Lyft Car Accidents

Groundbreaking businesses like Lyft, the ride-share company, go through a learning phase. Practical issues are brought to light as use of the service begins in earnest. Ride-share businesses such as Lyft are based on technology for use of its service. The drivers are only human and humans make mistakes. A Lyft car accident is a shocking event, having entrusted your life and safety to the driver of your Lyft car. Ride-sharing companies such as Lyft were first legalized in California in 2013. The unusual, community-accessible companies use vehicles in the neighborhood that aren’t in use to help people who need rides. The provision is a workable solution to societies travel issues but is not without problems and concerns. An accident in a Lyft car is not only be harmful physically, but mentally and monetarily as well. Fortunately, if your injured in a Lyft car accident, California law allows for ways to get your life back to normal.

How Does the Lyft Service Work?

Lyft is one of only a few ride-sharing businesses to become available as a public transportation option. The Lyft Smartphone app is all that is required to schedule a ride. Riders schedule and pay for the ride all from the app. For an additional fee, riders can choose the type of car to ride in, from economy to luxury. The cars used to drive Lyft riders are the driver’s personal vehicles. They log into work on their own time to earn extra money driving their neighbors around. It is much like a taxi service with one major difference; there are not as many regulations to follow.

About Lyft

Lyft burst onto the scene in 2012 as the brainchild of Logan Green and John Zimmer. It was originally a service of Zimride, another ride sharing service began in 2007. Zimride was for long trips and lengthy rides from one town to another. It used Facebook to connect its riders and drivers. It slowly became the largest ridesharing company in the country and is now used by companies and business to ferry their employees. Lyft was started to incorporate shorter rides into the business.

How Can a Lyft Car Accident Occur?

Lyft car drivers are human and make mistakes. A Lyft driver can make an unsafe turn, run a stop sign or red light, and drive distracted or sleepy. A passenger in a Lyft car runs a risk of being injured by the Lyft car driver’s negligence or the negligence of other drivers on the road just as any other driver or taxicab user. A Lyft car accident can occur in the same way as any other type of car, even self-driving cars.

Lyft Legal Obligations

Lyft is a Transportation Network Company or TNC and is required to carry a license given by the California Public Utilities Commission or CPUC. Lyft and all ride-sharing companies are required by law to provide a driver training program to all drivers and perform criminal background checks on prospective hires. They must also enact a strict zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use and a one-million-dollar insurance policy per incident must be in place. Insurance coverage for rideshare drivers from any company is used at three definitive times; when logging into the app, on the way to pick-up the rider, and during the payed ride.

  • Logging in - checking the app for an available fare engages the insurance held by the company but at a lesser amount than when enroute to the payed destination. The driver’s personal insurance does not come into play at this time.
  • Enroute to Pick-Up – Once a rider on the app signals a need for a ride and pays for it, a higher amount of insurance coverage begins. Ride share companies are required to deliver at least $1 million in insurance coverage for death or personal injury caused by the driver. They are also required to offer $1 million of uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Passenger Picked up and Enroute to Destination – As the driver picks up the rider and the trip has begun the same amount of insurance is in use as when the driver is enroute to secure the rider. This tactic makes sure enough insurance coverage is available for the driver and passengers should either become injured by another driver on the road who doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover all injuries and damages.

The state of California ensures ride share companies like Lyft have adequate insurance in place to cover any accident caused by their drivers and other drivers on the road. This does not mean any accident in a Lyft car is an automatic win for the rider.

The most vital aspect in any type of vehicle accident case is proving who is at fault. This can only be done in the investigation stage to be done by an attorney trained in personal injury law. Without such a skilled and systematic investigation, no case can be won.

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