Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a car crash involving a driver working for Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing service? If so, you might be confused about who will cover the cost of your medical bills and other crash-related expenses. If the other driver was to blame for the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for those and other losses.
The Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., provide intelligent and effective representation to local injury victims like you. Our experienced legal team has the resources and skills to handle even the most complex injury cases. Contact us today to speak to a rideshare accident attorney and get free, no-obligation answers to your questions.
Uber and Lyft Crash Facts and Statistics
The demand for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has skyrocketed recently. According to Pew Research Center, only 1 in 3 Americans had heard of rideshare apps less than a decade ago, and just 15 percent had used them. However, that percentage has more than doubled, with 36 percent of adults in the United States reporting that they have used a rideshare service at least once.
Many people view Uber and Lyft as safe, convenient, and affordable alternatives to taxis, buses, and other public transportation. Rideshare services are often recommended to those who are intoxicated, tired, or otherwise unable to drive.
Unfortunately, new research suggests that the convenience of rideshare services comes at a substantial cost. Uber and Lyft drivers are not professional drivers; rather, they are ordinary people looking to make extra cash. As a result, fatal traffic accidents often spike in cities that make rideshare services available to the public. The increase in fatalities continues as long as those services remain active.
Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Here are some of the top factors that contribute to Uber and Lyft accidents in Florida:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver fatigue or impairment
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Following too closely for the conditions
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Improper turning or merging
- Driver inexperience
- Defective car parts
- Poorly maintained car parts
- Poor road conditions
What Happens When My Uber or Lyft Is in an Accident?
Florida follows a “no-fault” auto insurance system, which means drivers injured in traffic accidents typically file initial claims with their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance providers. When crashes result in serious injuries defined by state law, victims might have grounds to step outside the no-fault system to file third-party claims or lawsuits against at-fault drivers. But what happens when the person at fault works for Uber or Lyft?
These rideshare companies classify their drivers as independent contractors, meaning they are not employees. As such, Uber and Lyft enjoy relatively limited liability for the behavior of their drivers. But because Uber and Lyft drivers operate for the benefit of rideshare companies, state law holds that these companies are vicariously liable for accidents in some instances.
To comply with laws in Florida and other states in which they operate, both Uber and Lyft provide robust insurance policies that cover medical costs and other crash-related losses when their drivers cause accidents. Let’s examine what happens concerning insurance coverage in the following Uber and Lyft crash scenarios:
- The Driver Is Actively Carrying a Rideshare Passenger – When an Uber or Lyft driver is transporting a passenger who booked their trip through the rideshare app, the driver is considered “on duty.” The rideshare company’s insurance policy should cover any crash-related injuries or property damage. Florida requires rideshare companies to provide at least $1 million in liability insurance coverage, which is available for as long as the trip remains active on the Uber or Lyft app. This coverage is available whether you are a rideshare passenger or the occupant of another vehicle in the crash.
- The Driver Is En Route to Pick Up a Rideshare Passenger – A rideshare driver is also considered “on duty” while on the way to pick up a passenger who booked a trip via the Uber or Lyft app. The rideshare company’s entire $1 million liability insurance policy is available to Uber and Lyft crash victims from the moment a driver accepts a rideshare request on the app.
- The Driver Is Logged in on a Rideshare App Waiting on a fare – When a rideshare driver is logged in on the Uber or Lyft app but has not yet accepted a ride request, they are not “on duty.” This means the full $1 million rideshare insurance coverage is not available. However, drivers logged into rideshare apps are still technically operating for the benefit of rideshare companies, so Uber and Lyft provide limited liability coverage in crashes involving these drivers. Up to $100,000 in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage are available in crashes involving rideshare drivers logged in on apps but not actively on duty.
- The Driver Is Not on Duty or Logged in on a Rideshare App – If a driver is not carrying a rideshare passenger, picking up a rideshare passenger, or logged in on a rideshare app, they are not acting on behalf of Uber or Lyft in any capacity. As a result, the only insurance coverage available in an accident with a fully off-duty rideshare driver is the driver’s personal auto insurance policy. Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance, so you will likely need to file a no-fault injury claim with your insurance provider if you get hurt in a crash with an off-duty rideshare driver. However, you might have grounds to sue an at-fault rideshare driver if your crash injuries are severe.
The state laws and insurance regulations covering Florida rideshare accidents can be confusing, so it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced local attorney if you get hurt in a rideshare wreck. The legal team at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., can help you determine how Florida insurance laws apply to your Uber or Lyft crash injury case and pursue compensation from all possible sources.
What Should I Do If I Get Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Fort Lauderdale?
If you get hurt in a Fort Lauderdale car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you can take the following steps to protect your legal rights and lay a strong foundation for your injury claim:
- Seek medical care to have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented.
- Follow your doctor’s care plan to support your body’s natural healing process.
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos of the wreck, contact and insurance details from the rideshare driver, and witness statements.
- Hang onto your medical bills, repair estimates, and other crash documentation.
- Watch what you say to other parties about the wreck while your claim is pending.
- Contact a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft accident lawyer for legal advice.
How Much Compensation Is Available for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, you could be eligible to seek compensation for the following crash-related financial and personal losses after an Uber or Lyft accident in Fort Lauderdale:
- Hospital bills and medical costs you incur due to your crash injuries
- Incidentals, such as out-of-pocket travel costs for doctor’s appointments
- Reduced income from any time you miss at work while you recover
- Projected losses in earning potential, if you suffer permanent injuries
- Subjective losses, such as pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life
How Long Do I Have to File an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawsuit?
If you must file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident, remember that Florida law gives you only four years from the crash date. At Phillips | Tadros, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can help you keep track of important filing deadlines, file necessary paperwork, and communicate with other parties on your behalf.
How Can a Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Help Me?
When you work with a Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft car accident attorney at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., we can help your case by:
- Identifying all possible sources of compensation for your crash injuries.
- Conducting an independent investigation into the Uber or Lyft accident.
- Communicating with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.
- Obtaining medical records, crash reports, and other evidence for your claim.
- Interviewing witnesses and reliable experts for valuable case testimony.
- Managing essential case documents, details, and deadlines on your behalf.
- Filing claim paperwork and negotiating forcefully to maximize your settlement.