Taking a Lyft ride is a great way to get to your destination without the hassle of organizing your transportation logistics long in advance. Unfortunately, like any other vehicle ride, it comes with the normal risks of the road. If you were in a crash involving a rideshare vehicle, you may be wondering about average settlement amounts for Lyft accidents.
There really is no meaningful “average” settlement amount. Why? Because each accident has so many key variables that vary greatly and significantly impact what any case is worth. And many cases that settle do not get publicly reported. So again, a true average is not attainable.
We can provide some guidance as to what factors enter into calculation so you can get an idea of what the culpable party in your case owes you.
Lyft Rideshare Regulations in New Jersey
Over the last 10 years, rideshare apps have surfaced as one of the most popular methods of travel in the United States and several other countries. Lyft is a domestic app with the second-highest share of the U.S. rideshare market, following Uber. With the rapid growth of this new industry, states have worked to get adequate regulations in place to ensure the safety of passengers and others on the road.
New Jersey requires all Lyft and other transportation network companies (TNC) to maintain a minimum amount of rideshare coverage in addition to standard state requirements that pertain to all drivers. This is considered a form of commercial driver insurance and is not required in all states. A New Jersey Lyft driver who gets in an accident and does not have rideshare insurance could face fines, license suspension, insurance surcharges, community service hours, and other penalties.
All Lyft vehicles must be registered in New Jersey and meet the following requirements:
- Vehicle year of 2008 or newer;
- Five to eight seats, including the driver’s seat;
- Four doors;
- Not a taxi, limo, or non-Express Drive rental vehicle; and
- Not titled as rebuilt, non-repairable, salvage, or another equivalent classification.
Your car must meet these requirements if you want to drive for Lyft.
What Was the Status of the Uber Driver?
Rideshare drivers for both Lyft and Uber are considered independent contractors rather than employees. This necessitates some fact-finding when determining whose insurance is liable for covering the cost of injuries and other damage sustained in a crash. Lyft has a one million dollar policy that can potentially apply to every ride. The availability of this larger policy can make a difference in the average settlement for a Lyft accident claim, but it all depends on the driver’s status at the time of the crash. Driver “status” refers to the driver’s interaction with the Lyft app at the time of the accident.
- A driver not logged into the app at the time of the accident will use their own personal injury insurance as if they were not a commercial driver.
- If the Lyft driver was logged into the app and available to accept a ride but was not yet transporting a passenger, the driver’s own personal insurance would be the main insurance coverage for an accident, but Lyft might provide additional coverage. However, you can only access the company’s insurance if the driver’s personal insurance coverage, including the mandatory rideshare insurance, does not cover all your losses.
- If the driver was transporting a passenger when the accident happened, then the driver, the passenger, and other injured parties might be covered by the driver’s rideshare insurance. Lyft's one million dollar insurance policy might also cover their injuries.
- If an uninsured or underinsured driver caused the accident, then the driver and passenger might be covered by Uber or Lyft’s one million dollar uninsured driver policy.
Lyft’s liability coverage will be secondary to the driver or at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. To access this coverage, you must know the driver’s status and who was at fault.
Factors in Calculating Average Settlement Amounts for Lyft Accidents
There is no way to accurately determine the average payout for a Lyft accident claim, and even if you calculated an average, it might be vastly different from what your case warrants. So, instead of trying to find an average, it is wiser to look at the specifics of your case. Determining what you may be eligible to receive involves several factors, including the following:
- The severity of your injuries;
- Cost of current and future medical expenses;
- Who was at fault for the accident;
- Insurance coverage that is accessible; and
- Mental, physical, and emotional harm.
The skill of your Lyft and Uber accident attorney may also be a factor in your settlement. It often takes a knowledgeable and experienced negotiator to stand up to big companies like Lyft and receive fair compensation.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been involved in a Lyft accident, the award-winning team at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC is happy to help. We have recovered millions for clients injured in vehicle accidents in New Jersey and understand what it takes to win. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.