Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have been popular since their conception, and recent years have seen them bouncing back from a pandemic-inspired downtrend. With a greater number of rideshare cars cruising on the roads comes an increased risk of rideshare accidents.

If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident, you need a forceful and experienced Lyft accident lawyer to help you navigate your case. Rideshare accidents can be complicated. Don’t waste your time waiting for the responsible parties to advocate for you. Take the time today to learn more about rideshare services and how you can protect yourself and your interests in the event of an accident.

How Lyft and Rideshare Services Work

More than just carpooling and not quite the same as hiring a taxi, ridesharing services are in a class of their own. Like a taxi service, rideshare providers transport a customer from one place to another in exchange for compensation.

Unlike a taxi service, however, drivers don’t work for a specific company but are more like freelancers or contractors. Rideshare drivers usually own their vehicles, have fewer regulations, and are arranged via an app rather than by hailing. Payments are made over the app as well, with the rates set by the company that the driver is affiliated with.

Some of the most notable rideshare services in the U.S. include Lyft, Uber, Wingz, and Via.

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Who Is Eligible for Compensation in an Indiana Lyft Accident?

Ridesharing can be a cost-effective and convenient transportation option, but it doesn’t come without risks. The process for becoming a Lyft or Uber driver is by no means rigorous, though cities can impose their own regulations and requirements on potential drivers. Accidents can and do still happen during ridesharing journeys, so how does the law determine who gets paid in the event of an accident?

In the event of an accident, your Lyft car accident attorney can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation. Generally, you will be compensated if you are:

  1. A Lyft driver injured in an accident that you did not cause if the other driver has insurance.  You need to consult with an experienced Lyft or Uber attorney as soon as possible.  Typically your insurance will not cover you if you are driving for a ride sharing company at the time of an accident.  Therefore, you need to either pay for insurance specific for these scenarios or hope that the other driver has insurance.  Please consult with us as soon as possible if you have questions regarding this.
  2. A passenger riding in a Lyft vehicle, regardless of who caused the accident.
  3. A non-Lyft driver or non-Lyft passenger injured in an accident where the Lyft driver was at fault.
  4. A pedestrian injured in an accident involving a Lyft vehicle

Big rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber keep their drivers covered with hefty insurance policies, which can be good news for those who are involved in an accident that was not their fault. In this case, greater coverage often translates to more complete compensation for eligible victims.

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What to Do if You Are in a Lyft Accident in Indiana

1. Pull over

If an accident occurs, stop immediately and, if possible, move your car away from traffic. Turn on your hazards to warn approaching drivers of the stopped vehicle. Note that any driver who leaves the scene of an accident prematurely may be subject to felony or misdemeanor charges, hefty fines, and even jail time.

2. Examine everyone for injury

Make sure that everyone is okay, including yourself. If anyone is injured or nonresponsive, don’t attempt to move them; instead, wait for trained medical professionals to arrive at the scene.

3. Move to a safe space

If no one is seriously injured and the damaged vehicles are in working condition, move people and vehicles off the road to help prevent further accidents or injuries. If the car is not moveable, leave it and move yourself and others to safety on the shoulder, sidewalk, or another area out of traffic.

4. Call 911

If you’re able, call 911 and alert them to the situation. If you are too injured to use the phone, request any passengers, other involved parties, or witnesses to place a call for help. In Fishers, Indiana — and throughout the state — you or your car accident lawyer are legally required to report car accidents involving injuries, fatalities, more than $1,000 in damage to vehicles, or damage to non-vehicular property.

5. Seek medical attention

Once paramedics reach the scene, take the time to seek medical attention. Accident injuries aren’t always apparent right away, but even if your symptoms seem minor, they may become a serious problem later in life. In addition to receiving medical care at the scene of the accident, you should also see your regular doctor and discuss any injuries you may have received.

6. Gather information

Take down information including the drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance information, as well as a description of all the vehicles involved in the accident. When speaking to those involved in the accident, avoid discussing fault and focus on collecting the facts. Talk to law enforcement on the scene and write down their names, badge numbers, and the police report number. If there were witnesses to the accident, be sure to obtain their names and contact information.

7. Document the accident

Get as many pictures of the accident as possible, including the license plates of any vehicle involved in the accident. Be sure to leave a statement with any law enforcement personnel on the scene, as it will be difficult to recover any losses for your accident if you don’t provide a statement within the necessary window of time.

8. Engage a Lyft car accident lawyer

As soon as possible, reach out to our Hamilton County law firm to speak to a Lyft accident lawyer about your situation. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers are here to help you recover losses and ensure you enjoy the best outcome when filing a claim for a rideshare accident.

Who Is Liable in a Lyft Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, one of your main concerns will undoubtedly be who will be held liable for the accident. In the majority of cases, the passengers in Lyft vehicles are considered innocent; as such, they will not usually be held liable for the accident.
In general, Lyft accidents will fall into one of the following three scenarios:

    1. The Lyft driver is logged into the app, has accepted a ride request, and is transporting the passenger to their destination or en route to pick the passenger up from their starting location.
    2. The Lyft driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request and is driving alone.
    3. The Lyft driver is not logged into the app.

    Though Lyft and other large rideshare companies do have their own insurance policies covering their drivers, they may not always be held liable for an accident, especially in the case of scenario three. If the Lyft driver was not logged into the app at the time of the accident, the rideshare company will not be obligated to provide coverage. This is because Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. You have to make sure that you have paid for the insurance that will cover you in the event you are not at fault and the other driver does not have insurance. This is usually called underinsured or uninsured insurance.

    Generally, the at-fault driver’s personal insurance is liable for coverage. If the at-fault driver was the Lyft driver, and the accident occurred while the driver was logged into the Lyft app, the rideshare company may also be liable for the accident. Victims may be able to seek compensation from the Lyft company even if the Lyft driver is not at fault.

    Understanding who is liable to cover compensation can be a confusing topic. If you are located in or around Fishers, Indiana, then our lawyers can help you determine that at-fault party and identify which insurance carriers are responsible for providing compensation.

    How Does Insurance Work in a Lyft Accident?

    Lyft and other large rideshare companies generally provide coverage to their drivers, and Lyft also requires their drivers to carry personal auto insurance while working on behalf of the company. This means that various insurances will often be involved in a single accident. These may include:

    • Driver coverage provided by Lyft or the rideshare service
    • The driver’s personal insurance coverage
    • The insurance coverage of any other drivers involved in the accident
    • Any underinsured or uninsured coverage the victim has

    Lyft’s insurance converage

    If a Lyft driver is in the process of collecting or transporting a customer and is logged into the Lyft app, the rideshare company should be responsible for providing compensation to the victims of the accident. But how much does a Lyft insurance policy cover? That depends on the status of the ride.

    If the driver is on the app but is not providing a ride, the Lyft insurance policy covers $50,000 for bodily injury per person or $100,000 for bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident. This insurance does not cover injury to the driver or damage to the driver’s vehicle

    What if the driver has a passenger? In this case, Lyft insurance provides $1,000,000 for 3rd party auto liability in addition to offering uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, and a potential payment up to the cash value of the car (after a $2,500 deductible). This is considered full coverage with Lyft.  You will need to make sure you pay for these coverages in order to have them.

    Keep in mind that Lyft’s insurance covers accidents and amounts that aren’t already provided for by the Lyft driver’s personal insurance.

    Driver’s personal coverage

    When the Lyft app is off, a driver’s personal auto insurance coverage will be responsible for any accident. A driver’s private insurance should step in to fill the gaps left by Lyft’s current insurance policies. Drivers should choose add-on coverages such as ride-sharing insurance for added protection if these are available.

    Personal auto insurance policies vary from driver to driver.

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    What Type of Compensation Can You Expect for Lyft Injuries?

    It’s difficult to determine what the settlement may be for your case until you’ve spoken to a knowledgeable Lyft car accident attorney. Some of the most common damage you may be able to recover include:

    • Medical costs: Even mild injuries can become expensive. You may be entitled to compensation to cover current and future medical bills, including but not limited to emergency care, medication, surgery, therapy, and rehabilitation costs.
    • Lost wages: After an accident, you may not be able to return to work right away, resulting in a loss of income. In the case of serious injury, you may not be able to return to your job at all. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation to cover current and future lost wages.
    • Loss of earning capacity: Serious accidents may cause you to lose your job, be relegated to a different position, or even render you unable to work in your current field. If this occurs, you may be entitled to compensation for the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury earnings.
    • Mental and emotional damages: If an accident has caused permanent disability, mental or emotional trauma, or a significant decrease in your quality of life, you may be able to recover compensation for these damages.
    • Vehicle repair or replacement: If you were not at fault for the accident and your vehicle sustained significant damage, you may be able to recover these damages from that at-fault party’s insurance.

    Settlement amounts are based on various factors such as the severity of your injuries, current and future medical bill costs, how the accident has impacted your quality of life, and other elements.

    How Do I File a Claim if I was in a Lyft Accident?

    If you’ve been involved in a Lyft accident, the first step to filing your claim is to engage a knowledgeable Lyft accident lawyer to help you determine which insurance entity to reach out to. Remember that with multiple insurances in play, the key to quick and maximum compensation is knowing your way around rideshare accident law.

    Our Hamilton County lawyers will speak with you about your options for pursuing an insurance claim with Lyft, a Lyft driver’s personal insurance, or another driver’s insurance company. We will help you:

    • Investigate your case to gather evidence that will create a more compelling case to help you receive the settlement that you deserve.
    • Determine which insurance carrier(s) to contact to ensure the best outcome for your case.
    • Negotiate with the involved parties to win you fair compensation.
    • Fight for your case in court if your settlement falls short of what it could be.

    If you are the victim of a Lyft accident, don’t wait until it’s too late to seek help. At SLG Accident Attorneys, our attorneys are ready to fight for your right to a fair and full settlement. Contact our Fishers, Indiana office today by calling (317) 762-4186 or visiting our website to schedule your free consultation.