What Happens if an Accident is Caused by a Drunk Lyft Driver

Ridesharing was born right here in California, where companies like Uber and Lyft have been picking up and dropping off customers since 2009.

From out-of-towners to weekend revelers, ridesharing is a hugely popular service for those who seek on-demand transportation. In the latter case, ridesharing is one way to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road.

But what if your Lyft driver is drunk? What if they crash the car while you’re a passenger? Who’s responsible? The answer may seem obvious: the driver, of course!

However, it’s not nearly as simple as that. Ridesharing is a relatively new service and laws governing these companies are ever-evolving. It’s a good idea to understand who’s liable before you take your next ride.

Lyft Policies

Lyft has strict policies against its drivers drinking while on duty. The company says it takes a “zero-tolerance” approach to its drivers being under the influence while driving customers.

If you suspect your driver is inebriated, you should log into the app to terminate the ride and immediately report the incident to Lyft. But just because the company has a strict DUI policy in place, they are not excused from liability and can still be held responsible for a Lyft accident.

Whose Insurance Covers the Accident?

Lyft accidents and insurance claims can be more complex than if you were driving yourself. Knowing when the company’s coverage begins and ends and how it relates to your own coverage is complicated. That’s why, if you’re in a Lyft accident, you should contact a DUI rideshare attorney with extensive experience in this specific area of the law.

Understanding who’s liable in the event of an accident involves knowing the periods involved with Lyft insurance coverage. Let’s take a closer look.

No Period

If a driver is not logged in on the ridesharing app, Lyft is not responsible for coverage since the driver is considered to be off the clock.

Period 1

This period applies to when the Lyft driver is online and awaiting a customer. If you are logged in to the app and awaiting a ride and get into an accident, Lyft offers 50/100/25 liability coverage.

What this means is that Lyft’s coverage has liability limits of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.

As far as the driver is concerned, Lyft offers no insurance coverage (uninsured, underinsured, or medical payments), nor does it cover the driver’s vehicle (collision) during this gap period. Lyft strongly recommends its drivers purchase a rideshare policy or a rideshare rider on their personal insurance policy.

Period 2

In this case, the driver has accepted your fare and is en route to you. During this period, Lyft offers $1 million in liability, uninsured, and underinsured coverage. For the driver, liability is contingent upon the driver having collision coverage on his or her personal insurance policy.

Period 3

During this period, the driver has already picked you up and you’re on your way to a destination. As in period 2, Lyft carries $1 million in liability, uninsured, and underinsured coverage. And again, collision coverage depends on whether or not the driver carries a personal insurance policy.

Call the Experts

Lyft drivers carry both personal insurance coverage as well as the company’s coverage. The main thing to remember is if you’re in a rideshare accident, you are not at fault. Lyft’s insurance should cover the damages.

However, it’s important to understand your claim can be more complicated than a standard claim depending upon how fault has been determined and the specific circumstances of the accident. Don’t be surprised if Lyft and the insurance company try to ignore you or actively fight your claim.

You may have heard about a huge change in how the state of California views rideshare drivers. You should know that California law regarding rideshare services is constantly evolving. Lawmakers are scrambling to update the law. Learn the latest here.

Because this area of the law is complex and changes all the time, the best investment you can make if you’re in a Lyft accident is to call a passenger injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have been helping injured rideshare passengers secure compensation for as long as Lyft has been around. We’re here to help!

“I was in a really hard situation and Carmen at Sally Morin helped me so very much. I am very low income and thought that my legal options were very limited. But Carmen helped me to understand my rights when I was plowed down by a drunk driver and I felt so much better knowing that I could get some assistance in resolving my case. I have two children and my accident has made it difficult for me to care for them. Carmen has made me feel like the future is bright and that I can get justice amidst this awful situation.” – Anna S.

Experience a serious Uber or Lyft car accident in California?

Check out our Uber Accident Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Lyft DUI Accident Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After a rideshare DUI accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of traffic law, including injuries that arise from rideshare-related DUIs. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about our fellow citizens of California. Call 877-380-8852 today for a free case evaluation.

Accident Client

If you’re someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews… unless I’m truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

We're here to help with your Personal Injury claim

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible