Lyft, the nation’s second most commonly used ridesharing service, provides cost-effective, flexible transportation for people in the Pittsburgh area, from Highland Park to Carson Street. It is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to taxis and other transportation options, with an estimated three million people actively using Lyft each month.
But what happens when an accident occurs involving a Lyft car? Who is liable for damages? The answer depends on the circumstances of the accident and whether the injured victim is a Lyft driver, a passenger, or an occupant of another vehicle. Liability and insurance—particularly when there are multiple parties or a business involved—are complicated topics.
Below, we shed some light on the topic with the basics of Lyft accident liability. If you were recently hurt in a Lyft accident in Pittsburgh, our Lyft accident and injury lawyers at Berger and Green would be happy to discuss your options for compensation with you. Call our office at 412-661-1400 and schedule a complimentary, informative consultation today.
What are the recovery options for injured Lyft drivers?
Lyft provides several types of liability protection for its drivers. If you are injured in an accident while not in driver mode, you will need to recover damages by either filing a claim with your own personal insurance company or against the at-fault driver who caused your accident.
If, however, you are on-duty with the driver mode on, Lyft provides the following protections:
Contingent Liability: If you are in an accident when driver mode is on but have yet to receive a ride request, you will first need to file a claim with your personal insurance company. If your insurer denies your claim, you can use Lyft’s contingent liability policy, which covers up to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $25,000 for property damage.
Primary Automobile Liability: From the time you have received a ride request to the time the ride is complete, you are covered under Lyft’s primary liability policy, which pays up to $1 million per accident.
Contingent Comprehensive and Collision: Damage to your vehicle is also covered up to $50,000 under Lyft’s collision and comprehensive coverages, so long as you carry collision and comprehensive through your own personal insurer, as well. Lyft’s contingent and comprehensive coverages will protect you irrespective of fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): If you were transporting a passenger and were injured in an accident caused by a driver or passenger that has no or inadequate insurance, Lyft’s UM/UIM will cover your damages up to $1 million per accident.
What are the recovery options for injured Lyft passengers?
As a Lyft passenger, you are likely not to blame for the accident. Which insurance company you file a claim with depends on who was at fault. You might file a claim against:
- The Lyft driver’s personal insurer;
- Lyft’s insurer, since passengers are covered under their liability and UM/UIM policies; or
- A third party insurer, if another driver was at-fault and hit the Lyft car you were in.
Identifying which coverages you have access to, proving fault, and figuring out which insurance company or companies to file a claim with after a Lyft accident can be quite challenging and frustrating, especially when you are dealing with injuries in the aftermath of an accident. Talk to a qualified Lyft accident and injury lawyer in Pittsburgh for the answers you need and for help filing and maximizing your claim.
What are the recovery options for injured third parties?
If you were hurt in accident involving a Lyft vehicle, your options for recovery depend on fault. When you are at fault, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company under your medical payments and collision coverage, if you carry it. However, if the Lyft driver was at fault, you can file a claim with Lyft’s insurer under their liability coverages up to the limits discussed above.
Of course, there may be other parties that are at-fault, as well. For example, if your accident was caused by a defect in either your car or the Lyft car, you can file a claim against the manufacturer. Again, because determining liability requires investigation and knowledge of legal and insurance terms, you are best off speaking to a local injury attorney familiar with Lyft accidents to get direction on how to proceed with a claim.
Lyft accidents are complex. Berger and Green can help you recover.
The fact that there is often more than one insurer involved in a Lyft accident makes recovery challenging. Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises that will try to divert liability whenever possible to avoid costly payouts to victims. They try to pass the buck. Lyft does not want to cover something that another insurance company will, and vice-versa.
Plus, some private insurance policies will not cover accidents at all when the driver was a Lyft driver unless the policyholder has a commercial or ridesharing-friendly policy and had a passenger in the car at the time of the accident. But as a driver, passenger, or other road user, we believe you deserve protection. You should not be liable for damages when someone else caused your accident. You are entitled to recover your losses such as medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering from at-fault parties.
Unfortunately, many Lyft accident victims are just not aware of their rights and have no idea how to navigate the confusing web of insurance claims. They do not know exactly what losses they can recover, how much they are entitled to, or how to negotiate with the insurer for a fuller settlement.
Our Lyft accident and injury attorneys at Berger and Green do. We have been handling Lyft accident claims since the company’s inception. We know how to handle claims efficiently and effectively and how to maximize our clients’ recoveries. If you do not handle your claim correctly, you could miss out on compensation you deserve. Let our qualified, caring legal team help. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 for a free case evaluation.