Millions of people take Lyft or Uber vehicles to get to where they want to go or to return home safely after a night out. While rideshare services have greatly altered how people travel and are more convenient and affordable than hailing taxis, taking a Lyft can also come with some risks. While rideshare services are simple to use, Lyft and Uber accidents sometimes occur. What happens if you are injured while riding in a Lyft vehicle? Here’s what to do if your Lyft is involved in an accident.
Be sure to relay the exact information to any members of the police association when they arrive on scene as this might become crucial evidence.
Steps to Take If You’re Injured in a Lyft Accident
Any time you ride in a motor vehicle, you have a risk of being involved in an accident. While Lyft and Uber conduct background checks on people who drive for them, that does not mean that your driver will drive safely and will not cause a collision. If you are injured in a Lyft accident while riding as a passenger, you should take the steps listed below.
- Move the Vehicle to a Safe Spot.
If the Lyft driver and you are not seriously injured, help the driver to move the vehicle off of the road and onto the shoulder if possible. This can help to prevent other motorists from crashing into you and the vehicle. Tell the Lyft driver to turn on the vehicle’s hazard lights if he or she has not done so to warn other motorists.
- Call 911 to Report the Accident.
Call 911 to report the accident and summon help from the police and first responders. While you are waiting for the police to arrive, check yourself and others for injuries. If someone else is injured, provide first aid until the emergency responders arrive.
- Get Information From All of the Involved Drivers.
Ask the Lyft driver for his or her name, contact information, and insurance information. If another motorist was involved, you should also get that driver’s name, contact information, registration, and insurance information. Ask the other involved driver if he or she was driving as a part of his or her job. If he or she was, ask for the name of his or her employer.
- Tell the Police What Happened.
Tell the police officers what you remember in the moments leading up to the collision. Include important details such as whether your Lyft driver was speeding, texting, or doing anything else that might have caused the accident. You should also provide information about what the other motorist was doing just before the collision. While you are not the driver, it is still important to provide a statement to the police to ensure what the officer is told is accurate.
- Take Photographs.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene with your smartphone. Include pictures of the damages to the Lyft vehicle and any other involved car, their relative positions, the road and weather conditions, and nearby signs or traffic control devices. Photographs can provide important details that can be helpful in determining which driver was at fault so that you know where to file your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention Promptly.
While you might not believe that your injuries are serious at the time of your collision, you should still seek immediate medical attention. In some cases, people might not notice symptoms until hours or days later. Seeking medical care can help you to receive an accurate diagnosis of your injuries and can help to prevent your injuries from worsening. If you wait too long to seek medical care, you will also have a more difficult time proving to the insurance company that your injuries were caused by the Lyft accident instead of something else.
- Consult a Lyft Accident Attorney.
After you have gotten medical care, it is a good idea to consult a Lyft accident attorney. Lyft accidents frequently involve complex insurance claims issues, and an experienced injury lawyer can help you navigate the process so that you can recover compensation for your losses.
How Does Insurance Work in Lyft Accidents?
Insurance issues in Lyft accidents can be very complex. It can be difficult for you to determine under which policy you should file a claim, especially when the accident involved more than one party.
In most cases, you will not be liable for a Lyft accident as the passenger. Lyft drivers have liability insurance through Lyft, but the insurance only kicks in after the driver’s policy has provided coverage. All Lyft drivers must carry personal auto insurance. Many insurance companies will not cover accidents when their insureds were using their vehicles for business purposes unless they have purchased additional coverage or endorsements on their policies permitting them to drive their cars for work. If your Lyft driver’s insurance company denies your claim when the Lyft driver was at fault, you should then pursue a claim with Lyft’s insurance. You should be covered as the driver’s app was turned on at the time of your accident.
Lyft’s primary liability insurance will serve as the primary insurance coverage from the time your ride starts until it ends. This policy has a policy limit of $1 million per accident.
If another driver was at fault and caused the collision with the Lyft vehicle, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If that driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage limits to cover your injuries or is uninsured, Lyft’s UM/UIM coverage will apply.
If your injuries are serious and the available insurance is inadequate, you might want to speak to a lawyer. An injury attorney can help you identify all potential sources of recovery.
What if Both Drivers Were at Fault?
If both the driver of your Lyft and the other motorist shared fault for causing the collision and your injuries, you can file a claim with both of their policies. Each driver will be responsible for paying the percentage of damages allocated to them by their degree of fault. For example, if the Lyft driver was 40% at fault, and the other driver was 60% at fault, the Lyft driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying 40% of your damages while the other driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying 60% of your damages.
Is Filing a Lawsuit Against Lyft an Option?
People who drive for Lyft are independent contractors instead of employees. It is much more difficult to hold a company liable for the actions of its independent contractors as compared to its employees. If your Lyft driver was negligent and caused your accident and injuries, a court would be less likely to find that Lyft is liable. In most cases, Lyft’s insurance should be more than adequate to cover your losses. However, if you learn that your Lyft driver should not have been hired by Lyft because of a past history of major traffic violations such as DUIs, you might be able to file a lawsuit against Lyft for negligently hiring an incompetent driver.
When you use Lyft’s rideshare services to get to your destination, you likely don’t think that you will be injured in an accident. Unfortunately, however, there’s always a risk that you will be involved in a collision whenever you ride in a vehicle. Lyft collisions can and do occur, and it’s important for you to be prepared in case you are involved in one. Following the basic steps outlined above might help you to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.