San Jose Lyft Accident Attorney

San Jose Lyft Accident Attorney

We’re a group of experienced and trusted injury lawyers helping victims of Lyft Accidents.

Known as the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose hosts some of the world’s top businesses. Rideshare services, including Lyft, originated amongst the Bay Area’s corporate elite and now dominate the vehicle-for-hire market share. Lyft has eaten away at Uber’s California ride-hailing dominance and currently provides approximately one-third of San Jose rideshares. Its focus on North American demand and driver satisfaction through Lyft California supports an industry-leading consumer satisfaction rating. 

Lyft provides a transportation network platform, the Lyft App, connecting available drivers with local ride requests. This network differs from traditional taxi services because almost anyone can drive for Lyft. Applicants only need to pass driving history and criminal background checks. Drivers do not need special licenses to provide for-hire vehicle services. However, they often drive in heavy traffic, bad weather, or through difficult city roads. These factors frequently contribute to serious San Jose Lyft accidents and injuries, but unique liability and insurance laws apply to Lyft collisions in California. To maximize the value of your Lyft accident claims, connect with the dedicated The Ride App Attorneys today. 

Common Injuries Caused by Negligent Lyft Drivers 

Most rideshare drivers provide services using their personally-owned vehicles, i.e., sedans and SUVs. Riders frequently occupy the backseats of these cars, which seldom have rear airbags. As such, Lyft passenger injuries often mirror those suffered by rear-seat occupants in traditional motor vehicle accidents. They frequently include the following chronic conditions: 

  • Concussions (mild traumatic brain injuries) – Even mild confusion following head trauma indicates a potential brain injury. Untreated head trauma could lead to brain contusions, bleeding, swelling, and brain cell death. 
  • Whiplash – This common but painful injury occurs when the crash force propels the rider’s head forward and then backward, straining or tearing the neck and back tendons. Seatbelts do not generally prevent bad whiplash, which can lead to short-term disabilities.
  • Burns – Passengers in unfamiliar cars may get trapped in burning vehicles after San Jose Lyft accidents. Drivers may inadvertently engage child safety locks, or passengers may struggle to find door handles. These few precious seconds can result in smoke inhalation and serious third-degree burns. 
  • Slipped/Herniated Discs – The accident’s crash force often disrupts passengers’ delicate intervertebral discs. These discs may slip or rupture, causing bone, nerve, and muscle pain. Such back injuries often necessitate extensive physical therapy and surgical intervention. 
  • Contusions – Chest, arm, shin, and brain bruising (capillary bleeding) might all occur following Lyft crashes. Though not initially serious, unrelated internal bleeding pressures the lungs and brain, potentially resulting in life-altering trauma.  
  • Fractures – Depending on the impact force, many passengers suffer from broken ribs, arms, legs, and facial fractures following rideshare crashes. Fractures often result in three to six months of lost wages and may require expensive surgeries.  

Third parties struck by negligent Lyft drivers – including other vehicle occupants and pedestrians – often suffer from similar accident injuries. These individuals share similar insurance compensation rights as Lyft passengers but often require assistance proving their entitlement to high-value insurance funds. 

Holding Lyft Accountable for San Jose Car Accidents 

Lyft’s popularity stems from the cost-effective services offered by its unique business platform. Lyft California does not employ Lyft drivers. Instead, drivers interact with the Lyft application as independent contractors. This distinction seldom bothers users, but it has serious legal implications following Lyft accidents. Personal injury laws do not generally allow injured claimants to recover compensation from corporations for independent contractor negligence. 

Only employers have the responsibility – called vicarious liability – to compensate claimants for employee negligence. By making drivers independent contractors, Lyft protects itself from assumed liability for accident injuries. California law (BPC § 7451) permits this legal relationship if Lyft gives drivers complete scheduling and employment freedoms, including the right to work for competitors. Provided Lyft follows these regulations, injured claimants may only recover compensation from the negligent Lyft driver, vehicle owner, or dangerous third parties. 

Experienced San Jose ride-app lawyers may hold Lyft accountable if it failed to provide the workplace freedoms necessitated under California’s Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act (Cal. BPC §§ 7448, et seq.). This legislation also places certain safety responsibilities on rideshare network providers. Accidents resulting in the following public safety violations could support direct claims against Lyft California. 

Case Results

  • Personal Injury / Wrongful Death Result

    $9.8Million

  • Personal Injury / Wrongful Death Result

    $3.4Million

Criminal Background & Driving History Checks on Lyft Drivers 

Lyft must conduct local and national criminal background checks on potential drivers under California ride-app laws. Rideshare companies may not permit applicants to utilize their networks if reports reveal: 

  • Sex crimes convictions, including violent offenses, child pornography, or harassment 
  • Sexual offender registration 
  • Violent crimes convictions 
  • Drug and alcohol felonies 
  • Drunk driving offenses 
  • Fraud or theft convictions 
  • Terrorism or hate crimes 

Under its policies, Lyft must also disqualify applicants based on poor DMV records. Disqualifying records include recent reckless driving or license suspensions, multiple traffic tickets, or hit-and-run convictions. Failure to abide by these public safety guidelines could support negligent hiring claims against Lyft for preventable accidents. 

Defensive Driving & Sexual Harassment Prevention Training 

While Lyft drivers do not require special licenses – or even perfect DMV records – the network company must provide road safety training. The law requires at least one class addressing defensive driving techniques, sexual harassment avoidance, and accident prevention. Drivers must satisfactorily complete this course before engaging with Lyft. BPC § 7459 violations may lead to independent corporate liability. 

Fatigue & Drunk Driving Prevention 

Lyft offers San Jose residents a source of secondary income. As such, many drivers log onto the Lyft app at night or after long work shifts. This schedule often leads to extreme fatigue, similar to that reported by long-haul truck drivers. Sleep-deprived driving can cause intoxication-like symptoms resulting in car accidents. Proposition 22 put safeguards in place to prevent fatigue and drunk driving. 

The app-based driver rest regulation requires network companies to log out drivers logged in for more than 12 hours over a 24-hour period. Drivers may not return to Lyft without taking at least a six-hour rest break. Likewise, rideshare companies must immediately respond to drunk or drugged driving complaints by suspending drivers during the investigation period. Accidents caused by intoxicated or fatigued Lyft drivers could result in network company liability if it violated the above provisions. 

Understanding California’s Ride App Insurance Laws  

Over 90% of viable car accident cases settle with liable auto insurers, and Lyft provides drivers and eligible third parties with $1,000,000 in personal injury coverage. This legally mandated policy covers accidents caused by independent Lyft drivers actively providing rideshare services. Consider the following: 

  1. No Lyft-Sponsored Coverage: The driver is not logged into the app when he rear-ends another vehicle on the 880. The injured driver must claim damages from the off-duty Lyft driver’s private auto insurer. 
  2. Lyft Driver Coverage: The Lyft driver is logged into the app while circling the San Jose airport waiting for ride requests. The driver may claim lost wages and medical benefits from Lyft’s driver insurance policy.
  3. Full Public Coverage: The Lyft driver accepts a request and picks up his passenger. During the ride, the driver crashes into a truck. The truck driver and Lyft passenger may demand personal injury coverage under Lyft’s $1,000,000 umbrella liability policy.

Lyft’s insurers commonly deny liability by asserting the driver wasn’t actively engaged in services or didn’t cause the accident. Many injured claimants struggling with mounting medical costs and lost income don’t question this determination. Dedicated San Jose Lyft liability lawyers frequently challenge high-value rideshare insurers to recover needed compensation after devastating car accidents. 

Calculating the Value of Your Lyft Accident Claims 

Rideshare crash damages mirror those available after conventional car accidents. Insurers make settlement offers based on the claimant’s actual losses. However, these losses include more than medical bills and missed paychecks. Injured claimants may demand damages for the following: 

  • Lost employment benefits, including health insurance and retirement contributions 
  • Lost career opportunities and anticipated raises 
  • Occupational rehabilitation 
  • Pain management services 
  • Medical equipment and transportation 
  • Massage therapy and acupuncture 
  • Mental health counseling 
  • Household help 
  • Home nursing care 
  • Pain and suffering, including daily frustrations, lost enjoyment of life, physical pain, and emotional anguish

Provided these damages arose from viable accident cases, San Jose claimants might demand up to $1,000,000 in financial payouts from Lyft among additional settlements. Most car accident claims settle for around $30,000, but cases resulting in life-altering disabilities could support policy payouts for claimants represented by reputable ride-app attorneys. Spouses might also qualify for compensation while caring for injured loved ones. 

It’s smart to make use of ridesharing services like Uber when enjoying a hassle-free night out with friends or grabbing a ride home after a flight.

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Auto Accident Client

Tenny Mirzayan is the best out there. She handled our car accident case, and destroyed the other side. Farmers Insurance offered us $0, and she got us deep into the six figures. She did not let us get pushed around. Thank you!!!

-Lyle T.

Connecting with Dedicated Lyft Accident Lawyers in San Jose 

Claimants represented by experienced rideshare attorneys frequently obtain substantially more damages after Lyft accidents. Most clients even recover compensation without any upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. Families could retain dedicated injury counsel to handle insurance negotiations, appeal unlawful denials, investigate claims, and litigate liability on a contingency fee basis. These delayed fee arrangements mean we don’t get paid unless you recover needed compensation after a Lyft crash. 

It costs nothing to speak with our dedicated Lyft liability attorneys at The Ride App Attorneys about your claims. Call our San Jose office today or contact us online for a free Lyft accident consultation.