In many places around Mississippi, individuals can catch a ride to the airport, have a sober driver home from the club, or even transportation to work through the transportation network company, Lyft. While the state has been swept up along with the rest of the country in the meteoric rise of ridesharing and other gig economy offerings, concern for the protection of riders using ridesharing apps has also grown, and what people want to know is: “Is Lyft liable for accidents in Mississippi?
The easy answer to that question is that Lyft is responsible for compensating for injuries and property damage that its drivers cause to others. In certain circumstances. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a Lyft driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney from Morris Bart to learn more about how to obtain compensation for your injury.
How Lyft’s Million-Dollar Policy Works
According to Lyft’s Community Safety Report, while the number of fatal motor collisions involving Lyft vehicles represents only a tiny fraction of all rides taken, they have doubled in two years’ time. It makes sense that injury accidents are on the rise, as well. Lyft offers a “million-dollar insurance policy” to ensure that those suffering injury or property damage as a result of an accident caused by a Lyft driver are fully compensated.
Individuals who apply to drive for Lyft are required to meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements. As explained by the Mississippi Insurance Department, drivers whose vehicles are registered in Mississippi are required to have an auto liability policy of at least $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, and at least $25,000 worth of property damage coverage.
- If the Lyft driver is not logged into the app and is not accepting rides, their own insurance will be required to provide coverage.
- If the driver has their app on and is waiting for a ride request when the accident occurs, their insurance provider is expected to pay the damages. If the personal insurer does not pay or there is not enough damage to cover the expenses, Lyft provides third-party coverage of $50,000/person and $100,000/accident in bodily injury liability and $25,000 in property damage.
- If the driver is transporting a passenger or is en route to pick one up when the accident occurred, Lyft’s $1 million liability policy is in effect.
Often, if the driver failed to inform their insurance provider of their ridesharing activities and purchase a policy that covers those activities, the insurer will deny coverage of accidents that occur during the rideshare trip.
Does This Mean Lyft Is Liable in an Accident?
Lyft provides a third-party liability insurance policy. What this means is that the policy covers damages caused by someone other than the company or its employees, and who is not named specifically on the company’s insurance policies.
Lyft has taken great measures to protect itself from liability for the actions of its drivers by classifying those drivers as independent contractors. Because of this, many accidents filed against Lyft itself fail because – beyond the provision of the third-party auto liability policy – the company’s stance is that it is merely a company with an app that connects people needing rides with people willing to drive them.
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Who Is Liable for a Mississippi Lyft Accident?
Lyft accidents in Mississippi can occur in a number of ways, and liability depends on the circumstances. Generally, the sources of liability in this type of accident are either:
- The Lyft driver who caused an accident in which a passenger, the occupant of another vehicle, a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian was injured
- The driver of another vehicle who caused an accident in which the Lyft driver or their passenger was injured
Can You Sue the Lyft Driver Who Caused Your Accident?
Your attorney will submit a demand to the insurance providers of all relevant policies belonging to the at-fault party. If neither the Lyft driver’s insurance provider nor Lyft is willing to pay the demand or make a fair settlement offer, then a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in civil court. Mississippi requires this lawsuit to be filed within three years of the date on which the accident occurred.
It should be noted that the vast majority of all personal injury claims are resolved before they go to trial. Your attorney can continue working with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to negotiate a settlement that constitutes fair compensation for the expenses and impacts of the injury you have incurred.
How an Attorney Can Help You Seek Compensation After a Lyft Accident
The experienced legal team at Morris Bart can provide several services to assist you with your claim, such as:
- Determining all liable parties and accessible insurance resources
- Establishing a value to your claim based on the severity of your injury and the financial and emotional costs of it
- Managing communication with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster in order to protect your claim and negotiate a settlement
- Providing guidance to you as you make decisions about your case
- Filing all court-required paperwork for your lawsuit and attending pre-trial conferences and hearings on your behalf
- Litigation services
- Assistance collecting your settlement or award
Contact Our Affordable Attorneys for Help
Obtaining compensation after a Lyft accident can be a complicated case. It is very important to have the experience of a car accident lawyer on your side as you navigate the process. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to hire an attorney because they are afraid they can’t afford one.
The legal team at Morris Bart is pleased to provide answers to your legal questions for no cost and with no obligation through a free case evaluation. If you decide to work with us, our contingent-fee billing method allows you to withhold payment for our services until you obtain a positive resolution to your claim. Contact us online to begin exploring your legal options today.
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