As mentioned above, inexperienced Lyft drivers are among the most frequently cited causes of rideshare accidents in and around Chicago. Any accident involving a Lyft driver may be covered by the company’s insurance policy, and, even if it is not, the driver’s personal policy may provide coverage. Other common causes of accidents include:
Lyft accidents come in many forms
The potential sources of compensation for accident victims depend on how and when the accident occurs. Lyft advertises a $1 million insurance policy to encourage riders (and drivers) to use the company’s services. However, that $1 million policy does not extend to all Chicago Lyft accidents. The Lyft insurance policy breaks down the rideshare process into three distinct phases:
In the event of an accident that occurs when a Lyft driver’s app is not open or is not currently accepting rides, Lyft’s insurance policy will not provide coverage to any accident victims. For accidents occurring during the first phase, the Lyft driver’s insurance policy would be the first – and potentially only – place for an accident victim to look for coverage.
An important point about Lyft accidents is that not all Lyft accidents involve injured passengers. Many Chicago Lyft accidents occur while the Lyft driver is “deadheading,” or driving around waiting for a rider. These accidents often involve pedestrians, bicyclists or other motorists. Again, accidents that occur while a driver is deadheading will not fall under Lyft’s insurance company. However, if the injured person has an auto insurance policy, they may file a claim with their insurance company if the at-fault driver’s policy is insufficient or otherwise unavailable.
Phase two begins when the Lyft driver opens the app and waits for a ride request. During this phase, the Lyft driver’s insurance policy is the first source of coverage. However, Lyft’s insurance policy will provide additional coverage in the amount of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident. This coverage is third-party coverage, meaning that it applies to all accidents in this category, meaning that it will cover passengers, pedestrians or other motorists who are injured due to the Lyft driver’s negligence.
All motorists must purchase bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in Illinois. However, personal insurance policies typically contain exclusions for accidents that occur while the insured is transporting a passenger for a fee. Thus, Lyft drivers can (and should) purchase rideshare insurance. However, not all drivers opt to take on this additional expense.
Once a Lyft driver is paired with a passenger, the third phase begins, and the company’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in. This coverage remains in effect until the passenger is dropped off. The policy includes coverage for the following:
• $1 million in third-party liability
• Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection of at least $250,000
• Contingent comprehensive and collision
Not surprisingly, determining the availability and extent of any insurance coverage is one of the most commonly encountered issues facing Chicago Lyft accident victims.