Navigating the claims process following a car accident is tricky enough; throw in the added complication of being a Lyft passenger, a driver for Lyft or another rideshare company, or a third-party harmed at the hands of a Lyft driver, and things get all the more confusing. If you have been in just such an accident in Philadelphia, you may be wondering about your rights or responsibilities and what to expect from the claims process.
Lyft, Uber and all ridesharing vehicles used in the state of Pennsylvania fall under the purview of rules established by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. These rules ensure that anyone injured in a ridesharing accident can get the appropriate compensation, but they’re multi-faceted and best navigated by a Pennsylvania Lyft accident attorney.
Pennsylvania is a so-called “no fault” state, which means that all drivers are required to maintain personal injury protection (PIP) insurance on their vehicles. This coverage makes it easy for each involved driver to file a claim with their individual insurers (who will sort the details out later). Essentially, this makes it easier for all parties involved to get medical care for injuries without having to wait for the determination of who caused the accident. Lyft, Uber, and most other major ridesharing platforms also provide PIP coverage for those times when their drivers are actually using the app as well as coverage for excessive damages, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
With Lyft-involved accidents, it is sometimes tricky to understand who should be responsible for paying for the injured party’s damages. In general, for damages that exceed your own policy’s PIP limits, who ponies up the cash usually depends on the role you played in the accident, who caused the accident, and whether or not the Lyft driver was using the Lyft app at the time. When a Lyft driver is at fault, it is often possible to recover additional costs if you have been seriously injured either as a passenger in the Lyft vehicle, as a passenger in another vehicle, or as a pedestrian or bystander. This compensation usually comes from the driver’s personal liability policy or from Lyft’s liability coverage.
In a nutshell, if you are a passenger in a Lyft vehicle, then you file a claim with Lyft’s insurer once you have exhausted any available PIP if your Lyft driver is determined to be at fault. If another driver caused the accident, then the insurance of the at-fault driver would come into play. If your car is struck by the car of a Lyft driver working from the Lyft app, then once again, Lyft’s insurance will be held responsible.
There are many contingencies when it comes to coverage Lyft provides for drivers, passengers and third-parties. For example, if the driver is in “Driver Mode’ on the app but has not yet accepted a passenger, then Lyft’s contingent liability is in force. This coverage provides a $50K maximum limit per person, $100K per accident, and $25K for property damage. However, once a driver accepts a passenger, the policy limit is enhanced to $1 million until the passenger reaches his location.
As you can see, there are a range of variables in place that make Philadelphia accidents involving Lyft trickier from an insurance standpoint than traditional MVAs. If you have been involved in a Lyft accident, reach out to the Dan Doyle Law Group for guidance and assistance in the claims process from an experienced Pennsylvania Lyft accident attorney.