Fort Lauderdale Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyers
Experienced Injury Lawyers Fight to Protect Accident Victims Using Uber and Lyft Services in Broward County, FL
The gig economy is growing fast and shows no signs of going away anytime soon. One of the most well-known South Florida gig jobs involves driving for rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft. These new employment opportunities have provided earning potential and flexibility that would not otherwise be available to the average person.
With this expansion have some growing pains. This includes how to adequately protect Florida passengers and drivers who get hurt due to the fault of the rideshare driver.
So what do you do if you find yourself injured as a result of a mistake from a driver from Uber, Lyft or another ridesharing company? Obtaining compensation for your injuries can be a frustrating and confusing process. That’s where the experienced personal injury attorneys from Lawlor, White & Murphey can help.
What’s the Big Deal with Getting into an Accident with an Uber or Lyft Driver?
Until just recently, if you found yourself injured due to a mistake of a rideshare driver, you could find yourself in a very bad financial position.
You could sue the driver, but they probably don’t have much income or assets to pay out any damages to you. After all, they’re trying to make extra money with Lyft or Uber. Therefore, it’s unlikely they have a significant amount of money sitting around.
So what about the rideshare driver’s car insurance? Unless they have a special policy, their personal car insurance won’t cover anything.
This is because you were probably hurt while the driver was engaged in a commercial activity. Many personal car insurance policies do not cover accidents in these situations.
How about suing the rideshare company? Most gig economy companies, such as Lyft and Uber, will argue that they are not liable for the mistakes of their drivers.
These companies consider their drivers to be independent contractors and not employees. This is an important distinction because in most cases, companies cannot be legally liable for wrongs committed by independent contractors.
Recent Changes to Protect Florida Drivers and Rideshare Passengers
Realizing the difficult situation injured people could potentially find themselves in, the Florida legislature took action. Under current Florida law, rideshare drivers must carry minimum insurance coverage. This insurance can come from the rideshare company, the drivers themselves or a combination of both.
The insurance coverage requirements are as follows:
- The driver is not logged into the ridesharing app: The driver’s personal car insurance policy will be in effect and must meet Florida’s minimum insurance requirements. This means that the driver should have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
- The driver is logged into the ridesharing app, but is not carrying a passenger: The insurance coverage must provide at least $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.
- The driver is logged into the ridesharing app and is carrying a passenger: There must be liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury and property damage.
What to Do Following an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you find yourself involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, you should treat it as any other automobile accident. This means making an immediate assessment of injuries and calling 9-1-1 if anyone is hurt.
Even if no one is injured, you should still call the police and take photos of the accident scene. You can also request to have the driver’s license and insurance information of all drivers involved. A good way to do this is to use your smartphone to take a picture of the driver’s license and insurance card and email it to yourself.
In many cases, Uber or Lyft drivers will have cameras that operate on their dashboards while carrying a passenger. So be sure to remind the rideshare driver to preserve the footage, if it exists. You can also ask if they will provide you with access to the video to determine whether it contains any useful information about the accident.
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. It’s important to get this information as soon as possible after the accident.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Following a Lyft or Uber Accident in Broward County, FL
You do not always need to hire an attorney to obtain compensation following an Uber or Lyft accident. However, 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 vehicle, an attorney can help you uncover all possible sources of compensation, including:
- The Uber or Lyft driver
- The Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance coverage
- Any other at-fault drivers and their insurance coverage
- Any insurance coverage provided by the rideshare company
Each of these parties may try to deny their legal responsibilities. You can also expect their insurance companies to do the same. This will often occur even when liability and fault are clear.
In some cases, the more obvious it is to identify the person responsible for the accident, the harder it may be to obtain fair compensation from the appropriate insurance company.
Keep in mind that an insurance company may appear to cooperate and quickly send you a check for your injuries. But there’s a good chance they’re not paying you what you are fully entitled to under Florida law. In certain situations, a skilled and experienced rideshare attorney is necessary to help you fight Uber, Lyft or an insurance company to recover appropriate damages for what you’ve endured.
Have an Injury from a Lyft or Uber Car Accident?
We understand that as an Uber or Lyft accident victim, you’re experiencing enough stress handling your injuries. Not only is getting medical treatment enough of a challenge, but so is getting fair financial compensation.
If you want to learn more about what we can do for you in your fight against a negligent or underinsured ridesharing 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 rideshare 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.