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Lyft Car Accidents

The aftermath of a car accident can be a challenging time and being compensated for your injuries can be even more challenging when you are involved in a Lyft car accident. Rideshare programs, offered by companies like Uber and Lyft, have become incredibly popular in Charlotte and throughout the rest of the country. Passengers can download an application on their phone and book private car rides. Lyft drivers can take users to and from their requested destination, and payment can be easily made through the application downloaded on the user’s phone.

Lyft Drivers Are Independent Contractors

Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees of Lyft, and this may complicate receiving compensation after an accident. Additionally, because the use of ridesharing is relatively new, companies like Uber and Lyft, are not as regulated as taxicab drivers. Lyft and Uber drivers may not be vetted to the same degree that taxi drivers are, and their vehicles may not be as thoroughly inspected. As of today, Lyft and Uber do not require that their drivers have a Commercial Driver’s license or attend any additional training. All of these factors may increase the likelihood that drivers and customers will be involved in Lyft and Uber accidents.

Establishing Liability After A lyft Accident

The first step in obtaining compensation after an accident, is to establish who was the at-fault driver. An attorney can help you gather evidence related to the accident, including any video footage or witness statements that may shed light on who caused the accident. Lyft drivers who fail to use reasonable care when driving, may be liable for any injuries they cause their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians involved in the accident. If you are able to prove that the Lyft driver’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior caused the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

North Carolina's Uber And Lyft Accident Laws

North Carolina enacted legislation that regulates transportation network companies, such as Lyft and Uber. The law classifies any company that uses a smartphone app to connect drivers and customers as Transportation Network companies. According to this law, the ridesharing service starts once a driver accepts a ride request through the application. Service is finished when the rideshare driver completes the transaction on the application, or as soon as the passenger(s) exit the vehicle.

The timing of a Lyft accident is essential when it comes to recovering compensation from an insurance claim. The insurance coverage depends on whether the driver had already accepted a ride or was en route to pick up a customer. According to Lyft’s current insurance policies, they will cover costs associated with accidents when the Lyft driver has logged into the app and indicated they are ready to accept passengers. They provide bodily injury liability coverage and property damage coverage from the time that the driver is “en route” to pick up a customer. Once the passenger is on board, the liability coverage increases to $1.5 million in personal injury liability.

Unfortunately, when the driver is not actively signed into the rideshare application, Lyft may refuse to provide insurance coverage. In this case, the injured passenger may only be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance policy. Many drivers do not have high enough policy limits to cover all of a victim’s medical expenses and property damage, especially when the victim experiences severe injuries.

It may become necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance settlement does not cover the full extent of your injuries. In some cases, because Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, victims are not able to sue Lyft directly for the driver's negligence. Additionally, Lyft could be protected from liability because the drivers are not driving company owned vehicles. An attorney can help you navigate through the aftermath of the accident and come up with a plan of how to move forward with the insurance companies, driver, and rideshare company.

We are Here to Help

If you have suffered injuries caused by a Lyft accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how overwhelming the aftermath of an accident can be and we are here to help. Not only can we help you through the insurance claims process, but we can help you litigate any potential personal injuries claim you may want to bring against the other driver or the ride-share company.

Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for you. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville.

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