Ridesharing has quickly grown into one of the most popular transportation options.
Lyft and other ridesharing services are very popular and convenient for everyday use, but these services are not without risk.
Even though it saves time over other transportation options, it’s important to remember that Lyft drivers are not specially trained drivers.
When you use ridesharing apps, you put your fate in the hands of an untrained stranger.
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident in a Lyft, you can end up seriously injured.
And an accident lawsuit stemming from a rideshare accident is often more complex than most car accident cases.
Still, you deserve compensation after your accident, so can you sue Lyft for compensation?
We’ll explore in the article below.
What To Do After A Lyft Accident
After any wreck, the first thing you need to do is get the necessary medical treatment.
Your health always comes first, so even if you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort immediately after the accident, you still need a medical evaluation as soon as possible.
This will obviously help you recover from your injuries, and it will support your personal injury claim by showing you sought medical care shortly after the accident.
Next, you have to report the accident.
The Lyft driver should report the accident to law enforcement or a motor vehicle agency.
But as a passenger, you’ll want to report the accident to the ridesharing company.
Lyft has a special accident reporting process in place.
If a rideshare company representative contacts you to get your perspective of the accident, tell them you plan on talking with a personal injury lawyer, and you don’t want to make any statements just yet.
Personal injury law is complicated, and you don’t want to make any mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.
While you’re still at the scene of the accident, you should start gathering information if you’re able to.
If you can, get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash and any witnesses.
Take pictures of the accident scene and the license plates of the vehicles.
Finally, write down everything you remember about the crash.
The sooner you can do this, the better.
These notes will be helpful if you have to explain what happened to an accident attorney, police officer, or another investigator.
Can You Sue Lyft Directly After a Crash?
Lyft’s drivers may seem like employees, but they are actually independent contractors.
So in most cases, Lyft would not be directly responsible for an accident.
Instead, the driver and their insurance coverage will typically cover the injuries and vehicle damage.
You should understand how these companies are organized.
Lyft drivers use their company’s app to connect with riders, and the riders pay them through their rider app.
Lyft keeps a cut of the money and the driver gets the rest.
However, the drivers still are not employees.
That means some states’ “vicarious liability” rules will not allow you to extend a lawsuit to include Lyft as a responsible party.
But you can still get compensation for an accident involving Lyft.
Does Lyft Have Insurance?
This is where things get complicated. It can be difficult to know whose policy applies as an accident victim: yours, the at-fault driver’s policy, or Lyft’s?
If the rideshare driver is at fault, the passenger is not liable because the standard Lyft insurance policy includes liability insurance.
But there is a gray area since the insurance is divided between the driver’s personal insurance and Lyft’s insurance policy.
If the driver’s insurance provider denies the claim because of a business use exception, Lyft’s insurance steps in to cover all parties, assuming the Lyft driver is at fault.
This will occur as long as the driver’s app is online, which it always should be.
This is from Lyft:
“Our contingent liability coverage is designed to provide coverage when the app is in driver mode before you’ve received a ride request in the event your personal insurance does not respond. The policy has a $50,000 maximum limit per person, $100,000 maximum limit per accident, and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage[…]
“Our primary liability insurance is designed to act as the primary coverage from the time you accept a ride request until the time the ride has ended in the app. The policy has a $1,000,000 per accident limit. Note: If you already carry commercial insurance (or personal coverage providing specific coverage for ridesharing), Lyft’s policy will continue to be excess to your insurance coverage.”
If the other driver is at fault, you’re covered up to the maximum limits set out if you’re injured at the fault of the Lyft driver.
But what happens if the Lyft driver isn’t at fault?
If the other driver is at fault for the Lyft accident, the negligent driver’s insurance company steps in via a third-party car insurance claim.
Seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney after a Lyft accident is usually the best course of action, even if you are fully covered.
This is also from Lyft:
“In the event of an accident (once you have accepted a ride or are transporting a passenger) with a driver who is uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) and is ultimately at fault for bodily injury caused to you and/or your passengers, our UM/UIM coverage will apply (coverage limits vary by state). There is no deductible on our UM/UIM policy.”
Lyft’s coverage is provided in all 50 states.
However, there are exceptions in states like NYC with a TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) driver.
Some regions may also have specific requirements that modify the described coverage.
If the insurance policy of the at-fault driver or Lyft can’t fully compensate you, or the policies refuse to pay out for your injury, then you may have to file a lawsuit against Lyft.
Need Help Seeking a Lyft Passenger Settlement?
If you suffered an accident injury in a Lyft collision and need help receiving financial compensation, contact Schuerger Shunnarah.
Schuerger Shunnarah Injury Lawyers is known nationwide for providing excellent legal advice and excellent representation to injured victims.
Our prowess in the legal arena comes from our combined years of trial and complex litigation experience.
We founded our practice on the belief that the civil jury system is the best means to provide compensation to injured parties and deter wrongdoers from injuring others in the future.
To schedule your Free Consultation, click the button below.