Lyft has been in the rideshare business for about seven years, and it’s becoming increasingly popular in and around Tampa. Downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport (TPA) are both popular destinations. Becoming a Lyft customer is easy. You only need a credit or debit card and a smartphone.
Just load the app to your phone, provide the necessary information, and you’re a customer. When you use Lyft, your ride will be charged to your card. Rather than calling a taxi or trying to flag one down on the street, you can use the Lyft app to tell it that you need a ride from one location to another. A nearby driver will accept your ride and pick you up to take you where you’re going.
If you’re a Lyft customer, there is no guarantee that you won’t be injured in an auto accident involving a Lyft vehicle. What comes to issue is that in their short history, rideshare companies have become more and more difficult to bring personal injury claims against.
In the event that you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, request that both police and paramedics be dispatched to the scene. Police can investigate the crash, and paramedics can stabilize your condition and transport you to the nearest emergency room. Don’t get talked out of calling 911 under any circumstances and then immediately call a Tampa Lyft accident lawyer.
Lyft Drivers are Independent Contractors
The state has categorized Lyft as a transportation network carrier (TNC). Its drivers aren’t employees of Lyft. They’re classified as independent contractors. That classification operates to shift much of the burden for personal injury accidents away from Lyft and over onto Lyft drivers. That means if you’re a passenger, another motorist, a motorcyclist, bicyclist or a pedestrian who was injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a Lyft driver, you’ll typically be looking at that driver to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. There might be some other situations when you’ll be able to look toward Lyft’s insurance for compensation.
Lyft Insurance Requirements
Keep the fact in mind that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. On that basis, anybody on a roadway is required to maintain a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Regardless of fault, PIP should pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost earnings from an accident. It also pays up to $5,000 of funeral and burial expenses in the event of a death. The amount of coverage that a Lyft driver must be legally insured with depends on what activity the driver is engaged in. Here are the four scenarios that we encounter:
- The driver isn’t logged into Lyft, and he or she isn’t working. Drivers would be covered by their own personal insurance.
- A driver is logged into Lyft, but is awaiting passengers. The driver would be covered by both his or her own policy and a limited Lyft policy.
- A driver has agreed to take a fare, and is on the way to pick that customer up. Lyft’s $1 million policy is triggered, and there might also be some coverage under the driver’s personal policy.
- A passenger has entered a Lyft vehicle. Lyft’s insurance covers the driver and passenger for $1 million until the passenger gets out of the vehicle.
Preserving Key Evidence
Along with evidence indicating how a Lyft accident occurred, victims need to show what capacity the Lyft driver was in at the time of the crash. Lyft maintains GPS and other information that shows where a driver is whenever he or she is logged into the company’s app. Unfortunately, someone could try to manipulate that evidence for purposes of trying to deflect liability. That’s why as a passenger, you always want to make sure that your Lyft driver enters your pickup on the Lyft system. If there is an accident, Lyft should save all appropriate information immediately. If we’re retained to represent you, we can take appropriate action to obtain a court order that compels Lyft to preserve such evidence.
Under the law, liability for an accident can be attributable to both parties who were involved in it. For example, in an intersection accident, one party might be determined to be 75% at fault, while the person claiming injury was 25% at fault. The percentage of fault attributable to the person claiming injury is then deducted from his or her gross award. If an injury claimant is determined to be more than 50% negligent, he or she takes nothing. That’s known as the law of modified comparative negligence. As opposed to others who might be injured in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle, the good news is that you were a passenger. It would be extremely difficult for Lyft or its driver to try and raise allegations of comparative negligence against you.
Damages in a Tampa Lyft Accident
In order to recover damages in a car accident, you’ll be required to overcome the no-fault threshold that makes you eligible for them. If you don’t exceed the $10,000 PIP limit, you’ll need to show serious injuries. Those include significant physical limitations like the following:
- An organ or limb.
- A bodily system.
- Permanent disfigurement.
- Disability for a minimum of 90 days.
Once a person who was injured as a result of the negligence of a Lyft driver has overcome one of these thresholds, the following damages can be sought:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Any permanent disfigurement.
- Any permanent disability.
- Diminished quality of life.
- Pain and suffering.
- Other substantial damages in the event of a wrongful death.
Don’t Get Caught in the Middle
When two or more insurers are involved in a personal injury claim, you can get caught in the middle while each of the insurers are saying it’s the other insurer’s problem. You’ll quickly learn that those insurers are only considering their own best interests and not yours. You’ve become stuck in the middle, and you didn’t even do anything wrong. As quality and aggressive personal injury lawyers, we know how to force the issue with these insurers to get them off of their positions.
Statute of Limitations
Plaintiffs have two years from the date of any Lyft accident to file a lawsuit against Lyft or its driver. We don’t recommend waiting that long. You want all of the evidence in connection with the accident while it’s still fresh, and recollections of events are still vivid.
Contact a Tampa Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
After being seriously injured in a Lyft accident, contact us as soon as possible to arrange for a free consultation and case review. You can tell us what happened and how it happened, and we’ll answer your questions too. Then, we could advise you on your full range of legal options. Our objective is to maximize any proceeds that you might derive from any Lyft accident settlement or lawsuit. Call today to get started.