Lyft Accident Lawyer in New York City

The Lyft app is a straightforward way to get a ride to the airport or your favorite places. But if you are in an accident while riding in a Lyft car, your straightforward transaction becomes a murky puzzle. There are many insurance sources to pursue damages, but it is not always clear where to start. You should consider hiring a vehicle accident lawyer to help you cut through the red tape in Lyft accident settlements.

Drivers must secure car repairs and injury treatment while different insurance companies dispute responsibility. Passengers seek relief too and do not know whether to pursue Lyft, the driver, or the other driver in the accident. That is where the skilled Lyft accident lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine can help. Since 1992, we've recovered more than $700 Million for car accident victims, including taxi, Uber, and Lyft accident lawsuits for those injured as a passenger or driver in a Lyft or similar rideshare company.

Call (212) 268-3222 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation of your Lyft accident case today.

What is Lyft’s Accident Policy?

In a perfect world, Lyft drivers would carry commercial auto insurance policies. But the premiums on these policies are cost-prohibitive for most drivers. If drivers have the option on their personal auto insurance, they add a rideshare endorsement so they can drive for money without violating their insurance terms. Those who do not have that option, or can’t afford it, try to rely on Lyft’s insurance policy.

However, Lyft limits when its accident policy is in effect. It determines this by dividing up the driver’s time into periods:

  • Period 0: In Period 0, a driver is not logged into the app, and they are not seeking passengers. The driver’s personal car insurance policy covers damages in this phase.
  • Period 1: Drivers logged into the app and seeks a ride. There are no passengers involved at this stage.
  • Period 2: Drivers find a Lyft passenger and leave to pick them up.
  • Period 3: The driver picks up the passenger and takes them to their designation. Once dropped off, the driver returns to Period 1.

In Period 0, a driver is using their car for personal use. So, their personal insurance policy covers any damages if they have an accident. Even if you discover the driver works for Lyft, you cannot pursue Lyft insurance unless the driver was seeking rides through the app at the time.

For Period 1, the driver’s rideshare endorsement is the primary insurance. It will cover damages up to its limits. But if the driver does not have a rideshare endorsement or the insurance limits are low, Lyft provides third-party liability insurance. This insurance covers the injuries and property damage sustained by third parties, but it will not cover the driver’s losses--only those of injured victims. It contains the following limits:

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

At Periods 2 and 3, drivers and passengers benefit from extended insurance. At this phase, Lyft offers:

  • $1 million for third-party auto liability
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury and first party coverage
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision up to actual cash value with a $2,500 deductible

Generally, if the driver logged into the Lyft act, passengers and third parties can pursue Lyft’s insurance. Otherwise, this is a private personal injury case and not a Lyft accident lawsuit.

What Type of Auto Accidents Can You Sue Lyft For?

Lyft accidents take the following forms:

  • Collisions between a Lyft vehicle and another vehicle while waiting for a passenger
  • Collisions between a Lyft driver and another vehicle while driving to pick up a passenger
  • Passengers injured in transit after entering a Lyft driver’s vehicle
  • Lyft drivers colliding with bicycles or pedestrians
  • Lyft drivers injured in collisions with at-fault third parties while logged into the Lyft app

If you are a Lyft driver, your options under Lyft’s insurance policy are limited unless you were in Period 2 or 3 at the time. In those cases, Lyft insurance covers any shortcomings in your own insurance. Also, if you sustained injuries through no fault of your own, we can pursue the other driver as well.

Passengers injured in an accident where the Lyft driver is at fault may pursue the $1 million liability coverage provided by Lyft. This limit is higher than most personal auto policies and often works well in the most egregious of cases. If your Lyft driver was not at fault, we can pursue Lyft and the other driver.

Bicycles, pedestrians, and other third parties injured by a Lyft driver may pursue the Lyft insurance as long as the driver was logged into the app. Otherwise, your only relief is through the driver’s insurance coverage.

Filing a Lyft Car Accident Lawsuit in New York

Before filing an injury lawsuit, we must take the following steps:

  • Pursue the driver’s insurance: In Period 1, the driver’s insurance is primary, and Lyft only fills the gaps if the driver’s coverage is inadequate. Once we exhaust the driver’s coverage limits, we can pursue Lyft. As indicated above, Lyft covers up to $50,000 per person for injury at a maximum of $1000,000 per accident.
  • Establish fault: If you are a passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, or another driver in an auto collision, we must establish the ridesharing driver caused the crash. Their private car insurance and Lyft insurance will challenge liability, so we collect evidence that shows the Lyft driver was at fault. We establish this through accident reports, police reports, any tickets issued, and witness statements. We also must show that the driver logged into the app at the time of the accident.
  • Determine damages: If a Lyft accident case resulted in you requiring medical care and incurring medical expenses, you have damages. A car accident attorney brings these up to an insurance adjuster to negotiate a fair settlement.
  • Report accident to Lyft: You can report the accident by clicking the “report accident” button on this page. However, all it does is request your telephone number. So there is a good chance a representative will call you for an interview. Do not take this step until you talk to us. Instead, consider leaving the accident report to us.

Holding Lyft responsible is challenging because rideshare drivers are independent contractors. Companies make that designation to distance themselves from driver negligence and intentional conduct. However, laws in California and elsewhere challenge this assumption and which is why Lyft’s insurance company expanded coverage.

How Much Does Lyft Pay in an Accident?

The amount Lyft pays in a rideshare accident depends on your damages. Those include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Wage loss
  • Diminished earning capacity (in personal injury cases with serious injuries)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish (especially if you file a wrongful death action on behalf of a deceased loved one)
  • Punitive damages, if a rideshare driver’s conduct or negligence was especially egregious.

Lyft accident claims produced settlements ranging from $300,000 to the full $1 million in the liability insurance policy. These cases involve disabling accident injuries and severe mental trauma from accidents. In these cases, serious injuries may include severe or multiple bone fractures, brain injury, or wrongful death.

Less severe injuries, like whiplash, strains or sprains, or deep bruises, generate lower settlement amounts. However, do not underestimate these injuries. They still affect work, finances, and your enjoyment of life. For example, if you feel pain every day or a wrist injury makes it impossible to type at your job, you can still receive a larger settlement due to pain and suffering and your inability to work.

The purpose of lawsuits and settlements is to make the accident victim whole. That involves compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and damaged property. These do not have to be multi-million dollar settlements for us to commit to the highest and fairest amount possible for your case.

Discuss Your Claim with a Lyft Accident Attorney Today

The Lyft accident lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine have spent the last 25 years providing New York car crash victims with hope for a better future. We know that injuries often cause pain, debt, and financial hardship. Our lawyers seek to reduce those impacts by maximizing your lawsuit settlement amount, so it is easier for you and your family to recover and move forward.

We help our clients by:

  • Reviewing reports, medical records, witness statements, and driving records
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Finding witnesses
  • Hiring experts to clarify liability and the extent of your injuries
  • Managing settlement negotiations in a thorough, effective, and persuasive manner
  • Preparing to go to court if settlement negotiations do not produce fair results

Large entities like Lyft have extensive legal departments to fight personal injury claims and deny liability. Unfortunately, this situation makes these cases time-consuming and frequently harrowing as agents and lawyers attempt to intimidate you into taking a lower settlement. We eliminate that scenario by taking over the insurance and settlement negotiations while you focus on recovery.  

If you face injuries and have a claim against Lyft, our law firm is ready to help. Call (212) 268-3222 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We also represent victims injured in Uber and other ridesharing motor vehicle accidents.

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