Have you been in a Columbus Lyft accident? Find out whether you can sue for a Lyft ride injury in Columbus, OH, and why you might want to contact a Lyft accident attorney.
In Columbus, Ohio, it is not uncommon for Lyft drivers to get into traffic accidents. Fortunately, Ohio state law allows you to recover compensation for your financial losses following a Lyft accident.
You may be confused as to whether you’ll sue the Lyft driver or the rideshare company. If you're looking into filing a Lyft accident lawsuit, you should consider reaching out to an experienced Lyft accident attorney.
Can You Sue for a Lyft Accident Injury in Columbus, Ohio?
An injury victim can sue for a Lyft injury in Ohio. Just like other motor vehicle accidents, Lyft accidents often result from negligent driving. The negligent rideshare driver will be liable to the Lyft passenger.
However, recovering compensation isn’t that straightforward. You’ll have to establish the Lyft driver’s liability. This would mean proving that the defendant:
- Breached this duty through negligence
Establishing that a Lyft driver owes you a duty of care is easy. This is because all drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers and other road users.
You must state which exact actions of the Lyft driver were negligent. Notably, there are several examples of negligence. They include:
- Distracted driving
- Disobeying traffic rules
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Using mobile devices while driving
After proving any of these actions, you must show that this negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries.
Who Pays for a Lyft Car Accident?
Determining who pays after a Lyft accident claim can be challenging. You may wonder if it’s the rideshare company or the negligent rideshare driver. This confusion underscores the importance of legal representation in rideshare accident claims. Below, we explain what party will be liable for easing your financial burden following a Lyft accident.
The Lyft Driver
Despite several lawsuits, Lyft still classifies its drivers as independent contractors, meaning they don’t work for Lyft. The rideshare company merely supplies them with an app with which they get clients. Therefore, Lyft requires its drivers to have personal insurance policies with coverage that must meet minimum state requirements.
Ohio state law provides that drivers must have a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident
This personal insurance coverage will apply if the Lyft app was off during the accident.
In some cases, Lyft compensates accident victims for their injuries. This coverage also applies to any property damage from the collision. An insurance claim against Lyft provides:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Lyft’s liability coverage applies when the app is on during rides or picking up passengers. This coverage is uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. It applies where the Lyft driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient for an accident. In addition, the insurance provides $1 million for third-party auto liability.
Furthermore, Lyft has a contingent comprehensive and collision policy. It covers the actual value of the car minus a $2,500 deductible. In addition, however, the Lyft driver must have personal comprehensive and collision damage insurance. Finally, Lyft’s insurance provisions don’t shift the liability away from the driver.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Lyft Accident?
Knowing the average cost of settlements following Lyft accidents is crucial. The two primary factors are:
- The severity of your injuries
- The extent of property damage
The worse your wounds, the more money you spend on medical treatments. A settlement must cover all such reasonable medical bills.
What About a Lyft Accident Lawsuit?
Filing an accident lawsuit also determines how much you get for your losses. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to claim many more damages. A settlement limits the amount of money you can get. For example, you can claim punitive damages in court.
But, neither Lyft nor an insurance company would grant you this class of damages during settlements. This is because punitive damages aim to punish the defendant.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt?
Ohio law mandates seatbelt wearing among vehicle passengers. However, this only applies to drivers and passengers in the front seat. Children around 8 through 15 years must also wear a safety belt. Alternatively, you can use a child restraint device. The law doesn’t allow law enforcement to stop vehicles to enforce this law, though.
Not wearing seatbelts cannot cause a Lyft accident. However, this can make you sustain an avoidable injury. Disregarding Ohio’s seat belt law will also not affect your right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Ohio’s comparative fault law, however, may reduce the amount you can get for medical costs.
Recoverable Damages in Columbus Lyft Accidents
Suppose you successfully sue the liable party for your Lyft accident. In that case, you can recover a wide range of damages from the fault party. This would include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are further divided into economic and non-economic damages.
These refer to losses that are easily quantifiable in financial terms. They are the actual financial consequences of the Lyft accident. Furthermore, you can easily establish that you sustained these losses. This is because there’s often a paper trail of the loss. Examples of such documentation would include bills and receipts.
So, economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Cost of medical equipment
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Cost of household services
- Cost of alternative transportation
- Future medical bills
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses flowing from the collision. So, these losses aren’t easily financially quantifiable. Instead, courts use several calculation methods to arrive at the value of these damages. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish or emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
Finally, the court can also grant wrongful death damages where the Lyft accident victim died. These damages would include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Cost of pre-death medical care
- Loss of services
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress suffered by the survivors
How Long Do I Have To File a Lyft Accident Lawsuit in Columbus, Ohio?
Ohio law specifies a definite date within which you must institute legal action. This is the Ohio Statute of Limitations. This statute allows you only two years to file legal action. This time starts counting from the accident date.
Suppose the accident resulted in death. The deceased passenger’s estate can also sue for wrongful death. The two-year deadline also applies to wrongful death lawsuits.
This statutory period doesn’t apply to insurance claims. Instead, you can file an insurance claim anytime. However, a late insurance suit is a bad move. The insurance company knows that you can’t approach the court if the negotiations fall through. They can then negotiate in bad faith.
Exceptions to the Ohio Statute of Limitations
There are exceptions to the Ohio accident statute. When they apply, the court suspends the calculation for a while. These exceptions apply in limited cases, though. So, it’ll be best not to rely on these exceptions. For example, the time will not start counting until a Lyft accident victim reaches the majority.
The Lyft driver may also leave Ohio at some point. If this happens, filing a claim against such a driver would be impossible.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Columbus, OH Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Ohio isn’t a no-fault insurance state. So, you may be able to get financial compensation for your losses. First, however, you might want to consider speaking with a knowledgeable Ohio rideshare accident lawyer. Our attorneys have spent several years helping Lyft crash victims get monetary compensation for their injuries.
We have experience in dealing with rideshare drivers and their insurance companies. Call us today for a FREE consultation.