One of the common reasons that people use Lyft rideshare services is to avoid a DUI charge. Lyft and other rideshare services offer a safe way for individuals who have had too much to drink to get home. However, what happens when someone is injured in a drunk driving Lyft accident? Who is responsible for Lyft drunk driving accidents in Maryland?
Drunk Driving Accidents in Maryland
As in all other states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher. A driver can be charged with and convicted of DUI if the driver’s BAC is above .08 or if the driver’s abilities to operate a vehicle safely is impaired by alcohol, including Lyft drivers. If a driver causes an accident while intoxicated, the driver could face additional criminal charges and penalties for the DUI accident.
Individuals May Face Civil Penalties for DUI Accidents
Drunk driving is a crime. However, when a drunk driver causes an accident, the driver may also face civil penalties. Accident victims may sue the driver for compensation for injuries, damages, and losses arising from a DUI accident. In most cases, the driver’s insurance provider pays the damages up to the policy limits once it has been established that the drunk driver caused the crash.
However, who is responsible for damages in a drunk driving Lyft accident?
Liability for Drunk Driving Lyft Accidents Caused by Lyft Drivers
When a Lyft driver causes a DUI accident, the same rules apply. You must prove that the Lyft driver caused the crash. Proving that the driver was drunk is not sufficient to win the case. The driver had to do something to cause the collision.
Once you prove the rideshare driver caused the Lyft drunk driving accident, you can file an injury claim against the driver’s insurance coverage. Unfortunately, private insurance coverage does not pay for damages caused by an accident while the driver was using the vehicle for “hire” or rideshare services. The driver would need to have a commercial insurance policy, which most Lyft driver’s do not purchase for their personal vehicles.
However, Lyft has a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that covers its drivers from the moment a ride is accepted throughout the entire ride. If you are injured in a drunk driving Lyft accident, you should be able to recover compensation by filing a claim against the Lyft insurance policy. Unfortunately, Lyft may deny coverage for a variety of reasons; therefore, you may want to consult a Maryland Lyft drunk driving accident attorney for assistance with the claim.
Who Pays if Another Driver Causes the Lyft Drunk Driving Accident?
If a drunk driver crashes into your Lyft vehicle, the drunk driver’s insurance company should pay the claim once it is proven that its insured caused the crash. Unfortunately, the drunk driver may be uninsured or may not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay your entire claim. In this case, you want to file a claim against the Lyft insurance policy for an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Lyft also provides this coverage for passengers, but the amounts of coverage vary by state.
What Should I Do If I Suspect My Lyft Driver is Drunk?
If you believe your Lyft driver is drunk, you need to request that the driver pull over so that you can end the ride. Call 911 to report your suspicions and report the incident to Lyft immediately.
Some of the signs that might indicate a Lyft driver is drunk include:
- Driving too fast or too slow for conditions
- Failing to stop for traffic signs or signals
- Weaving in and out of traffic or crossing the center line
- Slurred speech and blurry/bloodshot eyes
- Loud or overzealous conversation
- Lack of coordination
- Memory problems and lack of focus
- Following vehicles too closely
- Making wide turns
- Running off or driving on the shoulder
It can be difficult to know for sure if a driver is drunk. However, it is best to err on the side of caution when your life and the lives of others on the road may be at risk.
For more information, check out related blog posts:
Does Uber or Lyft Decrease DUI or DWI?
What Happens If You’ve Been Injured As An Uber Or Lyft Passenger In Maryland?
Contact a Maryland Drunk Driving Lyft Accident Attorney for Help
If you were injured in a Lyft drunk driving accident, the legal team of Pinder Plotkin can help. During your free consultation, our Parkville Lyft accident attorney will listen to your story, advise you of your legal rights, and discuss your options for filing a Lyft accident claim.
Call 410-525-5337 now to schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team.