How to Sue Lyft in Pennsylvania
If you have been hurt by one of Lyft's ridesharing drivers, you should be compensated for your losses. Unfortunately, suing Lyft for the injuries that its drivers cause is not as easy as it should be. Lyft's business model is designed to insulate itself from liability for the negligence of its drivers and overcoming that business model is not always easy.
The personal injury lawyers at The Brod Law Office in Pennsylvania know how to sue Lyft and fight for the financial compensation that you need and deserve.
3 Situations Where You Can Sue Lyft for Your Injuries
There are three different situations that can lead to a personal injury lawsuit against the ridesharing company Lyft:
- You were a passenger in a Lyft vehicle and your Lyft driver caused a car crash that hurt you;
- You were in your own car, on a bike, on a motorcycle, or walking and were hurt in a car accident caused by a Lyft driver; or
- You were a passenger in a Lyft vehicle and your Lyft driver intentionally hurt you.
Which of these categories your situation falls into will make a huge difference on the insurance coverage that is available, as well as whether you will be able to rely on recovering the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Why Suing Lyft After a Crash is Different
Typically, when you get hurt by a driver who is on-the-job, you can sue not only the individual driver but the driver's employer as well. The reason is that it is the company who is benefiting the most from the driver being on the road and that it is the company who instructed the driver to be out there. Because it is foreseeable that the driver could be negligent while driving, the law in Pennsylvania stretches liability for a crash that the driver accidentally causes back to the company.
With Lyft, though, things are different because of how it has structured its business. Lyft's drivers are not employees – they are independent contractors. Because companies are not legally responsible for the negligence of their independent contractors, Lyft cannot be held liable for crashes involving its drivers – even if its driver was at fault.
How to Sue Lyft for Compensation After an Accident
If you get hurt in an accident that was caused by one of Lyft's drivers, then, you will have to resort to a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, individually. If the accident happened while the Lyft driver was ferrying a passenger or while the driver was on his or her way to collect a passenger, then you would send a copy of the lawsuit to Lyft's insurance company.
This insurance company is going to be where your compensation is most likely to come from. Lyft provides a million dollars of liability coverage for accidents that happen because its drivers, but only if there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash or if the driver was on the way to pick up a passenger. If neither of these is the case when you were hit by a Lyft driver – for example, if they had just dropped off a passenger, were still in “drive mode,” but had not been hailed, yet – you would have to pursue the Lyft driver's personal insurance coverage.
Along with this lawsuit, you would also want to send what is called a Spoliation Letter to both the driver and the Lyft. Spoliation Letters demand that Lyft and the driver preserve data – digital and otherwise – about the crash. If Lyft violates the terms of the letter, it can lead to another lawsuit.
Suing Lyft After an Assault
The insurance coverage that you could rely on after an accident is going to disappear if you were hurt by the Lyft driver's intentional or criminal conduct. Insurance only covers accidental injuries, not intentional ones, so if you were assaulted by a Lyft driver, a personal injury lawsuit would be filed against the driver, individually, and any verdict would be paid out of his or her pocket.
Implicating Lyft into such a lawsuit is essential if you want to recover much at all. It can be done by proving that Lyft should have known that the driver posed a danger, but that they hired them, anyway. Negligent hiring can be an effective way of imputing liability for an assault like this and recovering the compensation you need.
Why You Need an Attorney from The Brod Law Office
Lyft has effectively insulated itself from the costs of lawsuits. Piercing its protections can take the knowledge and skills of the personal injury attorneys at The Brod Law Office in Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call our law office at 855-BRODLAW for help.