Uber & Lyft Ride-Sharing Injuries


Ride-Sharing Services Don’t Always Have Your Back in an Accident

 

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Much to the chagrin of traditional taxi services, on-demand car services like Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft have become an incredibly popular form of transportation that has caught on in major cities around the country, including Miami. These ride-share services, which allow passengers to use an app to call a driver to wherever they are, have been lauded for their convenience and efficiency. However, there’s a downside to this convenience that has only recently started getting more attention: ride-sharing companies may be underinsured.

 

It might seem obvious to you that if a ride-sharing service is responsible for injuring you or a loved one, that company should compensate you for medical expenses and other associated costs like loss of income. However, if you are injured by a ride-sharing driver in South Florida, you may make the unpleasant discovery that receiving compensation from the company is an uphill battle.

 

If you or someone you care about was injured either as a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle or as an occupant of a vehicle or a pedestrian hit by a ride-share driver, you should contact the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys have experience handling car, truck, and taxi accident cases, and we’re prepared to take services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to court if that’s what it takes to get the compensation you deserve.

 

How Uber, Lyft and Other Ridesharing Services Work

 

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You might be wondering how Uber and other ride-sharing services could avoid liability in car accident cases where their drivers are clearly at fault. The answer lies in the way this relatively new industry is structured.

 

Unlike taxi services, which use a fleet of cars owned by the company, ride-share services hire drivers who use their own personal cars to transport passengers. Passengers use an app to contact a driver near them, and the same app will notify the driver and direct them to the passenger. Drivers will then transport the passengers to their destination, log the trip using the app, and pay a percentage of their fare to the ride-share company (usually about 20%).

 

Also unlike taxi companies, services like UberX allow drivers to use their own personal auto insurance for liability coverage (essentially, the drivers are independent contractors rather than employees who need to be covered by the company). This allows the ride-share companies to cut overhead costs, but leaves accident victims vulnerable.

 

Why Ride-Sharing Companies Might Not Cover Your Accident

 

There are several reasons why a ride-share company might not cover the cost of your injuries in the event of an accident.

 

  1. Personal insurance policies do not cover “driving for profit.” As mentioned above, companies such as Uber allow their drivers to use their own personal auto insurance. However, many auto insurance companies exclude coverage for accidents that occur if the policyholder was “driving for profit,” meaning that your ride-share driver’s insurance company may deny your claim.
  2. Passengers cannot always cover the cost of the accident with their insurance. If a ride-share driver cannot cover the cost of an accident with their auto insurance coverage, the next logical step might be for the injured passenger to submit a claim to their auto insurance provider. However, if you do not have auto insurance or have minimal auto insurance—which may very well be the case if you’re using a ride-sharing service—this isn’t a viable solution.
  3. There may be gaps in ride-share companies’ “additional coverage.” Several ride-share companies have responded to complaints about their lack of coverage by saying that they offer an additional $1 million to make up for what is not covered by their drivers’ personal auto insurance. However, regulators in several states have issued warnings saying that ride-share companies may offer liability coverage, but their insurance providers will not necessarily cover medical expenses or underinsured motorists.
  4. There has been debate about whether ride-share companies can be liable when drivers are in between fares. In December 2013, an Uber driver tragically struck and killed a 6-year-old girl who was lawfully crossing the street with her family in San Francisco. Uber initially tried to avoid liability by claiming that the driver had not been carrying a passenger at the time of the accident and was therefore not in Uber’s service (even though he was running the Uber app). Uber has since changed their policy to provide coverage when drivers are in-between fares, but there is no guarantee that other start-up ride-sharing services in Florida provide the same coverage.

Unfortunately, knowing the reason that your insurance claim was denied after a ride-share accident will probably offer little consolation. You need compensation, not excuses, which is why you should turn to Lawlor, White & Murphey. We’re trial lawyers with hundreds of personal injury cases under our belts, and we are prepared to go up against any ride-share company to fight for the compensation you deserve.

 

Lawlor, White & Murphey Will Take on Negligent Ride-Share Companies

 

Don’t let the negligence or recklessness of a ride-share driver follow you for the rest of your life and cause you undue financial suffering. Rather than just letting unpaid medical bills pile up, contact the Law Offices of Lawlor, White & Murphey. We represent accident victims in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the entire state of Florida, and we want to make sure each and every one of our clients gets the compensation they deserve.

 

We understand that as a ride-share accident victim, you’re going through a lot, which is why we won’t charge you anything unless and until we recover monetary compensation.

 

If you want to learn more about what we can do for you in your fight against a negligent or underinsured ride-sharing service, schedule a free initial consultation today. You can reach us by filling out the short contact form on our website or by calling one of the three numbers below:

 

Toll Free: 1-855-347-5475

South Florida: 954-525-2345

 

We don’t want you to pay for someone else’s mistake or failure to take responsibility. Take a stand against a negligent Florida ride-share service with Lawlor, White & Murphey.

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