Ride sharing apps, such as Lyft have grown in popularity in the last half a decade. Ride-hailing apps are not only convenient, but are also easy to use, less expensive than other modes of transportation.
With an uptick of Lyft and other ride share companies on the road it makes sense that they are likely to be involved in accidents. Accidents involving Lyft drivers are quite similar to crashes between regular vehicles, but there are some crucial differences if you expect to be able to recover compensation for injuries and/or damages. South Carolina has logged more fatalities in road accidents than any other state, and in Charleston in 2016, 130,000 people were killed in collisions. The number of South Carolina collisions in the last decade sits at 141,599.
The biggest difference to be aware of is that if you are involved in a collision with a Lyft driver, you may be able to file a claim against their personal insurance policy, their work insurance policy or another at-fault driver’s insurance. It is complicated and largely depends on the circumstances of the accident. The first thing that needs to be determined in a crash with a Lyft driver is which insurance policy covers the accident. Many victims wonder if they can file a claim against the ridesharing company itself after an accident. Lyft shields itself from liability by hiring drivers as independent contractors, not employees.
What You Need to Know About Lyft Drivers and Insurance
Lyft drivers must have personal car insurance that meets or exceeds South Carolina’s minimum standards. It is important to note that a driver’s personal insurance often does not cover a driver if they are using a vehicle as a service for hire. If a Lyft driver is deemed to be at-fault for an accident, your claim depends on whether that driver was off or on duty. If you are an injured passenger, claims may be made against Lyft’s insurance policy and the other driver’s policy based on shared fault for the collision.
Lyft’s commercial insurance covers drivers in some situations, such as:
If You Drive in Charleston, South Carolina You Need to Know These Laws
South Carolina follows a fault insurance system — the driver at fault for an accident is the one responsible to pay an injured party’s damages.
South Carolina also adheres to comparative fault laws — if an accident results in a negligence claim, the court must find the plaintiff 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent responsible for the collision, they lose the right to recovery. If the plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault, they can receive a portion of the compensation.
South Carolina’s statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing an accident claim is within 3-years of the accident. There are exceptions where claims must be brought within 2-years. Your lawyer can advise you of the time limitations, so act quickly to contact an experienced attorney. If you were injured in a Lyft accident, contact a Charleston Lyft accident attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm.