Ridesharing Accidents Can Lead to Serious Injuries
With a population nearing 900,000 people, Indianapolis is a booming Midwestern city as well as the hub of Indiana’s road system. Every day, many Indianapolis residents and workers rely on Lyft for transportation.
Lyft and Uber introduced ridesharing on a broad scale in Indianapolis and nationwide. Both services provide convenient access to rides for customers. Ridesharing can also result in serious injuries if your Lyft ride is in a crash - and determining who is at fault and who should pay for your losses can be complex.
If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, don’t wait. Talk to the experienced Indianapolis Lyft accident lawyers at Tabor Law Firm today.
Lyft Accident Statistics
Lyft currently controls about one-third of the rideshare market in the United States. Lyft’s share of this market has grown in recent years. Lyft is becoming a popular alternative to Uber for passengers who report poor experiences with Uber or who simply want another option.
In 2022, Lyft drivers in the US gave about 80 million total rides. Many of these riders were customers who use the service at least once a month.
Lyft reports about 20 million active users each month, most of whom are concentrated in urban areas like Indianapolis. In fact, urban residents are more than twice as likely to use Lyft as rural residents. The people most likely to use ridesharing services are between ages 18 and 29, including college students.
In Indianapolis, Lyft offers a number of services, from its standard pickup to its “Lux” luxury options. Lyft serves nearly all of metro Indianapolis, including the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport, Noblesville Airport, Sheridan Airport, Westfield Airport, and Pope Field. Lyft drivers also pick up riders at Union Station in Indianapolis.
Is Ridesharing More Dangerous Than Driving?
Many riders choose Lyft because they feel safer traveling as a passenger than a driver. These riders may not have access to a safe vehicle, may not have a driver’s license, may need a ride home from the bar, or may simply feel safer when they aren’t behind the wheel.
Studies indicate, however, that rideshare services may be increasing the number of severe accidents on US roads. A study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found a connection between the rise of ridesharing apps and a 3 percent increase in the number of fatal motor vehicle crashes.
Researchers say that increased traffic from ridesharing leads to an increase in traffic deaths and injuries. Ridesharing puts more cars on the road when people choose Lyft or Uber instead of taking a bus, bicycling, walking, or carpooling.
Statistics indicate that 71 percent of people who walk or bike in good weather hail a Lyft or Uber in poor weather. “Fewer than half of [ride-hailing] rides in nine major metro areas actually substitute for a trip someone would have made in a car,” the University of Chicago researchers noted.
Lyft also encourages drivers to stay on the roads so they can respond to ride requests quickly. Even when a Lyft driver isn’t transporting a person, they add to traffic counts - and expose themselves and others to crash risks.
Other factors can make Lyft rides more dangerous too. In its first publicly released safety report, Lyft reported over 4,000 assaults that occurred on Lyft rides between 2017 and 2019. These numbers included ten people who were killed in assaults during their Lyft rides. In the same period, 105 people died in fatal traffic crashes involving a Lyft driver.
The Lyft safety report did not provide statistics on injuries suffered by Lyft passengers or others involved in crashes with a Lyft. In 2019, however, several women sued Lyft after experiencing sexual assaults during Lyft rides.
Compensation After an Indianapolis Lyft Accident Injury
After an injury in a Lyft accident, you may be able to seek compensation. Compensation covers the losses you suffered as a result of the accident.
Because each Lyft accident is different, the types and amounts of compensation you can seek will also be specific to your case. Common losses that occur in Lyft accident claims include:
- Medical costs, including the costs of surgery, prescription medications, and medical equipment,
- Lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries,
- Lost or damaged property in the crash, such as repair or replacement costs if your vehicle was hit by a Lyft driver,
- Compensation for the pain and suffering you endured in the crash and its aftermath.
Indiana’s statute of limitations limits the time you have after an injury to file a claim. In Indiana, personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of injury in most cases.
Even if you think the time limit has passed, talk to an experienced Lyft injury lawyer. An attorney can help clarify your options for seeking compensation.
Why Indianapolis Lyft Car Accident Claims Can Get Complicated
In an ordinary car accident, one car hits another or a car hits a bicyclist or pedestrian. There may be only two people involved. In a Lyft crash, however, there are always at least three parties involved: the Lyft driver, the passenger, and Lyft itself. If the Lyft vehicle collides with another car, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian, more parties are added to the case.
In most car accidents, auto insurance policies step in to cover many of the costs that arise. For instance, auto insurance policies may pay for vehicle damage, medical bills, and even lost wages in some cases.
In a Lyft crash, Lyft drivers are required to have auto insurance policies. Lyft also offers limited coverage for drivers and passengers.
Exactly when Lyft’s coverage kicks in - and for how much - depends on the facts of the case. For instance, Lyft offers insurance coverage when drivers are in “driver mode” but have not yet accepted a ride. This coverage, however, doesn’t pay as much as the coverage available when a Lyft driver has a passenger in the vehicle.
Lyft’s third-party liability coverage for passengers offers up to $1 million in liability coverage per accident when a passenger’s injuries are caused by a Lyft driver. Those outside the vehicle who are hit by a Lyft driver, like other drivers or pedestrians, may also be covered by this $1 million policy. Lyft also offers uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case a crash is caused by another driver who has no insurance or inadequate insurance to cover everyone’s losses.
If a Lyft driver hits someone while not in “driver mode,” their personal auto insurance policy may be responsible for paying the costs of the crash. The limits of this policy may be higher or lower than those Lyft offers, depending on the driver’s choices. Other insurance policies, like those belonging to other drivers involved in a crash, may also come into play.
Many people believe that more insurance policies mean more protection. When a Lyft crash occurs, however, insurance companies look for someone else who can pay the bills. When multiple insurance policies could potentially cover one accident, insurance companies can start trying to pass the costs to one another. Bills can pile up, with every insurer fighting to escape responsibility for paying any of them.
Dealing with insurance companies is difficult even when you’re feeling fully healthy. After a serious accident, navigating insurance can be difficult or impossible. An experienced Indianapolis Lyft accident attorney can be your best ally in dealing with insurance companies.
Reporting a Lyft Accident in Indianapolis
After a Lyft crash, your first step should be to ensure everyone is safe and receives emergency medical care if needed - including yourself. Once you’ve received medical care, you can report the accident on the Lyft help page. Click “report accident” and enter your phone number.
When reporting an accident to Lyft or an insurance company, stick to the facts. Don’t admit fault or assign blame, even if you think you know who was responsible. Report the date, time, and location of the crash, who was involved, and the contact information of any witnesses. Don’t describe your injuries in detail - some injuries take several days to fully manifest, and you may accidentally underreport the extent of the harm caused.
If reporting seems overwhelming, talk to an experienced attorney. Your attorney can handle this step for you if needed.
Trusted Representation for Injuries Sustained in Indianapolis Lyft Accidents
You called a Lyft because you needed a ride - an ordinary part of what should have been an ordinary day. Or perhaps you never called Lyft at all but were going about your business. Instead, you suffered an accident that resulted in serious injuries.
Now, you may be struggling to recover from severe damage to your body. You may worry about how you’re going to pay your bills, support your family, or meet your goals. You may wonder if things will ever be the same again一and you may wish to hold someone else accountable for the harm they have caused.
You’re not alone. The team at Tabor Law Firm has helped many Hoosiers injured in serious accidents. If you’ve been in a crash involving a Lyft, contact us today. Your initial consultation with our office is free and confidential.
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