Lyft provides a popular service for the people of Los Angeles. With just a few taps on your smartphone you can connect with a Lyft driver and schedule a ride nearly anywhere you want to go, oftentimes for less than you’d pay a traditional cab. However, like any moving vehicle on the road, Lyft vehicles and their drivers are subject to being involved in an accident at a moment’s notice. But unlike accidents involving other standard passenger vehicles on the road, Lyft-related accidents result in complex claims that are best handled by a Los Angeles Lyft accident attorney.
Coverage and Liability Issues with Lyft Claims
All Lyft drivers are required to maintain their own vehicle’s auto insurance coverage. However, Lyft maintains a $1 million liability policy on accident claims involving its Lyft drivers. The primary liability coverage that is afforded by Lyft kicks in when a driver accepts a passenger until the passenger gets out of the Lyft vehicle. Nonetheless, a gray area exists during the time that the Lyft driver awaits a passenger but is logged in on Lyft’s driver app. Should a Lyft car collide with a vehicle that has no insurance or insufficient insurance, Lyft’s policy still covers damages up to $1 million per incident. Lyft’s policy is also arranged to cover physical damage to the other vehicle as long as the driver’s car has a personal auto policy in force.
Because the concept of ridesharing is still somewhat new, there remains some lack of clarity about who is liable when the Lyft driver is involved in an accident. Is the driver solely responsible, or does Lyft share part of the blame? Lyft drivers are not employees; they are independent contractors. As such, they can be seen as solely liable for the damages that they inflict while they are behind the wheel. In the past, Lyft has defended itself against lawsuits with the argument that it does not have any influence over the drivers it contracts or the vehicles that they drive. Lyft has argued in the past that it only connects drivers with passengers through an app, nothing more.
For these reasons, it can be quite challenging to navigate the complex issues that are created by a Lyft accident claim. However, a skilled and aggressive attorney can present arguments that help to hold Lyft liable either jointly with the driver or solely for the damages that result from a Lyft accident. Damages sought in a Lyft claim usually include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and property damage. If you have serious injuries as a result of your Lyft accident, it is imperative that your attorney is able to hold Lyft (and its $1 million liability policy) at least partly liable, since most personal auto policies have lower caps that may not sufficiently reimburse you for the actual damages you’ve experienced.
Don’t wait to seek out a competent Los Angeles Lyft accident attorney. Schedule a no-cost case review and consultation with JML Law now.
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