Without the help of a skilled Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney, many injured drivers and pedestrians never receive fair compensation. Unlike most car accidents, negligent Lyft drivers may have both personal and company-provided insurance policies. While these policies provide added protection to Lyft customers, they can cause confusion and disputes after a serious accident.
What Are Lyft and Ridesharing?
Since the legalization of ridesharing in 2015, an increasing number of Las Vegas residents, visitors and tourists use Lyft (and its main competitor, Uber). Unlike a traditional taxicab, Lyft drivers use their own vehicles and work on a freelance or contract basis. Instead of hailing a cab or using a taxi stand, both customers and drivers use an app to coordinate rides and handle payments. Many people find Lyft to be an easy and cost effective transportation option.
However, using Lyft in Las Vegas differs from other locations in several ways:
- The airport and most hotels have specific Lyft pickup areas. You may be directed to go to a parking lot or another area to meet your Lyft car.
- During peak usage times, Lyft rates are increased by a multiplier. In Las Vegas, this can occur both day and night — especially during high volume trade shows.
Moreover, Nevada laws and Lyft policies can complicate car accidents involving a Lyft driver. Many injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians need a Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney’s help with their accident claims.
Unfortunately, ridesharing accidents are inevitable. And, some Lyft drivers are distracted by their ridesharing app as well as not being familiar with the route that the app directs them to take, increasing the likelihood of collisions and serious accidents. Initially, Lyft and other ridesharing companies denied responsibility for their drivers’ accidents.
In 2013, a six-year-old pedestrian in California was tragically killed by a distracted Uber driver. Her parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber and lobbied for increased state regulation. In response to these actions, both Lyft and Uber began to carry $1 million dollar liability policies for their drivers.
If I’m Hurt in a Lyft Accident, Who Pays for My Injuries?
Nevada’s car accident laws are fault-based. In other words, the negligent driver’s insurance company is financially responsible for injuries and losses from the accident. With the help of a Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney, you may receive compensation for:
- Your medical bills,
- Your lost wages,
- The repair and replacement of damaged property, and
- Other damages (such as pain and suffering).
Lyft’s $1 million commercial policies greatly exceed Nevada’s minimum car insurance requirements. However, not every accident is covered by Lyft’s auto liability and uninsured/underinsured policies.
Unlike a taxi cab or limo service, Lyft does not own its own fleet of vehicles. Instead, each freelance driver operates his or her personal car and must carry a personal insurance policy. Depending on the timing of the accident, different insurance coverage may apply.
- When the Lyft driver is off-duty, his or her personal insurance policies provide coverage.
- When the driver is logged in and waiting for a ride request, his or her personal insurance is primarily responsible. However, Lyft also provides some modest excess insurance coverage.
- Finally, when the driver is in-route to a pickup or has a passenger, Lyft’s $1 million liability and uninsured/underinsured policies become effective.
Unfortunately, these competing insurance policies may try to avoid responsibility for your claim. An experienced Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights.
Claims for Injured Lyft Drivers
Lyft drivers are independent contractors and they do not receive workers’ comp in Nevada. However, injured rideshare drivers are still protected by insurance coverage. First, if another driver is at-fault for the accident, his or her insurance is typically responsible for covering your losses.
However, if you are at-fault for the accident, your insurance coverage will vary depending on the facts of your case.
- If you are offline, your personal auto insurance policy applies.
- If you are online but have not accepted a ride request, your personal insurance is primarily responsible. Lyft does provide some excess liability coverage during this phase.
- Once you have accepted a ride request, Lyft’s $1 million policies are activated.
Lyft also provides some contingent collision coverage, which helps pay for damage to your vehicle. If you need help determining which insurance company is responsible, contact an experienced Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney.
It is also important to understand that most personal insurance policies will not cover accidents that occur while you are engaged in a commercial activity. If you are a Lyft driver, you should seriously consider purchasing an additional TNC/ridesharing insurance policy– which specific covers accidents that occur while you are online with Lyft.
What to Do When You’re Involved in a Lyft Accident
Anytime you’re injured in a Las Vegas car accident, it’s important to properly document the accident and your injuries. If you are involved in a Lyft accident, you should:
- Contact law enforcement and file an accident report,
- Seek medical attention, if necessary,
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries,
- Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses,
- Obtain the driver’s insurance information, including information about Lyft’s commercial policies,
- If you see a Lyft sticker in the driver’s window of any of the vehicles involved in the collision, ask them if they were logged into the app at the time of the collision.
This process can feel overwhelming. A skilled Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney can help you collect the necessary evidence, build a strong case for compensation, and determine which insurance company is financially responsible for your losses.
Speak With a Las Vegas Lyft Accident Attorney
An experienced Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your serious injuries. At the Drummond Law Firm we tirelessly represent injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.