Your Lyft contract probably says you can’t sue Lyft in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause. It can be complicated and time consuming, but you have another legal option to hold Lyft accountable.
Ready to sue Lyft in small claims court? First, you have to make sure your claim qualifies. Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims and yours will only qualify based on the type of claim and amount of money you want. There are two things you need to pay attention to:
The amount of money: Every small claims court sets a maximum dollar size for the claim you can bring. This means there is a limit to how much money you can ask for when you sue Lyft. In most states it’s either $5000 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500 (in Kentucky and Rhode Island). You can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court. This process, called “filing” can be a bit tricky.
When suing Lyft, you need to officially inform them they are being sued. This is called “serving” them. You have to deliver their copy (yes, that’s why you are required to have so many) of the forms you filled out earlier.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Lyft, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Courts have many strange rules about how to serve a defendant, and your claim will be dropped if you do not follow them perfectly. So be careful!
When the court clerk gives you a court date (after you file your forms), make sure to put it on your calendar because that is the date of your hearing.
Make sure you know which courthouse to go to and show up on time. Bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case against Lyft.
Sometimes, Lyft will not show up to oppose you, meaning they won’t send anyone else. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to focus on your side of what they did and what you want them to do to fix it.
Ready to sue Lyft in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…
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