Why You Need a Lyft Accident Lawyer
The ride-sharing company, Lyft, has become more and more popular in greater Philadelphia and all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Lyft provided 375 million rides throughout the United States. Although it is still smaller than Uber, Lyft is growing rapidly, with a 130 percent rise in rides year over year. In Philadelphia, during peak hours, a Lyft driver can earn up to $35 per hour. With more Lyft vehicles on the road, there will naturally be more car crashes involving Lyft drivers. Being in an accident with a Lyft vehicle is not the same as with a regular vehicle. These collisions can be more complicated and bring up different issues that an experienced Lyft accident lawyer should handle.
Lyft Operating in Pennsylvania
In 2016, Governor Wolf signed legislation that officially allowed Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to operate in Pennsylvania. Under the new law, the legislature made Lyft change certain policies for drivers and Lyft vehicles operating in the Commonwealth. One of the changes is the amount of insurance policies that cover each Lyft vehicle, including drivers and passengers. Not only did the law set insurance policy standards, but it also set fee and licensing standards for ride-sharing companies, as well as inspection standards for drivers.
The reason that Lyft is so popular in Philadelphia is mainly its ease of use. With a regular taxi, you have to call the taxi company and tell them exactly where you are and wait for the ride, not knowing exactly when they will arrive. With the Lyft app, you can see how many Lyft vehicles are near you and pick which one you want to pick you up. With the app, you will know exactly where the Lyft vehicle is and how long it will take to get to you. Most people know that using ride-sharing services is more expensive than a taxi, but the ease of use makes the extra money worth it.
Types of Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania Lyft Crashes
As mentioned, one aspect of the new law sets standards for what type of insurance policies cover Lyft vehicles and how much these policies are to cover. Drivers cannot use a personal automobile policy and not tell their insurance companies that they are driving people around for money for Lyft. The new law requires drivers to buy a hybrid insurance policy which acknowledges that the vehicle will be working for Lyft part of the time.
The amount of coverage depends upon what the driver is doing at the time of a crash. If the driver is not on the app (meaning not on the clock) then there is no coverage and the driver’s own, personal insurance policy will control coverage. However, if the driver is using the app to look for rides, but does not have a passenger, then the insurance coverage is as follows:
- $50,000 for bodily injury for each person;
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident;
- $25,000 for property damage.
If the Lyft driver has a rider in the car and there is a car accident, the insurance coverage increases significantly. The coverage amounts are as follows:
- $1,000,000 in coverage for bodily injury per accident;
- $1,000,000 in coverage for property damage per accident;
- $1,000,000 in coverage for uninsurance or underinsurance in case the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully compensate the injured parties.
Vehicle Standards for Lyft in Pennsylvania
The new law also sets vehicle standards for Lyft vehicles as well as an inspection plan. The vehicle standards are as follows:
- The vehicle cannot seat no more than 10 people which includes the driver;
- The vehicle must have four doors;
- The vehicle must be a coupe, sedan, minivan, SUV or van;
- The vehicle cannot be older than 10 years (12 years if the vehicle is a hybrid);
- The vehicle cannot also be licensed and used as a taxi or a limousine; and,
- The vehicle must pass a standard, yearly safety inspection.
Another standard set in Pennsylvania is the creation of a vehicle inspection scheme where Lyft vehicles can be randomly selected and inspected. The inspection looks for things such as the vehicle’s appearance, cleanliness, working doors, locks and windows and other items.
How Much Is My Lyft Accident Case Worth?
As stated above, there are thousands of Lyft drivers on the roads and highways of Pennsylvania. In fact, there have been a significant amount of car crashes involving Lyft vehicles. If you are an injured Lyft passenger or an injured Lyft driver you may have a lot of questions after your car accident. One of the standard questions is how much your Lyft accident case is worth. This depends on many factors. First it is best to contact an experienced Lyft accident attorney who will be able to answer your questions. Below is a list of factors that will affect the value of your case:
- How serious are your injuries and how long will you suffer from the effects of your injuries? Will you be fully healthy at the end of six weeks? Or, will you be permanently disabled for the rest of your life?
- How much are the total medical bills? This number will include both medical bills up to the current time as well as any future treatment you may need that is related to the Lyft crash.
- Do you have past-due lost wages and will you have future lost wages? This number should be added to the economic damages of your case, along with the medical bill number.
- How much pain and suffering have you been through? This category or recovery is called non-economic damages. There is no set formula that a lawyer can use to come up with this number, as every case is different.
- How much insurance coverage is available? You may have suffered injuries are worth millions of dollars. However, you will only receive the policy limits of the various insurance policies that are in play.
It is important to hire an excellent attorney so that they can investigate your case and pull in all the insurance policies that may be available to compensate you for your injuries.
Why You Should Talk to a Lyft Accident Lawyer
Lyft automobile crashes can be complicated litigation. Many questions and issues can arise as to who is at fault and what types of insurance will be available to compensate you or your loved one for injuries. The best thing to do after a car crash is to contact an experienced Lyft accident lawyer to provide answers to all of your questions and to help you through this difficult time.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Lyft auto accident in the Philadelphia area, or if a loved one was killed, contact MyPhillyLawyer for a free consultation. Our Philadelphia auto car accident lawyers have more than 100 years combined experience representing clients and helping them maximize the compensation they receive. The initial consultation is free.