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Lyft California Shutdown – How Will this affect Drivers?

Lyft California Shutdown How Will this affect Drivers lawyer attorney sue compensation
After a court decision, major rideshare services, including Lyft, stated that they would shut down operations as of midnight of August 20, 2020; this is because, according to these rideshare companies, the ten days that the court ruling allowed to reclassify drivers as employees was simply not possible. Without a doubt, the threat of Lyft shutting down operations in California entirely would impact drivers. Drivers, among others of their workers, would be left without any way to earn the income that they need to cover their costs.

Are you a Lyft driver? Do you expect to be affected by the California shutdown? If so, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Seeking legal assistance will ensure that you have access to all the information that you need to understand your current situation and pursue legal action if need be. If you would like to discuss your claim with Lyft rideshare attorneys, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Kenmore Law Group.

Kenmore Law Group is a firm with many years of experience representing the rights of all drivers on the road – including rideshare drivers. If have grounds to pursue a claim, you can trust that the experts at our firm are ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to reach a successful claim outcome. If you would like to speak with our attorneys, contact us as soon as possible.

An Overview of Laws Related to Independent Contractors

In 2015, California passed a law that forced companies to change their language surrounding their employees. According to the law, if businesses control the way in which the employees work and employees perform services essential to the company, then they cannot be considered independent contractors; this is because independent contractors strictly set their own hours as well as their own rates. When this law passed, rideshare companies made sure to push back immediately.

In 2020, AB 5 came into effect. According to AB 5, all workers will be considered to be employees unless they meet all three conditions of the ABC test. The three conditions of the ABC test include the following:

  1. The person is free from all control and direction of the hiring entity regarding the performance of the work.
  2. The person performs work that is outside of the usual work of the hiring entity’s business.
  3. The person in involved in an independently established occupation, trade, or business that is in the same nature as the work being performed.

If the person meets all three conditions, he or she is considered an independent contractor. Rideshare services, including Lyft, made it clear that they disagreed with the law as soon as it passed.

Why did rideshare companies push back to these laws? Rideshare drivers typically do not meet the conditions of the ABC test. Drivers cannot set their own rates, and although they are free to set their own hours, they must follow certain guidelines when driving passengers around. In addition, the work performed (driving) is not outside of the company’s business, as Lyft and other rideshare companies are dependent on the driving.

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Lyft Drivers and Disability Insurance

Are you a Lyft driver that suffered an injury that left you unable to work? If so, you might have a number of questions, including some of the following:

  • Can Lyft drivers file for disability in California?
  • Can Lyft drivers get SSI or SSDI benefits?
  • Are rideshare drivers eligible for disability insurance in California?
  • Can Lyft drivers file for disability if they suffer an injury while working?

If you suffered any injury during your personal time (that is, not during work hours), you could qualify to receive disability benefits. However, if the injury occurred while you were working, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits under some circumstances. Because many people drive for Lyft as a side gig (aside from their main job), many people can receive disability benefits and continue driving for rideshare services.

Are you eligible to receive disability benefits? To be eligible to receive disability benefits, individuals must meet a number of requirements, including the following:

  • Individuals must be unable to perform their regular work for at least 8 days.
  • Individuals must be employed or looking for work at the time that the disability begins.
  • Individuals must have lost income because of the disability.
  • Individuals must have earned at least $300 from which SDI deductions were withheld.
  • Individuals must be under the care/treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner and must remain under care/treatment to continue receiving benefits.
  • Individuals must complete and submit their forms no earlier than nine days after the first day of disability begins but no later than 49 days after your disability begins (to prevent from losing benefits).
  • Individuals must have their physician/practitioner complete the medical certification of the claim.

Even if you meet eligibility requirements, you could be disqualified to receive disability benefits if any of the following statements are true:

  • You are receiving unemployment benefits or family leave benefits.
  • Your injury and subsequent disability occurred during a crime (that led to a felony conviction).
  • You are in a place where you were convicted on a crime (including a jail, prison, etc.)
  • You are receiving workers’ compensation benefits at a weekly rate (equal or greater to the disability insurance amount you would receive)
  • You failed to have an independent medical examination when requested to do so.

Based on the points discussed above, are you eligible to receive disability insurance benefits? If so, you should apply immediately so that you can begin receiving the compensation to which you are entitled.

What if you are unable to perform your regular job but you can still drive safely? If you have driven for Lyft as a source of extra income in the past, you might be eligible to continue to do so – even if you are receiving disability benefits. California disability benefits have a cap of $1,300 per week; employees can receive up to 60% (or 70% in some cases) of their normal wages from their job. If you decide to continue driving for Lyft while you are receiving disability benefits, you cannot earn more than the established cap. To prevent losing your disability benefits, you must stay within the earning cap; you might have to limit the time that you drive your Lyft to ensure that your earnings stay below the cap.

Lyft Drivers and Unemployment Insurance

Are you eligible to receive unemployment benefits if you are a Lyft driver? To be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, all of the following must apply:

  • You must be either totally or partially unemployed
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must be physically able to work
  • You must be available and willing to accept work

Unfortunately, even if you should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits based on the points mentioned above, you could be ineligible simply based on the fact that you drive for Lyft. As a Lyft driver, you are an independent contractor; therefore, Lyft is not required to pay unemployment benefits. In addition, Lyft does not report their drivers’ income to the state. What does this mean? When you apply for unemployment benefits, the EDD must confirm your income. Because Lyft does not report the wages of their independent contractors, your claim is likely to be denied.

During these uncertain times, there have been a number of changes to unemployment. For example, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extended unemployment benefits to self-employed, independent contractors, and freelancers that lost their jobs due to the pandemic shutdowns. Although the situation is not the same, if there is a Lyft shut down in the state, similar programs could arise.

Lyft Drivers after Auto Accidents – Lyft’s Insurance Coverage

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you could also be eligible to additional benefits if you are involved in an auto accident while driving for Lyft. Unfortunately, accidents involving rideshare vehicles are common. Car accidents could occur at any time and for a number of reasons. It is well-known that rideshare companies offer insurance coverage that could apply in the case of accidents. What coverage does Lyft provide?

The coverage provided by Lyft depends on the period in which the accident occurs:

  • When the app is off (and the driver is doing personal driving while inactive on the app), no coverage applies.
  • When the app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request, coverage partially applies. This includes up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury, up to $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and up to $25,000 per accident in property damage.
  • When the app is on an active ride (either picking up passengers or already driving passengers to destination), coverage fully applies. This includes up to $1,000,000 in third-party auto liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage (with a $2,500 deductible).

Did you suffer an auto accident while you were driving for Lyft? If so, you might have grounds to pursue a claim; however, there are a number of steps that you should follow to ensure that you can pursue a claim.

What should you do? Consider the recommendations listed below:

  • Seek medical care as soon as possible
  • Take photos of all physical injuries that you suffered
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident (including all property damage)
  • Speak to witnesses and collect their contact information
  • Take a screenshot of your Lyft app that shows that you were on an active ride at the time of the accident
  • Report the accident to Lyft (you can typically do so through the rideshare app)
  • Make a report with the appropriate authorities (request a copy of the report)
  • Gather all medical records associated with the Lyft accident
  • Gather all property damage records associated with the Lyft accident
  • Gather all lost income records
  • Contact an experienced Lyft accident attorney

Can you pursue an injury claim if you are receiving other benefits? In most cases, you could pursue a claim without any repercussions. If your claim is successful, you could be eligible to recover the costs associated with medical care and lost wages; in addition, you could also be eligible to recover compensation for pain and suffering, property damages, and punitive damages, for instance.
Lyft California Shutdown How Will this affect Drivers lawyer attorney compensation sue
Contact Kenmore Law Group Today

If you have any questions about your right to any of the benefits discussed above, you should seek legal assistance with knowledgeable attorneys with experience dealing with Lyft cases as soon as possible. You can trust the experts at Kenmore Law Group to provide you with the guidance that you need to help you receive the benefits or compensation that you are owed. Regardless of the specific type of claim you are pursuing against Lyft, you can trust that our experts are ready to provide you with the guidance that you need. Our Lyft lawyers are ready to fight for your rights as a driver.

Our firm offers free legal services, which allow us to answer all your questions and address all your concerns, while remaining accessible to all affected parties. During our free consultations and free second opinions, you can trust that our lawyers will provide you with all the information that you need to reach a successful claim outcome. As mentioned, we also offer free second opinions. What does this mean? If you have already sought the legal assistance of a so-called expert but you are dissatisfied, you can trust our Lyft attorneys to evaluate your claim and help redirect your claim towards a successful claim outcome. If you decide to switch attorneys and allow our experts to handle your claim, you can trust that the switch will be smooth, and you will no longer need to deal with your previous incompetent attorney.

In addition to offering free legal services, we also offer Spanish legal services for the non-English speaking Lyft drivers in our community. Our Spanish speaking attorneys and entire legal team are ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to reach a successful claim outcome – in terms that you understand.

Would you like to benefit from discussing your current situation with the experts at our firm? If so, contact us today.

We offer a Zero-Fee guarantee which ensures that our clients will never be required to pay any upfront legal fees for any of our legal expenses. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency; therefore, our clients will not pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. If you are not compensated, you will not be expected to pay anything.

Contact the Lyft lawyers at our firm immediately for assistance with your disability claim, unemployment claim, or accident claim.

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