Is your Lyft driver adequately insured? What protections do passengers have when a Lyft car crash results in a personal injury? According to "The Rideshare Guy," between 60 and 80% of Lyft drivers do not carry rideshare insurance. Many fail to realize that they need specialized policies as they feel they are provided sufficient coverage through Lyft's insurance scheme. The reality is that passengers are the ones who can be left holding the bag when a Lyft car crash results in serious injury or wrongful death.
Lyft's Rapid Rise
As of January 2018, Lyft reported 23 million users and more than 1.5 million drivers, and as of September 2018, the company reported delivering more than 1 billion rides with most users taking just under 5 rides per month. Currently, 95% of the US population have access to Lyft's services in their town or city. This means that there are a significant number of people with access to the service who could put themselves in danger by accepting a ride from a driver without rideshare insurance.
As ridesharing services rise, so too do the traffic fatality rates. Since 2011, the prevalence of ridesharing services has been associated with an increase in traffic fatality rates of between 2-3% in cities where the services operate.
Lyft Car Crash Causes
Lyft drivers typically drive more than the average number of miles driven by most drivers. This increased mileage translates to increased accident risk. Common causes of Lyft accidents include driver distraction, driver fatigue, speeding, and aggressive driving including running stop lights/signs, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, etc.
Lyft Aims to Protect Passengers
Lyft disqualifies drives who have 3 or more citations or at-fault accidents on their driving record within the past 5 years. Similarly, the company disqualifies drivers who have serious citations such as a DUI, speeding in a school zone, evading police, etc. While this reduces the risks stemming from the actions of repeat offenders and those with drug/alcohol addictions, it does not completely eliminate them.
Coverage in an Accident
When a Lyft driver's app is off, the driver's personal insurance policy applies. When the app is on and they are in "Driver Mode," the company provides up to $1 million in liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Further, the company offers direct compensation for property damage equal to the actual cash value or repair cost. During this period, the company offers contingent comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
When a passenger is picked up, coverage moves into "Passenger Mode," during which the company provides up to $2 million auto liability and uninsured motorist coverage per accident, statutory accident benefits coverage, and both direct compensation for property damage and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. Is that enough coverage for passengers? That depends on the type of accident and the types of injuries a passenger sustains. When recovery requires extensive medical care or the accident causes long-term disability, this coverage is insufficient to cover the economic and non-economic damages a passenger can suffer.
We offer free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays. Our attorneys represent clients who suffer accidents while using Lyft in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Our motor vehicle accident injury lawyers can pursue and recover compensation when a Lyft causes an accident in these states. Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In Western Kansas you can call 620-THE-BULL to speak with an attorney regarding your Lyft car crash.