Lyft Passenger Killed In Multi-Car Crash: Whose Insurance Covers What?

Normally, it wouldn’t be national news that there was a fatal multi-car crash on the highway during a heavy rainstorm near Sacramento, California. What makes this crash newsworthy is that the man who died was a paying passenger in a vehicle hired through the ride-sharing app Lyft.

Lyft and competitor UberX both hire regular people with clean driving records and safe, clean cars to accept rides for pay. Drivers are covered by a $1 million liability policy that originally was only in effect while they were driving to pick up a paying passenger, or had one in the car. Earlier this year, that changed after an Uber driver hit and killed a child while between jobs.

The multi-car crash began when an unidentified vehicle rear-ended a Kia in the middle lane of the highway. That vehicle simply stopped in the middle of the highway, possibly unable to pull over. More than one car hit the parked Kia, but the Lyft driver swerved to avoid it, spinning out and hitting two different trees instead. The passenger in the back seat, a 24-year-old man, was killed. The driver and the other passenger only had minor injuries. A family member of the man who died told the media that the two passengers were a couple, and they were on their way home from a Halloween party.

Clearly, the insurance should cover this accident, but it may not be as simple as that. According to the California Highway Patrol, sorting out who is at fault in a multi-car crash like this one can take months. Experts say that the insurance covered by Lyft should cover this accident but that won’t be resolved until next year.

A Lyft spokesperson confirmed that the company’s insurance would cover the accident if the driver was found to be at fault, and also called the crash an “unfortunate and tragic accident.”

Fatal accident tests Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy [San Francisco Chronicle]

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