There are plenty of hotspots in Bakersfield that you may need a ride to during the course of your day. You may dial up a Lyft driver for transport to one of the restaurants off of Stockdale Highway or you could need to make a shopping run to the Marketplace Mall. Rideshares have you covered no matter where you need to be.
The service and price on those rides are all excellent, but if you’re driving, seeing a Lyft car in your lane may not be as exciting. There are dozens of rideshare and delivery drivers on Bakersfield’s streets at any given moment and those hard-working and perhaps distracted drivers add quite a bit of traffic to the everyday rush.
If you are unlucky enough to be in an accident caused by an inattentive Lyft driver looking for his or her next ride request, you may need help considering your next move. An accident involving a rideshare can involve the driver’s insurance and Lyft’s insurance, but neither may make it easy for you to get the help you need. A Rideshare Accident Attorney can make sure that your mishap doesn’t wipe out your savings and your health all over an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact our offices for a no-obligation evaluation of your case at no charge to you.
Lyft Driver Accident Dangers Around Bakersfield
Rideshare drivers allow many people to be mobile and get around without paying for a car and an expensive insurance policy. But for those of us who do still drive or walk around the city, the effects are hard to miss. Increased people on the roads and those drivers are often distracted by their duties performed for Lyft.
The MIT Technology Review examined rideshare research data out of the University of Chicago and Rice University. They reported that since 2011, right after rideshares first hit the road in San Francisco, US traffic deaths have seen a steady and tragic increase of 2% to 3% each year.
MIT also reported that just before the rise of the rideshare, traffic deaths had actually fallen to their lowest numbers nationwide. In 2010, they were at their lowest point since 1949.
The rideshare revolution is in full gear now, and that can often mean people use public transportation less. All those drivers on the road can mean increased traffic during Bakersfield’s most congested times. It all adds up to a negative effect on motorist and pedestrian safety.
What to do if You Are Involved in a Lyft Accident
An accident with a rideshare driver can be a legally complex situation because there can be many factors at play. The driver’s insurance, Lyft’s insurance, and even your own insurance may play a part in your attempt to get assistance after a crash.
No matter what direction you end up having to go with your claim for damages, you’ll need to make sure you have a strong case that proves your innocence and Lyft’s involvement in the crash.
Gathering important details at the accident scene, if you are medically okay, can be key to your case:
- Call 911. Give a full report to investigators and paramedics. Make sure police know the driver to blame works for a rideshare. Let them know if you saw the driver using a cellphone before the accident. If you are a passenger in the rideshare during the accident, anything you noticed as you rode may be helpful.
- Get contact information from any witnesses. This can include passengers in the Lyft car. Ask them if they saw what the Lyft driver was doing just before the accident.
- Get pictures and video. Use your cellphone to take images of the vehicles involved, street and traffic signs, and any visible injuries you may have. Capture a photo of any Lyft signs on the vehicle.
- Keep your dashcam with you. If you have a dashcam and it recorded what happened make sure you grab it. If your car is towed away you might not see it again for weeks.
- Swap information with the Lyft driver, but don’t make any statements about your injuries or fault in the collision to the driver or anyone representing Lyft.
- See your personal physician. Document any injury you have or any that appear in the days after the accident.
Lyft’s Insurance Coverage in An Accident
Your first option after an accident involving a Lyft driver will be to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance company. All accident claims must start with the driver’s insurance and then Lyft supplements that protection in certain accident cases.
This first claim can end in failure though, due to the fact that insurance companies aren’t always willing to pay for an accident if their policyholder was driving for a rideshare or a delivery company at the time.
If your claim is rejected by the driver’s insurance, or if the driver’s insurance doesn’t provide enough coverage for your injuries, Lyft coverage may help but only under certain conditions. The coverage changes according to what phase of work the Lyft driver was in when the accident happened.
Periods of Insurance Coverage for Lyft Drivers:
- Period 1: Starts when a driver logs in to “driver mode” in the Lyft App. Period one is over when the employee accepts a ride request, known as a “match notification”. During this part of the workday, Lyft provides $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
- Period 2: This begins when a Lyft driver accepts a ride request and heads for the pick-up location. Lyft gives one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /under-insured motorist coverage.
- Period 3: The Passenger enters the vehicle. The one million dollar coverage extends until the passenger gets off at a destination. There’s also limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car.
If the driver isn’t logged into the Lyft app then Lyft claims they have no liability for accidents that happen. This can be contested in some cases if you have an experienced attorney who knows how to hold big companies liable for their drivers’ mistakes.
If you don’t have success getting compensation from the driver or Lyft itself you have one more option. You can ask for compensation from your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage. This can be a frustrating time as well because your own insurance company can sometimes deny your claim or try to get you to accept less than what’s needed to pay your bills now and in the future. An attorney working for you on your case can make sure they are held accountable and that they take your injuries seriously.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Attorney in Bakersfield
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury and the crash involved a Lyft or another rideshare vehicle, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. After you tell us what happened, we will go over all of your legal options.
Whether you were hit by a Lyft driver, injured as a Lyft passenger, or hurt as a Lyft driver, call us today. Our goal is to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available to you for your injuries.