Lyft Accident Lawyer: Sette Law Office

A rideshare driver on his phone, looking to see his next pickup while behind the wheel of his car.

Rideshare services like Lyft have transformed the way everyday commuters move around. Lyft services offer affordable transportation options, convenience, and accessibility. For this reason, Lyft has been especially popular in Sacramento and other bustling cities. 


While ridesharing services have undoubtedly transformed transportation, accidents in a Lyft pickup can still happen. When an accident does happen, and you sustain an injury as a result, it’s important to know what to do, who to talk to, and how to file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. 


At the Sette Law Office, our Lyft accident attorneys have a thorough understanding of how California laws protect rideshare victims like you. If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a Lyft vehicle in Sacramento, you have legal rights and options you can tap into. Let our experienced team of rideshare attorneys help you explore these options. 


Contact our law office today to schedule your free case consultation


How Common Are Lyft Accidents? 

Throughout California, car accident fatalities have steadily been on the rise. In 2020, there were a reported 3,980 fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents. This number jumped 7.6% in 2021 to 4,285 reported deaths. In 2022, these numbers decreased a bit, with a recorded 3,854 fatalities and 165,978 injuries. 


This increase in motor vehicle fatalities reflects the national trend. In 2021, there were 42,939 motor vehicle fatalities and 6,102,936 police-reported vehicle accidents throughout the U.S. In 2020, the fatality rate was slightly lower, with 38,824 people killed in motor vehicle accidents. 


Rideshare services like Lyft have recently begun keeping track of their car accident fatality statistics as well. In its most recent Community Safety Report, Lyft shares available data on accidents that happened while passengers were using the service. 


Between 2017 and 2019, the company says that over 99% of trips happened without any reported safety incidents. However, the data shows that over the years, there’s been a steady uptick in the number of reports of motor vehicle fatalities. In 2017, there were 22 reports; in 2018, there were 34 reports; and in 2019, there was a jump of 49 reports of motor vehicle fatalities. 


While the company does not report on accidents involving passengers, they do shed light on the alarming uptick of other safety issues, including cases of physical and sexual assault. 


Lyft To Blame For National Increase In Car Accidents

Recent research conducted by the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago details that national accident and fatality rates are on the rise partly because of the rideshare services offered by Lyft and industry leader Uber. Their study found that both Lyft and Uber have contributed to a 3% increase in overall car accident fatalities nationwide. 


As the popularity of these rideshare services continues to grow, it’s expected that the fatality and accident rates will rise as well. 


What To Do If You Have Been Injured In An Accident While Riding In A Lyft

If you’ve been injured while riding in a Lyft, taking appropriate action allows you to recover compensation for the cost of any medical expenses, treatment costs, and other losses you’ve sustained. After an accident, it’s important to do the following: 


Contact 911

After the accident, it’s important to contact 911 so that a police officer can be dispatched to the scene. Once an officer arrives, they will take down a report of what happened. In their police report, they will include important information, including the names of the drivers involved, how the accident occurred, bystanders who may have witnessed the accident, and other critical information. 


Report The Accident To Lyft

As a passenger of a Lyft vehicle, you are most likely not at fault for the accident. As such, you will be protected under Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy. This policy covers passengers injured in a car accident while using the rideshare service. 


Seek Medical Attention 

It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately after the car accident, even if you do not think you’ve sustained any injuries. Generally, when you call 911, an ambulance will be dispatched as well. 


Allowing the ambulance EMT or another healthcare professional to conduct a thorough checkup on you will enable them to determine if you have suffered any injuries. While it’s easy to see visible injuries immediately after a car accident, there are many non-visible injuries that you may have suffered from but are not aware of. Possible non-visible injuries can include:


  • Muscle strain from whiplash
  • Torn muscles from overexertion
  • Concussions and other head injuries 
  • Internal injuries, including internal bleeding 
  • Broken ribs 


Be Aware Of Delayed Injuries

Many car accident victims may experience delayed injuries as well. These types of injuries often don’t present symptoms until hours and even days after the car accident. 

For some car crash victims, the trauma after a car accident might mask the pain of an injury they have sustained. This is often the result of the trauma, adrenalin, and shock that follows a car accident. After the adrenalin rush wears down, a victim might begin feeling the soreness and strain of the injury. The best way to prepare for a delayed injury is by seeking medical attention immediately after the Lyft accident. 


Contact An Attorney

If you have suffered severe injuries after your Lyft accident, it’s important to get the input of an experienced Lyft accident lawyer. 


A rideshare accident attorney can advise you of your legal options after the accident. While Lyft’s million-dollar insurance coverage will kick in after an accident, the insurance company may try to lowball any settlement they might offer. An experienced attorney will ensure that all parties are held responsible, that appropriate damages are calculated, and that you can receive an appropriate settlement offer that reflects your losses. 


Damages You Are Entitled To If You Have Been Injured In A Lyft

One of the major benefits of working with an attorney after your Lyft accident is having legal guidance for the types of damages you can pursue. An experienced attorney can also determine if other parties can be liable for your injuries. 


An attorney can help prove that you are entitled to damages such as:


  • The cost of medical and hospital bills
  • The cost of treatment and rehabilitation therapy
  • Property loss
  • Loss of income/lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 


Who Pays For My Injuries? 

You may be wondering who pays for my injuries in a Lyft accident. While Lyft offers a $1 million insurance policy to cover accidents, that insurance policy only kicks in under certain circumstances. Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees of the rideshare company itself. Because of this, the status of the driver when they are using the Lyft app determines whether Lyft’s insurance policy will kick in or whether the driver’s own personal insurance will kick in after an accident. 


Lyft has adopted a guideline that lists the four “stages” a driver may be in when operating the app. The four stages determine if and how much insurance coverage Lyft will provide. 


  • Stage 0: The driver is not logged onto the Lyft app. Lyft will not provide any coverage. In this stage, the driver is acting as a private person, and their driving is unrelated to their status as a contractor for Lyft. 
  • Stage 1: The driver is logged onto the Lyft app but has not accepted a ride request. In this stage, Lyft provides liability coverage for the driver if the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the full amount of the claim. Lyft provides its drivers up to $50,000 per person injured, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 total property damage.
  • Stage 2: When the driver has accepted a trip request and is driving to pick up that rider, liability increases to $1 million
  • Stage 3: If the rider is in the car, liability coverage is up to $1 million, plus limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorists’ coverage


Because drivers are independent contractors and are not direct employees of Lyft, there may be certain circumstances where the insurance company’s coverage will not kick in, and the driver will be held personally liable for damages. 


This is where the expertise of a Sacramento Lyft accident attorney can help. You may be able to recover more compensation for your injuries depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if other parties could be held liable for the accident, you may be able to pursue legal action against them in addition to the settlement offered by Lyft. 


Can The Driver Be Held Liable?

A Lyft driver can be personally liable for an accident if damages exceed the scope of coverage offered by the rideshare company. For example, if the rideshare driver intentionally caused the accident and the rideshare company’s insurance coverage does not cover their actions, you could pursue a personal injury claim against the driver themselves. 


How Can An Attorney Help After A Lyft Accident?

The scales of justice in front of a row of books.

An attorney can help offer clear legal guidance after a Lyft accident. Attorneys play many roles in a car accident case. They will investigate the circumstances of your case, determine liable parties, determine damages, and compile evidence that can help prove your claims. Additionally, Lyft accident attorneys are skilled negotiators who can push back against unfair or lowball settlement offers.


At Sette Law, our attorneys are committed to offering comprehensive legal guidance with no upfront costs. If you have been injured in an accident while riding in a Lyft, contact Sette Law today.



California Traffic Safety Quick Stats. (2023). 

Fatality Facts 2021. (2021).  

Frellick, M. (2019). Ride-hailing services may be driving up traffic deaths

Lyft’s Community Safety Report. (2020).

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