Broken bones and fractures are some of the most common injuries in serious car accidents. Multiple fractures, multiple bone breaks, and serious broken bone injuries may require multiple surgeries and leave permanent damage. However, even a simple broken arm can take a long time to heal, leaving the accident victim unable to work.
If a broken bone injury is caused by a Lyft accident, Lyft and their insurance company should be liable for the damages. Unfortunately, Lyft may try and blame the accident on you or reduce your settlement. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented rideshare accident victims throughout Colorado. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Broken Bones Injuries After a Vehicle Accident
Fractures and broken bones in a car accident are generally caused by trauma when the body is forced against the interior surface of the vehicle, ejected from the vehicle, or struck directly by a car. Some causes of broken bones in a car accident include:
- Face striking dashboard,
- Head striking door frame,
- Hands and wrist bracing against impact,
- Legs impacting floor in front-end collision,
- Broken ribs from seatbelt restraint,
- Airbag and facial fractures,
- Legs hit in side-impact,
- Neck fracture from rear-end collision,
- Ejection from the vehicle,
- Pedestrian hit by a car,
- Cyclist hit by a car, or
- Multiple strike injuries in a rollover crash.
The seriousness of the break may depend on the type of fracture, number of fractures, and where the fracture occurs. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, common types of fractures include:
- Stable fracture,
- Open, compound fracture (where the skin may be pierced by the wound),
- Transverse fracture,
- Oblique fracture, and
- Comminuted fracture (where the bone shatters into three or more pieces).
Symptoms of a Broken Bone Injury
In most car accidents, including Lyft accidents, the injury victim will feel enough pain from a broken bone that medical treatment will identify a broken bone. However, some fractures may not initially be identified as a broken bone. The injury victim may suspect a serious sprain, strain, or bruising that is actually a fracture. Symptoms of a broken bone may include:
- Swelling or bruising around the bone,
- Leg or arm deformity,
- Pain that worsens when the area is moved,
- Inability to bear weight, or
- Loss of function in the area.
When Lyft Drivers Cause Broken Bone Injuries
Lyft drivers may not always be the cause of a traffic accident in Denver. In some cases, the Lyft driver is the victim of an injury accident. However, the way that Lyft operates and how drivers use the rideshare service may increase the risk of certain types of accidents. Common causes of Lyft drivers getting into an accident with another vehicle, stationary object, pedestrian, or cyclist, may include:
- Deadheading (or driving around unnecessarily while waiting for rides);
- Distracted driving (from using the app or mapping while driving);
- Driver inexperience;
- Drowsy driving (from working another job or late-night or early morning driving);
- Traffic violations (for drivers unfamiliar with Colorado traffic laws); and
- Speeding (when trying to meet Lyft bonus challenges).
Who is at fault for a Lyft accident in Colorado?
Fault in a Lyft accident is not always clear, especially after the insurance companies get involved. Lyft and the insurance company may try and blame the other party for the accident to avoid liability. Tactics used by Lyft's insurance company may try to get the injury victim to say something that they can later use against the victim to deny their claim. The insurance company may even try and get the victim to pay for the accident losses.
Before you talk to Lyft or their insurance company after a car accident involving one of their drivers, make sure you understand your rights and options. An experienced rideshare accident lawyer will deal with Lyft and the insurance company so you can focus on getting your life back to normal.
Fault in a Lyft accident may be based on negligence or negligence per se. Negligence per se may involve violating a law or traffic regulation that causes the accident. For example, if a Lyft driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and hits the pedestrian, violation of Colorado's traffic laws may show the Lyft driver negligently caused the accident.
Liability may also extend to the rideshare company itself. Lyft and other rideshare companies try to avoid liability by claiming the drivers are not employees and Lyft should not be held responsible for the negligence of the drivers. However, Lyft may be directly responsible for the accident. Lyft can be liable for:
- Negligent hiring,
- Negligent training,
- Requiring drivers to take their attention off the road, and
- Other breaches of their duty of care.
Lyft and Lyft Driver Liability Coverage for Injury Accidents
Insurance coverage for car accidents is supposed to protect accident victims when the individual driver may not have enough money to pay for the damages. The insurance policy generally pays for a covered accident victim's injuries up to the policy amount. Beyond the policy amount, the at-fault driver is still liable, to the extent they have money to pay for the damages.
Insurance coverage for Lyft drivers depends on their activity at the time of the accident. If the Lyft driver is not active on the app, the driver's personal liability insurance will generally apply, with mandatory minimum coverage in Colorado at:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
When the Lyft driver goes available on the app but before accepting a ride or after the driver drops off a passenger while still active on the app, contingent coverage applies. Under Colorado's Transportation Network Companies (TNC) laws, Lyft must provide coverage over the minimum individual liability of:
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident; and
- $100,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
If the Lyft driver accepts a ride request, is on the way to pick up a passenger, or has the Lyft passenger in the vehicle, Lyft's policy provides coverage for up to $1 million.
Broken Bone Lyft Accidents in Colorado
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented victims of Lyft accidents and their families in Fort Collins, Englewood, Westminster, and throughout Colorado. Do not rely on Lyft or the insurance company without talking to someone who has your best interests at heart. Our experienced attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.