Whether you are traveling to the airport or the Mercedes Benz stadium for a concert, relying on Lyft to get you to your destination is a popular choice for many Atlantans. Unfortunately, traveling in a Lyft is no safer than traveling in your own vehicle. You are still at risk of being involved in a car accident, even as a rideshare passenger.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident while a Lyft passenger, you should contact an Atlanta Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Determining when it is appropriate to sue Lyft and the Lyft driver for the injuries you sustained in your accident can be complex. We can help determine your best chances of recovering maximum compensation for your car accident injuries.
What Makes Lyft Accidents Complicated
Lyft is a rideshare company that employs drivers primarily as independent contractors. Independent contractors are technically self-employed and work on a contract basis for Lyft. Therefore, Lyft cannot control when or how its drivers work.
When you use the Lyft app to hire a driver, you agree to the company’s terms and conditions. These terms state that its drivers are not employees. Rather, as mentioned above, they are independent contractors.
Lyft argues that its drivers are not employees because it does not train them, control them or their vehicles, or maintain their vehicles. By excluding its drivers as employees, Lyft is attempting to reduce any liability it has for car accidents and other legal situations. This makes suing them for injuries sustained in car accidents difficult, although not impossible.
When You Can Sue Lyft for Your Car Accident
Despite maintaining its position that it cannot be held liable for accidents caused by its independent contractor drivers, Lyft can, in fact, be held responsible for your car accident injuries if it contributed to your damages. There are a couple of ways that Lyft can be legally responsible for your car accident injuries, which include the following:
- Demonstrating that the company was negligent in hiring its drivers
- Showing that the company was negligent in training its drivers
- Proving that the company was negligent in retaining its drivers
- Displaying that the company was negligent in supervising its drivers
While difficult, an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta can work to prove that Lyft contributed to your car accident injuries. We will gather evidence to support the contention that the driver who caused your accident qualifies as a Lyft employee. In addition to making a claim against Lyft, we will also pursue the driver’s insurance company to maximize your recovery of damages.
What You Need to Prove to Successfully Sue Lyft for Your Accident Injuries
To successfully hold Lyft responsible for the injuries you sustained in your car accident, it must be proven that the company was negligent. An experienced car accident attorney familiar with Georgia law and what legal arguments support negligence claims. Common theories of negligence that may support your lawsuit against Lyft include:
- The failure to warn passengers of an unsafe driver
- Entrusting an unsafe driver to transport passengers
- Failing to monitor complaints of a driver and their driving patterns
There are four elements required to prove negligence in Georgia. Those elements include a duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. An experienced attorney can discuss the details of your case and help create the strongest case possible to recover your full compensation.
Insurance Coverage for Your Lyft Accident Damages
While all Lyft drivers are required to have personal auto insurance that meets Georgia’s minimum coverage requirement, Lyft’s additional insurance protection is affected by the driver’s status at the time of your accident. There are three phases that determine what insurance coverage is applicable to your accident. Those three phases are as follows:
Coverage When a Lyft Driver’s App Is Off
If the Lyft driver who was responsible for your injuries did not have their app on and was not carrying a passenger, their personal insurance coverage applies to your accident. Georgia law requires drivers to carry a certain amount of liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum coverage requirements for bodily injury liability are $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident, and $25,000 per incident for property damage liability.
Coverage When a Lyft Driver’s App Is on and They Are Able to Receive Ride Requests
Lyft drivers who are available and waiting to receive ride requests are covered under the company’s third-party liability insurance. The liability limits provided by Lyft’s policy are $50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per incident for property damage. This coverage applies when the driver’s personal insurance does not meet these limits.
Coverage When a Lyft Driver’s App Is on and They Are on the Way to Pick Up Passengers or During Rides
Lyft drivers who are transporting passengers or are en route to pick them up are covered under the company’s third-party auto liability insurance, as well. The minimum third-party liability limit in this instance is $1,000,000. The policy also includes first-party uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
How an Attorney Can Help You Sue Lyft and the Lyft Driver for an Accident
There are many ways a car accident lawyer in Atlanta can assist you in filing a lawsuit against Lyft and the Lyft driver responsible for your accident injuries. In addition to understanding the complex legal issues involved in Lyft accidents, we can manage your case from beginning to end. Some of the ways we can help you successfully sue Lyft and your Lyft driver for your accident include:
- Collecting and organizing evidence of the accident and your injuries
- Identifying the ways in which Lyft and its driver were negligent
- Collecting your medical records and bills
- Establishing liability for your accident injuries
- Determining which insurance policy will cover your damages
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Negotiating a settlement with opposing legal counsel
- Trying your case in court if no satisfactory settlement can be reached
Our Atlanta car accident attorneys will fight to get you maximum compensation for your damages. Those damages can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Leaving your complicated rideshare accident case in our well-respected hands will give you the best chance of recovering payment for your injuries and other losses.
Contacting a Lyft Accident Lawyer
Lyft goes to great lengths to keep its drivers from being considered employees. As a result of the company’s efforts to maintain its status as a third party, suing Lyft and its driver for your accident is complex. Contact us for a free consultation to determine whether filing a legal claim against Lyft and the Lyft driver involved in your accident is your best option.