If you live in a large metropolitan area, ride-sharing with companies such as Lyft are increasingly frequent and widespread. Whether it is requesting a ride home from a late-night dinner with friends or a trip to the airport in the early morning, the convenience is beyond question. Sometimes, however, the journey does not go as planned when the car is in an accident. You could also be struck by a Lyft vehicle while you are crossing the street or riding your bicycle. When a Lyft ride injures you, what do you do? The good news is, there is help.
Your driver is classified under the ride-sharing company contract as an independent contractor. That means the in almost all cases, the Lyft company
- is not seen as the employer
- cannot be held liable for the driver’s driving skills
- is not responsible for the negligence of the driver
In other words, Lyft is not seen as an immediate party in the auto accident. Even if your driver is entirely at fault, e.g., driving while intoxicated, you cannot hold the company as solely responsible or sue Lyft for damages incurred unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Ride-sharing drivers are always required under their contract with the company to purchase and maintain automobile insurance. This includes uninsured and under-insured motorist certificates of liability insurance. What that means to you if you are injured in a Lyft accident, is that you will have recourse against the ride-sharing driver’s insurance for your injuries. For most policies, the UM coverage tops out at $250,000 for most passenger claims, whether the driver was at fault or not. However, most insurance policies also have a combined single limit amount of $1 million for liability coverage of injuries that incur in a ride-sharing incident.
As with most insurance, the policy can be confusing. The driver’s Personal Injury Protection insurance may pay medical coverage up to $10,000 if the injured party makes a claim and seeks medical treatment within two weeks of the accident date. If medical bills exceed that amount, a claim must be made against the liable party. This claim can include pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
If you or someone you love were injured in a Lyft collision, seek immediate medical attention and then contact a car accident lawyer, such as from Barry P. Goldberg, to find out what rights of recovery you may have. Once you find an attorney, they will file a claim with the insurance company to get your case started.