How Does Lyft Handle Accidents In California?

The rideshare craze started in California and the industry continues to provide affordable rides to passengers and, unfortunately, create headaches for other drivers. Maybe you’ve never downloaded a Lyft app, but you can still probably attest to the dangers that all those distracted Lyft drivers can present on local roads.

If you are ever a passenger in a Lyft car, a pedestrian, or driving your own vehicle when a Lyft driver’s mistake causes an accident, it might not take you long to start asking questions about Lyft’s accident protocol. Do they offer support to injured victims when their drivers cause a crash?

Seeking Accident Support from Lyft

Rideshare drivers have a lot to keep track of as they pilot their vehicles. They go to their phones to secure customers, for mapping help, and to receive payment and tips through the Lyft app. Every duty is a distraction that can cause a Lyft car to drift into another vehicle’s path. Their passengers and other motorists can be left with a serious injury and a long wait to get help paying off the costs of recovery.

If you or a loved one are the victims of an accident caused by a rideshare driver be sure to speak to a Rideshare Accident Lawyer serving California victims. Lyft is a giant corporation and you should never trust them to do what’s right and support you after a collision. Let a personal injury attorney make sure they’re held accountable while you take the time you need to heal.

Rideshare Accident Dangers on the Rise in California

Ever since Uber and Lyft got their starts in the Bay Area, the accidents caused by their employees have generally increased each year. Those accidents have caused injuries for many innocent motorists and passengers and in tragic cases even claimed lives. It’s Lyft’s business model that creates the opportunity for these accidents and those risks are on the rise again.

After the dip in business experienced in early 2020 as most Americans were forced to stay at home, the rideshare industry has bounced back strong. In fact, Bloomberg reports that by April of 2021 Uber ride requests had rebounded 380% over the previous year. Lyft sales had recovered by 359%.

The astounding numbers mean rideshare drivers are already back on the roads in droves. They have returned to add to traffic numbers and join the many distracted drivers already clogging California streets and highways.

When Does Lyft Accident Insurance Apply?

Uber and Lyft have been in a legal fight in California to keep their employees labeled as contract workers. One of the benefits they receive by keeping their drivers under this designation is that it’s easier to leave drivers to face the consequences of accidents that occur on the job.

If you are hit by a Lyft driver or in a Lyft vehicle when a crash happens, you’ll first be sent to the driver’s personal insurance coverage to seek help. You file a claim and wait. Sadly, many of these claims get tossed out. Insurance companies don’t always offer support when they find out their policyholders were behind the wheel for Lyft when the crash took place.

So, when the driver’s coverage fails you or doesn’t pay you enough to cover all of your bills, then and only then can you petition Lyft for assistance with your expenses stemming from an accident.

Lyft does maintain car accident insurance for these situations, but they are very particular about when it can be called upon. Lyft driver shifts are divided up into periods and when the accident occurs determines how much insurance coverage is available:

  • Period 1: Beginning when a driver logs in to “driver mode” in the Lyft App, and ending when they accept a ride request, known as a “match notification”. If a crash occurs in this phase Lyft provides $100,000 total injury liability per accident and $25,000 property damage liability.
  • Period 2: Beginning when the driver accepts a ride request and is on the way for a pick-up. Lyft offers up to one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /under-insured motorist coverage.
  • Period 3: The Passenger is in the car. The one million dollar coverage still applies. There’s also limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance is in effect until passengers are dropped off at their destinations.

Injury victims could find themselves in a situation where neither the driver nor Lyft will help them with their recovery. A personal injury attorney may be able to press harder to force Lyft to accept some liability for their driver’s error.

If Lyft holds firm, victims are permitted to request help from their personal car insurance provider. This financial support would come from the uninsured/underinsured portion of the policy. This claim can still require the help of a personal injury lawyer because even though victims are dealing with their own agents, insurance adjusters can still work to limit the compensation victims receive. They might extend lowball offers and wrongly accuse their own clients of causing an accident simply to avoid having to provide help.

Contact a California Lyft Accident Lawyer

After getting hurt in an accident involving a Lyft driver you’ll probably be contacted by a Lyft representative.  It’s important to avoid giving these callers any recorded statements about your accident. They will be looking to confuse you and get you to say something that might hurt your case. Talk to a personal injury attorney before talking to anyone else. Your lawyer can handle all calls with Lyft and beat them at their own game.

Reach out to a Rideshare Lawyer serving victims in California to make sure your rights as a victim are protected. Contact us for a free consultation so we can help you determine your best options for getting help with your recovery.