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Court Finds Lyft Not Liable for Driver's Off-Platform Use of Lyft Vehicle

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Dec 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Many rideshare passengers are surprised to find out that Lyft and Uber do not just provide the app for rides, they may also supply the driver with a car. Lyft still tries to pretend like Lyft drivers are independent contractors, even when drivers do not even have to provide their own vehicle. However, the drivers may still be on the hook after an accident, with Lyft failing to provide any help if the driver is at-fault in a crash.

Court Finds For the Multi-Billion Dollar Company

Two people were injured in an accident caused by a driver of a Lyft vehicle. The driver was not transporting passengers at the time but the driver was using a Lyft vehicle. When the injury victims tried to get compensation from the rideshare company, Lyft refused. Even though the accident was caused by a driver in a Lyft vehicle, Lyft claimed they were not liable. Unfortunately for the injury victims, a California appeals court found in favor of Lyft.

Different Insurance Coverage for Different Situations

Insurance coverage for rideshare vehicles can be confusing because it changed depending on what is happening on the app. Under Colorado's ridesharing laws, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) have to make sure drivers have a minimum level of coverage. There are three types of insurance coverage based on the Lyft driver's status

  • Off duty
  • On duty but waiting
  • Passenger in vehicle or on the way

Off-Duty Driving

The driver is not logged into the Lyft app and not looking for a fare. In off-duty mode, Lyft's insurance does not provide any coverage. Drivers will have to rely on their own insurance for coverage.

On-Duty But Waiting for a Ride

The driver is logged into the app and actively waiting for a fare but has not yet accepted a ride. Drivers will be covered in the following amounts:

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person;
  • $100,000 for bodily injury per accident (for all persons injured); and
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Passenger in the Vehicle or On the Way

The driver has a passenger in the vehicle or is on the way to get a passenger. Lyft's primary insurance applies in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident. 

Lyft Providing Rental Cars But No Liability

Lyft provides cars for drivers who do not have a vehicle under the “Express Drive” program. Drivers who are 25 years of age or older can rent a vehicle and become a Lyft driver, getting unlimited Lyft miles and paying for personal miles. Express Drive is available in many larger cities, including Denver. 

Lyft indicates the program includes insurance coverage but many drivers may assume the coverage will protect them in the event of an accident. The fine print shows that drivers may still be on the line for damage, regardless of fault. For any physical damage to the vehicle, no matter what status, there is a $1,000 deductible, for which the driver is responsible. 

Where to Turn After a Lyft Accident

After a Lyft accident, the Lyft driver, Lyft passengers, or other people injured may expect the rideshare company to step up and take responsibility for their role. Unfortunately, drivers and passengers are often left struggling to get medical coverage for their injuries. 

The attorneys at have successfully represented drivers and passengers in Denver, Aurora, and throughout Colorado who were injured in an accident. Even if Lyft or the insurance company does not take your claim seriously, our experienced attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.


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