Our Team Cares About Your Case
At Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm, our clients always come first. Since our founding in 2000, our legal team has put the needs of our clients above all else, representing the injured and oppressed in our relentless pursuit of justice. We have experience negotiating with and fighting against big insurance firms and feel comfortable taking claims to litigation if necessary.
With an emphasis on health and injury law, our partners are known for their compassion and their resourcefulness. We aim to level the playing field so you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. Proudly serving Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties, Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm is dedicated to serving the community with which we are so deeply connected.
How Did Your Lyft Accident Occur?
When you speak to a personal injury attorney about your claim, one of the first pieces of information they will want to know is how the accident occurred. This matters for several reasons, with likely the most important one being determining who is legally responsible for compensating you and how.
Most Lyft accidents involve one of these two scenarios:
- A negligent Lyft driver who caused an accident that resulted in injury to their passenger or other roadway users, including the occupants of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
- A negligent driver in another vehicle caused an accident with a Lyft car, resulting in injury to the Lyft driver or their passenger.
Suppose the accident resulted from a negligent driver in another vehicle. In that case, you can seek compensation for injuries that meet the state’s serious injury threshold through the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance provider. What happens, however, if the accident was the fault of the Lyft driver? This, it turns out, is where the complexity of Lyft accidents begins.
How Lyft Handles Liability for Accidents?
Lyft, like Uber, has a $1 million third-party liability insurance policy that can compensate for the injuries to Lyft passengers and other roadway users if a negligent Lyft driver causes an accident in certain situations.
Here is a look at the tiered insurance coverage the company provides.
- When a driver signs up to provide ridesharing services through Lyft, one of the requirements is that they maintain at least the state’s minimum amount of required insurance. When the Lyft driver uses their vehicle for personal reasons with their Lyft driver app off, and an accident occurs, the driver’s personal insurance policy coverage applies.
- If a driver has their driver app on and they are waiting for a ride request when they cause an accident, claimants must first seek compensation through the driver’s personal auto liability policy. However, the insurance carrier will often deny the claim because the vehicle was used for rideshare activities without the insurer’s knowledge or the driver paying for additional rideshare coverage. In this circumstance, Lyft makes a third-party liability policy available that includes $50,000 in bodily injury per person/$100,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damages per accident.
- If a driver has their app on and going to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger when they cause an accident, you should first access the driver’s personal policy, with Lyft providing a third-party liability policy of $1 million. Additionally, Lyft provides third-party uninsured/underinsured motorist and comprehensive collision coverage to drivers who have those coverages on their insurance policy.
How Does PIP Work in a Lyft Accident?
Drivers who register their vehicles in Florida must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) policy to provide partial coverage of medical expenses and wage loss related to injuries they incurred, regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident.
This coverage extends to the insured’s household. The policy can also cover expenses and income loss related to injuries the policyholder and their family members incurred while being injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist and will cover the expenses of individuals riding in the insured’s vehicle when an accident occurs.
New Port Richey Lyft drivers are required to meet the minimum insurance requirements in Florida, including the provision of PIP coverage. However, this coverage would likely not extend to the driver’s Lyft passengers in an accident unless the driver made their insurance company aware of their rideshare activities. A personal injury claim is the most likely avenue for obtaining compensation if you were a Lyft passenger injured in an accident.
The Florida Personal Injury Claims Process
After determining liability, the personal injury claims process essentially works the same in a Lyft accident case as in other traffic accident claims. Here are some of the steps to that process.
Hiring an Attorney
Many people hesitate to hire an attorney after a traffic accident because they feel that they cannot afford one or that an attorney will “take” all of their money. In actuality, you will pay our Lyft accident lawyers a contingent fee.
Instead of requiring a large retainer or billing a client by the hour for services, the attorney enters into a contingent fee agreement when they begin working together on the claim. This agreement allows the claimant to withhold payment for their lawyer’s services until a negotiated settlement or award has a positive outcome in the claim.
Having an attorney to help you provides needed experience in this complex type of claim and a deep understanding of the process. Your attorney’s job is to provide both services and guidance to help you navigate the process and make important decisions about your claim.
As explained in the first half of this article, liability is a complex issue in Lyft accident claims. Your attorney will investigate the details of your case to determine all sources of liability and their available insurance resources, as insurance pays most personal injury claims.
Valuing Your Claim
Another essential service your attorney will provide for your Lyft accident claim is a determination of how much the claim is worth.
This is not based solely on the expenses you incurred but rather a consideration of several factors, including:
- Availability of insurance
- Severity of injury
- Presence of permanent injuries that will impair your ability to earn an income
- Past and future quality-of-life impacts of the injury
Once your attorney has determined liability and insurance resources and has helped you establish a value to your claim, they will generally send a demand to the at-fault party’s or third party’s insurance provider. This demand contains details of the accident, documentation of expenses, and a request for payment of the claim’s full value.
An insurance adjuster who works for the insurance company will evaluate claims and determine how much compensation (if any) it should pay. Make no mistake: the insurance adjuster does not work for you or on your behalf. They work for the insurance company, and their interests in the case are opposed to yours. Even a third-party insurance provider’s adjuster for Lyft will usually look for ways to reduce or eliminate the claim.
Negotiating a Settlement
Insurance adjusters have three options available to them after evaluating a claim.
- They can decide to deny the claim. However, they must provide a reason for the denial. As previously stated, the personal auto liability insurers for Lyft drivers often deny claims from injured Lyft passengers and others due to the failure of the driver to disclose their ridesharing activities to the insurer.
- They can accept the demand and process the claim for payment.
- They can offer an out-of-court settlement for less than the claim’s full value.
Usually, when an insurer decides to offer a settlement, the initial offer is far below the claim’s value—often, less than half. When this happens, your attorney can negotiate with the insurer to get them to make a better offer. Your attorney does not decide whether the offer is fair, as that decision is solely yours to make. However, they can guide how the claim is valued so that you can make a well-informed decision.
When the Claim Turns Into a Lawsuit
If the insurer fails to compensate you for your injury, you and your attorney will begin considering filing the claim in civil court as a personal injury lawsuit. This does not end the settlement negotiation phase of the process but often will kick the negotiations into high gear as insurance providers tend to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation when possible.
In Florida, plaintiffs must file most lawsuits within four years of the accident. While this may seem like a long time—and is longer than many states allow—the time can pass quickly. Failing to file your claim within the statute of limitations will result in the inability to use the court system to seek compensation, so minding your case’s deadlines is crucial for a successful outcome.
Up to 96 percent of personal injury claims in the U.S. resolve through out-of-court settlements. If you seek compensation for a New Port Richey Lyft accident, settlement negotiations will probably produce it. However, while that is the likely outcome, there are no guarantees. While litigation is expensive and time-consuming for both parties, the option to place the issue in the hands of the court can get an at-fault party or insurance provider to offer enough compensation to fairly compensate you.
Assistance Collecting Your Award
Whether your case resolves through settlement negotiations or a court decision, your attorney will receive your compensation. They will deduct the percentage you agreed to pay them in the contingent fee agreement, satisfy any other responsibilities in that agreement, and then disburse the remainder of the award to you.