North Charleston Lyft Accident Injury Lawyer

North Charleston Lyft Accident Injury Lawyer

Founded in San Francisco in 2007, Lyft is a major player in the United States rideshare industry. Due to its easy-to-use app and the unrivaled convenience Lyft has experienced immense growth in the past decade. However, as the number of rideshare drivers increases, so does the number of North Charleston Lyft accidents. According to a university study conducted, rideshare companies are responsible for a 2-3 percent increase in the total number of fatal traffic accidents. Annually, this amounts to about 1,100 fatal rideshare accidents a year.

In the blink of an eye, your life can change forever. One moment you are sitting in the back of a Lyft, driving to work, or crossing the street, and the next thing you know, you are in the hospital. You may have questions about how you will pay your bills, whether you can hold Lyft liable for a driver’s negligence, or where to look for compensation. If you have been injured in a North Charleston Lyft accident, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm are here to help. For more than 95 years, the Steinberg Law Firm has provided accident victims with the knowledgeable, compassionate representation they deserve. Our experienced team of attorneys has the skill, commitment and confidence to successfully take on even the largest corporations and insurance companies. When you bring us into your corner, you can rest easy, knowing that you are in capable and caring hands.  

Statistics Section:

General car accident stats:

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, in 2018:
• There were 1,036 people killed in South Carolina car accidents
• There were over 58,000 people injured in South Carolina car accidents
• There were 168 pedestrians killed in South Carolina car accidents
• There were 22 pedestrians killed in South Carolina car accidents

This means that there was a South Carolina traffic accident every 3.7 minutes, and
• A fatal collision occurred every 9 hours
• A motorist died every 8.5 hours
• Someone was injured every 13.8 minutes

Friday and Saturday are the most dangerous days to drive, with each day accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic accidents.

The most dangerous hours to drive are:
• Between 6 am and 9 am
• Between 12 pm and 3 pm
• Between 3 pm and 6 pm

The following South Carolina highways saw the largest number of traffic accidents:
• Interstate 26 – 37 fatalities and 2,071 injuries
• Interstate 95 – 28 fatalities and 270 injuries
• Interstate 20 – 19 fatalities and 1,005 injuries
• Interstate 85 – 17 fatalities and 613 injuries
• Interstate 77 – 12 fatalities and 348 injuries

• Lyft drivers spend 40 to 60 percent of their time “deadheading,” which is when they drive around without a passenger waiting for a fare to come in. 

Lyft specific stats:

• Lyft is available in over 640 cities across the United States and Canada.
• Lyft has more than 1.4 million drivers and 23 million riders and growing.
• Lyft drivers complete more than 1 million rides per day in the United States and Canada.
• In 2019, Lyft brought in over $3.6 billion in revenue.
• Lyft has grown quickly, with just 3.5 million riders in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 21.8 riders in the second quarter of 2019.
• Lyft claims to be able to pick up 95% of the people in the United States.
• Lyft has about 35 percent of the United States’ rideshare market.
• 74 percent of Lyft users also use Uber

Recovering After a North Charleston Lyft Accident

Lyft riders take on considerable risk when they get into the car. Each year, hundreds of people are injured in South Carolina Lyft accidents. These accidents often seriously interrupt the lives of those whom they affect.

Anyone who was injured in a North Charleston rideshare accident can bring a claim against the at-fault driver. This can be the Lyft driver or another motorist who negligently caused an accident with a Lyft vehicle. In either case, accident victims have options. However, regardless of the type of claim, accident victims must establish that another party was responsible for their injuries. This requires proof of each of the following elements:

1. Duty of care: Accident victims must prove that the defendant (either the Lyft driver or another motorist) owed them a duty of care. In North Charleston Lyft accident cases, this is not typically much of an issue, as Lyft drivers owe their passengers a duty of care and, generally, all motorists owe others on the road a duty to drive safely and responsibly.
2. Breach of the duty: The next element requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant breached the duty owed to them. For example, was the defendant speeding, distracted or intoxicated?
3. Causation: To succeed in a North Charleston car accident lawsuit, the accident victim must prove that the defendant’s negligence resulted in their injuries. While this may seem straightforward in theory, in practice, this is often where much of the litigation takes place.
4. Damages: The final element of a Lyft accident claim requires accident victims to prove their damages. Often, when it comes to proving damages, the question is more focused on the extent of the victim’s damages rather than whether they suffered any damages at all.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, we are here to help North Charleston Lyft accident victims recover from their injuries so they can put the accident behind them and move on with their life. Whether we are investigating your claim, negotiating with an insurance company, or litigating your case at trial, we can help you through every step of the process.

Types of Lyft Accidents in North Charleston

When the topic of rideshare accidents comes up, most think about them from the passenger’s perspective in the back of the car. Passengers file many North Charleston Lyft accident claims. However, that is just one type of accident; negligent or reckless Lyft drivers frequently injure pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. Compensation is available through a combination of insurance policies, depending on how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and whether the Lyft driver was carrying a passenger at the time.

Below is a list of the various types of Lyft accidents:

Lyft passenger injuries: 

When someone gets into a Lyft, they assume that the driver is qualified and responsible. And while most of the time, that assumption holds up, it does not always. Lyft drivers have no special qualifications that make them any safer than other drivers. In fact, according to Lyft’s webpage, anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to drive for Lyft:

• At least 25 years old;
• A valid driver’s license (in-state or out-of-state licenses are accepted)
• Pass a driver screening (a review of the applicant’s driving history and criminal record)

Thankfully, Lyft passengers enjoy the most robust protection. In this situation, Lyft’s insurance policy provides:

• $1 million in bodily injury coverage
• $1 million in uninsured motorist protection
• $1 million in underinsured motorist protection

Not all North Charleston Lyft accidents are the fault of the Lyft driver. However, the company’s insurance coverage kicks in regardless of whether the Lyft driver was at fault. So, if another motorist strikes a Lyft vehicle, injuring the passenger, Lyft’s insurance will help cover the accident victim’s expenses (as well as the at-fault driver’s insurance policy).

Injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists:

If a Lyft driver causes an accident, injuring someone who is not a passenger in the car, the situation can get quite complicated. The biggest question in this situation is whether the Lyft driver was carrying a paying passenger at the time. If so, the company’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in. If the Lyft driver was deadheading or driving around waiting for a fare to come in, Lyft’s insurance policy offers reduced coverage. Specifically, the policy provides:
• $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
• $30,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident

In this situation, the Lyft driver’s personal policy may also be available. Under South Carolina law, all drivers must obtain a minimum amount of auto insurance, which includes:

• $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
• $25,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident

However, individual insurance policies typically exclude rideshare accidents unless the driver purchased a rideshare endorsement. Depending on the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy, there may not be sufficient coverage available to compensate an accident victim fully. Another common problem North Charleston Lyft accident victims face in this scenario is that the insurance companies all point the finger at each other, hoping to avoid the need to pay out on a claim.  

Injuries caused while the Lyft driver’s app is off:

If the Lyft driver’s app is off, or they are not accepting rides when they cause an accident, then Lyft’s insurance policy will not provide any coverage. An accident victim could file a claim with the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy in this situation. Depending on the amount of insurance the driver purchases, there may not be enough coverage to cover all of the accident victim’s expenses.

It is crucial that North Charleston Lyft accident victims strategically consider their options before bringing a case. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have decades of experience helping accident victims navigate the complex system and pursuing fair compensation for what they have been through. We understand the nuances of rideshare insurance and how to maximize our clients’ recovery.

Damages in a North Charleston Lyft Accident

Once an accident victim establishes that another party was responsible for their injuries, the next step is determining the appropriate amount of damages. In South Carolina, there are generally two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the readily identifiable out-of-pocket costs someone incurs as a result of an accident. For example, economic damages include:

• Past medical bills
• Future medical expenses
• Lost wages
• Decrease in earning capacity

Non-economic damages are intended to compensate accident victims for the less tangible harms caused by an accident like the following:

• Pain and suffering
• Mental anguish
• Humiliation
• Disfigurement
• Loss of reputation
• Emotional distress
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Physical impairment
• Inconvenience
• Loss of consortium (involving a spousal relationship)
• Loss of society and companionship (involving a relationship with others)

These damages are based on the impact that the accident had on the victim’s life. Thus, a victim’s non-economic damages award will often depend on how convincingly their story is told.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, we want to help you recover from your injuries and put the accident behind you so you can get on with your life. Our team of North Charleston personal injury lawyers has decades of hands-on experience recovering compensation on behalf of our clients.

Reach Out to a Knowledgeable North Charleston Lyft Accident Lawyer

If you have recently been injured in a North Charleston Lyft accident, you may have questions. If so, give the Steinberg Law Firm a call to see how we can help. With extensive experience handling all types of motor vehicle accident claims, including those arising out of rideshare accidents, we can confidently guide you through the process. We command an impressive knowledge of insurance laws. We know how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you need to move on with your life. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with one of our North Charleston personal injury lawyers, call us at 843-720-2800. You can also reach us through our online form.

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