Lyft has taken San Francisco and Marin County by storm. It is sometimes hard to believe that the company was only founded in 2012. By providing cheap, reliable ride-sharing service, Lyft has made a name for itself around the country.
However, Lyfts can get into accidents just like any other vehicle. If you’ve been injured in Lyft accident, you need to take certain steps to preserve your right to compensation. Read on and follow the steps below.
Contact the Police
If a Lyft struck your vehicle, then call the police, who can send an officer out to write a police report. This report will prove very helpful later when you make an insurance claim. California law requires that you report any accident that causes a physical injury (no matter how minor) or $1,000 of damage.
If you were just a passenger in a Lyft, ask the driver if he or she will call the police. If not, then use your cell phone to do so.
Get an Ambulance, if Necessary
Everyone’s health after a Lyft accident should be a priority. Ask if anyone involved in the collision needs a doctor and call emergency services if they do. Prompt medical treatment can often make the difference between making a full recovery and suffering for years with physical complications.
Swap Insurance Information after a Lyft Accident
The Lyft driver should be covered with insurance, so get the insurance information. Share your own insurance information (if you were injured driving your vehicle). Lyft passengers should also make sure to get all insurance information, so you will know where to submit their claim.
Liability in a Lyft accident works like this: whichever driver is responsible for the crash will have to pay compensation. If you were a passenger in the Lyft, then either the Lyft driver or another motorist might be to blame. Often you won’t know ahead of time who is at fault, which is why it is important to get everyone’s insurance information.
Take Pictures of the Damage to the Vehicles
A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Use your smartphone to take pictures of all vehicles involved in the Lyft accident. If possible, get a quick picture of them before they are moved to the side of the road (though it’s okay if you can’t). Remember to zoom in on the vehicle where it made contact with another vehicle.
An attorney will use these pictures to help piece together who is responsible for the collision. For example, if a driver rear-ended your Lyft, then chances are that driver is at fault for the collision. Photographic evidence can come in handy for this reason.
Receive Prompt Medical Care
If you weren’t so badly injured that you needed an ambulance, you should get to the hospital soon after leaving the accident scene. Have a doctor check you out and make sure to tell them that you were involved in a car accident. Remember that some symptoms won’t show up for a day or two, so always receive treatment as soon as you suspect something is wrong.
Also follow your doctor’s orders. If your doctor recommends you stay in bed, then stay in bed. Failure to follow your doctor’s orders could cause you to receive less compensation for your injuries.
Hold onto Proof of Economic Losses
You can receive compensation for all sorts of economic losses caused by the Lyft accident, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
The burden is on you, the victim, to prove how much you lost, so save all bills, receipts, repair estimates, etc. These will serve as proof of your economic losses. Generally, you’ll receive 100% unless you were partially to blame for the accident, in which case the amount will be reduced by your proportion of fault.
Document Your Injuries
Cuts, bruises, and abrasions will disappear with time, so you want to fully document how bad they were after the crash. Take color photographs of all your wounds.
Also document how much pain you feel after the Lyft accident. California law allows you to receive some money to make up for pain, inconvenience, anger, depressions, etc. You can keep a journal in which you write how badly you feel on a day to day basis and how your injuries have disrupted your life.
Submit a Claim with the Insurance Companies
You will submit a demand to the insurance company for the driver who is responsible for the accident:
- If your Lyft driver is to blame, you submit your claim to that insurer.
- If another driver is to blame, you submit your claim to that insurer.
Just to be safe, you should submit your claim to all insurance companies that you have information for. You should be able to submit your claim online or over the telephone. The insurance company will need basic information about yourself and the accident.
Remember, the insurance companies will need to investigate the Lyft accident to allocate fault. Once they decide who is to blame, you will negotiate with that insurance company for compensation. Lyft drivers have insurance policies worth $1 million. They also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which will kick in if you have economic losses not covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Hire an Attorney
Negotiating a settlement is sometimes difficult, especially if you were badly injured. Insurance companies are not eager to pay out large settlements, so you might need to go back and forth with an insurance adjuster before you reach a settlement you are happy with. This takes time, experience, and legal skill.
We can help. Wakeford Gelini is an established personal injury law firm representing San Francisco and all of Marin County. If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, you should contact us right now. We can make sure you submit your demand for compensation in a timely manner, and we can also file a lawsuit if negotiations break down.
Contact us today. We offer a free, confidential consultation to those who call 415-569-7495.