Who is Responsible for Injuries Sustained by a Lyft Accident?

We all know about the famous rideshare company Lyft as well as its popularity and competition with Uber, but have you ever wondered who is responsible for injuries sustained in case of a car accident?

This has been a growing concern as the number of cases have risen that resulted in complications between the company, drivers, the passengers, bystanders, and the third-party insurance providers Lyft contracts out their insurance service to.

In case you didn’t know; in the event of an Uber and Lyft accident, generally, Marsh Risk & Insurance Services will be the one to settle the insurance claims (not Lyft) who also have their own insurance adjusters, generally, the York Risk Service Group.

What is Covered Under the Insurance Policy?

“Lyft requires the drivers to carry their own policy and their policy can only be activated if the policy of the driver is not substantial enough to cover all the damages…”

To understand how the insurance policy for Lyft works, you need to first understand that there are three defined periods for the application of an insurance policy out of which, the insurance policy only kicks in during the 2nd and 3rd periods.

  • The first period is when you are dormant or have not accepted a ride. During this period, you are covered entirely by your personal insurance policy.
  • The 2nd period is when you have accepted a ride and are en route to pick up your ride.
  • The 3rd period is when you have your passenger picked up and you are en route to drop them off at their destination.

A driver is eligible for insurance provided by Lyft during the 2nd and 3rd periods only and even then the driver is liable to pay $2500 for the policy to kick in.

Having to pay $2500 in addition to having the insurance service contract out to a third party makes this a complicated case. In short, it may take time before the claim actually gets resolved.

To make matters worse, the settlement offer given by the third party (in this case, York Risk Service Group or YRSG) may not be sufficient to cover the damages entirely.

Breaking Down the 1 Million Dollar Lyft Policy

Lyft provides insurance worth $1M to drivers, passengers, and even bystanders/other drivers that have been caught in an accident in a three-part plan which includes:

  • Insurance for Lyft driver hurt in an accident caused by another driver
  • The Lyft Passengers who hurt during the ride due to an accident
  • To other drivers or bystanders hurt by a Lyft driver

Lyft requires the drivers to carry their own policy and their policy can only be activated if the policy of the driver is not substantial enough to cover all the damages or if the driver was transporting a ride at the time of the collision.

Driver or Rider: Who is Actually Responsible?

Although it may appear that the driver is responsible for the whole ordeal, in reality, this isn’t the case.

Lyft, on their part, has tried to completely avoid the responsibility by saying they are not accountable for the accidents caused by the drivers who are independent contractors rather than employees.

Lyft considers itself nothing more than a service app that is connecting people for service (clients to independent contractors).

This isn’t entirely accurate and even the courts are beginning to disagree with Lyft on the matter. The courts are not imposing stricter regulations for Lyft and other ridesharing companies and forcing them to accept these regulations. This means increased scrutiny over the safety of the riders.

Concerns Surrounding the Lyft Business Model

Lyft considers itself nothing more than a service app that is connecting people for service.”

The courts have ruled that such companies owe a duty to their passenger aka, their customers. However, if we look at the matter from a legal standpoint, several concerns are surrounding the business model of Lyft.

  • There is no process or system for a proper background check of the drivers or face-to-face interviews which raises tons of questions
  • They are not provided with any formal training, and nor are they, professional service drivers
  • The issue of safety as there have been numerous cases reported where the drivers have attacked the passengers, harassed or even raped them.
  • The need for drivers to keep looking at their phone for several reasons such as following GPS coordinates and picking up rides and fares causes distraction which can result in serious accidents.

In all fairness, Lyft should be liable for the damages caused to the driver and their vehicle and passengers as well.

What Can Be Done?

Cases like these require the help of an experienced attorney who is aware of the intrinsic details about insurance matters and can help you get out of it completely covered; this is where Goodnow and Mckay come in.

Our expertise in helping our clients win Lyft and Uber insurance claims is unparalleled with numerous successful wins. Please request a free consultation today if you need to settle an insurance dispute with Lyft or Uber.