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Fort Lauderdale Rideshare Accident Lawyer: Uber & Lyft Accidents

Example of a Rideshare from Uber or Lyft

Ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation for many, especially in crowded cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale that have booming tourism and nightlife. Given the popularity of this mode of transportation, it should come as no surprise that South Florida has seen a large increase in injuries stemming from Uber or Lyft accidents. Here at the Maus Law Firm, a Fort Lauderdale rideshare accident lawyer can fight for compensation for your rideshare-related injuries. Such accidents often present complex cases, since legal fault and insurance differ from typical auto accidents. Our legal team knows this area of law and can work to find the best avenue for your recovery.

Dangers of Uber, Lyft and Other Rideshares

Although rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft can increase public safety by helping people avoid DUIs, they present some inherent dangers as well. Consider the following:

  • Inexperienced Drivers: Many Uber and Lyft drivers do not have a great deal of driving experience prior to signing up with a rideshare company. In addition, rideshare drivers are often driving vehicles in unfamiliar areas, which substantially increases the chance of accidents.
  •  Distracted Drivers: Rideshare drivers are vulnerable to the same distractions as other drivers. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are much more likely to constantly rely on GPS systems or maps via cell phones for directions, which increases the chance of distraction.
  •  Inadequate Background Checks: Rideshare companies may perform inadequate background checks on drivers, which could result in selecting drivers with poor safety records or other red flags.

If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident or any other type of vehicle accident, a Fort Lauderdale rideshare accident lawyer can narrow down the specific causes for the crash.

Who is at Fault in Your Fort Lauderdale Uber or Lyft Accident?

For any person injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, one of the primary considerations is simple: Who is at fault? In many cases, the answer may be Uber or Lyft. Even if the rideshare company is not at fault, it may have insurance coverage to compensate for your injuries.

Liability is complex in this area, particularly since rideshare drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This makes it more difficult to sue the rideshare company for accidents caused by the negligence of its drivers. However, there are several exceptions to this, based on the rideshare company’s relationship with the driver.

Uber or Lyft could be at fault for accidents caused by their drivers under the following scenarios:

  • Negligent Hiring: The rideshare company may be at fault for hiring the driver when it knew, or should have known, that the driver was careless or dangerous on the road. Uber or Lyft may have failed to note red flags in the person’s driving record or background check, or the company may have failed to request adequate documentation or follow up on prior issues.
  • Inadequate Training or Monitoring: Uber or Lyft could also be at fault for failing to adequately train or monitor its drivers.
  • Negligent Retention: Even if the rideshare company followed correct procedures when hiring the driver, it may be at fault for not firing the driver. Any negative feedback from passengers would be relevant here, as well as any accidents or citations.

Your Fort Lauderdale Uber accident lawyer can investigate these issues. He or she will know which essential records to obtain from the rideshare company. Your attorney will take steps to ensure the rideshare company preserves its records.

Insurance Coverage for Injured Uber or Lyft Passengers or Other Victims

Even if the rideshare company is not directly at fault, an injured Uber or Lyft passenger may be able to claim compensation under the company’s insurance policy. This may also be true for pedestrians or other drivers injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver. Alternatively, you may be able to seek compensation under the driver’s insurance coverage.

The availability of Uber or Lyft insurance coverage could depend on several factors, including:

  • Driver Online or Offline: If the driver is not online with the rideshare app and therefore not available for customers at the time of the accident, the Uber or Lyft policy would not apply. In this case, the injured person would need to pursue the driver’s insurance coverage.
  • Driver Available for Passengers: If the driver is available for rides but not currently carrying passengers, Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy will cover any third parties injured by the driver. The total coverage limits in this situation are $50,000 per injured person and $100,000 per accident.
  • Driver Carrying Passengers or En Route to Pickup: If the driver was either carrying passengers or on the way to pick them up, there is even more rideshare coverage available. In general, the Uber or Lyft coverage limit increases to $1 million.

If the driver’s coverage must be pursued, it is important to note that Florida law imposes coverage requirements on rideshare drivers. Under Florida’s Uber and Lyft Law, rideshare drivers must have minimum insurance coverage of (a) $25,000 for property damage, (b) $50,000 per injured person, and (c) $100,000 per accident.

Compensation for Uber or Lyft Injuries

A Fort Lauderdale Lyft accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Whether this means negotiating with the rideshare companies, dealing with the insurance companies or pursuing litigation, your attorney can handle it.

Injured individuals (or their loved ones) in Uber or Lyft accidents may be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation or therapy expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death

FAQ’s about Rideshare Accidents

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are transport companies that will drive you around town just like a taxi.  It is estimated that there are 2 million Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States.  And because of the large volume of ridesharing drivers on the roads, you can expect that a large number of car accidents are caused by an Uber or Lyft Driver.  In addition to car accidents, Uber and Lyft have been sued for instances of physical and sexual assault in their vehicles.

Do Uber and Lyft drivers have insurance?

In 2017, the Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute §627.748 to make sure ridesharing drivers had valid and collectable insurance.  The Statute requires Uber and Lyft drivers to have insurance while working for the companies.

How much insurance is an Uber or Lyft driver required to have?

If an Uber or Lyft driver has a paying passenger in the car, Florida Law requires the companies to have a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage for death, bodily injury and property damage.  This coverage only applies when the Uber or Lyft driver is transporting a passenger.

If the Uber or Lyft driver is not in the process of transporting a paying passenger, Florida law only requires $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, and $100,000 per accident.   Uber and Lyft drivers are also required to carry PIP coverage (link to explanation of PIP coverage elsewhere on the site) in the amount of $10,000.  PIP coverage is used to pay for medical bills and lost wages.

Why do Uber and Lyft drivers cause accidents?

Uber and Lyft drivers are more prone to causing an accident because of the nature of what they do.  Most Uber and Lyft drivers are not familiar with the place they are driving to, and have to rely on their cell phones or GPS to get directions.  The attention is always being diverted away from the road looking to get directions.  Additionally, their cell phones are constantly going off when a new passenger is looking for a ride, further taking their attention away from safely driving their car.  A Fort Lauderdale rideshare lawyer at the Maus Law Firm always obtains cell phone records in car accident claims to determine whether a driver was active on their cell phone at the time of the accident.

What do I do if my car is hit by an Uber or Lyft driver?

There are a number of steps a person can take if their car is hit by an Uber or Lyft driver:

  1. Call the police – it is important to document who is at fault for causing the accident, and how it occurred
  2. Take photographs – if you are not injured too badly, take photographs of the location of the cars and the damage caused to the cars
  3. Contact a lawyer – if you are injured, a car accident lawyer that handles ridesharing claims can locate insurance coverage and help recover the maximum value of your claim.

What do I do if I am injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

According to Florida Law, all Lyft and Uber drivers must carry bodily injury insurance coverage.  Bodily injury coverage is the type insurance coverage that will all you to recover for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  If you are injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, take these steps as soon as possible:

  1. Call the Police – insist the Uber or Lyft driver stay at the scene of the accident so that the Police can get the driver’s name and insurance information
  2. Photograph the scene of the accident – document where the accident occurred and the location of the vehicles
  3. Contact an Uber or Lyft accident attorney to help you recover the full value of your claim

Safety Tips for Riding in Uber or Lyft

  1. Make sure the driver you hire is the person whose car you get into. Your Uber or Lyft app should identify the name of your driver, the make, model and color of their car, and their license plate.
  2. If riding in a group, be on the lookout for intoxicated passengers. The Uber or Lyft driver have the ability to deny access to the vehicle.
  3. Watch your driver – make sure they are paying attention to the road, and not to their cell phone

Can I recover for injuries suffered due to an Uber or Lyft car accident?

Florida law allows a person injured in a car accident to recover money for their injuries.  It also allows a person to recover money for medical bills, future medical care, lost wages and a loss of your ability to return to your chosen line of work, and pain and suffering.  A Florida car accident lawyer can advise you of your rights and help you recover your full damages.

Talk with a Fort Lauderdale Rideshare Accident Lawyer at the Maus Law Firm

If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, speak with a Fort Lauderdale rideshare accident lawyer at the Maus Law Firm today. For a confidential consultation free of charge, contact the firm right away.

 

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