Lyft & Uber Accident Lawyer: Who Pays in a Rideshare Accident?
On April 19, 2017, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 221, which governs the ridesharing services of transportation network companies (TNC) operating throughout the state of Florida. The new Florida statute requires that all Uber, Lyft, and other TNC companies carry automobile insurance for drivers who transport passengers for a fee. The driver must also maintain liability insurance, which pays up to $50,000 for accidental injuries per person per accident to a maximum of $100,000 per accident, as well as up to $25,000 for damage to property.
Transportation network companies use digital networks to connect drivers and passengers for prearranged rides. TNC drivers connect to the digital network as agreed in their written contract. Uber and Lyft are a couple of the most popular TNCs that shuttle hundreds of thousands of passengers every day in Florida. Florida Statute 627.748 (1)(e) defines Lyft and Uber as TNCs that don't own or operate their own vehicles or employ or manage their own drivers.
In many cases, car accident claims become much more complex and difficult when a ridesharing company is involved. So if you're wondering who pays and what to do after such an accident, you're not alone. We are here to help.
Were you or a loved one involved in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft? You may be eligible for financial compensation. Learn more about your rights by completing our free case review form today. For example, suppose you don't pursue an accident claim. In that case, you may be leaving money on the table that you are entitled to receive based on your injuries and damages.
Rideshare Accident Statistics
As great as these rideshare services may be for reducing drunk driving accidents, passenger convenience, the economy, and perhaps even the environment, they do cause some alarming problems.
After decades of public education programs encouraging driver and passenger seatbelt use and discouraging driving under the influence, and other initiatives to decrease traffic collisions and fatalities, the number of fatalities on U.S. roads was 32,885 a decade ago. This is a significant number as it was the lowest since 1949. Six years later, that figure was back up to 37,461. Researchers determined that the onset of ridesharing services is to blame for around a three percent annual increase in traffic fatalities, or approximately 987 people every year. Not to mention that these types of accidents come with a price tag of between $5.33 billion and $13.24 billion.
How is this possible? Rideshare drivers are more likely to be involved in or cause an accident for many reasons that are inherent to their rideshare driving. For instance, they:
- Are often distracted by their rideshare app or passengers
- Are driving in areas they aren't very familiar with and looking at their navigational app
- Are in a hurry to get passengers where they need to go causing them to speed or even run stop signs or yellow/red lights
- Park or stop in bike lanes or at bus stops for convenience or to save time
Other rideshare statistics of note include:
- Ridesharing market value is anticipated to reach an estimated $220 billion by 2025
- Ridesharing is a $61 billion industry
- About one-quarter of the entire U.S. population uses ridesharing at least monthly
- Uber alone has more than 3.8 million drivers across the globe
Who Pays in a Rideshare Accident in Florida?
Even though Lyft and Uber are incorporated in and licensed in California, they (and other rideshare companies) are required to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 of liability insurance to pay for negligent acts of their drivers that result in passengers' personal injuries or wrongful deaths in every state — including Florida.
However, it's common for rideshare companies, insurance carriers, and opposing attorneys to try everything they can to blame the injured party for the accident. In doing so, they could reduce their monetary liability, keeping more profits for themselves. Having representation from a seasoned Florida rideshare accident attorney is a reliable way to avoid this situation.
Typically, a passenger will only be held legally responsible for a rideshare car accident if they behaved in a way that caused the driver to lose control of their vehicle. For example, if a passenger was drunk and grabbed the steering wheel or assaulted the driver causing the crash. If the rideshare company suspects that the passenger was partially responsible for the crash, they may hold the passenger vicariously liable under the laws of imputed negligence. In other words, they may say it's your fault your driver wasn't safe or if it weren't for you, the accident wouldn't have occurred.
What To Do After a Ridesharing Accident
If you're injured in a Lyft or Uber car accident, first, you must report the accident to the local authorities. When you do this, request to be taken to the hospital to be examined before you get out of the rideshare driver's vehicle because their $1,000,000 insurance policy is only in effect while you're a passenger in the rideshare vehicle and your driver is active in the company's system. If you can, report the accident to the rideshare company during this time as well. You may even be able to report the accident with the app.
It's imperative that you receive medical care, even if you don't feel as if you are injured. It's common for some injuries not to cause symptoms or pain right away due to the adrenaline circulating in the bloodstream after an accident. Having your injuries medically documented as soon as possible will increase the likelihood that you will receive fair compensation for your injuries. If you don't take this step, you may be accused of sustaining those injuries after the accident occurred in some other way.
After you're treated for your injuries and are medically stable, you'll need to contact the rideshare company — be it Lyft, Uber, or another TNC — to file a claim. Tell the customer service representative when and how the accident happened. However, avoid answering any specific medical questions. This customer representative acts like an insurance claims adjuster and may assess your pre-existing conditions to reduce their liability for your ridesharing accident. Giving as little information as possible and leaving the rest up to your Florida rideshare attorney will serve to benefit you in the near future.
Following a reported ridesharing accident, the TNC must supply insurance information — including the driver's insurance information, the precise times the driver was active in the digital system, and list any other insurance company involved in the claim, such as the driver's own private insurance company. In addition, the TNC must immediately tell the accident victim or their Florida rideshare attorney the exclusions and limits of each policy involved in the individual accident claim.
Why Consult a Rideshare Attorney?
For the reasons listed above (and many more), we recommend consulting a ridesharing accident attorney to represent you against the company. At Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, our Lyft and Uber car accident lawyer can help give you peace of mind by fighting for the compensation and treatment you need.
Our experienced Florida rideshare attorneys will help prove liability for your injuries and make sure you recover the maximum possible compensation for your:
- Surgical expenses
- Hospital costs
- Doctor bills
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Property damage
While these technologies and services have revolutionized convenient travel in modern America, it also comes at a cost. If you've been injured in a rideshare car accident in Florida, contact the experienced attorneys at Tragos Law for your free case consultation today. Call (727) 441-9030 or reach out online today.