Despite ridesharing apps only being invented about a decade ago, they have now become a ubiquitous part of our transportation system and unfortunately are prone to the same accidents. Like Uber, Lyft is a rideshare app used by millions of people access the US every day and consequently is involved in many car collisions. Those injured in a Lyft accident that was not their fault and have sustained severe injuries may be able to seek financial compensation with a Lyft accident lawsuit.
Lyft accidents, much like any other car accident, can cause severe life-changing injuries that can not only put immense strain on finances but have permanent consequences. Filing a claim to seek compensation is an option but there can be more complications when Lyft is involved. As a rideshare app that facilitated the transport, Lyft is a potentially liable third party in many situations where a Lyft is involved in a car crash. Seeking legal representation with experience in claims involving Lyft is essential to successfully recovering compensation.
Lyft Accident Scenarios and Liability
The question of who is liable for the damages you suffer in a Lyft accident depends on the details of your Lyft accident scenario. You could crash into a car with a Lyft sticker and Lyft could be not liable at all.
The reason for this is Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees of Lyft whom the company is directly responsible for. Lyft is treated as a middleman application for connecting drivers to passengers so there are fewer situations in which they are considered liable in a Lyft accident lawsuit.
Lyft does have liability coverage that can go up to $1 million for accidents that do occur in certain circumstances. Lyft requires Lyft drivers to have their own insurance but the driver’s insurance will almost certainly not provide coverage in the event they are using their vehicle for commercial purposes like Lyfting. There are commercial policies that Lyft drivers can take out themselves but these are costly and not standard.
The following are some common Lyft collision scenarios where the liability of Lyft and Lyft drivers will change.
The Lyft Driver is Driving to Pick Up or is Transporting a Lyft Passenger While Using the App
Like Uber, Lyft has liability coverage of up to $1 million for Lyft accidents where the driver is in the process of actively using the app to pick up or transport a passenger as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with limits that vary by state. This means that as soon as the driver accepts a trip from a prospective passenger and begins their commute to pick them up then this $1 million coverage kicks in.
This coverage applies to passengers injured in a Lyft accident and also to other drivers injured that are involved in a collision where the Lyft driver is at-fault. This liability coverage ends as soon as the Lyft passenger is outside of the vehicle and the trip has concluded. If you are a passenger that has been injured in the accident or another driver that has been hit by an at-fault Lyft driver then you should be able to claim converge from Lyft’s $1 million liability policy.
The Lyft Driver Has the Lyft App On but is Idle and Awaiting a Ride Request
If a Lyft driver is logged into the Lyft app and is awaiting ride requests then Lyft still provides some coverage in the event there is an accident but not from their $1 million liability policy. Lyft will provide liability insurance for accidents in this scenario if the driver does not have their own coverage.
The Lyft coverage in this situation will consist of $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability.
The Lyft Driver Has the App Off
If the Lyft driver has the Lyft app off then Lyft is not liable for any accidents they may be involved in and the Lyft driver’s personal car accident insurance will have to provide coverage.
Other Situations Where Lyft Coverage is Not Applicable for a Lyft Accident
Some details may eliminate any Lyft liability coverage even if it seems they should be liable. In most cases, these situations do not only void liability but also can be a safety concern for Lyft passengers.
- The driver of the Lyft is not the authorized driver for the Lyft vehicle: If the driver does not match the one in the photo provided by the Lyft app then Lyft may not be considered liable in the event they cause an accident.
- The driver gives a ride to someone without using the app: In some situations, a person getting a trip from a Lyft may request an additional trip to another location, perhaps to the next street over. If a driver provides a trip to a passenger outside of the use of the Lyft app or the parameters of the trip specified by the app then Lyft may not provide their liability coverage if there is an accident.
Common Causes of Lyft Accidents
The most common cause of all car accidents is distracted driving and Lyft accidents are no exception. Lyft drivers may actually be more likely to be distracted than some other drivers due to the nature of their job. Lyft drivers will often need to rely on GPS map apps on their phones or other device in order to effectively navigate transport for their passengers.
This can pose an issue since looking at a phone app even for just navigation can be enough of a distraction that it can cause an accident. All you have to do is take your eyes off the road for a moment and that split second can mean the difference. Passengers can also create distractions that can increase the risk of a Lyft accident as well. Aside from smartphone usage, driver distractions can run the gamut from eating while driving to attempting to grab something in another part of the car. The following are some additional factors that can be the cause of Lyft accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
- Traffic violations
- Improper parking
- Poor Maintenance
Common Lyft Accident Injuries
Lyft accident injuries are essentially the same as other car accident injuries with those involved potentially experiencing severe physical trauma when their vehicle collides at high or even lower speeds. On occasion, there is potential for burn injuries or even psychological injuries caused by a Lyft accident.
Regardless of the injuries or even perceived condition, seek medical attention as soon as possible in the aftermath of a Lyft accident. Symptoms of injuries like whiplash can be masked by adrenaline leftover from the collision and not display until a day or maybe more afterwards. Getting medical assistance puts you on the track to well managed recovery and also documents your injuries which can benefit a future Lyft accident lawsuit.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken/fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Psychological injuries
Lyft Accident Damages
Lyft accident injuries can cause drastic changes to many aspects of a person’s life. Permanent injuries are especially troublesome since they can change a person’s career path, put them in medical debt, or even end relationships. These losses caused by Lyft accident injuries are known as damages that can be financially compensated with a Lyft accident claim settlement or trial award.
Damages in these Lyft accident claims will typically consist of either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial losses with a clear dollar value like medical bills and non-economic damages involve things like pain and suffering which are less tangible and have a more subjective dollar value. The following are the most common damages claimed in Lyft accident cases.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs and temporary transport
Lyft Accident Lawsuit FAQs
How Much Is My Lyft Accident Worth?
Determining the value of a Lyft accident lawsuit requires a significant amount of information as well as the expertise of a Lyft accident lawyer. No two Lyft accidents are the same and even those that involve similar injuries will involve different damages since the circumstances of claimants are different.
In order to get an accurate assessment of your Lyft accident and an estimate on how much you might be able to seek in damages speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Settlement calculators do not factor in certain details and have been shown to be inaccurate. Rely on the opinion of a legal professional with years of experience instead of a website.
How Much Does a Lyft Accident Lawyer Cost?
A personal injury lawyer does not typically charge an hourly rate but instead works for a contingent fee. This means that they collect their fee as a percentage of the money they get you in a settlement or trial award. This percentage is typically about 33% and taken after they get you compensation so you are able to hire a lawyer without paying up front. If they fail to get you compensation then they do not get paid anything so they are motivated to maximize the compensation you receive.
What Should I Do After a Lyft Accident?
In the aftermath of a Lyft accident, you should first ensure that you and those involved are safe and then emergency and medical assistance as soon as possible. It is imperative that you remain at the scene, get the contact information of all involved, and do not apologize or admit to fault in any way. Only after getting medical treatment should you consider speaking to a Lyft accident lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Lyft Accident Lawyer About Your Case
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Lyft accident then consider reaching out to an experienced Lyft accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options and begin the process of seeking fair compensation for your damages. Getting in touch with a Lyft accident attorney sooner rather than later can impact the success of a Lyft accident lawsuit and the level of financial compensation you receive.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer that specializes in Lyft accident lawsuits and not just car accident cases, in general, is integral to your ability to negotiate with insurance companies and ensure that you are not lowballed or taken advantage of. Your Lyft accident lawsuit deserves the attention of a legal professional whose experience and resources can properly support the advocation of your right to fair compensation after suffering injuries to no fault of your own.