Ridesharing has become a daily part of life for many people, especially in busy cities like Los Angeles. As convenient as it is, questions about accident liability often arise. Does Lyft cover accidents? Can you sue companies like Uber or Lyft for injuries after an accident?

How will you recover compensation for medical bills and other damages? Below, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss Lyft’s liability when accidents occur. We also discuss how you may be able to recover compensation after suffering damages in a Lyft accident.

Can Lyft Passengers Sue Lyft for Injuries and Damages After an Accident?

Lyft can often shield itself from direct liability for accidents involving its drivers. This is because Lyft drivers are not classified as Lyft employees. Instead, they are independent contractors. Because of this classification, in many cases, Lyft can claim that it is not responsible for its drivers’ actions.

Car with an extremely damaged front bumper

Even so, Lyft passengers may be able to file a claim against Lyft’s policy. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs. Because of this designation, California law requires them to carry commercial liability insurance for accidents involving their drivers. This policy is designed to protect Lyft drivers, passengers, and third parties in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

However, suppose another driver, not the Lyft driver, is responsible for the accident. In that case, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver. Our Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyers explain Lyft’s insurance policy in depth below and when it may apply to you.

When Does Lyft’s Insurance Policy Apply to Lyft Accidents?

Lyft’s commercial insurance is contingent upon the driver’s status at the time of the accident. Additionally, the coverage ranges depending on the phase or period of the ride.

  • App is off. If the driver is offline, Lyft’s commercial insurance does not apply. Instead, the driver’s personal insurance applies.
  • App is on, and the driver is waiting for a ride request. Lyft provides limited third-party liability insurance if the rideshare driver is online but has not accepted a ride request. This coverage applies if the Lyft driver is at fault for the accident and their personal insurance does not apply. It includes $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and up to $30,000 for property damage.
  • Driver has accepted a ride to passenger drop-off. Lyft’s most comprehensive coverage applies from the time the driver accepts a ride until the passenger is dropped off. During this period, Lyft’s commercial insurance acts as the primary coverage. Lyft’s coverage includes $1 million in third-party liability, first-party coverages like uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

If you have been in an accident with a rideshare driver as a passenger, the other driver, or another third party, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles rideshare accident lawyers. We can help you understand your best legal options for seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Chiropractor stretching his patient's arm

How Does Lyft’s Insurance Protect Passengers?

Lyft’s commercial insurance coverage provides protection for passengers from the moment they enter a Lyft vehicle until the ride ends. As a Lyft passenger, Lyft’s commercial auto insurance covers you in the event of an accident caused by its driver. This policy includes $1 million for third-party liability, covering bodily injury and damages to you as a passenger and other injured third parties.

However, suppose the Lyft driver was not at fault for the car accident. In this case, you must first seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Then, if the driver is uninsured or does not have sufficient car insurance to cover your damages, you can seek compensation from Lyft’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. California requires Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft to carry $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Does Lyft’s Commercial Insurance Apply to Accidents Involving Pedestrians?

Pedestrians hit by a Lyft driver have the legal right to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages. However, whether Lyft’s policy applies depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident.

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Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents / Uber & Lyft Accidents / Slip & Fall / Store Accidents / Bike Accidents / Pedestrian Accidents

If the driver was offline during the accident, they were driving their vehicle for personal use. In this case, Lyft’s policy will not cover damages. An injured pedestrian would need to seek compensation through the Lyft driver’s insurance policy.

However, if the driver was online in the Lyft app during the accident, you may be able to file a claim with Lyft’s commercial insurance. Lyft has a $1 million third-party liability policy that may cover accidents involving pedestrians.

Person opening the Lyft app on his phone

As with any accident claim, proving negligence is key. You must prove that the driver was at fault for your injuries due to distracted driving, speeding, violating traffic laws, or other acts of negligence.

Why Are Lyft Accident Cases Complicated?

Have you or a loved one been injured in a Lyft accident? If so, we recommend consulting with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer experienced in rideshare accident cases. A Lyft accident claim can be more complex than regular car accident claims for several reasons. Having an experienced attorney on your side can be the difference in recovering compensation for your damages.

A few examples of why these accident cases can be complex include:

  • Driver classification. Rideshare drivers are not classified as employees. Lyft drivers are generally classified as independent contractors, which makes it difficult to hold Lyft directly responsible for accidents its drivers cause.
  • Multiple insurance policies. Determining which car insurance policy applies to your case can depend on various factors, including accident liability and the Lyft driver’s status at the time of the accident. Do you file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance, Lyft’s commercial insurance coverage, a third party’s insurance, or your own insurance? Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may need to file claims against more than one insurance policy to recover the compensation you need.
  • Comparative fault. California is a pure comparative fault state. Comparative fault means that the compensation you can recover may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for your injuries. For example, if you were a Lyft passenger who did not wear your seat belt during the accident, it may affect the compensation you can receive.

Given these complexities, we recommend working with an experienced Lyft car accident lawyer. At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we have extensive experience helping our clients pursue financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other damages. We investigate rideshare accidents, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate cases in court when necessary.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Lyft Accident Lawyers

Have you or a loved one been in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver? Navigating the aftermath of a rideshare accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with piling medical bills and lost income from missing work. Our Los Angeles rideshare accident attorneys are here to help you understand your best legal options for moving forward. We have extensive experience handling Uber and Lyft accident cases.

During a free case evaluation, we can answer your questions, discuss your potential legal options, and determine how we may be able to help you with your case. Contact us today at (800) 824-5416 or submit our online contact form.