When utilizing a ridesharing service like Lyft, you expect to safely reach your destination every time, and an accident is likely the last thing on your mind. However, if an accident does occur, you will have to make many difficult decisions, including whether to hire an attorney. While legal resources are widely available on the internet, and you may be able to directly negotiate with the insurance company, hiring an experienced attorney can help ensure the best possible result in your case.
We want to help our clients recover as much money as possible for their Lyft accident claims, and we also want victims to understand why they shouldn’t attempt to handle such a claim alone. First, the average claims adjuster has more experience than a first-time victim, and may attempt to trick you into signing paperwork that limits your right to fair compensation. For example, the adjuster may offer you $500 to sign a document that waives your right to seek additional money. To avoid being hoodwinked, you should hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the entire process.
No-Fault Benefits—How Car Accident Bills Get Paid
Florida is a no-fault jurisdiction for car accidents, meaning that each driver, vehicle owner, or passenger must go to his or her own auto insurance policy for the first $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Any medical bills exceeding this amount may not be covered, unless you have private medical insurance or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Florida’s New Ridesharing Law
Under the new Florida ridesharing law, each driver is defined as a member of a transportation network company (TNC), such as Lyft, that provides a prearranged ride to another person or group through a device that accesses a digital network. All such drivers must carry a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage (which extends to personal injury, death, and property damage).
Even when a TNC driver is off-duty, he or she must have at least $50,000 in personal injury and property damage liability coverage for the vehicle used for rideshares. In each case, the level of coverage that applies from the TNC’s policy (i.e. Lyft’s national insurance policy), and the driver’s insurance, will depend on what the driver was doing at the time of the crash.
For example, a driver could have been waiting for a new job, driving to pick up a new rider, transporting a rider, or operating the vehicle off-duty. A qualified attorney can help you determine if you have a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were riding in during the crash, or if there is a claim against another Lyft driver who struck your vehicle. Other possibilities include that you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a motorcyclist hit by a Lyft driver.
Choose Our St. Petersburg Lyft Crash Lawyers
Sustaining an injury while taking a Lyft drive is a serious matter. This type of case may take years to resolve, and there is no guarantee that you will recover any damages. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have the experience to help you take on Lyft’s insurance carrier and/or the driver’s carrier. You will be required to prove that the driver or company was responsible for your injuries. In the past, we’ve helped many accident victims secure monetary relief under Florida’s tort laws.
Each Lyft Accident Case Is Unique
Lawsuits that involve ridesharing companies and/or their drivers have increased in number over the past few years. As a result, in 2017 Governor Rick Scott passed the ridesharing law discussed above to clarify the obligations of TNC drivers, including that they carry the required insurance. If you are injured in a Lyft accident, you have the legal right to pursue a claim, and seek compensation for your injuries. In general, Florida law provides victims with four (4) years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim. Furthermore, victims must demonstrate how the accident caused a permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of one or more bodily functions.
Typical Damages in Auto Accident Cases
If you were injured after hailing a ride over a digital network, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Types of expenses for which you may be able to recover include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Prescription drugs
- Transportation to doctor appointments
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees and costs
How Will Lyft Drivers Pay Their Fair Share?
Many factors affect whether you have a claim against a Lyft driver following an accident. The first step is often to send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance carrier, which includes a breakdown of your expenses and a proposed settlement amount. The carrier may offer you a settlement, or you may have to take the case to trial.
Regardless, hiring an experienced attorney to handle this process for you will help achieve the best possible result. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, as each case depends on the specific circumstances of the accident, we at the Dolman Law Group have significant experience representing victims in Lyft accidents. We understand how to argue for damages based on your medical records and other compelling evidence.
In Florida, attorneys are not permitted to promise that they will secure a specific settlement amount or damages award, and there are no guarantees that you will win any money; however, you want an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who knows how to navigate Florida’s complex legal system.
At the Dolman Law Group, we regularly represent individuals who have been injured in car accidents, and in appropriate cases, we do so on a contingency fee basis in which we collect attorney’s fees out of any settlement amount or damages award that we secure for you. We provide free consultations, during which we discuss the validity of your case and the relevant fee structure; you are not obligated to hire us after your consultation. It is important to understand that every Lyft accident claim is different, and that your recovery could be limited by a number of factors. However, recovery is possible. If you were injured, or lost a loved one, in a car accident that involved a Lyft driver, contact us at (727) 222-6922, or online, and speak to an experienced attorney today.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712