Who is Liable in a Santa Monica Lyft Accident?
Is Lyft responsible for your Santa Monica accident?
In the aftermath of most car accidents, the involved drivers exchange contact and insurance information, and prepare for the next steps. If the at-fault driver was on the job when the accident occurred, that next step can include a personal injury claim against the driver and their employer.
If the at-fault person was driving for Lyft, though, things can get complicated in a hurry.
Because Lyft views its drivers as independent contractors, liability is largely dependent upon if the driver was logged into the Lyft app and accepting rides. Even in situations when it’s clear Lyft needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing, they often look for any way possible to slip away.
Will Lyft assume all liability?
This can be clear as mud sometimes, but we’ll do our best to explain so that it makes sense.
In the eyes of Lyft, there are three distinctive periods that determine who will be responsible for an accident.
- Period 1: The Lyft driver is riding around searching for fares but hasn’t yet been matched with one.
- Period 2: The Lyft driver has been assigned with a fare, and is on the way to meet them.
- Period 3: A rider is in the Lyft driver’s vehicle.
If your wreck occurs during Period 1, you’ll have to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. If the driver has no insurance, Lyft may eventually pony up with their contingent liability insurance coverage – but their limits are fairly low.
How much insurance coverage does Lyft provide?
Again, it depends on when the accident occurred.
If the Lyft driver was logged into the app but had not been matched with a rider when the wreck occurred (Period 1), Lyft’s liability coverage limits are:
- $50,000 per person who experiences an injury from the accident
- $25,000 for property damage.
For wrecks during Periods 2 and 3 when the Lyft driver is actively engaged with a passenger, the company should utilize its $1 million in primary liability coverage. You can count on them, however, to put as many obstacles in your way before authorizing payment.
As for collision insurance coverage – which covers damage to vehicles in a crash – Lyft provides limited protection only if their driver carries it on their personal insurance. Even then, the Lyft policy has a hefty deductible of $2,500.
What are the common causes for Lyft accidents in Santa Monica?
As we wrote in a previous issue, the flood of ridesharing drivers has led to a dramatic increase in traffic accidents.
The combination of low compensation for fares and the increase in Lyft drivers leads to increasingly aggressive behavior behind the wheel.
Added to this potentially deadly mix are the dangers of distracted driving. Because many Lyft drivers are reliant upon GPS devices to pick up and transport their passengers, some routinely take their eyes off the road.
Plus, because they are matched with fares through the Lyft app, drivers are continually interacting with it with their hands – often while driving.
If You’ve Been in an Accident With a Lyft Driver, Call the Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyers at Sina Rez Law.
Even though they’re providing an obviously popular service, Lyft can be incredibly difficult to deal with when one of their drivers has caused an accident. Their preferred method seems to be looking for practically any way or technicality to do the right thing.
If a Lyft driver injures you, it can be especially intimidating and frustrating to take the company on yourself.
Fortunately, we have the experience and knowledge to secure the justice and compensation you deserve. We’re not the least bit intimidated by large companies like Lyft and insurance carriers.
Free case evaluation.
Speak with a top-rated Santa Monica Personal Injury lawyer today to understand your rights before they expire. Time is of the essence.