Is Lyft Liable for my Injuries?
Lyft is a taxicab sharing service that works much like Grab. In Las Vegas, both Lyft and Grab are considered as more predominant Transportation Network Company (TNC) compared to the traditional taxi company.
As a TNC, Lyft drivers are less recognizable compared to taxi cabs. Drivers of the former work long, extra shifts and are often not under any regulatory restriction of time spent working. Further, Lyft drivers are responsible for their maintenance and costs. Some drivers would opt out of the required checks and balances to avoid the additional expense and therefore, take home more earnings.
How are Lyft drivers hired?
Nevada laws guide the selection of Lyft drivers. Lyft uses only the standard background checks. It has to cross-reference with the Nevada Sex Offender Registry, and also verify if the applicant driver has had violations from three to seven years ago.
However, Lyft does not conduct FBI mandated checks like biometric identifier to screen applicants.
So when you’re in an accident involving Lyft cabs, who should be held liable?
Being branded as TNCs means that being hit by Lyft taxis can get you into a web of parties pointing at each other when it comes to the subject of liability. In contrast, both the driver and company are held liable for injuries sustained in road accidents involving taxis from a traditional taxi company.
Lyft is quick to exclude themselves from liability when taxis using their service gets into a collision. The reason is that Lyft and its drivers only share a service pairing agreement, wherein Lyft acts as a liaison to pair drivers to travelers. Therefore, Lyft has the legal right to claim indemnification of the drivers’ actions.
Your right to claims will depend on the scenario that you’re in. Let’s discuss some of these scenarios below:
When you were outside the Lyft driver’s vehicle when you were hit, then you can collect from the driver’s insurance. The amount of compensation would depend on the injuries sustained, the cost of medical expenses and the potential loss of wages. If you hire an excellent personal injury lawyer, then you might even be granted the maximum amount of compensation allowed by the driver’s insurance company.
You could collect compensation from Lyft if the cab you’re riding got into a collision wherein the at-fault party is uninsured. Lyft maintains a very high limit of indemnity for incidents involving uninsured motorists.
Bear in mind that traditional taxi companies are not required to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Therefore, riding a Lyft cab should an unfortunate incident transpire would mean better compensation.
Lyft’s unique insurance policy setup
As a mere bridge between traveler and driver, Lyft’s insurance has an “on and off” mechanism. If the cab is in “driver mode,” then the driver falls under the protection of the Lyft’s insurance policy. If the cab is no longer in driver mode, then he/she is automatically out of the insurance policy system. Collisions outside the driver mode would then fall under the driver’s insurance policy.
If you were involved in a traffic accident involving a Lyft cab, contact Dan Lovell of Empire Law Group, an experienced attorney right away.