When we enter the backseat of a rideshare vehicle, we only think about reaching our destination safely and on time. None of us ever think that we could be the victims of a serious car accident. But even the best-rated rideshare drivers can cause an accident. Indeed, it happens more often than you might think. Recent research suggests that Lyft and other ridesharing services have contributed to a 3% rise in the overall rate of car accidents in the United States. These accidents are also sometimes deadly
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If you or a loved one are involved in an accident caused by a the actions of your Lyft driver, the experienced Maryland Lyft accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can help you with your Lyft accident claim.
As with any car wreck, rideshare accidents can cause immediate and long-term harm to you and your family. You may suffer from an injury that keeps you from functioning normally. That injury may keep you from returning to work, or from working at the same level you used to. What’s more, you could be left with a severely damaged or completely nonfunctional vehicle.
But, who do you hold responsible? If you were injured by the careless driving of a rideshare driver, the natural inclination is to go after that driver. But that is not the only option. In fact, you may have to deal with the driver, Lyft, and various insurance companies to get the compensation you deserve.
If you were injured in a Lyft accident anywhere in Maryland, the car accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can help. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and explore all possible sources of recovery. We will explain your options to you, and if you choose to move forward, we will hold all negligent parties accountable to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Generally speaking, damages following a car accident are designed to make you whole. That means you could be entitled to recover:
If you are unable to continue working your current job or a similar one because of injuries caused by the accident, you may be able to recover your lost income or your lost earning potential. This money is meant to approximate what you would have earned had you not been injured.
Injuries caused by car accidents are expensive. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden yourself. You can recover the cost to treat your injuries after your accident and any long-term therapy those injuries require. For this reason, it’s important that you carefully track your medical expenses and appointments following your accident.
Emotional damages or pain and suffering may also be compensable. These damages are meant to compensate you for the suffering you endured, physical and emotional, because of the negligent Lyft driver. Talk to an experienced Lyft accident lawyer to learn more about whether your situation may qualify you for these damages.
In rare cases, if your driver acts with extreme negligence, called gross negligence, it may be possible to recover punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the negligent party, whereas other damages are meant to compensate accident victims.
Before we start thinking about a lawsuit, it’s important to know that one, if not multiple, insurance policies may be implicated by the accident. First and foremost, Lyft requires drivers to maintain insurance coverage that meets state requirements. That said, many individual policies will not apply when the driver is working for Lyft, so the driver’s own insurance policy is likely not the end of the road for accident victims.
That said, Lyft also has insurance that can apply when the driver’s Lyft App is turned on and an individual policy does not cover the damage.
After a Lyft accident, you may be contacted by an insurance company or by an attorney representing another party. It could be the company that provides Lyft’s insurance, the driver’s insurance company, or the insurance company covering a third party. These insurance companies, or even attorneys representing other injured parties, may ask you for statements, declarations, waivers, or to sign some document. You should not speak with them without an attorney; you can politely inform them that you’d like to reschedule your conversation until after you’ve had the chance to speak to an attorney.
While it may seem silly, it is very easy to accidentally waive certain rights in these conversations, or limit your ability to recover all the money to which you may be entitled. For that reason, you should always check with an attorney before signing anything or talking to anyone after an accident in which you were injured.
If you must talk to another party or an insurance company, try to reduce the conversation to writing. For example, feel free to ask for an email address to which you can direct follow up questions. Then, after the conversation, you can go ahead and respond to that email address, thanking the person for their time and include a summary of the conversation.
This way, there is a record of what was discussed. You can use this method to reduce to writing any important conversation that you have in the moments and days after an accident.
Lyft drivers are most often considered independent contractors, and for that reason, holding Lyft itself responsible for its driver’s actions can be incredibly difficult. For that reason, it is best to talk an experienced Lyft car accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether Lyft may be liable.
For example, if the driver should never have been driving, or if the driver has a history of negligent driving, Lyft may be liable. The Lyft accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long have experience investigating these accident claims and can help you explore your options.
If you find yourself in an accident involving a Lyft driver in Maryland, here are a few things you should do:
Contact the police right away and make a report. You will need this for your insurance company and, if it comes to it, your lawsuit. Do not let your driver, another passenger, or a third party convince you not to file a police report. They are extremely important. Also be sure to take note of which department is filing out the police report, especially if they cannot give you a copy at the scene of the accident.
Even if you do not think you were injured, make sure to seek medical attention and have yourself checked out by a doctor. Sometimes, the symptoms from an injury caused by a car accident can creep up days, or even weeks, later, and you want to be prepared. Seeking medical attention will help your case as well, as it will provide a documented source of the damage caused by the rideshare driver’s careless driving.
While it may not be the first thing on your mind at the time of a crash, take pictures, take down the names of drivers and witnesses, and document everything. You should also try to reduce any conversation to writing. Your lawyer will need these things later.
You should photograph any injuries you have as well. After the accident, try to obtain a copy of the accident report from the police and, if necessary, have your insurance company perform a valuation of the damage.
You will need to contact the rideshare company to let them know what happened. You can usually report the crash either through the app or online. For example, Lyft lets customers and drivers report online by filing out a form.
Keep track of all of your out-of-pocket expenses and any work or activities you miss. Maintain a journal or log of all of your doctor’s visits, test results, prescriptions, treatments, or other relevant medical information from the doctor. While you may think you can remember these facts, as time goes on, and as you attend more and more appointments related to the accident, the exact dates and purpose of doctors’ appointments may become hazy. Furthermore, it’s easy to forget about small expenses, especially early on. But, these expenses add up and are important to fully capture all the damages that you may be able to recover.
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Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney at Regan Zambri Long can help you in the event that you or a loved one is suffering from a traumatic brain injury. For example, we can help:
Following any kind of accident, especially when a Lyft driver is involved, you are going to have questions about how to move forward. What exactly takes place with the insurance? Do you agree to the terms of the deal that have been presented to you? What should you do if the individual who caused the injury tells you that you can “work it out” and don’t need to involve the insurance companies or lawyers? In order to allow you to focus on getting better, our Maryland Lyft accident lawyers will answer to any questions you have and handle any interactions with insurance companies on your behalf.
It may be that insurance payments alone will not cover your losses caused by a negligent Lyft driver. If that happens, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. If this is the case, working with a Maryland Lyft accident attorney can greatly increase your ability to win.
Furthermore, we are able to draft demand letters, become involved in the negotiation process at an early stage in order to ensure that your interests are represented, and present your case in an informal manner. Early advocacy can help you get the relief you need quickly and without having to resort to formal legal action if you use these methods.
To protect your case, we will need evidence to prove who is responsible. We collaborate closely with investigators, expert witnesses, and medical professionals to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, long-term care, lost wages, and lost earning potential, as well as for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the accident.
If our experienced Lyft accident attorneys can’t get you the results you need through aggressive early advocacy, we are ready and willing to take the case all the way to court on your behalf. You are not just another case to us, and because of this, Regan Zambri Long is prepared to see your case through to its conclusion regardless of the opponent.