Can I Sue Lyft After an Injury Accident?

HutzlerLaw October 28, 2022

Rideshare companies like Lyft are popular due to the convenience they give customers. Their business structure also allows people to work as drivers for additional income. As a result, you have likely seen a Lyft vehicle on the road.

The increase in Lyft drivers raises the potential for an accident. You may collide with a rideshare motorist and need to file a claim. However, the other party’s occupation can complicate the case. You may wonder if you can sue Lyft after an injury accident. An experienced car accident lawyer at Hutzler law can help you determine if you have a case.

Do Lyft Drivers Get Training?

sue lyft after an injury accidentThe rise of rideshare companies means more vehicles on the road daily. A study found a 3 percent increase in annual car accident fatalities due to these services. The leading cause of collisions with Lyft drivers varies, but motorist negligence is a common factor.

Even though people drive for Lyft, they do not receive formal training upon signing up. The rideshare company is not a part of the taxi industry. Therefore, it does not train and supervise its drivers as a taxi business would.

However, Lyft does not let everyone become a driver. An individual must meet specific requirements to transport passengers for income. The company tries to ensure customers ride with safe motorists.

For instance, a potential driver must have a license. Additionally, their car should meet Lyft’s safety standards and state-specific requirements. Despite this screening process, a Lyft driver may act carelessly and get into an accident.

Can You Sue Lyft After an Accident?

Usually, a company is responsible for a collision if its worker causes an accident while fulfilling job-related tasks. However, rideshare companies like Lyft are different. The associated drivers do not work for the company directly.

Instead, the law considers them independent contractors. As a result, a state’s vicarious liability rule does not allow a lawsuit against the negligent rideshare driver to include Lyft. A person most likely will only sue the driver for their injuries.

Nevertheless, Lyft is not immune from accident lawsuits. A lawyer may discover the company is liable in certain circumstances, allowing you to sue the business for a motor vehicle collision.

You could sue Lyft if they allowed a reckless motorist to accept ride requests. Like other rideshare companies, Lyft has requirements for who can become a driver. The business screens candidates and performs background checks. The checks review a person’s driving history and criminal background.

Therefore, Lyft might be negligent for a collision if it failed to screen a driver properly. For instance, if a background check revealed a history of traffic violations, but Lyft allowed the individual to become a Lyft driver and pick up passengers.

Lyft will hire lawyers to defend itself from liability. The company may try to shift the blame onto the driver entirely. Find a rideshare attorney who can support your claim and investigate the company’s screening procedures to determine liability.

Do You Need a Police Report?

Many states require people to notify the authorities of an accident if someone gets hurt or experiences significant damage. The police may or may not arrive if no one has injuries and the vehicle damage is minuscule. You should still visit the police station to report the accident if an officer does not appear.

Always notify the police of your accident, and be sure to get a copy of the accident report. A report is essential when you file a Lyft insurance claim. The adjuster likely will ask you for the document during their investigation.

A police report benefits your claim. You may obtain the names and numbers of witnesses, and your attorney may use the official record to establish the at-fault party’s negligence.

Who Pays for a Lyft Accident?

who pays for a lyft accident

Insurance companies usually pay for damages after accidents with Lyft drivers. However, people are unsure whose insurer to contact to establish a claim. The company you call depends on the status of the driver.

The at-fault driver’s insurance covers crash-related damages if the motorist does not log onto the rideshare app. While an estimated 12.6 percent of licensed drivers do not have insurance coverage, you may worry that this could affect your ability to claim damages. However, you do not need to worry.

Lyft requires its drivers to have a personal insurance plan before they sign up. Their coverage should meet the minimum state requirements. Therefore, you will likely receive insurance details from the driver when you talk to them after the collision.

Different states require different insurance limits for rideshare drivers and companies. According Arizona’s insurance requirements, for example, once a passenger enters a rideshare vehicle, taxi, livery vehicle, or limousine, the coverage limits climb to a minimum of $250,000 in primary commercial motor vehicle liability insurance per incident and $250,000 in commercial uninsured motorist coverage per incident.

If a rideshare driver is deadheading—available to provide passenger transportation but not carrying or going to pick up a rider—they must carry $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of any one person in any one accident, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Either Lyft or the driver may maintain this policy.

Call a Lyft accident lawyer near you for more information about the rideshare insurance limits available to pay for your injuries.

Do You Need a Lyft Accident Lawyer?

The Lyft driver’s or the rideshare company’s insurer covers property damage and physical injuries. Nevertheless, the insurance company will prioritize its financial interests. The adjuster may try to devalue your claim to lower the payout.

Lyft accident lawyers know tactics insurers use to limit payments. They will shield their clients from intimidation or pressure from adjusters. Your attorney will handle negotiations and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.

Additionally, you may need a lawyer if the insurance company claims the accident did not cause your injuries. An attorney gathers your medical records to prove the at-fault driver’s behavior led to your bodily harm. Your attorney will gather healthcare bills to show your injuries resulted in economic losses.

Can You Sue if You Were a Lyft Passenger?

You might have been in a Lyft driver’s vehicle during an accident. Even as a passenger, you can file a claim against Lyft for damages. You have the same rights to compensation as a driver would.

You can bring a claim against one or both drivers involved in the accident. Hire a lawyer before calling an insurer to know what parties were negligent and who may be liable for your injuries.

No-Contact Crashes With Lyft Drivers

A no-contact car accident is when you get into a crash, but the other vehicle does not hit you. Since physical contact did not occur, some people are unsure if they can sue the other motorist. If the Lyft driver’s action caused the accident leading to injuries, the law entitles you to compensation.

No-contact collisions with Lyft vehicles may occur because the at-fault driver did not signal when merging or changing lanes. Without a signal, you may not have reasonably expected the car to attempt to get into your lane. You may instinctively maneuver to avoid a direct hit if they get too close, leading to an accident.

Another common cause is if the Lyft driver does not yield to the right of way, causing an accident. You can hold the motorist liable for their carelessness.

If the Lyft vehicle’s actions cause you to swerve and collide with a tree, pole, or another object, you may have difficulty proving they were at fault because their car did not physically contact yours.

A Lyft accident attorney can benefit your claim, parsing out if Lyft is liable in your circumstances. Your lawyer protects your rights to reimbursement for a no-contact crash.

Lyft Accident Claims Involving Children

Every year, around 91,000 young children sustain injuries from car accidents. Some of the crashes likely involve negligent Lyft drivers. After an accident, an underaged victim has the same rights to compensation for their losses as an adult.

In many places, a minor can wait until they turn 18 before the statute of limitations takes effect. However, a parent or guardian can file an accident claim and even a lawsuit on their child’s behalf. The case goes through the standard process like any other Lyft collision claim.

During negotiations, a child can claim the damages an adult would in a settlement. They receive money for the healthcare expenses related to their injuries. In addition, the negligent driver may compensate the victim for the cost of future treatment and medical devices.

Lost wages typically are not applicable in accident lawsuits where a child sustains injuries. However, the victim’s condition may affect their ability to work for a sustainable income in the future. Therefore, they can recover damages for a diminished earning capacity.

Injured children have the right to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other emotional effects. The damages value may be higher since children live with the long-term consequences much longer.

Some states allow the child to recover punitive damages as well. The court must determine that the Lyft driver displayed egregious behavior to award punitive damages. The judge awards the damages in only a handful of cases.

If a Lyft driver causes an accident that injures you or damages your property, contact a Lyft accident lawyer today for your free consultation.