With the evolution of smartphone apps, we have so many more options than just calling for a cab or catching a city bus when we need a ride. Unfortunately, accidents happen with ride-sharing, just as with any other car on the road. If you get hurt in an accident involving a Lyft driver, here’s what you should do to secure your health and your legal rights.
Get Everyone’s Information
After the accident, get everyone’s information as soon as it’s safely possible. Here are a few pieces of data to collect.
- Phone numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, and any other relevant contact information
- The license plate numbers for the Lyft automobile as well as any other vehicles involved in the accident
- Insurance information and driver’s license numbers for the Lyft driver and any other drivers involved
- Pictures of the accident and the cars involved as well as the surrounding environment
Understand Whose Insurance Is Responsible
Drivers for Lyft are independent contractors rather than employees. Therefore the company is not directly responsible for the actions of the driver. That means that even if the driver was negligent and at fault, the liability does not extend to Lyft. To contract with the company, Lyft drivers must carry their own auto insurance. In some locations, Lyft provides extra coverage, but this is not the case everywhere.
The decision about liability depends on the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Here are some questions to ask.
- Was the Lyft driver carrying passengers? If the answer is yes, then the driver is protected by the liability insurance provided by Lyft, which has a $1,000,000 per accident limit. This coverage applies if the Lyft driver hits you or your car while carrying a passenger. Your insurance company should communicate with Lyft for you to resolve this.
- Was the Lyft carrier in driver mode, but without a passenger at the time? If so, Lyft has a contingent liability policy that may apply. This coverage has limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damages. It only pays if the driver’s personal insurance refuses to pay.
- Was the Lyft driver off duty? If the driver was not on duty, then none of Lyft’s insurances will pay. The driver’s personal insurance is the entity with which to file your claim.
Where Can I Get Help?
If you are in an accident involving a Lyft driver, you should contact a competent and experienced attorney in your area to help you navigate these complicated rules. Contact an auto accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL as soon as possible so that you don’t inadvertently do anything to harm your case.
Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury claims and Lyft accidents.