If you were in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may find that the rideshare driver or another negligent party is financially liable for your injuries and damages. In addition to the normal challenges that come with pursuing compensation following a vehicle accident, a collision involving a rideshare can present additional complications.
A rideshare accident attorney with our firm can advise you on who is responsible for your Uber or Lyft accident in Florida.
The Prevalence of Rideshare Accident Injuries
Determining the responsible party in a rideshare accident is becoming a more common question. According to research by the University of Chicago, the booming popularity of rideshares could be responsible for a 3 percent increase in traffic fatalities since Uber and Lyft came on the market.
With an increase in rideshare collisions, many rideshare passengers, rideshare drivers, and other vehicle operators will face losses and injuries related to their accidents.
To consult with an experienced car accidents lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
Uber and Lyft Accident Liability
In many ways, determining responsibility for a rideshare accident is similar to any other vehicle collision. If the rideshare operator caused the crash through their negligence, they could face civil liability for any resulting injuries and damages. These accidents stand out due to an additional third party—the rideshare company.
Typically, someone injured by a negligent motorist can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s employer if the driver was on the clock when they caused the accident. However, rideshare drivers are typically not considered employees of Uber or Lyft. Instead, these companies are a marketplace that connects drivers and riders.
This unique situation limits the ability to pursue a lawsuit directly against these companies in many jurisdictions. However, it is worth remembering that this area of law is not settled, making it worthwhile to discuss your legal options with a personal injury lawyer from our team.
Other Potentially At-Fault Parties
Sometimes, the Uber or Lyft operator is not the responsible driver. It could be that liability rests with a private motorist, a commercial truck driver, or a vehicle or auto parts manufacturer. In some cases, there could be multiple entities at-fault.
We can help you pursue a claim against all those who owe you compensation. We can also assist you with recovering damages through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance if you have coverage under Florida’s no-fault system.
Pursuing an Uber or Lyft Accident Insurance Claim
While a direct lawsuit against Uber or Lyft may not be possible in your case, that does not mean these companies are entirely off the hook following a crash.
Uber and Lyft must maintain a minimum level of liability insurance coverage for each of their drivers. The limits on these policies are typically far above those held by individual motorists. That said, the possible compensation available through an Uber or Lyft liability policy will vary based on the driver’s status when they caused the accident.
For insurance purposes, a rideshare driver’s status falls into three different categories. Their specific status will determine the maximum coverage available and whether or not Uber or Lyft’s insurance policies apply.
The Driver Is Transporting a Rider
Uber and Lyft provide the highest maximum insurance benefits in cases where a driver is transporting a paying passenger. In these cases, the rideshare companies offer up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage.
If you were in an accident while riding in a rideshare vehicle (or your car was in a crash with a rideshare driver who was carrying a passenger), you could pursue a claim through Uber or Lyft’s insurance company.
The Driver Is Actively Seeking a Rider
A rideshare driver not actively transporting a passenger can still receive some insurance coverage through Uber and Lyft. This coverage is only available if they are using the app to actively seek out passengers.
In this situation, Uber and Lyft offer up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. Likewise, they provide up to $25,000 in property damage coverage. Passengers in the rideshare and third parties injured by the driver can pursue this coverage.
The Driver Is Not Using a Rideshare App
When an Uber or Lyft driver is using their vehicle for personal reasons and not engaging in the mobile app, they are not covered by the rideshare company’s policy for drivers. According to these companies, these drivers are not acting as company representatives if they are not actively seeking passengers.
After an accident with an off-duty Uber or Lyft driver, you will likely need to seek compensation through that driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
Recoverable Uber and Lyft Accident Damages
After a rideshare car accident in Florida, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. Compensation may include the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, earnings, and benefits
- Loss of future earning capabilities
- Vehicle and personal property damages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Lost quality of life
- Wrongful death of a loved one
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How Long do You Have to Seek Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Collision?
The statute of limitations for personal injury in Florida is two years from the time of your accident, according to HB 837/SB 236. If your loved one suffered a fatal injury, you also have two years to sue for wrongful death under Florida Statutes § 95.11.
Even though you may be able to resolve your Uber or Lyft accident through an insurance claim, these deadlines are still important. If they pass and you can no longer go to court to get fair compensation, you lose your leverage in negotiations. You could end up with less than you deserve and no options for legal recourse.
Discuss Your Rideshare Accident with Our Personal Injury Attorneys
If you are wondering who is responsible for injuries suffered in an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident, an auto accident attorney with our firm can help. The team at Bogin, Munns & Munns can identify the liable party and fight for compensation. Our team can review the facts of your case and pursue your claim wherever it takes us.
Do not hesitate to contact Bogin, Munns & Munns to discuss your options with a free initial consultation.