Content updated on January 17th, 2023.
Ridesharing apps allow you to “hail” a ride from one place to another using your phone. In the U.S., the use of these services, the most popular of which are Uber and Lyft, has increased dramatically over the years.
Now that the dust has settled after the nearly three year pandemic pause, Americans are returning to normal. According to Lyft’s 2022 report covering October 2021 to October 2022, Lyft experienced a 47% increase in the number of drop-offs for educational institutions, followed by a 38% increase for drop-offs at religious organizations. After experiencing a 52% bump in 2021, entertainment-related rides saw an additional 11% increase in 2022.
As more and more people rely on Lyft’s services, accidents involving this ridesharing company are more likely to occur.
If you are involved in a collision with a Lyft driver, you may be wonder if filing an accident claim against Lyft is possible to recover compensation for damages.
The answer to that question depends on who was at fault and during what phase of the drive the accident happened.
Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., fights for personal injury victims throughout Colorado. Our team has decades of experience holding at-fault parties accountable, from ridesharing companies like Lyft to individual drivers. We understand your pain and are here to listen and help you move forward.
What Are the Lyft Rideshare Phases?
Your ability to file a claim against Lyft in the case of an accident depends on the rideshare phase in which the crash occurred. There are 3 different phases of a Lyft drive:
- App off;
- App on and there is no passenger; and
- App on and the driver is picking up or transporting a passenger.
You can find this data using the driver’s cell phone or app history, and the app should automatically collect it. An attorney can help you request this data to determine how you can proceed with your personal injury case
Lyft requires its drivers to carry their own personal vehicle insurance that meets the state’s minimums. If you are injured in an accident caused by a Lyft driver who does not have the app on, you would file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
App On, No Passenger
When the Lyft driver has the app on and is waiting for a request, Lyft has its own insurance that covers accidents caused by one of its drivers.
Lyft’s policies cover up to $50,000 for bodily injury, up to $100,000 for bodily injury per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage. If your accident occurred during this drive phase, you would file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance.
App On, Transporting a Passenger
If the driver has accepted a ride and is en route to pick up the passenger or is driving the passenger to their destination, the rideshare company carries insurance for an accident caused by the driver.
Lyft has a minimum $1 million coverage, per-accident limit. The actual amounts the policy will cover vary by state.
If another driver caused the accident, you would file a claim against that person’s insurance.
How Do I File a Claim for a Lyft Accident?
If you are in an accident involving a Lyft driver, there are steps you can take to protect your health and legal rights.
Go to the Doctor
Your first step after an accident is to seek medical attention, especially if you are showing any signs of injury, however minor. After an accident, stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, may mask the true nature of the physical harm you are experiencing. Because of this, it is especially vital to see a doctor to identify and treat any injuries before they worsen and cause more damage to your system. Further, seeing a doctor creates a paper trail to prove the connection between the accident and your injuries.
Report the Accident to Authorities
After addressing your injuries, the next step is to report the accident to law enforcement. Colorado law requires you to report any accident that results in or may result in injury or death to another. Fulfilling your duty to report the accident helps strengthen your claim and limits the opportunity for the insurance company to avoid paying out the fair value.
Your next step is to notify Lyft that an accident occurred. The way that you accomplish this depends on your role in the accident. For example, if you were a driver or passenger, you notify Lyft about the accident using the app or by going online. When you communicate with Lyft, inform them of the bare facts of the accident without adding commentary. Statements like, “I was changing the music in my car for a moment, so I didn’t see the other car,” may be taken out of context and used against you.
File a Claim with the Insurance Company
The next stage in the process is to file a claim with your insurance company. Like with Lyft, when you communicate with your insurance company, just relay the facts necessary for them to understand what happened. The insurance company will investigate the accident and may present you with their calculation of what the claim is worth. You and the insurance company may negotiate to determine a fair settlement. The best practice is to contact an attorney to help you take the proper action. They can review the settlement offer presented by the insurance company and help you file a lawsuit if necessary to protect your legal rights.
Can I File a Claim Against Lyft?
Generally, Lyft drivers are independent contractors, which means they aren’t employees of the rideshare companies.
For that reason, Lyft may not be held liable for an accident caused by one of their drivers. Most likely, you would file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. That said, filing an accident claim against Lyft may be possible if Lyft can be held accountable for the actions of its driver. An attorney is best equipped to help you determine if this applies to your situation.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C.
Our attorneys are committed to providing compassionate yet aggressive legal representation to individuals injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or reckless actions. Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., practiced medicine for over a decade before transitioning to practicing personal injury law over 20 years ago. He leverages his background in medicine to understand the nature of his client’s injuries and describe them to the judge or jury.
If you were hurt in an accident involving a Lyft driver, contact us as soon as possible. We will review your case and help you file a Lyft claim after an accident.
To discuss your legal options, call us at (303) 732-5048 or contact us online.