The simple answer to whether or not you can sue after a Lyft accident is yes. However, there are variables to consider. Anytime you are injured in an accident caused by another person, you have the right to sue for damages. This includes being injured while on public transportation, in a taxi, or utilizing a rideshare service like Lyft. If the Lyft driver is at fault for an accident that occurred while you were in the vehicle, you can sue.
Currently, Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, which means the Lyft company is not liable for their actions. You may sue the driver, but you cannot sue Lyft. However, many people in the legal field are attempting to change that due to the subtle line differentiating between an employee and an independent contractor. Even though Lyft asserts that all drivers are independent, they are dictated by so many rules to be drivers that many are arguing that they are employees. If someone is successful in proving that Lyft drivers are employees, Lyft as a company will also be liable, which will dramatically change your options when seeking compensation.
When you are in an accident caused by a Lyft driver, you need to be aware of what you should do to protect yourself because no one else at the accident scene is going to have your best interests in mind. Here are the vital steps you need to take to ensure you are protected and get the compensation you deserve.
1. Call the police and file a report.
If it is a minor accident, those responsible may suggest just exchanging information or convincing you not to call the police. Getting a police report of the accident is crucial. Always call the police and make sure a police report is filed.
2. Get contact information from any witnesses and take photos.
If you are seriously injured, and emergency services have been called, this is not possible. However, if you or someone else with you is able, get contact information for anyone around that witnessed the accident happen. Sometimes people leave before the police arrive to take a report or don’t want to talk to the police or provide personal information. You can ask for their name and number in case you need it later. Also, if possible, take photos of the entire scene, your vehicle, the other vehicle, all damage, marks on the road, and the area around the accident. Your lawyer will use these to piece together what happened and to demonstrate the severity of the accident.
3. Get medical attention.
Even if emergency services are unnecessary at the moment, you need to get checked out medically. Sometimes injuries do not become apparent until later. You could have a concussion, internal bleeding, or other physical trauma that is not visible at the time of the accident. With your adrenaline pumping, you may not start feeling pain until hours after the accident. This is why you shouldn’t drive while high or under the influence of medications that could impair your abilities to drive safely. It is crucial to seek medical attention for your health and potential legal action as soon as possible.
4. Call an attorney and do not talk to anyone.
As soon as you are home, call a Lyft accident attorney to represent you. Offices like Daniel Kim Law have experience handling lawsuits involving rideshare drivers and extensive knowledge of the laws applicable to those cases. They can collect all the available information and provide you with solid representation. Representatives from the insurance companies or people representing the Lyft driver may contact you and ask seemingly innocent questions; they are trying to get information that they can use against you in a potential court case. Do not talk to anyone except your lawyer.