If you have suffered injuries in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle in New York, you may be entitled to compensation. However, a Lyft accident case is a bit more complicated than the average car accident case. That’s why it is critical to consult a New York Lyft accident lawyer.
The legal team at Cellino Law has extensive experience with New York Lyft accident cases. Our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the intricacies of a rideshare accident claim and collect the compensation you deserve. We have all the necessary know-how, expertise, and resources for such cases. So, let us fight this legal battle for you while you focus on your recovery.
If you were injured in a New York Lyft accident, call Cellino! Contact one of our representatives to schedule a free consultation and start working your case as soon as possible. We stand at your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, you don’t need to worry about any fees or payments. We only get paid if we win your case!
Causes of Lyft Accidents in New York
Lyft drivers have the same duties of care to drive safely as other motorists. All New York traffic laws apply to them equally, no exceptions. Unfortunately, Lyft drivers often engage in the same unsafe driving practices as other motorists which can lead to serious accidents.
While rideshare accidents can happen for many reasons, there are several highly common causes. The most common causes of Lyft accidents in New York are:
In 2001, NY became the first state in the nation to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving. Furthermore, in 2009 additional legislation was enacted prohibiting texting while driving. This section of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law also applies to different other portable electronic devices while the driver is engaged in operating their vehicle.
Despite that, distracted driving has surged as a top cause of car accidents since the rise of mobile phone usage. Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare drivers are even more likely to be distracted than other motorists. That’s because they must keep the rideshare application running, as well as periodically check their navigation system. They can also engage in communication with their future passengers via texts, or with their current passengers verbally. This can definitely divert their attention to the road.
Exceeding the maximum legal speed limit is another leading cause of car accidents in New York. This also applies to accidents involving Lyft vehicles. Lyft drivers can be under a lot of pressure due to the requests of their passengers as well as multiple other factors, and can engage in speeding, or other forms of reckless driving. Needless to say, this can lead to accidents. Thus, riders are advised to avoid Lyft drivers who exhibit aggressive tendencies in their driving or engage in any reckless driving practices.
Many Lyft drivers work long hours without having any breaks. Some of them also provide rideshare services as their second job. Accumulated fatigue can take a serious toll on their ability to operate their vehicle. A drowsy driver is considerably less alert than a rested driver. In the worst case scenario, they may even fall asleep at the wheel. Evidently, this can lead to a collision with serious repercussions.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs are extremely dangerous to other motorists and pedestrians. Intoxication can seriously impair their ability to drive. They are more likely to lose control of the vehicle, they are more likely to make poor decisions while driving, and can cause major accidents.
Lyft has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to drug and alcohol intoxication of their drivers. They highly stress that you should call 911 if you suspect that your Lyft driver is operating their vehicle while intoxicated. Then contact their own critical response team.
Lyft drivers can often be requested by their clients to take routes that they are not familiar with or drive to neighborhoods they have never visited before. This can cause the driver to be uncertain about their actions. It can lead them to excessively consult their navigation system, drive below the minimum speed limit and impend traffic, or react poorly to various situations. All these factors can lead to a collision.
Due to unknown pick up locations, unsafe parking conditions, or even illegal parking, Lyft drivers are more likely to cause a collision. Even though parking lot accidents often fall in the fender-bender category, one can still cause you to suffer an injury. If your driver was negligent while parking their vehicle and caused an accident that ultimately led to your injury, you have the grounds for a personal injury case.
Poor Rideshare Vehicle Maintenance
In order to be approved as a Lyft driver, motorists need to present a vehicle inspection completed by a licensed auto mechanic. But even so, malfunctions due to poor maintenance can lead to collisions. Riders are advised to choose drivers who keep their vehicles in proper condition, conduct regular checks on their vehicle, and report any safety concerns.
Common Injuries in Lyft Accidents
In many instances, Lyft accident victims only sustain minor injuries such as bruising, sprained joints, and lacerations. However, auto accidents have different degrees of severity depending on the injuries involved. They can be classified by minimal, minor, major, and fatal injuries.
Major injuries can also occur in a collision that involves a Lyft vehicle. Some of the most common are:
- Whiplash. This is a form of injury that affects the neck. The complex system of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves in your neck can stretch or suffer various kinds of trauma during the shock of a car accident, which can lead to a series of neurological symptoms. The list includes headaches, tinnitus, nausea, neck pain, stiffness, swelling, and more.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). As the term suggests, it covers various injuries of the brain. They can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage that can result in a coma or death of the victim. Severe brain injuries can take a permanent toll on a victim’s life, impacting their behavioral, sensory, and cognitive capabilities.
- Spinal cord damage. There is a wide range of spinal injuries that vehicle accident victims can suffer. These are often devastating, leading to paralysis, loss of sensory ability, or serious other health problems.
- Broken bones. Fractures are very common injuries in major car accidents. They can lead to considerable physical impairment, temporary or permanent.
- Penetrating trauma. Splintered metal, shattered glass, or other sharp objects resulted in an accident can severely injure the driver or the passenger. Penetration of the skin can also occur due to sharp objects found already in the car when the accident happened. These can lead to irreversible organ damage.
- Internal trauma. The shock generated during a vehicle collision can lead to serious damage to one’s internal organs. In many cases, this, along with internal bleeding, can lead to the death of the victim.
- Disfigurement. Most cars have airbags and many other safety devices nowadays. But during an accident, shattered glass, or other sharp or blunt objects can cause various facial injuries. Even the impact of an opening airbag can lead to a bruise, eye injuries, or other facial injuries, as well as whiplash.
Common Types of Lyft Rideshare Accidents
When it comes to Lyft rideshare accidents, there are multiple scenarios that can take place, and each case can have unique implications regarding liability and how compensation can be pursued.
Here are three of the most common Lyft accident scenarios and how victims can collect compensation:
- The Lyft driver causes the accident, leading to injuries of a pedestrian, cyclist, or another motorist, and their passengers. In this case, the victim can pursue damages from the Lyft driver. However, if the victim can prove that Lyft was also somehow responsible for causing the accident (i.e. not screening the driver properly) Lyft may also be held liable.
- The Lyft driver crashes and their passenger suffers injuries. In this case, the victim can pursue damages from both the driver and Lyft, depending on how liability can be determined. Lyft carries at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance for injured passengers.
- Another driver caused the crash leading to the injuries of the passenger inside the Lyft vehicle. In this case, the Lyft driver is not at fault. Thus, the victim must file a third-party claim and is entitled to compensation from that particular third party and their insurer.
Of course, each Lyft accident case has its particularities, and filing a claim in such a case can be confusing and daunting. That is precisely why it is vital to seek the assistance of a Lyft accident lawyer.
Finding Fault in Lyft Rideshare Accidents
At Cellino Law, we have experts who can investigate a Lyft accident to determine who was the at-fault party. As a general idea, liability in a Lyft rideshare accident is established by answering the following questions:
1. Did the Lyft driver cause the accident?
2. Was the Lyft driver actively using the Lyft app when the accident happen?
3. Did other parties contribute to the cause of the accident?
In most cases, the at-fault party in a two-car accident involving a Lyft vehicle is either the Lyft driver or the other driver. Fault is sometimes obvious, such as the driver crassly violates one or multiple traffic laws. However, in certain cases, fault isn’t as easy to determine. Someone can be at fault without violating any laws, but still be negligent. In this case, proving that their negligence has led to the accident is necessary.
At Cellino Law, our legal team has over a decade of experience with Lyft accident claims. There are many things that our Lyft accident attorney can help you with, including determining all liable parties, dealing with insurance companies, and most importantly, making sure you recover the damages quickly.
The Liability For Lyft Drivers
Determining liability in a rideshare accident is a complex issue. That’s because rideshare companies consider their drivers independent contractors or licensees, and not the company’s employees. Due to this, the rideshare company cannot usually be held liable for a driver’s actions. There are exceptions, of course.
So, when is a Lyft driver liable for an accident?
The clearest case scenario for a Lyft driver’s liability in an accident is when the driver broke the law or was negligent and caused the accident, while logged in the app. If the driver wasn’t logged in to the app when the accident happened, it’s just another car accident, and Lyft cannot be held liable.
Is Lyft Responsible for Passenger Injuries?
Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. So, in case of an accident, Lyft can almost always say they were not responsible for the injuries of the driver’s passenger.
In New York, rideshare drivers are required by law to carry their car insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements, including personal injury protection, bodily injury liability insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage. But the problem is, this car insurance does not cover rideshare services. Therefore, rideshare companies are required to have a second layer of insurance. This second layer of insurance is a form of commercial insurance, in this case, often referred to as rideshare insurance.
The rideshare insurance is meant to cover the Lyft driver while they are working. That’s because the driver’s standard insurance typically does not cover ridesharing. Thus, Lyft must fill the gap. Once a the driver accepts a ride, a $1,000,000 insurance policy goes into effect. This policy functions any time the driver is en route to pick up a rider, or when they have a passenger on board, until the passenger is dropped off, and the ride was completed in the Lyft app. So, if you suffered injuries in a Lyft accident as a passenger, you have all the right to seek benefits from this rideshare insurance policy.
Lyft often provides its drivers with additional insurance coverage, as well. This amounts to $50,000 and is in effect when the rideshare driver has not accepted a ride. It is meant to cover a motorist or pedestrian that was hit by the rideshare driver while they were logged into the app but without a current ride.
Why Should I Hire a Lyft Accident Lawyer to Handle My Rideshare Accident Lawsuit?
Lyft accidents are considerably more complex than other types of vehicle accidents. That’s why it is of high importance to have an experienced Lyft accident lawyer in your corner.
Your car accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and reconstruction of the accident, gathering relevant evidence such as witness testimonies, photographs, videos, and police reports. Additionally, they may seek input from financial and medical experts to authenticate your claims and assess the extent of your damages.
At Cellino Law, our team of rideshare accident attorneys can assist you by:
- An in-depth analysis of your Lyft accident
- Identifying all possible liable parties
- Conducting all the necessary communications with Lyft
- A thorough assessment of losses, economic, and non-economic damages
- Insurance claim submissions
- Settlement negotiations with insurance providers
- Providing legal representation in court if litigation becomes necessary
Opting for legal representation can give you a consistent edge in a rideshare accident case. That’s because the driver’s insurance may not suffice to fully cover your damages. Plus, your claim deserves individual focus as well as you deserve a fair settlement for your damages.
Contact Cellino Law Today for a Free Consultation
When you are injured in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle, you will need the legal help of a New York Lyft accident lawyer. The team at Cellino Law can help. Our attorneys will provide you the legal counsel you are looking for and offer a free consultation for your case. In this consultation, you will be able to ask all the legal questions you have about your Lyft accident and discuss all the details of your case in confidence.
The Lyft accident attorneys at Cellino Law are ready to take your case. Let our team of legal experts help you secure a fair settlement for your injuries and property damage. Contact us today or call 800-555-5555 to set up a free consultation.