Lyft has become an important part of Boston’s transportation landscape, offering millions of rides to Boston residents and visitors every year. Rideshare apps like Lyft reduce the need for Bostonians to rely on their own cars and can increase transportation options in areas which are not well-served by the MBTA.
However, Boston Lyft accidents are more common than you might think. If you’ve been hurt in a Boston Lyft car accident, you may have several options available to you to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact CarAccident.Law to be connected with an expert Boston Lyft accident lawyer who can help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for a rideshare collision.
Lyft Accident Statistics in Boston, MA
Throughout the entire state of Massachusetts, most rideshare trips take place in the city of Boston. Over 45 million rides began in Boston in 2019, with Cambridge in second place with 7.9 million rides, according to MassGov data. Of these trips, over 33 million stayed within the city limits of Boston, showing that many use Lyft and Uber just to get around town. Just under 5 million rideshare trips began within Boston’s city limits and ended at Boston Logan International Airport.
Lyft’s own data for the city of Boston shows that 51 percent of rides start or end in low-income neighborhoods. Lower income Boston riders are at least two times more likely to use Lyft for commuting to work, school, job interviews, and doctor appointments than higher-income Boston residents. Additionally, 53 percent of Bostonians report that they explore more areas of their city because of access to the Lyft platform, and 59 percent say they use Lyft when they are planning on drinking or using another substance that would impair their driving ability.
While Lyft is a useful tool to navigate Boston, Lyft drivers are much more likely to crash while within the city limits than anywhere else in Massachusetts. Rideshare drivers were involved in one out of every four recorded crashes in the city of Boston in 2021, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. By contrast, for the state overall, Uber and Lyft drivers account for only two percent of the total number of crashes that take place in Massachusetts.
Common Causes of Lyft Accidents in Boston
A Boston Transportation Department official commented on the high number of crashes in Boston involving Lyft and other rideshare drivers, saying, “It is the responsibility of (Uber and Lyft) and delivery companies to provide oversight of their drivers and incentive structures that discourage unsafe behavior to ensure that our streets are safer for all, especially those vulnerable road users on foot and on bike.”
Some common causes of Lyft driver accidents involve:
- Speeding: When driving for Lyft, there is financial incentive to finish rides as quickly as possible and pick up the next paying customer. Lyft drivers may be more inclined to engage in speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors to shorten each trip and make as much money as they can. Speeding is a factor in over 25 percent of all fatal crashes in Boston. Lyft drivers who are in a rush to finish a ride may make poor decisions behind the wheel, change lanes aggressively, or otherwise limit their ability to react in time to changing road conditions.
- Confusing road design: Boston Lyft drivers often find themselves navigating neighborhoods that they are not familiar with or searching for pickups amidst traffic on unknown streets. Boston’s road design has long been criticized for its confusing intersections, backed up merge lanes, and poorly marked pedestrian crossings. All of these factors combined with Lyft drivers who are unfamiliar with the area often cause hazardous conditions for rideshare users, other motorists, and pedestrians.
- Late night rides: According to Lyft’s Boston statistics, eight percent of rides on the platform happen late at night, when MBTA services may not be running. While taking a Lyft is a safer option than driving yourself after drinking, being on the roads in lower light conditions with other drunk drivers around is the cause of some Lyft accident claims.
- Distracted driving: Lyft drivers often have to interact with handheld devices, like a smartphone, in order to accept new passengers and navigate them to unfamiliar destinations. The use of handheld devices is illegal in Boston unless they are used in hands free mode. If your Lyft driver is driving distractedly while using the app, or if they take on a job while fatigued from a long shift, they may be more likely to cause an accident.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Lyft does not impose standardized maintenance restrictions on their drivers. Regular vehicle inspections are not required, even if a Lyft driver has taken on many miles while driving for the company. Even seemingly small steps like checking the tire pressure, changing oil and other fluids, and replacing belts as necessary can fall by the wayside and cause a Lyft accident.
What Happens if Your Lyft Gets in an Accident in Boston?
If you’ve been in a Lyft accident in Boston, there are several steps any good car crash attorney will advise you to take while still at the scene of the collision. Remember to first remove yourself from the roadway if possible before calling 911.
- Document as much of the accident as possible: Take photographs and videos of the vehicles involved and the area, just as you would if you were involved in a car accident with your own vehicle. You should also take a screenshot of your ride’s progress in the Lyft app.
- Get information: Like with a standard car accident, you should ask the driver(s) involved for their name, address, phone number, email address, drivers license, and their own car insurance information. You should get this information from your Lyft driver, as well.
- File a police report, or request a copy of the report filed by your Lyft driver: The police report serves as detailed documentation of what happened and how the accident took place. This report can be used as evidence in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit for compensation.
- Seek medical care: Whether you believe you were injured or not, you should always go to the hospital after a Lyft accident. Do not put off going if you may have hit your head in the crash, have any memory loss, or are not sure the specifics of what happened. A doctor can rule out any serious concerns and make sure you get treatment that can prevent a smaller injury from becoming a lasting problem.
- Contact a Boston Lyft car accident lawyer: How you file for compensation may depend on several factors, such as whether your trip had already begun or been marked completed at the time of the collision. The good news is, Lyft offers a $1 million liability insurance policy. The bad news is, you may or may not be able to request coverage through it. There may also be additional compensation options available to you through a Boston Lyft accident lawsuit.
Does Your Mandatory Minimum Insurance Cover a Boston Lyft Accident?
Massachusetts is a no-fault state, meaning that the first source of coverage after an accident is your own PIP coverage. Your mandatory minimum PIP insurance coverage will cover your medical bills up to your policy limit. In the event that your expenses exceed your insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim and possibly a lawsuit against Lyft or the at-fault party in order to recover your additional costs.
Does Lyft Cover You in an Accident?
Lyft’s $1 million liability insurance policy in Massachusetts is earmarked for riders who have exhausted their own PIP coverage and have additional medical bills, as well as for drivers who get into accidents while en route. However, there are limitations on who can qualify for coverage.
What Does Lyft Cover in an Accident?
Lyft coverage in an accident depends on the status of a trip. When the Lyft app is off, you must rely on your own personal auto insurance coverage. When the Lyft app is on but no passengers have been engaged, Lyft offers:
- $50,000/person or $100,000/accident in bodily injury coverage
- $25,000/accident for property damage
When the app is on and a ride is underway, Lyft offers:
- $1 million in third party auto liability coverage
- First party coverages, such as uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and PIP
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual value of the car (with a $2,500 deductible) for drivers who qualify with their personal auto policy
What is Lyft’s Policy on Damage?
Under Lyft’s policy, passengers are liable for damage reported within 12 hours of the incident. After an auto accident, Lyft drivers should file with their own insurance and/or Lyft’s policy for property damage coverage. Passenger fees may not apply.
How Do I File an Accident Injury Claim with Lyft?
To file a Lyft accident claim, go to the “Help” section of your Lyft app and report an accident. You may also file online through the Lyft website.
What Happens if You Get in an Accident while Driving for Lyft?
As a driver, Lyft’s insurance policy acts as the primary coverage (or supplemental, if you already carry a commercial driver insurance policy) from the time that you accept a ride request to the time you drop off the passenger. If you are on the way to pick up a passenger and the app is on and engaged, Lyft’s auto insurance should apply to the situation. However, there are many instances where passengers may have just left the car or canceled a ride before pick-up or midway through completion, or where an insurance adjustor may deny responsibility for the accident. In such cases, a Boston Lyft accident injury lawyer can help clarify whose coverage should apply.
Does Lyft Cover Me as a Driver when I Am at Fault in an Accident?
Lyft coverage applies to drivers who cause an accident, as well as underinsured Lyft drivers who cause accidents while completing a trip. However, the Lyft liability auto insurance coverage may not apply if a driver is sued individually through a civil suit for being more than 50 percent at fault for an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Boston Lyft Accident?
Lyft accident cases in Boston are notoriously difficult because of the dual system of liability and insurance coverage, in addition to the fact that drivers are not considered employees of the company. Lyft accident attorneys serving the Boston area can help identify any and all liable parties in your case and help you recover compensation for your damages. A skilled attorney in our network may hold any of the following parties liable for your injuries, damages, and missed wages resulting from a Boston Lyft accident:
- The Lyft driver and their own insurance coverage: In a case where the Lyft driver failed to maintain their car properly, drove erratically, drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise contributed to a preventable crash, they may be held liable in a Boston civil suit.
- The other driver and their insurance coverage: In cases involving a Lyft that is hit by another driver, you may be able to file for compensation through their insurance as opposed to Lyft’s. Even though Massachusetts in a no-fault state, it may also be possible to file a Boston Lyft accident lawsuit, depending on the facts of the case.
- Another at-fault uninsured or underinsured motorist: In cases involving another car, such as a hit-and-run accident, Lyft’s liability insurance policy will make up the difference from the uninsured party, thereby allowing the passenger and driver some relief from medical bills, lost wages, and more.
- Lyft: Certain circumstances may open Lyft up to civil liability in the event of an accident. It’s advisable to ask a local lawyer about these stipulations and whether you qualify to file a Lyft accident lawsuit in Boston.
- The vehicle manufacturer: If there was a defect with the car itself that caused your crash, the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for failing to issue a recall.
Can You Sue Lyft for an Accident?
Lyft drivers in Boston are designated as independent contractors, adding a level of complexity to most rideshare accident cases. Lyft does not take full responsibility for its drivers’ actions, since they are not classified as employees of the company, and has therefore avoided liability for many cases involving damage, disfigurement, and even death.
However, there are instances where it makes sense to sue Lyft. For example, if Lyft failed to perform a background check on a driver, if their car did not meet Lyft’s minimum safety requirements, or if a driver has a history of similar accidents in the past, you may be able to file a lawsuit because of Lyft’s negligence in connecting you to an unqualified driver.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Boston Lyft Accident Lawsuit?
A Lyft accident lawyer in Boston can advise you on the full extent of damages that may be available in your case. An important distinction between an insurance claim and a lawsuit is that there are additional damages available in a Boston Lyft accident lawsuit that a standard insurance claim does not cover.
For instance, filing a lawsuit is the only way to recover compensation that takes into account your pain, suffering, and any mental and emotional distress resulting from the car accident. Civil compensation may also include damages related to permanent or long lasting injuries, such as loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.
Gathering Evidence for a Boston Lyft Accident Lawsuit
The evidence that should be gathered for a Boston Lyft accident lawsuit depends on the potentially liable parties named in the claim. For example, when filing a lawsuit against Lyft itself, evidence gathering might involve researching the driver’s background, corporate policy, history of complaints from other passengers, and more. When filing a lawsuit against a Lyft driver or another driver directly involved in the crash, evidence might involve compiling witness accounts, speaking with police officers who filed the accident report, and gathering photos and video footage of the scene of the crash.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Lyft Accident Lawsuits in Boston?
The statute of limitations, or the amount of time you have to file a Lyft accident lawsuit in Boston, is three years from the date of the collision. However, certain circumstances can shorten or extend this deadline, so it may be best to ask an attorney about the applicable filing deadline in your case. Additionally, state law imposes a five-day reporting deadline for accidents resulting in injury, death, or $1,000 or more in property damage. Let CarAccident.Law connect you with an experienced Lyft accident attorney in Boston.
Boston Lyft Accident Lawyer: FAQs
The attorneys in our network are frequently asked the following questions after Lyft accidents in Boston:
I was a passenger in a Lyft accident. What are my options?
As a passenger, you should report the accident to Lyft through the app. Your expenses may first be covered through your own PIP coverage. However, if you do not have enough to cover your losses, you may file a claim on Lyft’s auto insurance coverage. If you believe an individual or Lyft itself may bear liability for the accident and your resulting injuries and losses, it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit for additional compensation for damages which are generally not covered by insurance. Speak to a Lyft accident injury attorney in Boston to ensure your concerns are heard in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
How long does a Lyft accident investigation take?
How long a Lyft accident investigation takes depends on the details of the crash, as well as if there are any disputed issues, uninsured motorists involved, and more. Lyft accident investigations usually take at least a month before moving to the next stage, and some can take longer.
How long does it take Lyft to settle an accident claim?
Unfortunately, insurance payouts tend to be delayed at a time when you most need the additional funds for your medical bills and other accident related expenses. Lyft accident claims can take anywhere from three to six months to settle and can drag on even longer when liability is disputed or there is evidence of egregious negligence.
Will Lyft’s insurance cover all my accident damages?
Lyft accident insurance does not cover all accident damages if a trip was not underway during the crash. However, if it was, Lyft accident policy should account for all of your medical bills, expenses, time off work, prescription payments, and more. Additional damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma or distress, wrongful death payments, funeral costs, loss of consortium, loss of a parent or provider, and more costs connected with a Lyft accident are generally not covered by an insurance payout. These losses can only be recovered through a civil lawsuit.
Connect with a Boston Lyft Accident Attorney Today
Taking on rideshare companies like Lyft is notoriously difficult for the average rider, especially when you have been injured in a crash. During this time, what you need most is to focus on healing – not jumping through hoops of insurance paperwork, police reports, and corporate policy. Having a professional legal advocate handle your case can take the weight off your shoulders and ensure that you do not miss out on any additional forms of compensation that might be available to you.
For help with advocating for your rights as a passenger or disputing a low settlement offer, reach out to CarAccident.Law to be connected with an outstanding Boston Lyft accident lawyer, at no up-front cost to you.