Hundreds of thousands of people hail Lyft cars to move them across California each year. Logging all those miles on local roads, while working a demanding job from behind the wheel puts rideshare drivers at extra risk of accidents. Unfortunately, if you’re a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash, you are also at risk of serious injury.
Your fate is tied to the caution the driver shows, which may not be good news. Rideshare drivers work in a fast-paced environment with lots of notifications from their phones. It adds up to a lot of distraction and a lot of hazards while traveling alongside other vehicles. As a passenger, you can feel like your safety is out of your hands.
Dangers on Lyft Rides in California
Lyft drivers count on their phones and the Lyft app to bring in customers, help find their locations, and handle collecting the fare. Each notification or chime draws a driver’s eyes from the road.
Even when phones are mounted at eye level they can be less than hands-free. Drivers still must tap to accept a ride request. Those mounted phones can also block out a big section of the windshield to create a blind spot making travel even dicier.
You could be watching this all happen from the front or rear seat as a passenger The driver may even become reckless trying to get you to your destination faster. This behavior endangers you and everyone else in the lane. The result can be a serious crash and a painful injury.
What to Do After a Crash During a Lyft Ride
It would be nice to think that Lyft would have your back if you get in an accident while riding in one of their vehicles. Sadly, that’s often not the case. Lyft forces its drivers to remain independent to make it easier to transfer all accident liability to their employees.
Even though you are hurt in an accident while riding in the backseat, you’ll still need to prove your injury case to the insurance company that will be covering your claim. You’ll first be calling upon the at-fault driver’s personal car insurance policy for help and that may be the Lyft Driver or it could be the other driver involved in the crash. It’ll depend on who police find at-fault. If you file your first accident claim on the Lyft driver’s car insurance there’s a good chance it’ll get rejected when agents find out their policyholder was driving professionally. You would then move forward to request compensation from Lyft.
Lyft carries up to a million dollars in insurance coverage but it is only available in certain situations. With all these challenges to getting support for your injuries ahead, it’s important to build as strong of a case as possible.
That means if you’re able you should begin collecting evidence right there on the scene of the accident. Call 911 first, but then start documenting what happened.
- Give all details to investigators. Make sure they know the driver is a rideshare employee. Let them know if you saw any of the drivers involved acting recklessly or playing with a cellphone. Have paramedics document every pain you have.
- Snap pictures. Use your phone to save photos and videos of the scene. Take pictures of the cars involved, street signs, and lane markings. Show any visible injuries you have and any damage to your possessions. Note or show the time of day and the weather conditions. Show any Lyft signage on the car or on clothing.
- Get contact information from witnesses and find out what they saw. Ask them if they observed the driver proceeding aggressively.
- Exchange information with the Lyft driver any any other drivers involved in the accident. Get the Lyft employees worker identification number and their personal insurance information. You may already have some of this information on the Lyft app. Take a picture of everyone’s driver’s license.
- Make an appointment with your physician. Get everything checked out and note any new pain that arises in the days after the incident.
Reporting an Accident to Lyft as a Passenger
Let Lyft know that you’ve been in a crash. They will want to write up a report. Don’t give too much information on how badly you are hurt. Just say you’re not sure. That is the truth, because you may not know how badly you are injured until a doctor checks you out in the coming days.
Lyft has an in-app safety center that will automatically connect you with 911 if you haven’t called them already. That app may automatically alert 911 operators to your location and pass along information about the vehicle you’re in.
Once 911 has been alerted, you’ll also find a button to connect with the Lyft Claims Customer Care Team where you can report your accident.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Serving California Victims
Your next step should be to talk over the details of your collision with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer. After an accident involving Lyft, a member of the Lyft team may contact you for a recorded statement. Politely decline. Speak to an attorney before giving any statement that might hurt your case.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury and the accident involved a Lyft vehicle, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Whether you were hit by a Lyft driver, injured as a passenger, or injured as a Lyft driver let us determine your best path to securing the support you’ll need in recovery.