Understanding Rideshare Services in Florida
Because they are convenient and easy to use, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to grow in popularity in Florida. However, because these services are relatively new, the law concerning ridesharing accidents and insurance coverage may be confusing to Floridians who are involved in such an accident. For this reason, we offer you tips on steps to take after you are involved in an Uber & Lyft accident so that you may recover for any injuries or property damage you sustain in the accident.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Any Injuries
Like in any car accident, those involved in a ridesharing accident should seek immediate medical attention for any injuries they may have suffered in the crash. Doing this allows individuals to assess the extent of their injuries, formulate a treatment plan with their physician for their injuries, and determine if they are suffering from any latent injuries. While seeking medical attention after a ridesharing accident is good for your overall physical well-being, it also does two things for you if you want to pursue an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver:
- It creates a paper record of your injuries, which can be useful in proving the accident was the cause of your injuries and in proving damages
- It allows you to assess whether your injuries are severe enough to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the event that an insurance claim does not cover the full extent of your injuries
Engage in Fact-Finding to Determine Who is Who in the Accident
In addition to seeking medical attention, you should also try to gather as much information as possible about the identities of all of the other people involved in the accident.
Specifically, you need to:
- Ascertain which of the drivers involved in the accident is an Uber or Lyft driver
- Determine whether the Uber or Lyft driver caused the accident
- Determine whether the Uber or Lyft driver had passengers in his or her car at the time of the accident or whether you were that passenger,
- Who the other driver involved in the accident is
Moreover, in addition to learning the identities of the people involved in the crash, you should also obtain the insurance information of all of the drivers involved in the accident.
The reason you need to ascertain who was the Uber and Lyft driver, whether they were en route with a passenger at the time of the accident, and the insurance information of all drivers involved in the crash is because Florida has laws concerning mandatory insurance coverage for regular driver and special laws for mandatory insurance coverage for rideshare drivers. For regular drivers, Florida law requires you to carry a policy with at least $10,000 in personal injury insurance (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage insurance coverage. For rideshare drivers, however, Florida’s Uber and Lyft Law requires rideshare drivers to carry a policy with at least $1 million in liability coverage for property damage, physical injury, and death when the driver in on-duty and has passengers in his or her car. The same law also requires rideshare drivers to have at least $50,000 in liability coverage if the driver is on-duty and an accident occurs while the driver is en route to pick up his or her ride. Typically, rideshare companies will provide their drivers with insurance that meets the requirements set forth in Florida’s Uber/Lyft Law.
Depending on who is who in the crash and who is responsible for causing the crash, your ability to recover monetary compensation for your physical injuries or property damage may be lessened if you find out that a regular driver is to blame for your injuries and may be increased if you find out that an on-duty rideshare driver caused your injuries.
If you can, taking photographs of the scene and the surrounding traffic signals will prove useful in the event that you cannot settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover for your injuries. These photographs can help determine who is at-fault for the accident and how much damage the parties sustained as a result.
Obtain the Services of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Perhaps before engaging in an in-depth fact-finding mission by yourself after a rideshare accident, the best thing you can do is to retain the services of an experienced car accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale. An attorney will be able to:
- Estimate how much any claim you want to file because of your injuries is worth
- Determine whether a rideshare driver or a regular driver is responsible for the accident, and, accordingly, whose insurance you should file a claim with
- Determine whether you should file a personal injury claim
- File either an insurance claim and/or a personal injury claim on your behalf
- Help prepare you to give statements to the insurance companies that does not hurt or ruin your claim
- Gather evidence to support your claim
An experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will know which insurance laws apply to your case and whether you can sue Uber or Lyft in addition to the at-fault driver if you are filing a personal injury claim. Moreover, an attorney can formulate a strategy to best help you succeed on your claim and get you the monetary compensation you deserve.
File a Claim
Whether your injuries are minor or severe, you should file either an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the injuries you sustained in the accident. For minor injuries, you must file your claim under your own policy with the car insurance company since Florida implements a “no-fault” car insurance system. However, if your injuries are severe, i.e. you suffered permanent injury, significant loss of body functioning, significant scarring, and permanent disfigurement, you may file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When you do this, keep in mind that the settlement amount insurance companies offer cannot exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limit. Accordingly, when you suffer massive injury as a result of a rideshare accident, it may be best to file a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries instead. In Florida, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident to be valid. If you do not file said lawsuit within four years, your personal injury lawsuit will be deemed waived.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Ridesharing Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in a ridesharing accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured because of ridesharing accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Pompano Beach, and throughout Florida. Call 954-525-2345 (South Florida) or 855-347-5475 (Toll-Free) or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, and Plantation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.