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Lexington Lyft Accidents

Ride-share companies like Lyft provide a good alternative to public transportation and traditional taxi-cabs for many who live in urban or suburban areas. Lyft is easy to use and, depending on the time of day, comparable in price to taking a taxi. However, a growing number of Lexington Lyft accidents are being reported each year. At Hessig & Pohl, we skillfully represent those who have been involved in Kentucky ride-share accidents, helping them navigate the complex insurance policies and laws that apply in these accidents.

By and large, Lyft drivers are not professionals, and there is actually shockingly little company or regulatory oversight regarding who is eligible to become a driver. For example, Lyft’s website notes that the requirements to drive for the company are that a driver is 21 years old, has a valid license, a smart phone, and passes a driving and criminal history check. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that the number of traffic deaths increases by two to three percent after a ride-share company is introduced into a city. Experts estimate that ride-share accidents are responsible for over 1,100 deaths each year.

Passengers who have been involved in a Lexington Lyft accident often have many questions. The good news is that anyone injured in a Lyft accident will likely be covered under at least one insurance policy. However, determining which policy provides coverage, and ensuring that the amount of available coverage is sufficient to cover a passenger’s injuries can present challenges to many accident victims.

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Insurance in Fayette County Lyft Accidents

Ride-share companies, including Lyft, boast about the robust insurance policies that protect passengers as well as drivers. Lyft breaks its insurance coverage down into four discrete types:

  • Contingent liability
  • Primary auto liability
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UIM)
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Which of the above types of insurance applies, depends on where in the ride-share-process the driver was at the time of the accident. To best understand how Lyft insurance works, it is easiest to think of there being three potential times an accident could occur:

The Lyft driver is driving without the App on, or with Driver Mode turned off

The App is on and Driver Mode is on, but no passenger is in the car or has been identified

From the moment a match is provided to the time when the passenger is dropped off

If a Lyft driver is taking a break, driving with the App off or not in Driver Mode, Lyft’s insurance will not provide any coverage. However, the driver is still required to maintain their own insurance which, in Kentucky is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. However, traditional auto insurance policies often include exclusions for ride-share accidents. Thus, Lyft drivers must obtain either a ride-share endorsement or a commercial insurance policy to effectuate coverage. If a driver does not have an endorsement or a commercial insurance policy, it is likely that the insurance company will deny an injured passenger’s claim.

As an example, if a Lyft driver strikes a pedestrian while the App is off, the pedestrian will not likely be able to file a claim through Lyft’s insurance policy. Assuming the driver has a the ride-share endorsement, the injured passenger may be limited to just $25,000 in compensation, if the driver obtained only the minimum amount of coverage. Of course, the injured passenger may be able to submit a claim through their own auto insurance policy, if they have one.

Accidents in the second category are those that occur while a driver is looking for a fare. In these situations, a limited portion of Lyft’s insurance coverage applies. Specifically, the policy provides for a limit of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident. In addition to this policy, an injured Lyft passenger may be able to also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal policy.

The final situation covers accidents when a driver and passenger have been matched through the App. For these accidents, Lyft’s advertised insurance policy of $1 million applies in addition to any coverage maintained by the driver. Notably, this is the only phase in the ride-share process in which Lyft’s UIM policy applies.

Pursuing a Claim Against Lyft

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, employers can be held liable for the negligent actions of their employees in certain circumstances. However, because Lyft classifies its drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, respondeat superior does not typically apply. For this reason, accident victims may find it difficult to hold Lyft accountable for a driver’s negligence. That being said, if Lyft or the Lyft App bore some unique responsibility for the accident, liability may be appropriate. However, this is likely an unusual situation. More often, the company’s $1 million insurance policy will be the primary source of compensation for injured passengers.

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Consult with a Dedicated Lexington Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact us at (502) 777-1111 for a free consultation.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a Lexington Lyft accident, you need experienced personal injury lawyers on your side. Hessig & Pohl is ready to help you. One of the reasons Hessig & Pohl is a popular choice among Kentucky ride-share accident victims is that our representation will not cost you anything out-of-pocket. We have the experience, dedication and skill necessary to effectively bring your claim against even the largest insurance companies. In addition, we will not collect a fee unless we are able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.