Lyft Inc., a ridesharing company with presence in cities across the globe, is facing a new personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit, stemming from a fatal 2014 crash in Sacramento, California.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and is being brought by the victim’s mother and boyfriend. According to the claim, the victim and his boyfriend ordered a Lyft ride on a rainy evening in November 2014. They were involved in a crash after their driver lost control of his vehicle on the local Interstate.
An investigation into the crash later revealed that the car’s computer registered the speed prior to the crash at an estimated 75 miles per hour. In the state of California, the Department of Transportation, along with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), implemented a 70 mile-per-hour speed limit on Interstate and non-Interstate freeways.
Additionally, CHP reports in the wake of the crash declared that the Lyft driver – who could not provide proof of insurance at the accident scene – caused the crash after making “unsafe” turning movements.
Ridesharing Personal Injury
Over the course of the last few years, ridesharing platforms, like Uber and Lyft, have become increasingly popular. Unlike the traditional cab, these platforms are centered on a mobile app, which helps connect available drivers with passengers. Additionally, these apps manage methods of payment, so riders never exchange cash with the driver.
Ridesharing operations also differ from traditional transit options because drivers with Lyft and Uber are not actual employees – instead, they are classified as independent contractors, which only requires an eligible vehicle and a limited background check.
The Nevada state legislature recently passed additional safety measures for those looking to become a contracted driver with ridesharing organizations.
These measures outline a number of restrictions, including language regarding:
- All drivers have a Nevada business license
- Vehicles involved must be less than eight years old
- Drivers are prohibited from spending more than 16 hours in “driver mode” within a 24-hour time frame
- All drivers must obtain a Transportation Network Company decal, which is to be kept on the windshield at all times, and alongside the company emblem while driving
Because this type of transportation is a bit different from traditional cabs, there are often questions raised regarding liability, whether it is the driver or the company. Such questions can also affect insurance coverage, raising new concerns at a stressful time.
Finding a Reliable Attorney
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident while utilizing a ridesharing service, or if you have had an accident with a ridesharing driver, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Although ridesharing drivers do have insurance coverage in place, it pales in comparison to those outlined for taxi and other commercial drivers, and can pose several challenges in the event of injury or death.
For those residing in Las Vegas and other communities in Nevada, the experienced attorneys at Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen serve as the premier legal resource for those dealing with personal injury matters. Though cases involving ridesharing services are still fairly new, our attorneys have cultivated a great deal of experience in this area of personal injury law, and have the legal knowledge necessary to help you recover the compensation you deserve, as quickly and painlessly as possible.