If you have been injured in a Lyft accident in Michigan, the experienced ridesharing accident attorneys of Miller & Tischler, P.C. are well-prepared to assist you. Our talented team fights daily for victims of negligent drivers, and we have a strong track record of winning all types of accident cases. Since the advent of ridesharing companies like Lyft, we have been in the trenches, defending the rights of those who have been harmed by careless or reckless Lyft drivers or by other drivers while riding in Lyft vehicles.
What Miller & Tischler Can Do to Help
We are well aware that being seriously injured is an overwhelming experience, turning your life, and the lives of those close to you, upside down. The best thing you can do to take the pressure off is to contact us and let us take over all logistical legal and insurance matters while you concentrate on recovering.
If you retain us after our free consultation, we will do all the heavy lifting including:
- Communicating directly with opposing attorneys and insurance adjusters
- Investigating the site of your accident
- Examining police records and medical reports
- Interviewing witnesses
- Checking for any prior history of misconduct on the part of the defendant
- Consulting with experts who may testify in court on your behalf
Most importantly, our Lyft accident lawyers are agile negotiators and sharp litigators, ready to do whatever it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Why Lyft Accidents Are Not Uncommon
Even though most Lyft drivers are competent, it remains true that Lyft (and other rideshare companies) are not as careful or thorough as they might be in terms of ensuring the safety of their customers. Reasons that riding in a Lyft vehicle may involve higher risk than other types of road transportation include the following facts:
- Lyft drivers are minimally vetted and not specially trained for the job
- Lyft drivers need only have 1 year of driving experience
- Lyft drivers tend to work long hours (even more than the permitted 12 hours daily) to earn more money and may be dangerously fatigued while on the road
- Due to long hours of driving, they are more likely to eat, drink, or text while driving
- They use the Lyft app and GPS and so are constantly dealing with distractions
- They may be impaired by substances they take to keep awake and alert
It should also be remembered that Lyft drivers are more likely to get into accidents simply because they drive so many miles every day.
What Makes a Lyft Accident More Complicated Than Many Other Collisions
Several factors increase the complexity of liability issues in Lyft accidents. For one thing, the fact that Lyft drivers in Michigan (unlike those in California) are statutorily designated as independent contractors (rather than employees) makes company responsibility for accident injuries more ambiguous. Therefore, Michigan law favors protecting rideshare companies from “vicarious liability.” Nonetheless, the attorneys at Miller & Tischler have pursued other legal theories to avoid this limitation in Michigan law. Our Lyft accident attorneys have extensive experience in leveraging their knowledge to tip the scales towards protecting the rights of Lyft accident victims.
How No-Fault Insurance Works in Michigan
Lyft accident claims, like all car accident claims in Michigan, are handled under our no-fault system. Such claims are therefore submitted to the responsible insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. Generally, that insurer will be your own insurance company. This “first-party” claim will provide you with PIP (personal injury protection) benefits, which include certain economic costs such as::
- Medical expenses (including emergency care, nursing and/or rehabilitative care, and medical transportation)
- Household replacement services
- Work loss
- Funeral/burial expenses (where the injuries result in death)
Though such claims may be clearly fair, it is routine for insurance adjusters to fight to keep insurance company payouts as low as possible. This is why it is essential to have our energetic attorneys on your side. While we negotiated settlements are most common, we are by no means averse to taking insurance companies to court if they are unreasonable.
What are non-economic compensatory damages?
Serious injuries cause intangible loss (i.e., pain and suffering) in addition to economic loss. A pain and suffering claim is also known as a “third-party” claim. “Excess-economic damages (beyond that covered by a first-party claim) may also be asserted. However, a “third-party” claim may only be pursued where your injuries meet one or more of three thresholds. These thresholds are:
(1) permanent serious disfigurement (bad scarring, deformity, amputation);
(2) serious impairment of body function (e.g., impaired mobility, paralysis, loss of vision, loss of cognitive ability, loss of hearing, loss of an organ, etc.); or
In Michigan, Miller & Tischler’s Lyft accident lawyers will fight tirelessly to help you obtain the pain and suffering damages you deserve. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, we may be able to tap into the substantial resources of the Lyft company itself or into the resources of the other culpable driver.
When does Lyft’s insurance policy come into play?
In Michigan, we can only tap into Lyft’s million dollar coverage if the Lyft driver responsible for your injury is deemed to have been engaged in a “prearranged ride” at the time of the accident. In other words, if the Lyft driver was not on the way to pick you up or in the process of dropping you off, Lyft’s million dollar insurance is not available to us. If you are designated a “passenger” at the time of the collision, however, we may be able to sue for much higher damages (again depending on the extent of your injuries).
Michigan, however, allows for “comparative fault.” Therefore, if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the crash, you are not entitled to recover any pain and suffering damages. For excess economic damages, the award will be reduced in proportion to the percentage you are deemed to be at fault.
Contact Miller & Tischler’s Michigan Lyft Accident Attorneys Today
Our well-trained, highly-experienced Lyft accident lawyers have intricate knowledge of Michigan rideshare laws. We also have the determination to see to it that justice is done in your individual case. Remember, we are on your side and will do everything in our power to bring your case to a successful outcome. Contact our office today to get started.