At Parisi and Bellavia, we understand and have made significant recoveries for our clients that have been injured in Lyft accidents. If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, call us today at (585) 888-8000 or submit our online form for a free consultation.
Lyft and other ridesharing applications have transformed the way that people get around Rochester. Lyft has caused some people to forego owning a car altogether. They’ve allowed students from our University of Rochester, St. John Fischer, R.I.T. and others to go out for drinks without having to worry about which friend will act as the designated driver for the night.
As society increasingly depends on Lyft and ride sharing platforms, however, it’s important to understand the risks associated with hailing a Lyft and what, God forbid the Lyft were to get into a car accident, insurance coverage applies.
According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws, ridesharing companies like Lyft are considered a “Transportation Network Company,” which is defined as “a person or entity that is licensed … and is operating in New York State exclusively using a digital network (usually a smartphone application) to connect passengers to drivers who provide prearranged trips.”
Therefore, Lyft drivers are regulated differently than typical drivers on the road and are required to maintain certain levels of insurance coverage that your average driver doesn’t need.
At Parisi and Bellavia, one of the most important factors we look at in evaluating a Lyft accident is what the Lyft driver was doing at the time of the accident. Were they en route to pick up a customer? Were they dropping a passenger off at a residence? Were they waiting in a parking lot for the next ride request? Were they off-duty?
What the driver was doing at the time of the accident is extremely important because under New York State Insurance laws, it informs us about the potential insurance coverage that applies and is available to cover serious bodily injuries that result from the Lyft accident. Understanding how to obtain the requisite information to determine the state of the Lyft trip at the time of the accident, is exactly why you should call us at Parisi and Bellavia, because we are experienced at handling Lyft accident matters and reviewing the necessary evidence to understand what happened.
You call the Lyft, it arrives at your door, you get into the vehicle. How much insurance coverage applies? In the in-trip scenario, the insurance policy must provide at least $1,250,000 for bodily injury to or destruction of property, supplemental uninsured/underinsured (“SUM”) coverage of $1,250,0000 and personal injury protection no-fault insurance.
What does this mean? This means if you are hit by a Lyft driver, and the Lyft driver was in the middle of a trip there’s at least $1,250,000 in insurance coverage to cover potential injuries. This also means that if you’re a passenger in a Lyft and your Lyft driver is not at-fault in an accident, and the at-fault driver carries less than $1,250,000 in insurance coverage, Lyft’s insurance policy will kick-in to supplement the uninsured or underinsured motorist’s coverage to ensure that the total pot of available insurance is at least $1,250,000.
The minimum coverage limits required between Lyft accidents differs when a Lyft driver is between trips, meaning they’re not on their way to pick someone up or drop someone off.
In this scenario, insurance must provide what’s called a “75/150/25” coverage policy which stands from $75,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person per accident, $150,000 for two or more people per accident, $25,000 for property damage, as well as uninsured motorist and no-fault insurance.
As you can see, there’s potentially a significant difference in the between trip and during trip scenarios outlined here. Whether you’re a full-time or part-time Lyft driver, you should ask yourself if you need to supplement your own coverage to protect yourself while you’re idling and waiting for that next rideshare request to come through the application.
When a Lyft driver is off-duty, per Lyft’s guideline’s, the driver’s own personal auto insurance applies. A cautionary note for all you Lyft drivers out there. Lyft drivers should pause to reflect on these coverage limits. Sometimes as a driver, a passenger may enter your car having requested a particularly long (and expensive) trip. A driver looking to save the Lyft revenue split may be tempted to offer a passenger the option to pay cash outside and turn off the Lyft application. Beware! What you have just done by turning the application off from an insurance perspective is shift all of the potential risk if an accident occurs onto your own insurance policy.
If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident in Rochester, NY contact Parisi and Bellavia, Rochester’s trusted car accident lawyers today. Our difference is that when you call us you get us and we’ve recovered millions in car accident settlements and trials for individuals injured here in Rochester. Let our family fight for yours.
Complete our form for a free evaluation.