Ordinary car accident claims are complicated enough without throwing in the commercial and business complications of ride-sharing. The way a claim is filed and the value of that claim—as far as insurance is concerned—is wholly dependent on the status of the person driving the Lyft vehicle at the time of the collision. However, regardless of how the insurance company views the coverage of a claim, it should not alter the way you file to any significant degree.
1. Collect Information
The first objective after any car accident, after determining the well-being of passengers and drivers, is to secure the information of those involved as well as photograph the scene. The basics you will want to gather is the contact information of people involved as well as witnesses, license plate numbers, insurance information of drivers and driver’s license information. Last, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles.
2. Determine Liability
Next, you will need to determine who is liable for the damages you sustained. While you may have collided with a Lyft driver, the company may not be responsible for your injuries because the drivers are likely contracted employees. If an accident was due to the driver’s negligence, then you will file against their personal auto insurance. However, if you were injured while riding in a Lyft vehicle, then you may be covered under the commercial policy.
3. Consider the Lyft Driver’s Operating Status
If a passenger or the driver of a Lyft vehicle, then the insurance and amount of coverage will vary based on the operating status of the driver. If you are the passenger, then Lyft’s primary liability insurance covers up to $1,000,000 per accident. If you are a driver in driver mode without a passenger, then the contingent liability insurance covers up to $100,000. If the driver was off duty, then their personal insurance will be liable.
4. File Quickly
It is necessary to check with the state you are in to verify filing timelines. While some states allow up to two years to file a personal injury claim, some insurance companies require notice of an accident within 24 hours.
5. Hire an Attorney
Last, consider hiring an experienced car accident law firm in Des Moines, IA. While personal injury claims may seem straightforward, the legal process can get complicated. A lawyer can help you navigate a lawsuit and likely has a higher chance of successful negotiations outside of a courtroom.
If you have been involved in an accident with a Lyft driver, or if you are a Lyft driver who was involved in a collision, then consider talking to an experienced attorney. While the filing process for a personal injury claim is likely similar to a non-commercial accident, rideshare accidents can be complicated.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and a Lyft accident injuries.