Cars are a common sight in the Philadelphia streets, and unfortunately, this means car accidents are too. Commuters are turning to Lyft and other ride-share companies, like Uber, to get them around the Philadelphia metro area. Lyfts are overtaking traditional cabs as their users like the cheaper prices and ease of use. Today’s younger crowd feels much more comfortable ordering something on an app rather than calling and talking to a live voice. In fact, according to Lyft’s Philadelphia Economic Impact Report for 2021, 58% of Lyft riders are aged 18 to 34.
A Lyft Accident Lawyer Near You
With the increase of people in Philadelphia choosing to use Lyft and rideshares offer public transportation, biking, or cabs, unfortunately, the accident rate for these types of rideshare vehicles would go up as well. If you have been injured in a car accident involving a Lyft or other rideshare company, there is no need to panic. Simply call the rideshare accident lawyers near you in Philadelphia at the Pearce Lawfirm. Our expert Lyft accident lawyers have helped drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other victims of Lyft accidents recover compensation for their injuries sustained when involved with a rideshare vehicle accident.
Contact a car accident lawyer in Philly if you’ve been injured in a crash involving a Lyft or other rideshare vehicle.
Included in this guide:
- What is Lyft?
- Liability and Insurance for Lyft Accidents
- Closing the Loophole of Lyft Liability Insurance
- Most Common Types of Lyft Accidents
- Distracted Drivers and Lyft Rideshare Accidents
- How long do I have to file a claim against Lyft?
- What Should I do if I am Injured in a Lyft Accident?
What is Lyft?
Lyft began in 2012 as an affordable transportation alternative to taxis and cabs, by connecting drivers with empty seats in their vehicle with riders via a downloadable smartphone app. Since 2012, Lyft has grown to offer over 2 million rides per month in all major US cities and beyond. There are a few types of Lyft rides customers can request, including:
- Lyft for vehicles that can fit up to 3 passengers, the most commonly requested type of Lyft.
- Lyft Shared connects passengers headed in the same general direction, allowing riders to share a vehicle and carpool to save on the fare.
- Lyft XL offers a bigger vehicle than normal Lyft, fitting up to 5 passengers.
- Lyft Black offers luxury vehicles with leather seats and is the most expensive of all the options. These vehicles can include BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus.
- Lyft Lux Black XL offers premium black SUVs with leather seats for up to 5 riders.
- Lyft Assisted for riders needing extra assistance during pickups and drop-offs.
Liability and Insurance for Lyft Accidents
Lyft and the state of Pennsylvania require all Lyft drivers to have their own car insurance. Drivers are required to carry their own insurance and then Lyft supplements that protection in certain accident cases. If a driver is logged into the Lyft App but doesn’t have a customer request, Lyft provides $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability. If a driver has accepted a ride request or has picked up the customer Lyft’s policy offers one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /under-insured motorist coverage until the rider is dropped off.
This is good for the injured party as it means there is coverage if the Lyft driver is at fault. However, the circumstances of the accident can make a difference in the amount of liability coverage available.
- If you are a passenger in a Lyft vehicle injured in an accident that was the Lyft driver’s fault, in most cases the rideshare company’s liability will cover you and your injuries.
- If you are a driver of the Lyft and you’re injured in an accident that was your fault, you should also be covered by Lyft’s driver insurance and liability coverage IF you have a rider in your vehicle at the time of the accident. If you do not have a Lyft rider in your car at the time of the accident, then it will be handled like any other car accident and your own insurance will have to cover it.
- If you are a rideshare passenger injured in an accident where your Lyft driver was not at fault, the insurance of the other driver will have to cover your injuries. If that other driver’s insurance is insufficient, then Lyft’s uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) policy may extend to you as a passenger.
- If you are a Lyft driver injured in an accident that was not your fault, again the other driver’s insurance will cover it unless they are underinsured or not insured, in which case you may be able to file a claim against Lyft’s insurance policy for drivers.
- If you are a pedestrian or cyclist injured by a Lyft driver or passenger, the driver’s insurance will cover the damages. If the Lyft driver is on a trip (meaning with a customer) and in an accident, the injured person can sue Lyft and then has access to their $1 million coverage. However, if the driver is not on a trip—which ends as soon as the passenger leaves the car—then the driver’s own insurance will cover the damages. This policy has a minimum policy requirement of $15,000 for bodily injury which is obviously a lot less than Lyft’s policy cap.
Closing the Loophole of Lyft Liability Insurance
Since Lyft only requires its drivers (as of May 2019) to have the state minimum insurance requirements, many Lyft drivers do just that. However, if they get into an accident and are not on a trip, then the insurance company might deny their claim because they hadn’t disclosed that they drove for Lyft.
The state recently passed a law that required all ride-share drivers to disclose to their insurance company that they worked for them. This was designed to avoid an injured person being denied compensation from the Lyft driver’s insurance company.
Most Common Types of Lyft Accidents
Typically, Lyft and rideshare vehicles are susceptible to the same types of car accidents as any vehicle on the busy streets of Philadelphia. However, since Lyft’s are stopping more often than typical drivers to pick up and drop off passengers, they are more likely to be involved in the following types of rideshare accidents:
- Rear end accidents while trying to find a passenger in an unfamiliar area. Typically the driver in back is always responsible for a rear-end accident, but if the driver behind was not given warning of the car in front stopping or slowing down, the circumstances for fault may change.
- Crash involving a stopped or parked car Lyft vehicles can be hit
- T-bone accidents can happen if a Lyft driver makes an illegal U-turn in an effort to pick up or drop off a passenger.
- Sideswipe collision when a rideshare driver is distracted by the phone or trying to find a passenger and they sideswiped a parked car or a car driving alongside them on the road.
- Dooring accidents when a cyclist rides by a parked or stopped car and someone opens the car door right in the path of the cyclist. This can cause severe injuries to the cyclist. In bike lanes, this happens when the bike lane is relatively clear but there’s a single car (parked legally or illegally) and the cyclist veers around the stopped car, he or she is met by an open door.
Distracted Drivers and Lyft Rideshare Accidents
The Pennsylvania DOT released it’s 2019 crash statistics for the state. The numbers prove again how dangerous an inattentive driver can be to everyone else on the road. Distracted drivers caused 13,729 accidents across the state leading to 56 lost lives. Drowsy drivers behind the wheel contributed to another 2,500 collisions leading to 12 more fatalities.
Normal drivers have plenty of factors that can tempt them to take their eyes off the road. The cell phone is the biggest diversion of all. Now imagine that you drive for a living and a cell phone app plays a big part in your job.
Here are just a few of the added distractions that can make a Lyft driver a hazard and potentially cause a distracted driving accident:
- Cruising or “deadheading” — The fact is that Lyft drivers spend a lot of their day cruising and waiting for a ride request. Rideshares often encourage drivers to patrol certain parts of a city to be closer to likely customers.
- Working for multiple rideshares at once – Many people drive for two or more companies at the same time. Some apps let drivers quickly switch back and forth between companies like Lyft and Uber to find more customers.
- Driver emotional and physical state – Employees for Lyft may be in an unbalanced mental state that can make travel with them unsafe. Drivers can also be exhausted and not be getting enough sleep to pay attention while behind the wheel.
- Distracting Customers – Riders may require special attention or need information forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
- Speeding – Ensuring a passenger isn’t late, all to get a better driver rating can be the riskiest distraction of all.
How long do I have to file a claim against Lyft?
2 Years. A victim in a Lyft car accident in Philadelphia generally has up to two years after an accident to file a claim for damages against at-fault drivers and the company they drive for.
What Should I do if I am Injured in a Lyft Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist you need to talk to a Lyft accident lawyer in Philadelphia who understands the laws involving rideshares and your rights. There are potentially complicated insurance issues, and you need information you can rely on. Contact our personal injury law firm in Philadelphia or our law offices in Cherryhill right away to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll listen carefully and then we’ll advise you on your rights under the law.
Don’t suffer alone and leave it to an insurance agent to determine what compensation you deserve for your injuries. They don’t owe you anything but they do work for a company whose profits rely on paying you as little as they can. Call the Lyft accident attorneys at the Pearce Law Firm, P.C. today.
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