Lyft Accident Lawyers in West Palm Beach, FL

West Palm Beach residents often rely on ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to get from place to place, especially when they are unable to drive or prefer not to drive. In trusting a stranger to transport us, we assume that they have undergone sufficient background checks into their driving history or have otherwise been vetted to ensure that they are safe on the roads. However, this is not always the situation, and irresponsible Lyft drivers can cause significant injuries to their passengers as well as other West Palm Beach motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The West Palm Beach Lyft accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston assist victims of these crashes in pursuing legal actions against the responsible parties.

Often, there are more complex issues involved in cases in which companies, individual drivers, and others can be liable for a victim’s injuries. Our firm has the experience to resolve these complexities, and we advocate aggressively on behalf of our clients’ rights. If you have sustained an injury as a Lyft passenger, or caused by a Lyft driver while you were in another vehicle, contact our office today to find out more about your legal rights and options.

Lyft Accidents and Liability

With popular bars like Blue Martini, as well as comedy clubs, restaurants, City Place, and other West Palm Beach nightlife locations that often involve alcohol consumption, many residents decide to forgo driving their own vehicles in favor of utilizing Lyft’s services. This has led to an increase of Lyft drivers in the area, as well as an increased chance that accidents involving them will occur. Clematis Street and Rosemary Avenue are among the congested roads during nighttime hours. Even in daytime hours, Lyft drivers can cause significant accidents, especially if they are distracted by the app itself, trying to find passengers or a destination. Our Lyft accident attorneys can help West Palm Beach residents hold them accountable for getting distracted or otherwise acting carelessly.

Lyft classifies its drivers as ‘independent contractors,’ instead of employees. As a result, each driver is responsible for using and maintaining their own cars, as well as obtaining their own insurance policies. Under Florida law, drivers can only operate vehicles while carrying insurance policies with specific minimum coverage requirements. In Florida, drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) of at least $10,000 to cover the costs of a driver’s own injuries in a collision. Florida does not impose a minimum for bodily injury liability to cover injuries to others, including passengers, in the event of an accident. Therefore, a Lyft driver can decide to decline bodily injury coverage, which means that passengers and others can bear a significant financial impact for the injuries caused by a Lyft accident.

Lyft itself has insurance policies that offer up to one million dollars in bodily injury liability coverage for injured passengers. However, insurance companies may argue against applying these benefits in many situations, such as when victims sustain injuries once a ride has “ended.” Additionally, if a Lyft driver causes injuries to another driver between rides, even if they are traveling to pick up a passenger, it is less likely that the company’s insurance policy will apply. When victims suffer catastrophic injuries, a West Palm Beach Lyft accident attorney at our firm can help them bring a claim for compensation to cover the costs of their recovery.

When a Lyft driver acts negligently, he or she is responsible for the damages that a victim sustains as a result of his or her injuries. Lyft can also be found negligent if it hired a driver who was involved in past accidents, or who had another kind of dangerous history behind the wheel. Although Lyft drivers are not ‘employees,’ there are still arguments that can be made that the company is vicariously liable for their negligent acts while driving to benefit the business. Consulting a seasoned car accident attorney who is knowledgeable regarding such issues is vital to success in claims arising from a Lyft accident.