Fort Lauderdale Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyers
Experienced Injury Lawyers Fight to Protect Accident Victims Using Uber and Lyft Services in Broward County, FL
Much to the chagrin of traditional taxi services, on-demand car services like Uber and Lyft have become an incredibly popular form of transportation that has caught on in major cities around the country, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and smaller communities throughout South Florida. These ride-sharing services, which allow passengers to use an app to call a driver to pick them up wherever they are, have been lauded for their convenience and efficiency. Despite this, ride-sharing service drivers are only human, and human beings who drive cars tend to get into car accidents from time to time.
It might seem obvious to you that if a ride-sharing service is responsible for injuring you or a loved one, the company itself 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. Uber and Lyft have characterized their drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees, rendering the companies themselves immune from the traditional vicarious theory of liability that can hold the company responsible when employees make mistakes. Fortunately, Florida has stepped in to pass legislation designed to protect Florida residents who rely upon these ride-sharing services for transportation.
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 an Uber or Lyft driver, you should contact the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys are familiar with the new insurance laws that now apply when an Uber or Lyft vehicle was involved in an accident, and are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Liability Issues with Uber or Lyft Accidents Under Prior Florida Law
You might be wondering how Uber and other ride-sharing services managed to 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-sharing company (usually about 20%).
Also unlike taxi companies, services like Uber allowed 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 insurance policy). This allowed the ride-share companies to cut overhead costs but left accident victims vulnerable.
Florida Insurance Law Now Mandates Higher Coverage Limits for Uber, Lyft and Other Ride-Sharing Services
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 could deny a claim in most cases. Further, passengers cannot always cover the cost of the accident with their insurance. 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—using your own car insurance for compensation isn’t a viable solution. Under Florida’s new insurance law, the insurance requirements that apply vary depending upon the circumstances, as follows:
- Uber/Lyft driver is carrying a passenger. If the Uber or Lyft driver has already picked up a paying passenger via the ride-sharing service, liability coverage of at least $1 million will be available for bodily injury, property damage or death resulting from an accident.
- Driver is logged in but without a passenger. If the Uber or Lyft driver is logged in to the relevant app, so that he or she is available to pick up a passenger, the insurance policy will cover up to $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, up to $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.
- Driver is driving for personal reasons. If the person does drive for Uber or Lyft but is not logged into the app when the accident occurs (i.e., the driver is driving for personal reasons), his or her personal car insurance policy will apply. Under Florida law, this means that the driver should legally have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
These new insurance requirements serve to protect ride-sharing passengers and others on the roadways but do add additional complications when a motor vehicle accident involves an Uber or Lyft driver. Insurance companies that issue policies for Uber or Lyft have the same profit motivations as other insurance carriers, and your claim could be denied for any number of reasons—and it may even be difficult to determine which insurance policy is applicable in your case.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, 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-sharing company to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Tenacious Injury Attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey Take on Uber, Lyft and Other Ride-Sharing Companies in Fort Lauderdale
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our dedicated team of injury lawyers represent clients who have been injured in any type of accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, including when:
- The Uber or Lyft driver was negligent and caused an accident
- A third-party driver caused an accident with your Uber or Lyft vehicle
- You were a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by an Uber or Lyft driver
- A multiple vehicle accident occurred, and you were injured while in an Uber or Lyft vehicle
Don’t let the negligence or recklessness of an Uber, Lyft or ride-sharing driver negatively impact the rest of your life and cause unnecessary financial suffering. The knowledgeable trial lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey can help make sure that those unpaid medical bills get paid, rather than simply pile up and cause additional financial stress. We represent accident victims in Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing cases 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.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Our Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Uber or Lyft Accident Today
We understand that as an Uber or Lyft accident victim, you’re experiencing enough stress handling your injuries without the added burden of additional financial stress, which is why we won’t charge you anything unless and until we recover monetary compensation in your case. 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. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uber, Lyft or Other Ride-sharing Accidents in South Florida
Uber and Lyft are companies that operate mobile applications for ridesharing services. The application connects drivers with passengers who are looking for transportation; Uber and Lyft provide the driver with navigation services and facilitate payment collection from passengers.
Taxis are required by the state to obtain a license (sometimes called a hackney license or medallion) to transport passengers. Taxis are usually managed and dispatched by taxi companies, with taxi drivers often being employees of the taxi company. In contrast, Uber and Lyft vehicles are not required to obtain a license or medallion (although in some jurisdictions they are subject to local or state regulations) and the drivers of Uber and Lyft vehicles are typically not considered employees of the rideshare companies, as drivers often provide their own vehicles to provide services. In addition, whereas taxis are hailed on the street, Uber and Lyft drivers are summoned via the companies’ mobile application.
If you are not seriously injured, call the police and take photos of the accident scene. You can also request to see the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information, and can take photographs of the policy information the driver has on hand. In many cases, Uber or Lyft drivers have cameras that operate on their dashboards while carrying a passenger, so you can request access to that surveillance footage to determine whether it contains any useful information about the accident. Importantly, remember to seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you don’t appear to be seriously injured—only a trained medical professional can evaluate whether you have sustained any injuries, and it is important to get this information as soon as possible after the accident.
Our lawyers work on a 100 percent contingency fee basis—this means that we don’t get paid unless we recover compensation in your case, so you don’t take on any financial risk by choosing our team to represent you in your Uber/Lyft accident case.
If you want to pursue a claim for compensation following an Uber or Lyft accident, you will need documentation that establishes who was responsible for the accident, the injuries you suffered in the accident, and the damages you are seeking compensation for. This evidence can include accident scene photos, the police’s accident investigation report, records from your medical treatment, bills and invoices and receipts for expenses you incurred as a result of the accident, and your paystubs or income statements to establish your lost wages or income.
If an accident is caused by a rideshare vehicle, the driver of the vehicle will be legally responsible for his or her own negligence in causing the accident. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft may not be able to be held directly responsible for an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, especially where their drivers are considered independent contractors rather than direct employees of the companies. However, many rideshare companies purport to offer their drivers insurance coverage depending on the circumstances of the accident. If a rideshare driver causes an accident while not logged into the rideshare mobile application, the rideshare company will not offer coverage. If the driver is logged into the application but is not driving to pick up or transporting a passenger, Uber and Lyft provide a level of insurance coverage. The companies provide more coverage if an accident is caused by a driver who is driving to pick up or is transporting a passenger.
If an Uber or Lyft driver is not at fault for an accident involving his or her vehicle, then a person who is an occupant of the Uber or Lyft who is injured in the accident will likely have to look to the at-fault driver for compensation. However, the Uber or Lyft driver may have commercial liability insurance that may provide coverage to an injured passenger.
Since in many cases Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of their respective rideshare companies, they cannot be “fired”. However, Uber’s and Lyft’s policies allow those companies to terminate drivers’ accounts and end their ability to drive for the rideshare platform for many reasons, including being at fault for accidents while driving while using the rideshare applications.
Yes, if you have been injured in an accident while a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you may be entitled to seek compensation. If the driver of the rideshare vehicle is at fault for the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver. You may also be entitled to obtain compensation from any insurance policies offered by the rideshare company when an accident occurs while the rideshare vehicle is transporting a passenger. If another driver causes an accident with your Uber or Lyft, you may be entitled to seek compensation from that driver and his or her auto insurance policy.
Yes, if you were injured in an accident, you may have your health insurance coverage initially pay for the treatment of your injuries. However, if you can also obtain recovery from other sources of insurance, such as the rideshare driver’s insurance policy, another at-fault driver’s insurance policy, or the insurance policy offered by the rideshare company, your health insurance company may seek reimbursement of the expenses it paid for from such coverage.
Although you do not need an attorney to pursue a claim for compensation following an Uber or Lyft accident, having an attorney to represent your interests and protect your rights can put you in the best position to receive maximum compensation. If you are a passenger who was injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, an attorney can help you uncover all possible sources of compensation, including the Uber or Lyft driver and his or her insurance coverage, any other at-fault drivers and their insurance coverage, and any insurance coverage provided by the rideshare company. Each of these parties may try to deny their legal responsibilities; an attorney can help fight to get you the financial compensation you are entitled to under the law.