Drunken driving has long been a scourge on the highways across Colorado and throughout the United States. When motorists consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel, they put everyone they share the road with at risk of injury or worse. This behavior is not limited to drivers traveling in their personal vehicles. Rideshare operators – including Lyft drivers – have also been known to cause alcohol-related accidents.
An accident involving an intoxicated Lyft driver can be a traumatic experience. This is true whether you are a Lyft passenger or a fellow motorist. If you have been injured in a crash with an intoxicated Lyft driver, you could have a strong claim for monetary compensation.
A successful injury claim could help you recoup the cost of your medical treatment and offset any lost wages you might experience during your recovery. After an accident, it is vital to discuss your legal options with accidentdenver.com as soon as possible.
Colorado Drunk Driving Statistics
When it comes to the rate of intoxicated driving compared to other states, Colorado is high on the list. Colorado ranks 13th among all states in the number of total DUI arrests per capita according to metrics compiled from the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Transportation. According the numbers, there were 411 DUI arrests for every 100,000 residents of Colorado in 2018 alone. Although on the higher end of the scale, the rate of DUI arrests in Colorado has fallen compared to the previous ten years.
Nationally, the impact of drunken driving is staggering. According to figures provided by the CDC, each year there are roughly 130 million incidents of intoxicated driving across the country. These incidents lead to approximately 30 deaths annually.
Fatal accidents only make up a small portion of collisions involving drunken driver, though. A far greater number of collisions result in serious injuries. While not fatal, these accidents have the potential to change your life dramatically.
When a Drunk Driver Collides with your Lyft Driver
Some injury claims occur when your Lyft driver is struck by an intoxicated motorist. When these accidents are severe, both you and the Lyft operator could suffer significant, long-lasting injuries. The good news is that you may have more than one avenue for financial recovery.
Your best option for a successful injury case could start with a claim on Lyft's insurance policy. As a Lyft passenger, you may be entitled to file a claim for up to $1 million. This coverage is important, as the $1 million in policy limits is much higher than most drivers' personal policies.
The coverage Lyft provides to their passengers extends beyond liability insurance. In addition to liability coverage, Lyft also provides uninsured motorist coverage to its customers. This is important in cases where the intoxicated driver lacked liability insurance. If the intoxicated driver also had insurance, Lyft's policy could supplement their coverage if your damages exceed the limits on the driver's policy.
This additional coverage could make an enormous difference with your claim. It is possible that Lyft could require you to exhaust the intoxicated driver's insurance coverage before pursuing a claim with their policy. If the driver's policy is not enough to cover your losses, you could recover up to $1 million from Lyft depending on the severity of your injuries.
In most cases where you are in the midst of a Lyft ride when a crash occurs, Lyft's insurance will be available. In the unlikely event that it is not, you could still have the right to pursue legal action directly from the drunken driver. Your Colorado rideshare accident attorney can assist you in pursuing your claim against all necessary parties.
When Your Intoxicated Lyft Driver Causes a Crash
Not all claims involve a drunken driver colliding with your Lyft operator. In some unfortunate situations, it is the Lyft operator that leads to a crash due to their intoxicated state. If you are injured in a crash due to the negligence of an intoxicated Lyft driver, you have the right to seek compensation through a legal claim. Unlike if you were a Lyft passenger, it is not immediately clear if you are covered by the rideshare company's insurance policy if one of their drivers injures you in a crash. Whether or not you can successfully pursue a claim on Lyft's insurance policy will depend on the facts of the accident.
The liability insurance Lyft provides to its drivers comes in three tiers. Each tier applies in different situations. When a Lyft driver is actively carrying a passenger to their destination, Lyft's policies are available up to the full $1 million limit. However, the policy maximums are much lower if a Lyft driver is involved in a crash when they are seeking a passenger but have not yet picked one up. Finally, Lyft offers no insurance coverage to their drivers that are not actively using the app at the time of the crash.
If the intoxicated Lyft driver was not covered by the company's insurance at the time of the accident, you could still have other options. Lyft drivers must carry personal insurance policies in addition to the coverage provided by Lyft. However, some drivers allow their coverage to lapse. In this situation you have the right to seek compensation directly from the driver, although it is possible they lack the assets needed to fully compensate you. Additionally, if you carry optional uninsured motorist coverage you could pursue a claim on your own insurance policy in cases where the intoxicated driver lacks insurance or has low policy limits.
Speak with an Attorney following an Alcohol-Related Lyft Accident
Dealing with the fallout of a serious accident is never simple. Adding the additional complications of an intoxicated driver and the use of a rideshare app, and the process of recovering compensation for your injuries can quickly become complicated. Thankfully, the right legal team can assist you throughout the claims process. To learn more, contact accidentdenver.com online or call 303-642-8888 to set up a free consultation.