Fort Worth Lyft Accidents Attorneys
Many Texans rely on rideshare apps such as Lyft every day as a safe alternative to public transportation and taxi services, but what happens when accidents happen involving rideshare drivers? Liability is a tricky issue in these accidents, and injured drivers should know what to expect from a lawsuit involving a Lyft accident. The Law Offices of Tom Hall are available for free consultations at our Fort Worth, Texas, location, so contact us and let us know how we can help.
Lyft is a very popular alternative to Uber in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Lyft operates a bit differently. While Uber drivers use their own personal vehicles to transport fares on the clock, Lyft drivers have the option of renting vehicles through the company to provide different levels of service. For example, a driver may rent a vehicle for both personal use and driving work in select locations. Additionally, drivers with qualifying high-end vehicles may earn bonus pay for Lyft Lux or Lyft Premier rides. While these options offer consumers a variety of ridesharing options, the question of liability for accidents involving Lyft drivers is often murky.
Texas Ridesharing Regulations
Since rideshare apps such as Lyft have become so popular, Texas lawmakers have enacted legislation to clearly outline insurance requirements, liability, and passenger rights for ridesharing services.
- Lyft passengers must have access to a driver’s ID and vehicle information before accepting a ride. Lyft must also provide passengers with fare estimates.
- Lyft must send a passenger a receipt via the digital app shortly after completion of a ride.
- Lyft drivers may not accept fares while under the influence of any intoxicating substances, either illicit or prescribed medications that may interfere with driving ability.
- Texas Lyft drivers must be over the age of 18 and have a valid driver’s license. The driver’s vehicle must be a 2002 model or newer with four doors and five to eight seats, including the driver’s seat.
- Lyft drivers cannot complete fares outside of the digital app while on the clock.
- Lyft drivers may refuse transportation to any passenger who acts in an unlawful or dangerous manner.
- Rideshare drivers may not discriminate against passengers based on race, sex, religion, or anyone who requires a service animal for travel.
- Lyft drivers are independent contractors.
Texas state law also covers the insurance requirements for Lyft drivers and Lyft as a company. Although Lyft drivers are independent contractors with personal auto insurance policies, Lyft must adhere to common carrier laws and operate at a higher standard of care than typical drivers. Lyft provides liability coverage to drivers and passengers under certain conditions.
If the driver has not logged into the app as an available driver, then any accidents that occur will fall to the driver’s personal auto insurance policy. If the driver has logged on to the Lyft app as available but has not accepted a fare or is waiting for a passenger, liability coverage is somewhat limited. Lyft must provide up to $50,000 liability insurance coverage for the driver and $50,000 for each passenger, up to a total of $100,000 for a single accident. This coverage also provides $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Once a driver accepts a passenger and begins driving, Lyft’s coverage increases dramatically. Lyft covers up to $1 million in liability insurance coverage and another million in underinsured or uninsured driver coverage. This policy will apply in addition to the driver’s personal auto policy.
When Are Lyft Drivers Liable?
Although Lyft provides extensive liability insurance coverage for drivers and passengers, it does not assume responsibility for the negligent actions of Lyft drivers, since they are independent contractors. The only time Lyft would assume any liability for passenger injuries is if the company failed to perform the necessary background checks on a driver who wound up causing violent injuries to passengers. For example, hiring a driver with a criminal record for sexual offenses who sexually assaulted a passenger. If Lyft failed to meet the vetting requirements during onboarding, the company could face legal action from the victim.
If you or a loved one suffers injuries and other damages due to an accident involving a Lyft driver, the company’s insurance coverage would apply to the accident, but you would need to file a lawsuit against the driver personally. If another driver causes an accident during a Lyft ride and the Lyft driver was not at fault, you would have coverage from Lyft’s insurance policy and have the option of taking legal action against the at-fault driver.
Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits for Lyft Accidents
When filing a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, the Lyft accident coverage will likely apply to your more expensive damages such as medical bills and property damage. However, filing a lawsuit against a negligent Lyft driver can provide additional compensation, such as repayment of lost income resulting from your accident or pain and suffering for serious injuries.
Success in a personal injury lawsuit hinges on the plaintiff’s ability to prove the defendant’s negligence. Proving negligence requires establishing the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care and failed to meet that duty, which directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff must also provide sufficient evidence to prove the extent of his or her damages resulting from the given situation. When Lyft drivers are on the clock, they assume the duty of care of a common carrier, or an entity that provides transportation to the public as a paid service. Common carriers have a higher standard of care on the road than other typical drivers, so it’s vital for Lyft drivers to refrain from reckless or aggressive driving.
Find Reliable Legal Counsel
Anyone who suffers injuries from a Lyft accident is likely to have many questions about their legal options, and it’s important to act quickly for the best chance of succeeding in a personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys of the Law Offices of Tom Hall represent clients from the Fort Worth, Texas, area in a variety of civil actions, and we can help with your Lyft accident case. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.