Car Accidents That Occur While Riding Lyft
With the cost of fuel and car insurance, many drivers are choosing to park their vehicles (or not own one at all) and using applications such as Lyft to get them where they need to go. While ride sharing is not a new concept, most people think of the service only in terms of getting back and forth to work. The use of new technology makes it easy to use the concept of ride sharing for other types of transportation needs as well.
Overview of Lyft
For those who are unfamiliar with it, Lyft is an application people can use for finding rides. A user gets on the application, requests a ride, and a Lyft driver picks him up. While there is no actual charge for the service, the passenger can choose to make a "donation" to the driver who will then owe 20% to Lyft as an administrative fee. While the service is a great way for drivers who have some extra time or are headed in the same direction as another person who is in need of a ride, there is always the possibility of a car accident happening. While Lyft brags about having extensive coverage in case one of the drivers gets into an accident, it's important to make sure the coverage actually APPLIES to your situation. The average personal car insurance policy will not cover any "commercial use."
Lyft Insurance Coverage
The typical auto insurance policy covers carpooling, which is defined as several passengers in the same car going to a common location and sharing the cost. Once you begin making a profit out of driving people around (for some insurance companies, just providing transportation) it's necessary to obtain commercial insurance similar to the type that taxi cabs have. In the event that you are injured in an accident while riding in (or driving) a Lyft car, be prepared for the insurance company to deny your claim.
This brings up the question whether Lyft's umbrella policy will actually pay for any damages. According to the terms, the coverage is limited to liability and does not pay for any collision, comprehensive or other types of damage. This means the Lyft driver could be personally responsibility for any damages and injuries which occur during the course of transporting passengers. This is something potential drivers may want to consider before agreeing to this type of venture.
Anyone considering using Lyft as a mode of transportation should keep in mind there are still some legal issues that may enter the picture and affect the ability of an injured passenger to recover damages. The additional Lyft policy provides $1,000,000 of excess liability insurance that provides coverage beyond the scope of the driver's existing insurance. There is no charge to the driver for this additional coverage, nor does it affect any personal coverage the driver has. There is no provision for medical payments as the result of a car accident, so it is the responsibility of individual drivers to maintain their own health insurance coverage.
While using the services of Lyft is a new and innovative means of getting where you needs to go, it is not without repercussions. Anyone who has been injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber car should seek assistance from a lawyer. Our firm can assist you with any questions you may have and help you make the decision that is right for you. You can call us at 1-877-405-4313 for more information.