More and more people turn to ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber to get around Morgantown and surrounding areas. These services are convenient and affordable; just hit a button on your smartphone to arrange for someone to pick you up and take you where you’re going. However, despite all the advantages of such a service, Lyft drivers are like any others on the roadway and subject to the same perils and hazards as the rest of us. Accidents happen, and when they do, those involved face some complications that are much different from those faced during an accident involving a standard passenger auto. If you have been in a Lyft accident, then your best bet of seeing a good outcome for any claims filed as a result is to contact a seasoned Morgantown Lyft accident attorney.
All Lyft drivers are required by the company to carry their own personal auto insurance, but that insurance usually does not cover commercial activities, i.e. hauling passengers for pay. For this reason, Lyft itself offers a standard liability policy with two separate limits that are determined by whether or not the driver is actually logged in to its driver’s app or not. If the driver is logged in but not yet accepting passengers, Lyft’s liability policy affords $50K per person and $100K per incident as coverage. This limits balloons to $1 million when a driver accepts a rider. Although this sounds pretty straightforward on paper, complications arise during that window of time between arranging to pick up the rider and actually picking them up, leaving a lot up in the air that generally has to be worked out between attorneys or Lyft and the accident victim’s attorney.
Things can get even more complicated when there’s a third-party involved, whether that’s another non-Lyft car, commercial vehicle, or even a pedestrian. If the non-Lyft or other vehicle is underinsured or uninsured, everything gets even messier, especially if it is determined that the lower levels of Lyft’s policy pay out any claims and the claims are in excess of the policy’s limits (which is not difficult to imagine, given the $25K/$100K thresholds). Further, if a Lyft accident is caused by something like road conditions or debris in the road, the question of liability can become even cloudier, since roads are usually maintained by the city, county, or state, which are notoriously difficult defendants in any sort of personal injury claim.
Lyft’s insurer is not inclined to accept liability if there is any potential for the driver’s insurance or a third-party payor to be responsible for the accident and its costs, which necessitates a lot of legal wrangling and aggressive negotiation tactics—all of which require the expertise of an attorney who understands the nuances involved in ridesharing claims.
As you can see, claims involving ridesharing services can be pretty complicated. Contact Shenderovich, Shenderovich, and Fishman and our legal team right away following your Lyft accident. Our Morgantown Lyft accident attorney can review your case for free and help you weigh your legal options so that you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.