For years, cities like New York and Philadelphia relied heavily on taxi cabs to transport travelers around the city. In recent years, companies like Lyft have revolutionized city transportation. Anyone with a valid license and insured car has the opportunity to become a Lyft driver. As experiences with taxi drivers will tell you, Lyft drivers are not immune to accidents. With rowdy fares in their backseat, Lyft drivers face more distractions than the average driver on the road, leading to more accidents, property damage, and even physical injury.
Lyft-related accidents happen every day. Even though Lyft is a young company, the legal team at Freundlich & Littman, LLC has the experience to deal with Lyft. Through years of dealing with insurance companies on accident-related claims, we know how insurance companies operate.
How Does Lyft Work?
Lyft is similar to the popular service, Uber. Lyft is essentially just a mobile app available for smartphone users. Lyft drivers sign up with the service to become drivers. Lyft reportedly screens applicants to make sure they have valid driver’s license and other requirements. The drivers turn on the app whenever they seek to pick up a fare.
Passengers use the app to connect with the drivers. Essentially, Lyft acts as the go-between the drivers and passengers. The legal problem is whether Lyft drivers are “independent contractors” or actual employees of Lyft. Litigation is new in this area and the answer is subject to change.
To understand the difference between the two legal distinctions, you need to be aware of the concept of vicarious liability. When it comes to accidents, the law needs to hold someone liable for the damage. Typically, employers are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees during the course of their employment. If not, the employer is not liable. Independent contractors are independent actors in the legal sense, meaning that they alone hold responsibility for their actions. This distinction, therefore, matters to the plaintiff seeking to have their medical bills and property damage paid.
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I Was In An Accident With A Lyft Driver – Who Is Responsible?
The first you should do is contact legal counsel before seeking internal options through Lyft. Independent legal counsel has your best interest at heart. Even if you are a Lyft driver, you may be having a difficult time getting Lyft to supplement your insurance under their official corporate policy. After contacting legal help, the next thing you need to do is understand Lyft’s policy for accident coverage and reporting.
Lyft has policies to protect drivers in the case of financial loss after an accident. The app must be on for Lyft’s contingent liability policy to kick in. If the app is off, then a driver’s personal insurance governs. Lyft’s official policy on their contingent policy is:
Lyft also offers contingent comprehensive and contingent collision coverage for their drivers. The drivers are only entitled to this coverage if they carry the same coverage in their personal insurance. Lyft does not currently offer coverage for drivers when the driver turns off the app.
I Think That I Need A Lyft Accident Lawyer
Lyft has an internal process for reporting accidents, but this does not mean that should rely on them to handle your case. You cannot rely on Lyft to act in your best interest because they are a multi-million dollar company. Lyft stresses that their drivers must report the accident, but what about the interests of the passenger or other motorists? This is where legal representation is crucial.
Lyft’s one million dollar insurance policy supplements a driver’s insurance. The one million is per ride. If the injuries exceed that amount Lyft may give you trouble about collecting.
Do you need help navigating through a Lyft-related accident? Are you confused by your responsibilities in this situation? We at Freundlich & Littman, LLC are your Lyft accident lawyers. If you need legal advice or representation, let us help you. We will help you fight for the compensation that you need.