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Santa Barbara Lyft Accident Lawyer

Maison Law represents those that have been hurt in Santa Barbara Lyft accidents. Most of the time, this happens when you’re a passenger, but not always. Regardless of the circumstances you have legal rights and options. To make this challenging process easier, contact our team of Santa Barbara car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

You don’t technically need a lawyer in any injury claim in California. However, given that a Lyft accident is a bit unique in terms of a normal car accident, having our experienced team on your side can help.

We approach these accidents in much the same way as we do any other car accident, with added emphasis on:

  • Explaining your rights and options
  • Figuring out liability and insurance questions
  • Helping you gather evidence and data from Lyft itself
  • Negotiating with insurance companies

Most of all, we just want to make this process easier for you. Being hurt is difficult enough, but when you also have to try to face the legal process by yourself, it can be even more challenging. Worse, you might not get everything you need to recover.

What Are Your Damages in a Lyft Accident?

A key part of the injury claims process after a Lyft accident is your damages. Some would argue that this is the main point of your legal protections as an injury victim, and there’s a lot of truth in it. Most Lyft accidents will leave you facing some sort of injury or damage. So, California law gives you the opportunity to file a claim to recover these “damages” from the person or party responsible for the accident itself.

These damages are taken into account by the insurance company when offering settlements, but you can also get them by filing a lawsuit. Generally, a Lyft accident claim includes the following types of damages: 

  • Medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Potential loss of future income, especially for permanent injuries
  • Costs of repairing your vehicle or other damaged property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma from the accident
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death expenses

 

Again, every case is different, so your damages won’t necessarily be the same as others that have been in their own Lyft accidents. What’s important to remember is that you have the legal right to file a claim, as long as you file within California’s statute of limitation of two years from the date of the accident.

Who Pays For My Lyft Accident Damages?

Because a Lyft accident is still a car accident in the eyes of the law, it means that the process and guidelines for determining liability–who pays for your damages–is the same as any other car accident in California. However, there are notable differences in a Lyft accident, primarily as it relates to insurance coverage.

In a Lyft accident, the driver is considered an “independent contractor,” with their personal car insurance covering losses. Nonetheless, California law mandates Lyft drivers to carry additional liability and uninsured motorist insurance while on a trip. If not logged into the system, their personal insurance applies, which has to meet the following minimums:

  • When the driver is logged into Lyft’s app but hasn’t picked up a passenger, there’s a requirement for coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per incident.

 

  • If the driver isn’t logged into Lyft’s system, their personal insurance applies, which could be as low as California’s minimum coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident.

Despite insurance coverage, liability ultimately hinges on negligence. This means proving:

  • The Lyft driver or party had a duty to drive safely.
  • They breached this duty.
  • The breach caused the accident.
  • Your injuries and other damages were primarily caused by the accident in question.

As with any car accident, others could potentially share liability, like:

  • Other drivers
  • Passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Construction workers
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Government agencies

Obviously, just how liable everyone is depends on the circumstances. But it’s extremely important to nail down all of these potential parties because that’s who pays for your damages. Another key to the process, though, is to make your claim as strong as possible.

How Can You Strengthen Your Lyft Accident Claim?

It’s up to you to show the extent of your damages when you file an injury claim after a Lyft accident. This isn’t just about evidence–it’s also about how you react and respond in the immediate aftermath of the accident itself. So, in order to make sure your claim is as strong as possible, you have to make sure to do the following:

 

  • Take care of your health – First, call an ambulance. EMTs should arrive on the scene, and provide immediate medical care. Once you’re stabilized, you should get further care at a hospital. Some injuries won’t show up right away.

  • Gather evidence – Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicles, location, road conditions, and injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses.

  • Report the accident – Call the local police, whether it be the Santa Barbara PD or Kern County Sheriff’s Office and obtain a copy of the police report.

  • Inform Lyft – Report the accident through the Lyft app, including the driver’s information. They have procedures for accidents, but it’s important that they know about it.

  • Preserve evidence and records – Keep all records about the accident, like medical bills and messages with Lyft or insurance. Also, don’t repair or replace any damaged property right away. Remember to also be careful talking about the accident online, as insurance companies might look at what you say.

By following these steps and keeping good records, your claim will be stronger. And remember, our team will be there to support your claim as it progresses through the system.

Injuries in Lyft Accidents

Because Lyft is one of the most popular rideshare services, many people use it to get around Santa Barbara. Many rides happen in more crowded areas of the city, like downtown, Laguna, or the airport. Along those same lines, these rides happen during peak outdoor events or nightlife, meaning there’s many different distractions and other impairments in play.

With that in mind, the injuries often seen in these accidents are similar to those in regular car accidents, like:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Knee injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Psychological trauma, like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

 

Facing any injury is challenging, but even more so in a Lyft accident. You have no control over the vehicle, and as such, you can’t really avoid the accident even if you see it coming. This makes the legal process vital to your recovery, and when that’s the case, our team will be there to support you.

Contact Maison Law After a Lyft Accident in Santa Barbara

When you call for a Lyft in Santa Barbara, you’re reasonably sure that your trip will be a safe one. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and can leave you with extensive injuries that impact your life. At Maison Law, we know how difficult this can be and will be there to support your recovery. To get the process started, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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