While Uber remains the nation’s largest ride-hailing, in recent years Lyft has grown more rapidly. There is no indication that the growth of Transportation Network Companies will slow in the near future, and there are many reasons why public officials in Las Vegas would prefer locals and visitors alike to let someone else do the driving while enjoying the city’s nightlife. With this growth, comes more accidents and more reasons to find an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer to seek justice on your behalf.
What Is Lyft?
Lyft is a rideshare transportation company from San Francisco, California. The company started out in 2012 and operates in more than 200 cities in the country. It is very similar to Uber. As of 2016, Lyft rides have been available in more than 30 states in the United States, as well as Washington D.C.
It’s estimated that there are over 300,000 Lyft drivers in the United States, with a rough estimate of 5,000 in Las Vegas alone. Lyft is currently reporting that it provides 1 million rides per day in the U.S., as compared to an average of 5.5 million for Uber.
Who Drives for Lyft?
Before someone can work for Lyft they must meet some requirements. The drivers have to be over 21 years of age and own a smartphone. Drivers have to go through a DMV check as well as part of the Lyft approval process. They also need a national and county background check, with a minimum of 7 years. Drivers are not approved if they have committed violent crimes, any felonies or sexual offenses, as well as drug-related crimes. Also, drivers must be covered by their car’s insurance policy and have license plates of the state they’re working at.
A Lyft car must pass a 19-point vehicle inspection and must meet any city or state requirements in order to ensure safety for both drivers and passengers. Lyft cars are required to have four external door handles, and a total of five seat belts at least.
Do Lyft Drivers Have Car Insurance?
Yes, they do. Lyft drivers have to be a covered party on their car’s insurance policy. Also, there are for more insurance coverages that are included in Lyft’s own insurance policies, like:
- Contingent Liability – The driver is waiting for a ride request while being in “driver mode.”
- Primary Liability Coverage –It acts as the primary liability coverage from the time a driver takes a ride until the end of it. This policy has an accident limit of $1 million.
- Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage – While the driver has collision coverage on their own insurance policy, Lyft’s policy will cover physical damage to the driver’s car
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist– In the event of an accident with an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist. This coverage will apply per accident up to $1 million.
What Can Cause Lyft Accidents?
There are so many different reasons car accidents happen. Most of the fatal car accidents in the United States are caused by the other driver failing to keep in their lane, or failing to yield right of way and reckless driving. Similarly, distracted driving can increase the chances of causing a car accident. Distracted driving includes the use of smartphones, mobile devices, and even in-vehicle technologies, like the navigation systems Lyft drivers use.
What Are The Common Types Of Injuries In A Lyft Accident?
The most common types of injuries that can happen in a Lyft accident include the following:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other head and brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal injuries
Pedestrians can also be involved in car accidents and may present damages to their legs and feet as well as other body parts. Similarly, motorcyclists may get even more severe injuries as a result of a car accident. People involved with car accidents also suffer from emotional and psychological injuries that can lead to PTSD, losing a loved one, and other psychological injuries.
People who have sustained injuries in an accident involving a Lyft car can possibly file a lawsuit and get compensation with the help of a Lyft accident attorney.
Who Is Liable In a Lyft Accident?
Since Lyft drivers are not considered employees but only users of the platform, people who have been injured in a Lyft accident can have difficulty determining who is at fault. Since drivers and their vehicles are licensed and state-regulated, traditional cab companies have their own specific laws regarding their liability in car accidents, compensation, and insurance. However, in some cases, rideshare companies’ insurance policies may not compensate for an accident that happens when their driver is not on “working hours”.
If the Lyft driver is doing anything but taking a passenger to their destination, they are liable for any damage or injury they may cause with their driving. Their personal insurance would cover the claims. If the driver is engaged in providing transportation services, Lyft is responsible for providing insurance to cover injuries or damages that may result.
Is Lyft A Citizen Or Service Provider?
After considerable discussion and legislative effort, an agreement has been reached regarding when a Lyft driver is simply another driver, and thus personally responsible for any damage or injury that they may cause, and when the driver is providing services for Lyft.
According to the Nevada Department of Insurance, a driver is providing transportation services when they are engaged in the following activities:
- Logged into the ridesharing net and seeking a match with a passenger
- Being matched with a passenger and en route to picking them up
- Delivering a passenger to their destination
What Are The Nevada Requirements?
In 2015, Nevada Assembly Bill 76, established guidelines for the insurance that transportation companies operating in the state must provide.
- For cases where bodily injury to, or death of, one or more persons occur while services are being provided, coverage of not less than $1,500,000.
- For a case in which bodily injury or death of any one person occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport, not less than $50,000.
- For bodily injury or death to two or more persons if this occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport, not less than $100,000.
- Not less than $25,000 to cover the destruction of property if this occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport.
It could occur that you suffer injury or damages while being transported by a Lyft driver, but the accident was actually caused by another driver. In such a case, a Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney would help you seek compensation from the driver who was at fault.
Do I Have A Case if I’ve Been Involved in a Lyft Accident?
If you’ve been in an accident involving a Lyft driver you could sue for negligence. The information discussed here should give you a general idea of the factors involved in a Lyft accident. If you have experienced personal injury, loss of property or other damages that you believe are the result of negligence or reckless behavior by a Lyft driver, there is a good chance that you have strong avenues of recourse.
How Can a Lyft Accident Lawyer Help?
Lyft and its drivers have a duty to provide a safe trip for their passengers and their drivers, as well as other commuters and pedestrians. If Lyft or one of their drivers fail to perform this duty, they could be liable for your injuries in a lawsuit. With the help of a J. Cogburn Law accident lawyer, people who get injured in a Lyft through no fault of their own can be eligible to recover financial compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
If the victim passed away in a Lyft car accident, their families can be eligible to recover money as well for funeral expenses and the pain and suffering from losing their loved ones.
The best way to formulate a strategy to pursue compensatory damages is to schedule a consultation with an experienced Las Vegas Lyft accident attorney at J. Cogburn Law Offices who has knowledge of the range of issues associated with such cases. This may be a somewhat new area of law, but it is based on well-established rules and procedures that we understand fully.
Free Consultation With A Las Vegas Lyft Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident with a Lyft driver in Las Vegas, call J. Cogburn Law for a free case consultation with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney. You can reach us at (727) 747-6000.