If you’re into ridesharing, there’s a lot to love about accessing your own private driver (so to speak) with a smartphone app. Lyft offers plenty of perks, including no more searching for pesky parking spots when you’re hitting historic downtown Charleston. If you’re injured in a Lyft accident, however, things can quickly get complicated. Questions about whose insurance covers what are bound to surface and the answer isn’t always as straightforward as you might like. If a Lyft accident injured you, you need experienced legal counsel.
Pieces of the Insurance Puzzle
Lyft continues to grow at a pace that exceeds even Uber (though Lyft remains a distant second overall). With such swift growth comes increasing Lyft accidents on our roadways. When it comes to car accidents that involve Lyft drivers, the issue typically revolves around insurance, which in the case of this rideshare company is likely to get tricky.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a Lyft accident—whether you were in the Lyft or in your own car—it’s going to grow complicated. When rideshare companies like Lyft hit the scene not all that many years ago, they basically managed to stay below the strict regulatory radar for quite a while. That’s all changing, but the insurance intricacies remain complicated and necessitate careful maneuvering.
The dedicated car accident attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston are here to help. Our skilled legal team has the experience and tenacity to fight for your Lyft accident claim’s most positive resolution.
Ridesharing and Insurance: How it Works
When drivers work for Lyft, they head out in their own cars—for which they carry insurance. Furthermore, Lyft itself carries rideshare insurance for its on-duty drivers. Whether you’re injured as a Lyft passenger or injured in an accident that involves a Lyft driver, insurance will play an outsized role in your financial recovery. Exactly which insurance policy will come into play depends upon the specifics of your Lyft accident.
If you’re injured in a Lyft or by a Lyft that’s carrying passengers (or is in the process of picking up an active fare), then Lyft’s commercial insurance policy covers the Lyft driver’s liability—because in such situations, the Lyft driver is using a personal car as a commercial vehicle.
If you’re injured in a car accident that an off-duty Lyft driver’s negligence caused, the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy will kick in. Such a claim will move through the system just like any other car accident claim would, because that driver’s car once again becomes the driver’s personal vehicle (and ceases to function as a commercial vehicle in the eyes of the law).
On Duty With No Passengers
Things can get trickier when the Lyft driver is on duty but not carrying passengers. Lyft drivers naturally experience dead time (when they have no Lyft passengers but are nevertheless awaiting such a fare). Oftentimes, these drivers remain on the road while they wait, and if they’re involved in an accident during this waiting period, Lyft’s contingent insurance policy—rather than its commercial policy—will likely come into play.
If you have questions, you aren’t the first person. It’s complicated, and sometimes the lines blur. If a Lyft accident injured you, first seek immediate medical attention, then consult an experienced Charleston car accident lawyer.
South Carolina: A Comparative Fault State
When it comes to liability in car accidents, South Carolina is a comparative fault state. Comparative fault allows all drivers in an accident to share some percentage of responsibility. In South Carolina, the injured party must shoulder less than 51 percent of the fault before qualifying to recover damages. In other words, if you are 20 percent at fault for the Lyft accident that caused your injury, your recovery will reduce by that 20 percent.
Determining the percentage of fault is another complicated issue that also requires a skilled car accident attorney. The lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm know how to fight insurance companies that try to use comparative fault to reduce or eliminate their liability for your injuries.
The Elements of a Lyft Accident Claim
All car accidents are created equal in the eyes of South Carolina—whether it’s a Lyft accident or a regular old car accident. The issue at hand is negligence—specifically whose negligence caused the accident (or whose negligence was most contributive). Negligence amounts to the failure to drive with appropriate care, and a successful South Carolina Lyft accident claim requires the presence of specific elements: The Lyft driver (or any driver) owed a duty of care and didn’t uphold that duty; that failure caused your injuries, and you suffered real damages. That’s the basics when it comes to any kind of car accident in South Carolina, including a Lyft accident.
It’s complicated, but let’s go over the basics. If you suffered an injury as a Lyft passenger or by a Lyft that was carrying passengers (or that was actively engaged in picking up passengers), Lyft’s commercial insurance policy should cover you. If an off-duty Lyft driver’s negligence injured you, that driver’s personal insurance policy will come into play. Things get more complicated from there. Suffice to say, if a Lyft accident injured you, connecting with an experienced car accident attorney can cut through the confusion.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Lyft Accident, Consult with a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Today
Even minor car accidents can upset anyone. An injury from a Lyft accident adds a whole new layer of confusion. The dedicated car accident lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston, South Carolina, are committed to guiding your Lyft accident claim through the insurance labyrinth and toward just resolution. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (843) 891-8644 today.