Lyft Car Accidents
Ridesharing apps, including Lyft and Uber, have grown significantly in popularity over the last few years. Rideshare services allow passengers to book a ride through an app on their phone and arrive at the location of their choice. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors who use the phone app to locate passengers and transport them to their location. Rideshare companies are somewhat similar to taxi services, but they are not regulated to the same extent. Uber and Lyft drivers are not vetted to the extent that taxi drivers are, and their vehicles are not always required to be regularly inspected for safety.
There have been several serious car accidents involving Lyft and Uber drivers. In one accident, a Lyft driver and an Uber driver collided with each other. As a result, three passengers were trapped, and the Charlotte Fire Department had to rescue them. Six people were taken to the hospital as a result. So, what happens if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident? Where can you turn to recover the compensation you deserve?Establishing Liability After a Lyft Accident in the Charlotte Area
The first step to recovering compensation after a Lyft accident is to establish liability. Your attorney can help you gather evidence after the car accident that shows that the defendant was at fault. All drivers on the road have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Lyft drivers who fail to use reasonable care can be held liable by an injured victim. As a car accident victim, you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. After you determine whether your Lyft driver caused the accident or a third-party driver caused the accident, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.Filing a Claim Through Lyft’s Insurance Policy
Unfortunately, many drivers do not own enough assets or money to cover extensive medical bills. Most victims of Lyft accidents need to file a claim through Lyft’s insurance policy to recover compensation. The amount of compensation you can obtain depends on when the accident occurred. Three different scenarios can arise from ridesharing accidents, as follows:
- The rideshare driver who caused the accident was not logged in to the Uber or Lyft app on his or her phone when the accident occurred. In this scenario, victims will need to file a claim for compensation with the driver's personal auto insurance company, responsible for the driver's negligence.
- The rideshare driver was logged into the app but waiting for a customer when the accident occurred. In this situation, the rideshare company will typically cover up to $50,000 per person and $1 million per event. This type of insurance coverage is considered excess coverage. If the rideshare driver maintains less than this amount of coverage through his or her personal insurance coverage, Uber or Lyft’s insurance coverage will pay the difference, but only when it is necessary.
- When the accident occurs while the rideshare driver is logged into the app and picking up a passenger or transporting a passenger, the company's insurance policy will kick in. In terms of insurance coverage, injured victims will have the best opportunity of recovering the total amount of compensation they deserve during this time frame. North Carolina requires a higher insurance coverage limit than other states for rideshare companies. In North Carolina, the minimum amount of insurance coverage rideshare companies must carry is at least 1.5-million-dollar coverage total per car accident.
- When a third-party driver who is not your Uber or Lyft driver causes the crash, you will need to file a claim for compensation through that driver’s liability coverage. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to file a claim through your own insurance company.
If you have been injured in a Lyft or Uber accident in Charlotte, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. As demonstrated above, ride-sharing accidents are complicated, and, depending on the specific facts of your case, a lot can change. Additionally, the amount of compensation you can obtain depends on when the accident took place and whom was at fault. An experienced and professional attorney can help you work through these complicated problems and help you to recover the compensation you deserve. The sooner you speak to a personal injury lawyer, the better for your claim. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.