Lyft rideshare drivers and passengers are involved in thousands of auto accidents across the country. Lyft rideshare drivers and their vehicles are covered by Lyft’s $1 million liability policy. If you are seriously injured due to the negligence of a Lyft driver or as a passenger in a Lyft vehicle, you can hold Lyft liable and seek compensation from this insurance.
The Lyft rideshare accident attorneys at Miller & Zois can help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your injury claim against Lyft.
Common Causes of Lyft Rideshare Car Accidents
Lyft rideshare drivers are all over the roads these days. In most parts of the country, they have basically replaced taxi cabs. The proliferation of Lyft rideshare drivers means that they are involved in auto accidents with increasing frequency.
Lyft rideshare drivers don’t have any special training or skills and they get into accidents for the exact same reasons as other drivers. Some of the more common causes of Lyft rideshare car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Carelessness / disregard of traffic laws
- Fatigued driving
- Drunk driving
One of the main differences between Lyft rideshare drivers and everyone else on the road is that Lyft drivers are under an increased level of stress and face higher levels of fatigue and distraction. Whenever a Lyft driver picks up a rideshare passenger, they have to navigate to a destination they are probably unfamiliar with and use their navigational app all while entertaining a stranger in their vehicle. Lyft drivers are also under pressure to make their passengers happy, often by delivering them to their destination quickly. The pursuit of tips and positive ratings from passengers often prompts Lyft drivers to take unnecessary risks.
In addition to these distractions, Lyft drivers have the additional distraction of monitoring their Lyft driver app to scout for their next passenger. All of these conditions, combined with their extended hours on the road, make Lyft drivers prone to accidents.
Common Types of Lyft Rideshare Auto Accidents
The types of auto accident collisions that Lyft rideshare drivers cause are generally the same as other drivers. There is not any singular types of vehicle collision that Lyft drivers are more prone to than others. Common Lyft accident types include:
Common Injuries in Lyft Car Accidents
Auto accidents involving Lyft rideshare drivers and vehicles cause the same types of physical injuries as accidents. In many cases, rideshare accidents result in only minor injuries to the rideshare passenger or the other driver(s). In other cases, Lyft accidents can cause very serious injuries. Then there are those cases where the injuries seem minor at-first, only to become much more serious and lead to complications later.
Our Lyft rideshare accidents lawyers can help you get compensation for any type of physical injury incurred in the accident, including:
Whiplash / Back Sprains: whiplash and/or back sprains are very common types of injuries in Lyft rideshare accidents. These “soft tissue” injuries are particularly common in rear-end collisions. Although these injuries are usually relatively minor, some cases can be very serious and cause chronic, debilitating pain. The average settlement value for whiplash in auto accident cases ranges from $6,000 to $25,000 depending on the severity.
Herniated Discs: a herniated disc is another, somewhat more serious, type of back / neck injury that can commonly occur in a Lyft accident. A herniated disc injury can cause extreme chronic pain and treatment may require steroid injections, physical therapy, and in serious cases even surgery. The average settlement value of our herniated disc accident cases is around $65,000 to $110,000.
Broken Bones: Even low-impact auto accident involving Lyft rideshare drivers can potentially cause broken bones. The most common types of fractures we see in Lyft auto accidents are broken ribs, leg fractures, and arm fractures. These cases have a settlement value range similar to herniated discs.
Pain & Suffering: In addition to the physical injuries suffered in a Lyft rideshare accident, accident victims are also entitled to compensation for mental pain and suffering associated with those physical injuries. This can often be a big part of the total settlement.
How Lyft Rideshare Drivers Can Be Held Liable
Establishing liability for an accident involving a Lyft rideshare driver can be somewhat more complicated than in a normal accident case. Lyft drivers are determined to be “at-fault” for an accident based on the same basic rules as all other drivers. Where things get more complicated, however, is whether passengers and/or other drivers who are injured when a Lyft driver is at-fault can get compensation under the $1 million Lyft policy.
Lyft rideshare drivers are not employees of Lyft, they are considered independent contractors. This means that Lyft (and its big liability policy) is not automatically liable whenever one of these drivers causes an accident, even if they are at-fault. All Lyft drivers are required to have their own, personal auto insurance coverage. The big Lyft insurance policy applies in certain cases and when it doesn’t apply you have to go after the driver’s personal insurance.
When Does Lyft’s Liability Coverage Apply?
In any Lyft rideshare car accident case, one of the key questions is whether your claims will be covered under Lyft’s $1 million liability policy or under the driver’s personal auto insurance policy. This question can make a big difference on the potential value of your case, particularly if your injuries are serious. The driver’s personal auto insurance is going to have a much lower policy limit (potentially as low as $30,000) compared to the $1 million limit of Lyft’s policy.
Lyft’s $1 million liability policy always applies to injuries suffered by rideshare passengers. So if you are a passenger in a Lyft vehicle and you get injured when the driver gets in an accident, you will automatically be covered under Lyft’s policy.
When a Lyft driver gets in an accident causes injuries to other drivers, however, the application of Lyft’s insurance will depend largely on the status of the driver at the time the accident occurs.
If a Lyft driver is on-duty with a passenger in the car when an accident occurs, the full scope of Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy applies. If the accident occurs when the Lyft driver is “on duty” but not picking up or delivering a passenger, Lyft provides a lower level of coverage. If the driver is off-duty then Lyft does not cover any accidents the driver may be involved in.
What Damages Can You Get in a Lyft Rideshare Accident Case?
Plaintiff is Lyft rideshare auto accident cases are legally entitled to recover the same types of damages as plaintiffs in other auto tort cases. Our experienced auto accident lawyers can help make sure that you get maximum compensation by including all available types of damages in your case. Common Lyft rideshare accident damages include:
- Medical Expenses: plaintiffs in auto accident cases are entitled to damages for any an all expenses incurred as a result of injuries caused by the auto accident. These expenses can be included in the damages even if they are covered by health insurance. Damages can be awarded for both past and future medical expenses.
- Lost Income: if you miss work or can’t run your business for an extended period because of the injuries you suffer in a car accident with a Lyft driver, you can get damages for both past and future loss earnings.
- Pain & Suffering: in addition to the economic damages for lost income and medical expenses, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for mental pain and suffering caused by the injuries they suffered in the accident. This can be a very big portion of your overall settlement.
Lyft Rideshare Car Accident Settlements & Verdicts
Below are summaries of verdicts and publicly reported settlements in prior auto accident cases involving Lyft rideshare drivers.
$120,000 Settlement (New York 2022): Plaintiff E.C., 12-years-old, reportedly was a passenger in an eastbound vehicle that was struck by a northbound vehicle operated by a Lyft rideshare driver who was on duty on his way to pick up a passenger. Injuries included disc bulges at L2-L5, lumbago, cervicalgia, left knee meniscal tear and ACL sprain, shoulder strain and rotator cuff tendonitis, nose laceration and post-traumatic headaches.
$1,215,753 Verdict (California 2022): A Lyft driver turned left and collided with another vehicle proceeding straight through an intersection, causing injuries to the plaintiff who was a passenger in the Lyft vehicle. The plaintiff reportedly suffered spinal injuries, for which spinal stimulator implant surgery was recommended. The verdict included $211,000 for past medical expenses and $554,000 for future medical expenses.
$10,000 Settlement (New Jersey 2022): The plaintiff was a passenger in a Lyft vehicle that was rear-ended. She got a policy limits settlement from the at-fault driver, then sought additional damages from Lyft under its UIM coverage.
$152,000 Settlement (New York 2020): A 16-year-old female was a passenger in a Lyft rideshare vehicle when her driver made a negligent left turn and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. She suffered a fractured left hand, a tear of her left knee meniscus requiring surgery, and a back sprain. Lyft’s insurance policy covered the settlement as the plaintiff was a passenger at the time.
$100,000 Settlement (Pennsylvania 2020): The plaintiff was riding in the rear seat as a paying passenger in a Lyft rideshare vehicle when a collision occurred at an intersection. The plaintiff incurred a concussion, traumatic headaches, and an aggravation of a pre-existing seizure disorder. Lyft settled the case for $100,000.
Hire a Lyft Accident Lawyer
Miller & Zois handles major auto accident cases across the country. If you have an accident claim against Lyft (or Uber) or another rideshare company, contact our accident lawyers today for a free consultation. Call us at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.