If you are involved in a Lyft accident, you need to know not only who is at fault but which insurance policy will cover your injuries. Because of the unique relationship between Lyft and its drivers, your legal rights can differ from those in other car accidents.
How Lyft Works
Someone interested in using Lyft’s service goes to the Google Play Store or the app store and searches for the Lyft app. The user downloads the app to their smartphone or other mobile device and then enters relevant personal information—name, email, and phone number. The user goes to his or her GPS to enter the user’s location and then requests a Lyft. The Lyft driver then picks up the rider at that location.
The Relationship Between Lyft and Its Drivers
Lyft drivers are not employees of Lyft. They are independent contractors. This distinguishes a Lyft accident from other accidents, such as those involving trucks owned by a trucking company. The trucking company is liable for the acts of its drivers in the course of their employment. Lyft does not assume the liability of an employer. Lyft drivers use their own vehicles, and Lyft requires its drivers to have personal insurance coverage. Lyft provides liability insurance if riders or others are injured. Lyft spells out its insurance policy on its website.
Determining Whose Insurance Policy Applies in a Lyft Accident
If you are involved in a Lyft accident, you need to know which insurance policy—your own, Lyft’s insurance, or the Lyft driver’s insurance—covers your injuries.
Accident When a Lyft Driver’s Mode Is Off
When a Lyft driver’s mode is off—he or she is not accepting requests for rides—the Lyft’s personal insurance applies. If you are involved in an accident with a Lyft driver whose mode is off, the accident is treated the same as other accidents. If you are negligent and your negligence caused the accident, your insurance policy applies.
If the Lyft driver was negligent and his or her negligence caused the accident, the Lyft driver’s personal policy applies. If the Lyft driver’s coverage is not sufficient to cover your injuries, you may use your underinsured motorist coverage to cover your remaining damages.
Accident When a Lyft Driver’s Mode Is On but No Rider
When a Lyft driver’s mode is on but he or she has not accepted a ride request, Lyft provides liability coverage. If you are in a vehicle struck by a Lyft driver and the Lyft driver’s negligence causes the accident, you may recover under Lyft’s insurance policy. The Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy likely does not cover the Lyft driver when he or she is driving his or her vehicle for hire, such as in the Lyft ride-sharing arrangement.
The limits of Lyft’s coverage are $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. These limits may change if a particular state requires them to be higher.
Accident When a Lyft Driver Has a Rider in the Vehicle
Lyft provides liability coverage if an accident occurs after the rider enters the Lyft vehicle until the rider exits the vehicle if the Lyft driver’s negligence causes the accident. The limits on Lyft’s liability policy are $1 million per accident.
Lyft provides uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to cover the amount your damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
The uninsured motorist coverage also kicks in if an unknown driver is responsible for the accident.
As with other automobile accidents, you must prove that the Lyft driver was negligent and that the Lyft driver’s negligence caused the accident. Who is at fault in the accident may not be easily determined, and Lyft’s insurance company may argue that you were totally or partially responsible for the accident. If your negligence contributed to the accident, Florida law still permits you to recover for your injuries, but it reduces your recovery by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are 25% at fault, you can recover only 75% of your damages.
Which insurance applies in a Lyft accident can be confusing. If you are involved in a Lyft accident, call a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 in Melbourne, FL.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
In Florida, you have four years to file a suit for injuries you suffer in an automobile accident. If someone dies in a crash, the time limit is two years to file a wrongful death suit. You do not need to wait until the time limit is about to expire to contact an attorney. The earlier you call an attorney, the quicker the attorney can start gathering evidence and start working toward getting you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
What Actions to Take If You Are in a Lyft Accident
If you are involved in a Lyft accident, the first thing to do, as with any traffic accident, is to check to see if anyone is hurt. Call the police even if the accident is minor so there is a written record of who is at fault.
You can take other action at the scene of the accident that could help your case later:
- Get the names of witnesses. Do not forget to get contact information.
- Take photographs of the accident scene. Make sure to get pictures of any skid marks on the surface.
- Talk to the police to make sure you explain how the accident happened.
- Make sure to obtain insurance information from any other drivers.
If injured in a Lyft accident, call a Lyft accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL at the Law Offices of Anidjar and Levine at 1-800-747-3733. Our lawyers can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or the liable parties to obtain compensated for your injuries. Our attorneys will take the matter to court if necessary.