San Bernardino Lyft Accident Lawyers
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San Bernardino Lyft Accident Lawyers
Lyft offers popular ridesharing services that provide immense benefits to many people in San Bernardino. Ridesharing services offer a safe ride home if you have a little too much to drink while out for the evening in the Fourth Street entertainment district, provide an easy way to get to the San Bernardino International Airport without taking your car along, and offer a great way to get to and from events at the Glen Helen Amphitheater if you do not have a car of your own or do not want to drive there.
However, Lyft drivers have just as much risk of causing an accident as other types of drivers. In fact, Lyft drivers may have an even higher likelihood of ending up in an accident, since they likely spend more time behind the wheel than the average driver. While Lyft has rules that require a driver to go offline for at least six hours following a maximum twelve-hour shift, drivers still have a lot of time on the road, which may lead to brain fog, fatigue, and increased risk of distraction.
Did you suffer injuries in an accident with a Lyft driver? Gomez Trial Attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your Lyft accident.
SEVERE SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT INJURIES: RECOVERY, COSTS, AND LIFELONG CONSEQUENCES
While Lyft requires the vehicles driven by its drivers to meet certain safety standards and limits the time that drivers may spend on the road, that does not mean that passengers won’t suffer severe injuries in an accident, especially if an oncoming car strikes the vehicle on the passenger side. Many Lyft accident victims can face immense medical bills and long-term physical repercussions from their injuries.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Traumatic brain injury can result whenever you suffer a serious bump, blow, or jolt to your head or body during an accident. Even minor traumatic brain injury can leave victims suffering from symptoms long after the accident, including memory loss, trouble with focus and concentration, difficulty with short-term memory, and processing difficulties. Victims of traumatic brain injuries can also suffer immense emotional distress.
If the victim suffers an injury to the part of the brain that regulates emotion, the victim may have trouble controlling emotions or preventing outbursts. The victim may also experience extreme emotions or struggle to react appropriately to specific emotional stimuli. In addition, traumatic brain injury can impact sleep, vision, and hearing.
BACK AND NECK INJURIES
Victims with severe back and neck injuries often struggle to take on ordinary self-care tasks or to manage their work responsibilities. Back and neck pain can make it difficult to either sit or stand for long. Worse, many victims may suffer from spinal cord injuries, which can cause a loss of function and mobility below the site of the injury.
Many victims with spinal cord injuries struggle with the long-term impact of those injuries: time spent in a wheelchair, severely changed physical capability, and lack of sensation below the site of the injury, for example.
Victims of Lyft accidents may lose limbs in such accidents. Limb amputation can occur at any point on a limb, depending on where the injury occurs. Following limb amputation, many amputees opt to use prosthetic limbs. Prosthetics can offer a more normal appearance and, in some cases, replace some of the functions of the missing limb. Unfortunately, these devices can also lead to significant expenses throughout victims’ lives, especially considering that the average prosthesis only lasts between three and five years.
Around 0.1 percent of car accidents, including Lyft accidents, may result in cars catching on fire. If flames consume the vehicle in which you ride, you may suffer severe burns before you can get out. Burn victims often suffer severe, long-term trauma related to their injuries and the scarring that results. Burn victims often have a long road to recovery ahead of them—in many cases, one filled with potential complications.
To stave off the risk of infection, many burn victims will spend time in special burn units in the hospital, where the sterile environment will significantly reduce the risk of infection. Burn victims may also have immense scarring from their injuries. Some victims have a hard time dealing with the psychological trauma associated with those scars.
EVALUATING COMPENSATION FOR SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT INJURIES
A settlement or judgment following a Lyft accident cannot turn back the clock and prevent your accident, nor can it repair the damage to your body. But, a legal claim can provide you with much-needed funds that may help you pay off your medical bills, cover your usual living expenses during your recovery, and rebuild your life following severe injuries from a Lyft accident. Many Lyft accident victims often wonder how much compensation to expect from their claims.
Lyft offers its drivers a comprehensive insurance policy that can provide substantial compensation for any injuries that passengers may suffer in an accident. The amount that an injured individual may claim will depend on several critical factors, discussed in further detail below.
THE COST OF YOUR MEDICAL BILLS
Ideally, you should carefully track all medical bills related to your Lyft accident. These bills can add up quickly and, in many cases, unexpectedly. You may, for example, receive more than one medical bill for the same procedure, especially if your injuries require surgery or a complicated procedure. You can include the cost of your medical bills as part of a Lyft accident claim. Talk to an attorney about how to calculate your past medical expenses or offer proof of those bills if you no longer have copies of them or have already paid them.
You may need to include the following expenses in your claim:
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency room care
- Surgeries and procedures
- A stay in a long-term care facility
- In-home care
- Durable medical equipment, especially equipment you will need permanently because of your injuries
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Psychological therapy
In addition to your other medical bills, consider the cost of changes you may have needed to make to your home or vehicle following your Lyft accident. For example, if you must use a wheelchair due to spinal cord injuries or limb amputations, you may need to widen doorways, drop countertops, and install wheelchair ramps to help increase your independence. An attorney can help you evaluate how to include these costs as part of your San Bernardino Lyft claim.
MISSED TIME AT WORK
Severe injuries can lead to a lot of missed time at work, especially if your employer cannot work with you to bring you back to work or to allow you to work from home as soon after your accident as possible. Some employers will help modify your work expectations to allow you to get back to work sooner. Others, however, will require you to stay at home while recovering from your injuries. How quickly you can return to work will also depend on what type of work you perform.
Missed work can lead to a substantial drop in your income, especially if your paid time off or short-term disability runs out early in your recovery.
In addition to missed work immediately after your accident, you may have the right to include other missed wages as part of your San Bernardino Lyft claim. Did complications in your recovery cause you to miss more time? Did you have to go back on a modified schedule to accommodate your injuries? Did appointments and therapy during your recovery cause you to miss additional time at work? Talk to an attorney to learn more about how to include these elements as part of your San Bernardino Lyft claim.
PAIN AND SUFFERING RELATED TO YOUR INJURIES
In addition to the financial losses associated with your injuries, you may experience non-financial losses that cause immense difficulty in your life. Most civil cases, including Lyft accident claims, will include a segment of compensation for the pain and suffering you faced because of your injuries. You can include things like loss of enjoyment of life, missed opportunities and events, and the physical pain that you’ve had to deal with following your accident.
DETERMINING LIABILITY FOLLOWING A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT
In some cases, you may know that your Lyft driver caused the accident. Some Lyft drivers may get cocky or commit violations on the road to increase their number of daily passengers. Drivers may speed, ignore red lights and stop signs, or use their cell phones while driving.
Other times, however, you may need more information to fully understand who caused your accident. An attorney can fully evaluate all the elements that may have contributed to your accident. Consider the following potentially at-fault parties:
THE OTHER DRIVER
The Lyft driver may not commit an error or negligent act on the road that leads to a severe accident. Instead, you may notice another driver behaving erratically, speeding, or committing other acts of negligence that contribute to an accident. In those cases, you may need to turn to that driver’s insurance company for initial compensation following your accident.
THE VEHICLE’S MANUFACTURER
Sometimes, you may suffer serious injuries in an accident caused by mechanical failure. The engine may lock up, the brakes may lock up, and the driver may have little chance to slow the vehicle or bring it to a safe stop before an accident occurs. If you suspect that mechanical failure may have contributed to your accident, you may need to turn to the vehicle manufacturer or a manufacturer of one of the vehicle’s parts to receive compensation for your accident.
A MECHANIC WHO RECENTLY WORKED ON THE VEHICLE
If a mechanical error caused the accident, and you find that a mechanic recently worked on that part of the vehicle or a part near it, then you may need to file a claim against the mechanic. That mechanic may have ignored damage to the vehicle or failed to properly take care of the part of the vehicle that needed repair, which may have contributed to the accident. In other cases, mechanics may have accidentally caused damage to the vehicle while taking care of other repairs, which may lead to an accident down the road.
A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU RECOVER COMPENSATION AFTER YOUR LYFT ACCIDENT
After a Lyft accident, get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney with experience handling Lyft accident cases can offer help in several ways as you file and manage your claim.
- A San Bernardino Lyft accident attorney can help investigate your claim. You need an attorney who will evaluate every aspect of your Lyft accident, from all of the parties who may have caused or contributed to your accident to the extent of your injuries and the compensation you may qualify to receive. An attorney can investigate those critical details and even find access to the information you couldn’t access alone.
- A Lyft accident lawyer can determine the value of your claim. Many victims of severe accidents, including Lyft accidents, may not fully understand how much compensation to pursue for severe injuries that stem from such an accident. You may, for example, not know how much compensation to expect through a specific insurance policy, or what costs you deserve compensation for following your accident. An attorney can help evaluate the full costs of your injuries and provide you with more information about the funds you should pursue and expect.
- A personal injury attorney can take over communications with the insurance company on your behalf. Dealing with the insurance company after your Lyft accident can cause a great deal of ongoing stress. An attorney, however, can help alleviate that stress by taking over those interactions on your behalf. Instead of having to deal with the insurance company, you can focus on the physical aspects of your recovery.
SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT FAQS
You suffered severe injuries in a San Bernardino Lyft accident. Now, you have serious questions about your right to compensation, from how much compensation you should expect to the process for filing your claim. Below, we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from Lyft accident victims. Do you have specific questions about your case? Contact an experienced San Bernardino Lyft accident attorney as soon as possible to learn more.
1. ANOTHER DRIVER, NOT THE LYFT DRIVER, CAUSED MY ACCIDENT, BUT I SUFFERED SEVERE INJURIES IN THE ACCIDENT THAT SIGNIFICANTLY EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT OFFERED BY THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY. SHOULD I FILE A CLAIM THROUGH THE LYFT DRIVER’S INSURANCE?
Lyft offers high-coverage insurance policies that can provide up to $1 million in compensation for a single accident, including both compensation for the Lyft driver’s injuries and vehicle and compensation for injuries suffered by any passengers. In some cases, you may have grounds to file a claim through that Lyft insurance even if the Lyft driver did not cause your accident. Talk to our attorneys to learn more about the compensation you should expect after a Lyft accident and the proper way to file your claim.
2. WHO IS FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT?
While the party that caused your accident is liable for your medical bills, that does not mean that the liable party has to pay your medical bills directly. Instead, you may need to make payment arrangements for your medical bills, whether that means paying upfront for services rendered or setting up a payment plan that meets your personal financial needs.
Your medical insurance may cover many of the expenses associated with your injuries; however, you should talk to your insurance provider about how much coverage you have for vital areas of care, including physical therapy and durable medical equipment. We can help you do this.
Once you file a San Bernardino Lyft claim and accept a settlement offer or receive a court award, you can use those funds to pay for medical bills faced because of your injuries. If you have no way to pay your medical bills while waiting for that settlement, you may want to ask your attorney to write a letter of protection, which will lay out your intent to pay your medical bills once you receive your settlement.
3. DOES IT MATTER WHETHER A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT DRIVER HAD A PASSENGER AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT?
Suppose you suffered injuries in an accident with a Lyft driver—not as a Lyft passenger, but as another driver on the road. You can seek compensation through the Lyft driver’s insurance regardless of whether the driver had a passenger; however, the compensation you ultimately receive will vary depending on the circumstances.
If the driver had the app turned off, even if you noticed the Lyft sticker on the driver’s car, you may need to turn to the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy to seek compensation for your injuries, rather than seeking compensation through the Lyft insurance policy.
If the Lyft driver had the app on while waiting for a passenger, but did not have an active client at the time of the accident, the coverage may fall into a lower tier, which may minimize the amount you ultimately receive in compensation for your injuries.
On the other hand, if the Lyft driver had the app turned on and actively had a client, regardless of whether the driver was on the way to pick up that client or had the client in the vehicle at the time of the accident, you can pursue compensation through the higher-tier Lyft insurance.
4. WHAT FOUR STEPS SHOULD I TAKE TO PROTECT MYSELF AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT?
As the passenger in a Lyft vehicle at the time of an accident, you will not have to worry about allegations that you may have caused or contributed to the accident.
However, these four steps can help protect you financially and medically.
- Step One: Report the accident. No matter who caused the accident, if anyone suffered serious injuries or if severe property damage occurred, filing a police report can help protect all parties involved. Stay at the scene of the accident and provide an accurate report of anything you noticed leading up to the accident. Give an accurate assessment of what you saw. Do not pretend that you saw something that you did not, but do provide the police with an accurate assessment of exactly what you saw leading up to the accident.
- Step Two: Seek medical attention. You may believe that you walked away from the Lyft accident with only minor injuries or none at all. You might expect some stiffness the next day but assume that you will otherwise suffer no complications. Unfortunately, many severe injuries may not appear immediately after your accident. You can suffer traumatic brain injury without realizing that you lost consciousness or suffer severely broken bones that you fail to notice immediately after the accident. A doctor can fully evaluate your injuries and ensure that you receive the medical care you need immediately after your accident. That trip to the emergency room or an urgent care center can also serve another vital purpose: it provides evidence of exactly when your injuries took place. If you do not seek medical attention, you may later struggle to prove when your injuries occurred.
- Step Three: Contact your medical insurance provider. Following a serious car accident, you need to notify your medical insurance provider about your injuries and what led to them. Your medical insurance may provide much-needed coverage for many of the medical expenses you will face from your injuries, but you need to know how much coverage you can expect to manage your medical care effectively. You may also want to ask questions about your coverage. How will your San Bernardino Lyft claim affect your right to coverage? How much coverage do you have for specific aspects of your care, including durable medical equipment or physical therapy? Make sure you fully understand your insurance coverage so that you can make critical medical and financial decisions throughout your recovery.
- Step Four: Get in touch with a lawyer. As you manage your San Bernardino Lyft claim, you need someone on your side—someone who will keep your best interests at the forefront and represent your interests rather than those of the insurance company or the party that caused your accident. A lawyer can provide vital support throughout your Lyft accident claim.
5. AFTER MY SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT, THE LYFT DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY CALLED AND OFFERED ME A SETTLEMENT. SHOULD I TAKE IT?
A settlement offer may look incredibly tempting after your Lyft accident, especially if you have bills piling up. The insurance adjuster may call you with a very tempting offer or even pressure you to accept a settlement offer quickly, with the warning that the company may take it off the table if you fail to respond quickly. You may feel trapped between a rock and a hard place: turn it down and potentially receive less or accept an offer that may not reflect the full value of your claim?
Sometimes, insurance companies will try to take advantage of a victim’s confusion following an accident with severe injuries. These companies may try to contact you in the initial, vulnerable days after your accident, when you have no idea what your future will look like or how your injuries will impact you long-term. Often, the company will issue a very low settlement offer in those early days: one that does not reflect the full costs of your injuries and will not even allow you to manage your medical expenses.
Instead of accepting an offer without fully understanding your legal rights, get in touch with a lawyer. A lawyer can go to bat for you, help you determine the true value of your claim, and guide you throughout the legal process.
6. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REACH A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT?
You cannot expect to simply walk out of the hospital with a reasonable settlement agreement already in hand after your Lyft accident. It takes time to investigate your accident and recover compensation.
You need to consider:
The investigation. Depending on the complexity of the accident, it can take a considerable amount of time to fully investigate your Lyft accident. Your attorney may need time to go over the driver’s records and accident history, as well as time to determine how much compensation you qualify to pursue for your injuries. Not only that, your attorney may need to investigate the full extent of your injuries and the limitations that they may place on your life following the accident. The Lyft driver’s insurance company will also need to investigate the accident.
Your recovery. Because a large portion of your Lyft accident claim will depend on the extent of your medical bills after a severe accident, your recovery can play a role in the length of time necessary to settle your Lyft accident claim. Many injuries, including burns and spinal cord injuries, may lead to additional complications that can increase your recovery time as well as your medical expenses.
In many cases, your doctors may not know what your eventual prognosis will look like until as long as six months after your initial accident. After a spinal cord injury, for example, you may need time for the swelling around your spine to go down so that your doctors can assess how much mobility you will have going forward. Following a traumatic brain injury, your doctors may need ample time to gauge your recovery.
Your attorney may advise waiting until you reach that point in your recovery before filing your San Bernardino Lyft claim, since your prognosis will impact how much compensation you should seek for your accident.
Negotiation. You may need to go through several rounds of negotiation to reach a settlement agreement with the liable party’s insurance company. Each round of negotiation may add to the time needed for you to recover maximum compensation.
Lawsuit/Mediation. Some Lyft accident claims will not settle through negotiation. The insurance company may try to insist that you did not really suffer such severe injuries in the accident, or that you deserve considerably less compensation than you claim. If you cannot reach an agreement through negotiation, you may need to file a lawsuit, go through mediation, or, in some cases, take your claim to trial. Each additional stage of the legal process can add to the overall length of time necessary to settle your claim.
7. HOW OFTEN DO SAN BERNARDINO LYFT ACCIDENT CLAIMS PROCEED TO LITIGATION?
In most Lyft accident claims, like most other claims, the insurance company will try to reach a settlement agreement out of court, rather than forcing you to take your claim to court. Going to court can add significantly to the legal expenses associated with the claim for both sides. Since the insurance company usually wants to reduce expenses as much as possible, most of the time, victims will reach an agreement out of court.
Most often, a Lyft accident claim will have to go to court due to disputed liability. The insurance company might, for example, claim that the Lyft driver did not cause the accident and that another party bears liability for the accident. In other cases, the insurance company may try to dispute the full extent of your injuries: claiming that you suffered your injuries at another time or that your injuries cause far fewer limitations than you claim.
If you do have to file a lawsuit for your Lyft accident claim, having an experienced attorney on your side can make a huge difference. An attorney can help reduce your stress by preparing you for what to expect in the courtroom, present your claim in the best possible light, and help defend your claim and, for many victims, maximize the benefits of a San Bernardino Lyft claim.
DO YOU NEED A SAN BERNARDINO ATTORNEY AFTER A LYFT ACCIDENT?
After suffering injuries in a San Bernardino Lyft accident, you may need an attorney to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) to schedule your free consultation.
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