Article Updated: August 3, 2021
Lyft Accidents & Settlements
If you were in a Lyft accident, this article is for you. In it, you will learn:
♦ Who can recover compensation in a Lyft accident
♦ Lyft claim liability
♦ Lyft claim filing process
♦ Lyft claim compensation and settlement info
If your question is not answered in the article, let us know. We can answer you question by updating this article with the answer, writing a new article with the answer, or for a faster response provide you a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your issue.
Table of Contents
Lyft Insurance & Settlement 411
Who Qualifies to Make a Lyft Accident Claim
You will be eligible for a Lyft accident settlement if you are:
♦ A passenger, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist who was injured due to the faulty driving of a Lyft driver who struck you
♦ A passenger who was traveling in a Lyft that was involved in an accident
♦ A ridesharing driver who got injured in the accident due to the fault of another motorist or pedestrian
Although you may technically quality to make a claim, the real question is often the value of the claim. That will be based on four settlement factors, and your injury, because different injuries have different settlement and verdict values.
Liability for Lyft Accidents
You can recover compensations from anyone who contributed to causing your Lyft accident. These may include:
♦ Lyft Driver
♦ The driver of another taxi or vehicle
♦ Government Agency (defective road design claim)
♦ Vehicle manufacturer (defective product design claim)
I would predict that in approximately 99% of Lyft accident cases, the defendant is the Lyft driver and an insurance company for an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Can You Sue Lyft for an Accident?
In the US, Lyft categorizes its drivers as independent contractors and not employees. This means that if you are part of an accident caused by a Lyft driver, you won’t be able to hold Lyft accountable for the damages.
However, the law makes it compulsory for Lyft to have an insurance policy that protects its drivers, as well as the injured third parties, under particular circumstances.
Thus, if you or your loved one is injured in an accident involving a Lyft driver, you will generally sue the Lyft driver, but will be able to get your settlement money from Lyft’s insurance company or the Lyft driver’s private insurance company.
Lyft App Stages & Insurance Coverage Amounts
How much settlement money, or insurance coverage from Lyft for a settlement payout, is available will depend on what stage the Lyft app was on when your accident happened.
Lyft has 3 stages for their app, outlined below.
1) Lyft Driver Was Not Logged Into the Application
If the accident occurred at the time when the Lyft driver was not logged into the application, then Lyft and its insurance carrier cannot be held liable to cover the injuries. Instead, you will have to seek compensation from the Lyft driver’s private insurance provider.
2) Lyft Driver Was Logged Into the Application and Was Waiting for a Passenger
Accidents may occur when the Lyft driver was logged into the application but was waiting for a ride request. In such cases, Lyft has a limited insurance policy to cover the injuries and losses that occur during this period.
The policy for accidents during thsi time covers:
- Bodily damages or death for a total of $100,000 for every accident and $50,000 per person
- Property damages of up to $25,000 per accident
However, you need to remember that Lyft’s insurance provider is considered secondary coverage. Therefore, you will first have to make a claim against the Lyft driver’s insurance provider.
If the damages in your accident exceed what can be recovered by the Lyft driver’s insurance, you can make a claim with Lyft’s policy for the remainder of your injuries, medical bills, and other losses.
3) Lyft Driver Was Logged Into the Application and Accepted a Ride Request
This period provides the highest insurance coverage because accidents occurring in this stage involve Lyft’s passengers.
Lyft has a $1 million insurance policy that comes into effect from the moment the Lyft driver accepts a ride request, even if that driver has not yet picked up the passenger. This coverage extends until the rider is picked, driven to the specified location, and dropped off.
The coverage ends when the ride is ended on the Lyft application. Accordingly, if you get into an accident while you were in a Lyft vehicle as a passenger, you can claim benefits from Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy.
Again, this policy is also secondary in coverage. You will be required to make a claim with the Lyft driver’s insurance provider first. If that insurance policy cannot cover your damages, then you can seek compensation from Lyft’s insurer.
Read more about Lyft’s insurance policy.
Insurance Companies that Handle Lyft Accident Claims
Lyft works with numerous insurance providers to support coverage for its drivers. Every insurance company has its own policies regarding the insurance it provides and the state in which it operates.
Therefore, when you are involved in an accident, it is helpful to know which insurance company covers your region. Some of the insurance companies that Lyft works with are:
Unlike other insurance companies, GEICO offers a hybrid insurance plan that covers both business and personal trips.
In this way, the company will be liable to provide insurance whether you are injured as a passenger in Lyft or hit by a Lyft driver even when the application was off.
The company also does not enforce any mileage restriction, which some carriers do. The process of filing a claim with GEICO for a Lyft accident also appears to be relatively easy as compared to other companies. It is available in all states except:
♦ New Jersey
♦ New York
♦ North Carolina
Mercury insurance is designed to fill the gaps where other coverage is not applicable. In other words, this insurance program covers the damages if the accident occurred when the ridesharing application was turned on, but the Lyft driver had not yet accepted any passenger. However, it only provides insurance coverage in:
Just like GEICO, State Farm’s policy also does not have any mileage restrictions when it comes to Lyft coverage. Therefore, you would be able to get compensation for the injuries, regardless of how much mileage was covered by your Lyft driver.
However, you won’t be able to get any insurance coverage for Lyft accidents with this coverage in:
♦ New York
♦ North Carolina
Allstate provides a “Ride for Hire” coverage to many Lyft drivers. In this way, if you are involved in an accident caused by a Lyft driver, you can claim compensation under this insurance policy.
This policy covers all the damages covered under all 3 stages of a Lyft driver’s duty. Allstate’s insurance policy for Lyft can be available in all states except:
♦ New York
Progressive offers various commercial insurance policies similar in nature to that of Allstate and State Farm. It covers all the needed coverage for Lyft drivers across every phase of transport. Progressive does not provide insurance coverage in all states.
You can search for the certificate of insurance held by Lyft for your state.
Available Compensation for Lyft Accident Injuries
Like any other car accident, if you were in a Lyft accident due to the negligence of someone other than you, the negligent party is responsible to pay you for your:
♦ Medical expenses
♦ Lost wages
♦ Emotional Distress
♦ Pain and suffering
♦ Loss of enjoyment of life
How much compensation you can get will depend primarily on:
♦ Available insurance policy limits
♦ Your injuries
In other words, just because a bucket of money is available to you, that does not mean you will get it. Careful analysis and aggressive litigation is necessary to get maximum value for any Lyft accident claim.
Lyft Settlement Claims Issues
Who Will be Liable to Pay Medical Bills After a Lyft Accident?
If the injured victim is a Lyft passenger, and the Lyft passenger has a car, then the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto coverage of that passenger can pay almost $10,000 in medical bills. However, PIP is only applicable in No-fault states, including Florida. The amount of coverage available will depend on what policy you purchased.
In case the Lyft passenger does not have a car, Lyft will pay $10,000 of that injured passenger’s medical bills. For this compensation, the passenger will have to sign an affidavit stating that they do not own a car or have other available insurance.
What if Lyft’s Insurance Company is Not Being Responsive?
If you are not receiving a proper or adequate response from Lyft’s insurance company in handling your claim, you can file a consumer complaint in your state to the insurance commissioner. However, from experience I can tell you this will often not be very fruitful, and will take so much time you risk jeopardizing your statute of limitations.
It also helps if you have a Lyft accident lawyer making contacts for you on your behalf, as companies tend to respond in a more timely manner to attorney requests because they understand the threat of litigation is real.
Statute of Limitations for a Lyft Accident Claim
If you are injured in a Lyft accident due to the negligence of the driver or another motorist, you will have to act quickly or your claim will expire (i.e., your statute of limitations date will pass).
The statute of limitations usually lasts up to three years in many states, though it is two years in some states and one year in other states. In California, it is two years for personal injury claims.
Although you technically have up until your statute of limitations, the reality is you do NOT. Building and preparing a claim takes many months. Many lawyers will refuse to take your case if your statute of limitations is 90 days away. Stated differently, the closer to your statute of limitations you get, the worse a selection of lawyers you will find who are willing to take your case.
Why? Because the closer to the deadline a case is the more risk of errors exist. More risk equals more chance of malpractice. Good lawyers have no need to roll the dice and take risky cases where they are being rushed into what is effectively an emergency, legal surgery.
Insurance adjusters know this, and intentionally drag out and use up your time, putting your back against the wall. Savvy victims also know this, and hire an attorney right out the gates so they don’t get bamboozled by tricky insurance adjusters.
Claim Submission Process for Lyft Injuries
Lyft Claims Centers
Lyft offers an online accident reporting tool which you can use to provide details about your accident. This will allow you to get in touch with a Lyft accident claims center representative.
However, when talking with a claims rep, you will have to be careful because it might damage your compensation case and you should speak to a Lyft car accident lawyer before reaching out to Lyft directly. If you already speak to that lawyer and they deny your claim due to liability, do not expect any miracles from an accident lawyer. Too many times we receive calls from clients who have killed their chance at a pre-litiation settlement because they said something to the adjuster that was hurtful.
What if There are Numerous Claims for the Accident Against the Lyft Driver?
There can be more than one accident claim against a Lyft driver which all relate to the same accident (think multi-car or multi-victim accident).
If the coverage is enough to pay for everyone’s injuries, then individual settlements can be reached.
If not, Lyft’s insurance company may offer its full liability policy for all injured victims and/or individual limits for each injured person. If the insurance company agrees to do so, it will send you or your attorney a letter stating the terms of the policy limits for all the Lyft accident claims.
The company will then encourage all the injured claimants to reach a settlement, meaning all the injured victims have to decide how to split that pie.
If a settlement cannot be attained, you might have to attend a global settlement conference or mediation. A mediator is someone who listens to all the sides when settling a case. Before the mediation, it is a good practice to ask the attorney or adjuster for Lyft’s insurance company if they agree to pay for the cost of the meditator.
If you are in this situation, you need an attorney ASAP. There is a lot of opportunity for savvy positioning and lawyers will be each advocating creatively for their respective clients. You don’t want to be at that table alone and realize you left tens of thousands of dollars on the table because you forgot to cross a t or dot an i.
Lyft Accident Q&A
My Lyft got into an accident, can I get compensation for this?
If your Lyft got into an accident you can recover compensation and get recovery for a range of damages. Lost wages because of a Lyft car accident, medical costs due to your accident and compensation for your pain and suffering are some of the compensations that you can recover. How much you get for these different components will depend on four settlement factors, and two injury factors.
Will having a Lyft car accident lawyer help my case?
Yes, having a Lyft car accident layer can help your case in many ways. Lyft and other rideshare companies like it are multimillion dollar organizations with entire teams of attorneys at their disposal. Your case has a much better chance of succeeding if you also have support on your side to fight fire with fire and make sure you do not get bullied into a small settlement.
Does Lyft cover accidents?
Yes, Lyft covers some parts of accidents when your own personal injury insurance does not cover your losses. However, there are limits to this and damages can exceed what Lyft is often willing to cover. It is important to flush out your Lyft driver’s phone-app use during the accident, as that can impact coverage.
Are Lyfts safe?
Rideshares like Lyft have many problems associated with them and while they can generally be safe, there are many accidents and concerns with the safety of the rideshares which lead to accidents and harm to passengers.
Are accidents in ride-shares common?
Yes, ride-share accidents are common. The massive growth of rideshare companies like Lyft and the number of drivers they have has added to the increase in the frequency of their accidents. These vehicles are being operated by drivers who are often working long hours, or are working double and triple shifts, making them fatigued and prone to causing accidents and injuries.
Who is liable for my Lyft accident?
This will depend on your specific accident, but this can be linked to the driver of the Lyft, the insurance provider of that driver as well as Lyft and its insurance and owners and operators. Technically, in these accidents you will sue the Lyft driver, but an insurance company will be liable to pay for that Lyft driver’s negligence.
Why are accidents common with rideshares like Lyft?
Accidents are common with rideshares like Lyft due to the lack of experience that Lyft drivers have and the additional stresses and personal factors that affect these drivers (including working overtime frequently), which leads often to more accidents with these rideshares.
Can I sue Lyft Directly?
Yes, you can sue Lyft directly although it will be highly likely that you will run into many problems in proving Lyft was directly negligent. This is part due to the status of Lyft drivers as independent contractors, and not employees, which shuts the door on a negligent hiring, retention, and employment claim. You can overcome this hurdle, but it is much more difficult than a straightforward accident claim.
Are there different laws and rules state to state for Lyft accidents?
Yes, there are different state laws and rules regarding Lyft accidents and how they will affect you. A Lyft accident attorney in Los Angeles for example will have different state laws and policies to follow versus an attorney in New York or Virginia. These different rules and laws cover time limits for when you can sue, how much you can recover, and the procedure you must follow to make a claim.
Should I look for a Lyft accident lawyer who specializes in Lyft cases?
When looking for the right Lyft accident attorney, it does help to work with one who has experience in Lyft or rideshare accident cases. This will help you have someone working on your case who has insight on how to win your case, deal with specific insurance adjusters, and familiarity with the law firms these rideshare companies use to defend their cases (which are different than the attorneys who handle most normal insurance company cases).
Los Angeles Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a Lyft accident, our Los Angeles attorneys are on standby and ready to help you. Even if you were hurt outside of Los Angeles, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by calling to use our free 30 minute consultation.
For more settlement and strategy articles based on the type of vehicle involved in your accident, return to the personal injury home page. To learn about the value of your specific injuries, visit our injury value and strategy home page.
Supporting Citations, Literature & Resources:
Feeney, M. (2015). Is ridesharing safe?. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, (767).
Geisser, L. (2015). Risk, Reward, and Responsibility: A Call to Hold UberX, Lyft, and Other Transportation Network Companies Vicariously Liable for the Acts of Their Drivers. S. Cal. L. Rev., 89, 317.
Li, S., Tavafoghi, H., Poolla, K., & Varaiya, P. (2019). Regulating TNCs: Should Uber and Lyft set their own rules?. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 129, 193-225.
Malin, B. J., & Chandler, C. (2017). Free to work anxiously: Splintering precarity among drivers for Uber and Lyft. Communication, Culture & Critique, 10(2), 382-400.
NHTSA. Drowsy Driving
Insurance Information Institute. Facts + Statistics: Highway safety
U.S. Bureau of Statistics. Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2019
About the Author
Article Author: This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire. Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California. His law license number is 277263. He has been practicing law for 10 years. Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 dollars in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.
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