Lyft is the second largest transportation network company in California. However, when you get into a car with a Lyft driver, the driver isn’t actually a Lyft employee. He or she is actually an independent contractor using their own vehicle. While this makes little difference to the consumer on a regular ride, if your Lyft ride results in an accident this can substantially complicate your personal injury claim.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Lyft Accident in California
Lyft requires an independent contractor relationship with its drivers to avoid personal injury lawsuits that arise from accidents that its drivers are involved in. It’s that legal shield that keeps Lyft in business. Without it, the company would likely face too many lawsuits to remain afloat. So, when a Lyft driver causes an accident, passengers and other injured victims can seek financial recovery by filing a claim through the Lyft driver’s personal auto insurance.
In catastrophic accidents where the Lyft driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover the damages, Lyft has additional insurance to cover damages. California requires Lyft to provide insurance in the following amounts:
- $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of liability insurance while the driver is logged into Lyft’s app and awaiting a customer ride request.
- $1 million of liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from the time that a driver has accepted a customer until the time that the customer is picked up and subsequently leaves the vehicle at the destination.
- If the driver remains on Lyft’s app after the customer has left the vehicle, coverage reverts back to the $50,000/$100,000 limits. If the driver logs out of the app, the driver’s own personal insurance coverage applies.
When You Can Successfully Sue Lyft
California requires Lyft to have a background check performed on anybody who wants to drive for the company. If an applicant has been convicted in the last seven years of domestic violence, assault or battery, or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the company is prohibited from hiring the applicant.
If a Lyft customer is a victim of a crime committed by a driver for the company, a viable lawsuit might be brought against the company. Indeed, they’ve been brought in the past, but the cases settle pursuant to confidential settlement agreements that operate to protect the company’s reputation and good will.
Lyft does have its own safety program that applicants must satisfactorily complete before they can drive with the company. Questions have arisen though about how thorough the company’s background checks and safety program are.
Contact a Livermore Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in any type of an accident or incident involving a Lyft driver in Livermore California, report it to police immediately and call our Livermore Lyft accident lawyers right after that. We’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review. You can tell us about what happened, and your questions will be answered as thoroughly as possible. After that, we can discuss the viability of a lawsuit against Lyft.