At Craig Charles Law, we fight for the rights of passengers and motorists injured in accidents with Lyft drivers.
It’s hard to believe that ridesharing is little more than a decade old. Today, Uber and Lyft are inescapable, and help Californians get to where they are going in a faster and more convenient way.
However, that’s not the whole story. According to some researchers, the act of hailing a Lyft and sharing a ride is actually making local roads more dangerous and congested.
A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority found that Uber and Lyft are “significant contributors” to traffic gridlock in and around the Bay Area. That study estimated that the ridesharing services were combining to make area roads around 14-percent more congested.
Another study, conducted by the University of Chicago, uncovered a link between higher traffic fatality numbers and cities where Lyft and Uber are operational. The study indicated there is about a three-percent increase in traffic and pedestrian fatalities in these cities that is directly attributable to ridesharing.
Despite their reputation for making transportation more efficient — and picking up drivers who may be too intoxicated to drive themselves safely — it appears that the issue of ridesharing safety may be much more complex than previously believed.
Accidents involving ridesharing services are a bit less straightforward than conventional auto collisions. In the case of Lyft, the company offers four insurance products for its drivers: Contingent liability (which only covers the period when drivers are waiting for customers), primary auto liability, contingent collision and comprehensive and uninsured motorist. When Lyft drivers are not actively looking for riders and operating the company’s app, the driver’s personal insurance policy is in effect.
So, what does this mean for people injured while riding in a Lyft or hurt while in another vehicle that collides with a Lyft? It’s simple: If the Lyft was in service and the driver opted for the Lyft-based coverage, all insurance claims (or litigation) will likely be initially directed to the company policy. Lyft policies offer drivers up to $1 million in coverage. If the accident occurs while the Lyft driver is “off-duty,” action will be initially directed at the driver’s day to day carrier.
It’s important to remember there is some overlap here and the line between on and off-duty can be something of a gray area. This is one reason why it makes sense to speak with an attorney who specializes in ridesharing cases in the event of an accident.
While Lyft may offer insurance coverage, their carriers are experienced negotiators who have one primary task: To keep all settlements as low as possible. In order to even the playing field, it’s essential to have an attorney who specializes in Uber and Lyft litigation fighting for your rights.
At the Law Offices of Craig Charles, we have the experience to handle even the toughest ridesharing cases. Don’t let the insurance company steamroll you or cause you to take an unfair settlement. Instead, arrange for a consultation and let us walk you through your legal options.
The Law Office of Craig Charles is located in West Hollywood (Weho). We are LGBT-friendly and we have the experience to handle even the most complex and challenging Lyft accident cases. Contact us today for an immediate consultation.
If you've been seriously injured, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We understand this process may be unfamiliar or confusing, so we make a personal commitment to communicate with you in a clear and timely fashion. Call us today and we'll evaluate your case, walk you through the process — and put you on the path to recovery.