sign anything or accept a settlement until you’ve talked to a Duluth Lyft accident lawyer.
Are Duluth Lyft drivers required to have private auto insurance coverage?
Yes, Lyft drivers are required to have private auto insurance under Georgia law and per Lyft policies. In some instances, Lyft drivers may need to rely on their insurance coverage when they are on or off duty.
Georgia requires all drivers to have the following minimum liability auto insurance coverages and limits:
- Bodily injury liability – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident
- Property damage liability – $25,000 per incident
Liability insurance pays for damages, such as vehicle damage or medical bills, to others on behalf of the policyholder. There are other situations in which liability coverage can help protect the insured, for example, if someone alleges they are at fault and makes a claim against them.
It’s important to note that although liability coverage is required, neither Lyft nor the state of Georgia dictates which insurance company a driver must use.
Should Lyft be liable for the conduct of its drivers?
Lyft’s insurance becomes effective once a driver is active. “Active” means their app is on. They are available to pick up passengers, are en route to a pickup, or are driving a passenger to their destination. However, if their driver app is off, their own auto insurance policy would cover any damages that occur.
What happens if a Duluth Lyft driver causes an accident without a passenger?
The answer depends on if the Lyft driver accepted a request and en route to a new passenger. Typically, the primary liability coverage begins when the driver accepts the assignment. Until then, the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy must provide coverage. Suppose the driver doesn’t have enough coverage for all of the damages they caused. In that case, Lyft has insurance coverage for the driver, but not as much as the primary coverage.
If you’re involved in a collision with a Lyft driver who didn’t have a passenger at the time, you could struggle to receive a fair settlement. Having the representation of a Duluth Lyft accident lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Who is responsible for your injuries sustained as a Duluth Lyft passenger?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, either Lyft or the driver of the other vehicle. Lyft fully insures passengers for the entire ride. However, Lyft or their insurance carrier may determine that your rideshare driver’s own insurance is liable for your losses. Many different factors will determine which insurance company will handle your claim. Rideshare accidents are some of the most complex cases and require a knowledgeable Duluth Lyft accident attorney.
What happens if another driver was responsible for the Duluth Lyft accident?
Lyft has insurance coverage for injuries and damages you sustain as a passenger. However, if the other party is at fault, their insurance should pay for injuries and damages. If that driver is uninsured or underinsured, Lyft has a policy for that. In this situation, your claim could get complicated because there will be multiple insurance companies to deal with. They could decide to combine forces to give you a lower settlement offer than you deserve.
Can I lose my Lyft access if I file a claim?
No, if you file a valid injury claim under Lyft’s insurance policy, you will suffer no penalty. Lyft pays a portion of each fare directly to their insurance companies for this purpose. Pursuing a claim and retaining an experienced Duluth Lyft accident attorney from Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm won’t cause you to lose your access to Lyft or otherwise suffer a penalty.
Does Georgia law require Duluth Lyft drivers to carry auto insurance?
Suppose you have injuries due to a Lyft driver’s negligence. In that case, the law in Georgia (OCGA 33-1-24) requires at least $1,000,000 liability coverage for all injuries, death, and property damage, and $1,000,000 underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. To have your claim covered under the Lyft auto insurance policy, you must be on a ride with a rideshare driver, or the driver has to have accepted a ride request on the company’s digital network when the accident happens.
Coverage begins when the Lyft driver accepts a ride request on the company network and lasts until the driver finishes the transaction or ride, whichever is later.
What insurance carrier does Lyft use?
Lyft uses different insurance companies in different states. They also frequently change auto insurance carriers. It’s important to know which insurance company you are dealing with if you need to file a claim.
- Bodily injury liability – $50,000 for each person or $100,000 for each accident
- Property damage liability – $50,000 for each accident
- Bodily injury and property damage liability – $1,000,000 combined single limit
- Uninsured motorist – Bodily Injury and Property Damage $1,000,000 combined single limit
Your Duluth car accident lawyer can explain more about how these coverages might apply in your case.
Why are Duluth Lyft accident cases complex?
More often than not, rideshare accident cases involve three separate insurance groups; the other driver’s private insurance, the rideshare company’s insurance, and the Lyft driver’s own insurance. With all the insurance policies involved and multiple corporations, any accident claim can quickly get confusing. The result could be an unfavorable settlement or result in multiple entities attempting to give you a low settlement offer.
The best way to avoid this is to hire a skilled Duluth Lyft accident attorney. Your attorney will represent your interests and do everything they can to get you a favorable settlement, no matter how complex your case is.
What damages potentially bring compensation?
Car accidents often result in painful injuries that will require time and the appropriate treatment to heal. For some, recovering might mean missing work and having to deal with chronic pain.
With the help of a Duluth Lyft accident lawyer, you could obtain monetary compensation for you:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
How much is your Duluth Lyft accident claim worth?
No two rideshare accidents are the same. Complicated insurance policies and coverage make rideshare accidents especially difficult to value. Hiring a reputable Duluth Lyft accident lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get the maximum compensation available for your claim if you’ve been in such an accident. At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, we can help you determine whose insurance is liable for your injuries and damages. Once we know who is liable, we can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy bills, chiropractic treatments, personal recovery time, and even any related childcare costs.
Will your Duluth Lyft accident case settle or go to trial?
Although no one can predict the future, your Duluth Lyft accident attorney can provide you with their professional opinion as to why your case might settle or go to trial. More often than not, most car accident cases settle before going to trial.
Settlements are preferable to both injured parties and insurance companies because they:
- End the case sooner
- Are less expensive than going to court
- Don’t require the injured party to speak to a jury
- Allow all involved parties more control over the outcome, rather than letting a jury decide
Some settlements happen quickly, especially if it is abundantly clear who is liable for the accident. Other settlements can take months or even more than a year. Whether your case settles or goes to trial, the lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will be here for you. We provide reliable advocacy to those injured by Lyft drivers, both Lyft customers and others injured in the accident with a Lyft vehicle.
We have a proven track record of winning difficult cases in court. If we can’t reach satisfactory compensation through settlement negotiations, we aren’t afraid to take the case before a judge or jury and advocate for your right to full and fair compensation.
Do You Need a Duluth Lyft Accident Attorney? Call Us
If you suffered injuries in a Lyft accident and need to explore the options available to your claim, Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help. We have fought for and won countless injury claims in Georgia. Our attorneys are passionate about making sure that victims and their families are taken care of after being involved in a Lyft accident.
Contact Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm today at (404) 418-8244 or through our confidential online contact page for a free, no-risk case evaluation. We don’t charge any fees for consultations, and we never ask for any attorney fees unless we win your Lyft accident claim.
Brauns Law, P.C.
3175 Satellite Boulevard, Bldg 600
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: (404) 205-8614
“I was treated with great care and compassion by David Brauns and his team. Both David and Nick Connelly were in constant communication with me throughout the process. Highly recommend.”
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