Ridesharing companies Lyft are incredibly popular around Denver. Many people use Lyft to get around the city and avoid the hassles of parking and the dangers of impaired driving. With so many Lyft drivers on the road, there has been an increase in car accidents involving Lyft drivers.
Colorado has tried to put in place regulations to deal with accidents involving Lyft drivers. However, Lyft drivers may not be sure how to deal with an accident or give other drivers misinformation about handling a claim. Injury victims may get the runaround from Lyft, the Lyft driver, or the insurance company when trying to get compensation for their damages.
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have represented drivers and passengers injured in accidents with a Lyft driver in Colorado. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Do I Do If I'm Hit by a Lyft Driver?
If you were a driver, passenger, or bystander involved in an accident with a Lyft driver, you may have some questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) include:
- Who was at fault for the Lyft accident?
- Will Lyft pay for my damages or will the Lyft driver?
- How long do I have to file a claim after an accident with a Lyft driver?
Colorado passed laws in 2014 specifically to cover Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft that are operating in Colorado. However, because these laws are relatively new, there are still some situations where it is not clear what rules apply and when during an accident.
Lyft Driver Insurance Coverage in an Accident
Lyft insurance coverage is regulated, in part, by Colorado driving laws, Colorado laws specific to TNCs, and Lyft's own insurance coverage policies. Lyft has different insurance coverage policies when a Lyft driver is on their own time or is in “driver's mode.
Colorado laws require all drivers to have minimum liability insurance. This applies when a Lyft driver has not yet accepted a ride or has finished a ride. The mandatory minimum coverage required for drivers in Colorado includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
There is a point between making the app active and before picking up a rider (Lyft calls this "driver's mode") when a contingent coverage applies. Under Colorado's TNC laws, Lyft must provide contingent coverage over the minimum individual liability. Once the Lyft driver indicates they are available for a ride but has not yet accepted a ride request, Lyft coverage must provide a minimum of:
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per person in an accident; and
- $100,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
- $25,000 for property damage in any one accident
A Lyft driver's highest level of liability coverage applies once the driver accepts a ride request, is on the way to pick up the passenger, or has the passenger in the vehicle. At this time, Lyft's policy coverage is for up to $1 million. During this time frame, Lyft will also provide coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers.
How to Report a Lyft Accident
Under Colorado law, all drivers are required to report an accident that involves property damage or injury. If the police respond to the scene, the officer will gather the information and file an accident report. If the police are not called to the scene of the accident, the driver can file an accident report online.
Most insurance policies generally require drivers to immediately report any accident. Drivers injured in an accident with a Lyft driver should contact their insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
Lyft drivers are required to report an accident to the company. The company may also ask any non-passengers involved in an accident to fill out their Lyft accident form. However, be cautious before talking to Lyft. They may try to avoid liability for the accident by getting you to say something they can use against you.
The simplest way to deal with a Lyft accident is to contact an experienced Denver auto accident attorney. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will be able to deal with Lyft's insurance company so you don't have to. Your attorney will also advise you of your rights and options in filing a claim against Lyft so you get the maximum compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Accidents with a Lyft Driver
The statute of limitations for most car accident injury claims in Colorado is three years. A driver, passenger, or bystander has three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against Lyft or the Lyft driver. However, the statute of limitations for a car accident may be longer or shorter in certain circumstances. You should contact your Denver accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash to make sure your claim is filed on time.
Lyft Driver Selection and Training
Lyft has basic requirements for Lyft drivers and Lyft vehicles. Generally, in order to drive for Lyft, the driver has to:
- Pass a vehicle inspection,
- Show a valid license, registration, and vehicle insurance,
- Undergo a background check, and
- Undergo personal safety training (as of September 2019).
Drivers do not have to pass a driving test beyond what the driver had to do to get a Colorado driver's license in the first place. Drivers also do not have to go through any specialized training to drive for Lyft. The only training Lyft provides is for drivers to understand how to use the Lyft app.
There are restrictions for drivers, including company policies and laws that prohibit drivers from operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs but there is little to no monitoring of driver activity.
Additionally, Colorado drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, but Lyft drivers are required to interact with their phones before picking up a ride, when navigating a ride, and finishing a ride. Most people who have taken a Lyft ride regularly see their driver interact with their phone during the ride, which could place drivers and passengers in danger.
Denver Lyft Accident Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients who were involved in accidents caused by Lyft drivers or other ride-share operators. Our attorneys understand how the insurance companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.