Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft have become a go-to solution for many people when commuting or getting from place to place in Southern California. However, the convenience of these services comes with questions about liability in the event of car accidents.

One question that often comes up is whether Lyft pays for accidents involving its Lyft drivers. Below, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss whether Lyft will pay for your injuries after an accident.

Can You Sue Lyft for an Accident?

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft often try to avoid direct liability for accidents caused by their drivers. Lyft drivers are not employees but independent contractors. Because of this distinction, Lyft is likely to argue that it is not liable for the actions of independent contractors as opposed to if they were employees. When car accidents occur, Lyft may claim it is not responsible for the actions of its drivers.

Woman with her hands on the steering wheel while driving her car

Even so, California law requires rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to carry commercial insurance to cover accidents involving their drivers. While you may or may not be able to hold Lyft directly responsible for your injuries, you may be able to file a claim against its commercial insurance policy. However, whether Lyft’s insurance coverage applies, and the extent of coverage depends on various factors, including the driver’s status at the time of the accident.

When Does Lyft’s Auto Insurance Apply to an Accident?

Lyft’s insurance coverage is dependent on the driver’s status during the car accident:

  • App off. If the Lyft driver is offline in the app, Lyft’s insurance does not cover any accidents. The driver’s personal insurance is the primary coverage in an accident.
  • App on, waiting for a ride. When the driver is logged into the Lyft app but has not accepted a ride request yet, Lyft provides limited third-party liability coverage. This liability coverage includes up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury or $100,000 per accident. California also requires it to carry up to $30,000 for property damage.
  • During a ride. The most comprehensive coverage applies from when a driver accepts a ride request until the ride is completed. This coverage includes $1 million in third-party liability, first-party uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

It is also important to understand that Lyft’s third-party liability insurance is contingent on the Lyft driver being at fault for the accident. If the Lyft driver is not responsible for the accident, then Lyft’s insurance coverage does not apply to the accident.

Whose Insurance Applies in a Lyft Accident?

Have you been injured in a Lyft accident? If so, a common question is who is responsible for your damages. Whose insurance do you file a claim with? Generally, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Our Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyers discuss potential scenarios below:

If the Lyft Driver Is at Fault for the Accident

Lyft’s insurance coverage may apply if the rideshare driver is responsible for the motor vehicle accident. It depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. A few examples include the following:

  • Lyft passengers. As a Lyft passenger, Lyft’s $1 million liability insurance policy should cover your injuries and damages.
  • Third parties. If a Lyft driver hits your vehicle, the coverage depends on whether the driver was online in the app, waiting for a ride, or transporting a passenger. If the driver was offline, then the driver’s personal insurance is the primary coverage. However, if the driver was online, you may be able to file a claim against Lyft’s insurance policy.

Cars driving past a pedestrian crossing

If Another Driver, Not the Lyft Driver, Is at Fault for the Accident

If another driver is responsible for the car accident, they may be liable for your damages. For example, an injured Lyft passenger or driver would first need to file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, suppose the driver does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage. Then, the Lyft passenger or driver can seek compensation from Lyft’s $1 million uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

What Information Do I Need After a Lyft Accident?

After a Lyft accident, gathering the right information is critical for your potential Lyft accident claim. The more information and evidence you can gather for your claim, the stronger it will be. Our Los Angeles rideshare accident lawyers recommend collecting the following information before leaving the scene of the Lyft car accident:

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  • Personal information of all parties involved. Collect the full names and contact details of everyone involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses, if possible.
  • Driver’s license numbers. Get the driver’s license numbers of all drivers involved.
  • Insurance information. Obtain the insurance policy numbers and the insurance companies’ names of all the drivers involved. You should also get Lyft’s insurance information from the Lyft driver.
  • Vehicle information. Write down or take pictures of the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident. We also recommend noting each vehicle’s make, model, and color.
  • Accident details. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, damages to both cars, visible injuries, road conditions, traffic signs, and other relevant information.
  • Location. Note the accident’s location, including street names, intersections, or nearby landmarks.
  • Time and date. Note the time and date of when the accident occurred.

After leaving the scene, we recommend getting immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you may have dormant injuries that could worsen if not treated. Additionally, you need medical records as evidence for your potential personal injury claim.

We also recommend consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney experienced in handling rideshare accident cases can guide you through the next steps to protect yourself and your claim.

How Can a Los Angeles Lyft Accident Lawyer Help You Recover Compensation?

Beyond dealing with immediate injuries, rideshare accidents can leave you with financial stress from medical expenses and time away from work, as well as emotional suffering. When someone else’s negligence harms you, you should not have to pay for the accident.

Lawyer explaining the legal documents that her clients has to sign

Generally, you can only recover compensation for your losses through a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, navigating a Lyft car accident can be complex for many reasons.

We recommend working with an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer to help you secure the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can handle the entire claims process for you. For example, if we can help you with your case, you can expect the following:

  • Investigating the accident. Your attorney will conduct an independent investigation of the accident to gather evidence for your case.
  • Determining liability. Determining fault can be complicated due to the involvement of multiple parties, including the Lyft driver, Lyft, other drivers, and potentially other third parties. Your lawyer can identify all liable parties to maximize your potential compensation.
  • Calculating damages. We can assess and calculate your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Your attorney can ensure you do not settle for a low settlement that does not reflect the extent of your losses.
  • Negotiating a settlement. Dealing with insurance companies and negotiating settlements can be overwhelming, especially when recovering from an accident. We can handle all communication with the insurance companies on your behalf. More importantly, we can negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf.
  • Litigating in court. We may recommend filing a lawsuit if we cannot reach a fair settlement with the insurance company. Our team is prepared to take your case to court to fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Compensation Is Available After a Lyft Accident?

You may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses through an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. It is important to understand that there is no average Lyft accident settlement. The compensation you may be able to recover depends on the unique circumstances of your case. However, some of the most common damages that may be available to you include:

  • Medical bills. Medical expenses encompass everything from emergency room care and surgery to ongoing medical care, prescriptions, and rehabilitation. Your attorney can help you pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses related to your accident injuries.
  • Lost wages. If the accident leaves you unable to work, you can seek compensation for your lost income and benefits. You may also seek future lost income if the accident affects your ability to earn the same income or return to work.
  • Property damage. You can seek compensation for repairs or replacement if your vehicle or personal property was damaged in the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to the accident. Although harder to quantify, an accident can leave you with significant physical and emotional suffering that deserves compensation.

Contact Our Los Angeles Lyft Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation

At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we advocate for victims of Uber and Lyft accidents in the greater Los Angeles and Southern California areas. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, do not hesitate to contact us. We may be able to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

We offer a free consultation to help you understand your best options for moving forward and determine how we may be able to help you. Call us at (800) 824-5416 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options.