If an auto accident involving a Lyft vehicle has left you with damages, you might be left wondering who is liable for your expenses. If you are wondering, “Do I sue Lyft or the other driver after a crash?”, a personal injury attorney can offer some guidance.
As independent contractors, Lyft drivers are not employees of Lyft. Instead, they are a third-party that offer use of their services and their private vehicle to transport paying customers. These clients set up rides through an app and all payments and all billing are done through that app as well.
Because Lyft drivers are not employees of Lyft, most likely you cannot pursue legal action against the rideshare company itself. That however, does not mean the insurance company for Lyft is off the hook.
Who Would Be Liable for My Damages?
Based on the legal argument, employer s can be held somewhat liable for the actions of their employees, but those operating a vehicle under the Lyft brand are not employees of Lyft itself. As independent contractors, they are not classified as employees.
As a contractor, the driver is an independent third-party, therefore, Lyft has limited liability when their driver is involved in an accident. It would be difficult to directly file suit against Lyft, however, their insurance coverage might have some liability for the damages suffered in an accident involving a Lyft driver.
As a driver for Lyft, the independent contract must have his or her own auto insurance coverage. But, Lyft has insurance coverage to supplement the driver’s policy. Lyft coverage is only in effect when the driver is transporting a paying customer for Lyft or is available to transport a client via the app.
The Liability Process for Lyft
There is a three-tier insurance process for Lyft drivers. The first tier involves the driver’s personal insurance coverage. The driver’s personal insurance coverage is in effect when the driver is not acting on behalf of Lyft, available to transport Lyft passengers, or transporting clients that booked a ride through the Lyft app.
The second tier of insurance coverage comes into play when the driver is actively available to transport a Lyft customer. While the driver might still be protected by his or her own insurance, there might be situations where the personal coverage is not available.
In that case, Lyft’s coverage would kick in. The third tier involves when the driver is transporting a Lyft customer. Lyft has at least $1 million liability insurance coverage to protect a driver who is transporting paying customers.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
Various damages can result from an accident. Some damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damages, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
While some damages are economic in nature and have a set value, such as a medical bill, others, such as pain and suffering, are not that easy to put a price tag on.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
If an accident with a Lyft driver has left you with damages, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today so a lawyer can tell you how to get your claim underway.
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*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Lyft, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.