Rideshare companies like Lyft have changed the way many Americans get around. The simplicity and convenience of the process make ridesharing an attractive option. Not having to worry about dealing with parking frustrations is another benefit. Rideshare companies can also serve as “designated drivers” for people who don’t want to drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, riding with a Lyft driver is not without its risks. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a Lyft driver in Suburban Maryland, you might be able to recover damages. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, we know that rideshare accidents can be devastating. We have over 40 years of experience protecting the rights of our clients, and we’re dedicated to helping victims of accidents seek compensation. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you.
Common Causes of Lyft Accidents
Rideshare accidents are on the rise, especially as their services grow in popularity. Like any other drivers, Lyft drivers can drive carelessly at times and cause accidents. Common causes of Lyft accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving on unfamiliar roads
- Unsafe pickup or parking locations
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The convenience of a rideshare service like Lyft does not negate the risks associated with being on the road. Placing your trust in another driver is a normal part of ridesharing. If your trip ends in a crash rather than a safe arrival, you may be able to take legal action.
Who is responsible for a Lyft accident?
Determining responsibility or liability in a Lyft accident is not always straightforward. Who is at fault depends on the circumstances of your accident. If a Lyft driver is actively engaged with their Lyft app at the time of the accident, Lyft may bear responsibility for the driver’s negligence. If you had a crash with a Lyft driver who was not working at the time, your only option might be to file a claim on their personal insurance policy.
If another person is responsible for the crash, neither the Lyft driver nor the rideshare company can be held liable. Instead, liability rests with the at-fault driver. Their insurance company would be responsible for paying your injury claim.
Compensation Available After a Lyft Accident
If you were injured in an accident involving a Lyft driver, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation will depend on the specific facts about your accident and the extent of your injuries. When a personal injury attorney is estimating the value of your case, they will consider the money you need for things like:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy or long-term care
- Lost wages
- Lost income earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Determining a fair and just amount of compensation takes skill. Approaching a defendant’s insurance company with an unreasonable demand may hurt negotiations. Asking for too little money may leave you without adequate resources. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, our skilled attorneys know how to estimate your case to maximize your compensation while maintaining a strong negotiating position with insurers.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer After a Lyft Accident
Obtaining legal representation for your accident claim is not required. Some injured people choose to represent themselves in the personal injury claims process. This can result in mistakes that can lead to an unsuccessful lawsuit. Self-representation oftentimes leads to settling for far less money than you might get if you used a lawyer.
You can benefit from hiring an attorney for your Lyft accident claim because your lawyer may have:
- Resources to thoroughly investigate your accident to determine fault
- Access to medical experts and accident reconstruction specialists
- Understanding of the legal claims process
- An ability to negotiate with multiple parties at once
- The skills needed to represent you in a trial if negotiations don’t succeed
Personal injury claims can be complex. Mistakes can be costly and can even result in your case being dismissed. Many injury claims are settled in negotiations, but if a trial is required, having a strong litigator on your side protects you.
The Clock Is Ticking
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Lyft accident, time may be running out to file your claim. The statute of limitations for Lyft accidents in Maryland gives an injured victim a three-year window in which to file a lawsuit. If you do not initiate your claim within this period, you will lose the right to see compensation for your injuries.
If you lost a loved one in a crash that involved a Lyft driver, you might have the right to sue for wrongful death damages. Maryland law provides three years from the date of death to start a claim of this kind.
Call Our Suburban Maryland Lyft Accident Lawyers
At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, we represent injured victims in Maryland. With over one billion dollars recovered for our clients, you can trust that we will work hard for you. Contact us today to see how we may be able to help you.