Rideshare services like Lyft offer commuters an easy and convenient way to get around town. Most Lyft rides reach their destinations without incident, but there is, unfortunately, always a chance of getting in an accident.

If you’ve been badly injured from a Lyft accident, your injuries can cost thousands in medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. But if you’re injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t be held financially responsible for these costs. Suffering from an accident is traumatic enough on its own. 

With that being said, you may be legally entitled to financial compensation to cover these damages. An experienced Lyft accident attorney from Gautreaux Law, a personal injury law firm serving clients in Middle Georgia, can fight for you to get the funds you deserve. Contact us today to see how we might be able to help you.

Is a Lyft accident always the driver’s fault?

If another car causes an accident because its driver breaks a traffic law, there’s no doubt in knowing that the driver is responsible. But what if the driver is doing so for Lyft? Many people assume that Lyft drivers are employees of the company and that Lyft is, therefore, responsible no matter what. But that’s not normally the case. 

Lyft drivers are typically independent contractors, which means that even though they are allowed to list their services on the platform, they aren’t considered employees. As such, Lyft has a lot less oversight than it would over employees, which, in turn, means the platform bears much less liability than it would otherwise. In other words, a Lyft driver who causes an accident is, more often than not, personally held responsible. 

That being said, Lyft does help out in these kinds of cases. As a condition of driving for the platform, drivers must carry liability insurance offered by Lyft. The policy is usually enough to cover any injuries or property damage the driver causes in an accident.

If an accident is especially serious, though, then it’s possible that the Lyft driver’s liability policy will be exhausted before all the injuries and property damage are paid for. If that’s the case, you (or your legal team) might need to talk to the driver’s personal liability insurance.

Consider the following example: You are injured in an accident where a Lyft driver is legally determined to be at fault. The driver’s liability policy through Lyft goes up to $1 million. Your injuries are especially bad, though, and your hospital bills come to $1.2 million. In such a case, the Lyft liability policy would pay for the first $1 million in hospital bills, and your Lyft accident lawyer could then attempt to pursue the driver’s personal liability policy for the remaining $200,000.

Is Lyft itself ever held responsible?

Lyft’s business model allows it to place a great deal of responsibility on its drivers. Still, having its drivers work as independent contractors doesn’t always mean that the rideshare company can never be held responsible.

In particular, Lyft has a duty to stop high-risk drivers from offering rides through the app. The company doesn’t have a definitive list of reasons a driver may not be accepted, but some potential disqualifiers are as follows:

  • Having committed a sexual offense
  • Being convicted of a violent crime
  • Being convicted of a terrorism-related crime
  • Having a DUI within the last seven years
  • Having certain kinds of fraud convictions

Lyft is likely careful when it comes to evaluating potential drivers, but mistakes do happen. If Lyft was negligent when it approved a particular driver, the company may be legally responsible (at least in part) for your injuries.

Imagine, for instance, that you are driving on the highway when you’re hit by a Lyft driver. It’s later revealed that the driver has had several past convictions for reckless driving. In this case, your attorney could make a convincing argument that Lyft was negligent when it approved the driver. That doesn’t mean the driver isn’t liable, though, so your attorney could probably file a lawsuit against both the driver and Lyft itself in order to recover compensation for you.

Contact a Lyft Accident Attorney at Gautreaux Law

At best, Lyft accidents are inconvenient. But at worst, they can cause injuries that change your life forever. Getting your life back on track after a serious accident can feel next to impossible, especially if you have to spend considerable energy healing and considerable funds on medical bills.

At Gautreaux Law, we’re committed to helping Central and Middle Georgia residents like you move past their injuries and get back to everyday life, and we’ve been doing so for more than 20 years. If you’ve been hurt in a Lyft accident and want an attorney who will fight tirelessly for you, contact us today for a free case review.