Unlike traditional cab companies, Lyft employs drivers who use their own personal vehicles to carry passengers to their destination. Referred to as “ride-hailing” services, such companies as Lyft have met with criticism, especially from cab owners and drivers who are required by law to pay fees and undergo testing and inspections. When using Lyft, those who need a ride merely log into the Lyft app and find the closest driver who is willing to transport them.
However, when an accident occurs, Lyft does not have to comply with the same laws that govern fault, insurance and compensation. Lyft has insurance that is effective when drivers accept passengers. But the drivers’ own personal insurance policy often takes precedence. Additionally, there are significant issues that arise when a Lyft driver is working but not transporting a passenger.
Because Lyft does not exert much control over its drivers’ working hours or conditions, its drivers are deemed independent contractors, and not employees. Furthermore, Lyft drivers use their own vehicles, and not those belonging to Lyft. Thus, Lyft will not be held legally liable in the event one of its drivers causes an accident while operating a car during the course of employment. But Lyft may be held financially responsible.
Lyft provides liability coverage to those who suffered injury or whose property was damaged in an accident caused by a Lyft driver. Upon acceptance by the driver of a ride, Lyft provides $1 million in liability coverage, which would apply to injuries suffered by a Lyft customer whose driver causes an accident, and to injuries and vehicle damage suffered by anyone struck by a Lyft car.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a Lyft driver, call the experienced car accident attorneys at Steinberg Law Firm at (843)720-2800. They will conduct a thorough investigation into your case, and endeavor to recover the maximum compensation to cover your losses, including medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.