Experiencing an accident when driving your own vehicle is a scary experience in and of itself. Such an event can be significantly more terrifying when you are not in control of the vehicle whatsoever. As a Lyft passenger, you trust your driver to take a certain amount of care when driving, especially when you are in their care. Still, collisions are always possible, and whether your driver was struck by a negligent driver or was at fault for the crash, you have the right to receive compensation for the event. If you were a victim in this type of accident, one of the most important steps to take is to contact a ridesharing accident lawyer to protect your rights and file a claim for the losses you experienced in the incident.
What to Know About Lyft Accident
Many states have laws in place that specifically address liability for ridesharing companies such as Lyft, Uber, and sidecar. These drivers are similar to taxis, in a way, as they are considered to be general contractors in the eyes of the law (as opposed to Lyft employees). The law presiding over these services is known as “TNC” (Transportation Network Company) regulations.
According to this legislation, a company that provides “pre-arranged transportation services for compensation” must maintain a certain policy limit for liability insurance. (This may differ based on what state you are in. For example, in California, TNCs must have $1 million for liability.) Further, the driver should have their own insurance as well. The coverage would ideally be specifically designed for their Lyft services and thus offer you protection in case you incur any damages.
This illustrates one of your primary rights as the victim of a car crash in a Lyft vehicle: your right to compensation for your losses. Secondly, you have the right to sue the negligent party that caused the collision, especially if your policy limits do not cover the required amount. How you pursue legal action will depend heavily on who was at fault for the incident. Consider the following two examples that demonstrate how liability may be assigned in a car crash involving a Lyft, described below.
Who is Liable in a Lyft Accident?
As you prepare to exercise your rights to compensation and legal action, you must first be sure of which party you will be pressing charges against.
- If the Lyft driver was at fault: You have the right to sue the Lyft driver since they were responsible for causing the crash. If this is the case, seek details of their insurance coverage. Why? Personal auto policies do not cover commercial operations, including Lyft services. (This is where they should be covered by Lyft’s $1 million policy.)
- If another driver caused the incident: In this instance, you have the right to pursue legal action against the other driver. In most states, all drivers are required to carry insurance; yet, you may find that the negligent party’s policy limits fall short of your financial needs. In this case, you would still have the right to seek damages from Lyft as well, before defaulting to your own insurance.
If you seek further clarification on what your rights are in the context of a car accident involving a Lyft vehicle, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer. With legal guidance, you can determine the appropriate party to hold accountable for your crash, so you don’t have to cover the damages yourself.
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