Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have exploded in recent years. As more and more rideshare vehicles flood the apps and the nation's roads, accidents have also increased.
It can be challenging to navigate the insurance process for crashes involving corporate entities and rideshare accidents are no exception. If you've been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you might be owed compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
An experienced Florida rideshare accident lawyer from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you determine the best course of action following your accident.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Our Rideshare Accident Attorneys Can Help
The Florida personal injury lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help. We're ready to review your case, help you identify the liable party or parties, and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. With over a half-century of collective experience, we've recovered more than $125 million on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how to demand fair compensation after an Uber crash in a free consultation.
Rideshare Services in Florida
Rideshare services are a popular option for many Hernando County residents. These apps offer a convenient and fast way to travel by car and can be solicited with the touch of a button. However, many have expressed safety concerns over these services. Putting your life in the driving ability of a stranger is undoubtedly something that most passengers will take pause to think about.
In May 2017, Governor Rick Scott instituted the "Uber/Lyft bill," HB 221, which regulated insurance requirements and background checks for drivers using the applications. However, many risks are still present when using the personal vehicle of any driver. In the event that you were injured by a rideshare driver's negligence, Florida residents are able to seek rightful compensation for your injuries.
How Does Rideshare Insurance Work?
Rideshare insurance is a type of coverage designed for individuals who drive for ridesharing companies such as Uber or Lyft. Traditional personal auto insurance policies may not provide adequate coverage during certain phases of rideshare driving, leading to potential coverage gaps. Rideshare insurance is intended to address these gaps and provide comprehensive protection for drivers. Here's how rideshare insurance generally works:
- Personal Use: When you are using your vehicle for personal purposes, such as commuting to work or running errands, your personal auto insurance policy is in effect. During this time, the coverage is similar to that of any standard personal auto insurance.
- Period 1 - App On, Waiting for a Ride Request: Once you turn on your rideshare app and are waiting for a ride request, you enter what is often referred to as "Period 1." Many personal auto insurance policies do not cover this period adequately, and the rideshare company's insurance may provide limited coverage. To address this gap, some insurance companies offer rideshare insurance as an add-on to personal policies. Rideshare insurance can provide coverage during this waiting period.
- Period 2 - Matched with a Passenger: When you accept a ride request and are en route to pick up a passenger, or when you have a passenger in the car, the rideshare company's insurance typically becomes the primary coverage. Rideshare companies usually provide liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage to third parties during this period.
- Period 3 - Passenger in the Car: Once a passenger is in the car, the rideshare company's insurance continues to provide coverage for liability and often extends to cover physical damage to your vehicle. This is considered "Period 3."
It's important to note that the coverage provided by rideshare companies may have limits, and there may be situations where additional coverage is beneficial. Rideshare insurance from your personal auto insurance provider can help ensure that you have continuous coverage and are adequately protected throughout all phases of ridesharing.
When considering rideshare insurance, it's essential to review the terms and conditions of the policy, including any deductibles, coverage limits, and specific scenarios covered. Discuss your ridesharing activities with your insurance provider to make sure you have the right coverage for your needs. Keep in mind that coverage details can vary by insurance company and location.
Who Is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
As with any personal injury matter, determining who pays for damages in a rideshare accident can be complex, particularly because they often involve multiple insurance entities. These might include:
- Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance
- The rideshare driver’s personal insurance
- The insurance coverage held by any other motorists involved in the crash
Florida is a no-fault state, so all drivers must carry insurance to pay for their medical treatment in the event of a collision. However, this insurance may only be sufficient for minor injuries. If you suffered a severe injury that requires long-term treatment, you might choose to pursue compensation from the other driver or the rideshare company.
Insurance for Rideshare Passengers
If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident, then Uber and Lyft are required to provide coverage for passengers. You may also wish to turn to your personal insurance provider. Because Florida is a no-fault state, your personal insurance policy might provide compensation for your medical care in the event of a collision.
For Motorists Hit by Uber or Lyft drivers
If you were involved in a collision with an Uber or Lyft driver, there could be multiple sources of compensation. Because the insurance coverages are so complicated, it's a good idea to contact a rideshare accident lawyer for clarification. If the rideshare driver was off the clock, you might choose to turn to your own insurance policy.
If the rideshare driver had their app open but had not accepted a new ride at the time of the accident, then the limited coverage offered by Uber and Lyft ($50,000 per person in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage) may be sufficient to cover the damages related to the accident. If the rideshare driver had accepted a ride when the accident occurs, then Uber and Lyft's insurance coverage is much greater, up to $1 million per person. Still, negotiating with rideshare insurance providers can be challenging, so it's best to contact an attorney at the start of the process.
Why You Need a Florida Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyer
A study conducted by the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business found that the arrival of ridesharing services has resulted in a 3% increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes overall. Victims of rideshare accidents often struggle to pursue legal action on their own while recovering from injuries, filling out paperwork and insurance claims, and negotiating with adjusters. Without a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side, you can't be sure that you're getting a fair deal out of your settlement. A dedicated Uber accident attorney is able to investigate your claim to determine what avenues of compensation are available to you and how best to pursue them. Your attorney can also help you understand how factors like your insurance carrier, underinsured motorist coverage, and local law may affect your case.
Our Brooksville rideshare accident attorneys can provide you with the aggressive legal representation that you deserve after an auto accident. We have considerable experience handling rideshare personal injury claims and have the resources to give your case all the personalized attention it merits.
What You Have to Prove in a Rideshare Accident Injury Claim
As is the case with any car accident, rideshare accident victims must provide evidence of fault to obtain compensation for a serious and permanent injury. You and your accident lawyer must prove that:
- The rideshare driver owed you a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect you from harm
- They breached this through some form of negligence
- This negligence directly caused your injuries and other damages
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft sometimes maintain GPS and electronic records that can provide evidence of where their drivers were working at the time of the accident. Many drivers also use dashcams. It's critical to collect this evidence right away. Our attorneys can move swiftly to preserve it so that your case is as strong as possible.
What to Expect in a Rideshare Accident Claim
If you were seriously injured in a rideshare accident, then you need to consult an experienced rideshare accident attorney right away. Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million per person in coverage for accidents that happen after a driver has accepted a ride. That means the stakes are high in a Lyft or Uber car accident.
You should anticipate a few hurdles in the claims process because rideshare companies' insurers and attorneys will want to minimize their losses. The insurance company may offer you a settlement that seems generous but is actually far less than what you deserve. Sometimes, they try to deny rightful claims altogether by blaming someone else.
Whatever the case, navigating the claims process is easier with an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. If the other side refuses to agree to a fair settlement, it might be in your best interest to take the case to court in a personal injury lawsuit. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, we're not afraid to fight it out.
Compensation for Rideshare Accident Survivors
Whether you recover the compensation you need through a settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit, our goal is to maximize the amount of compensation you receive so that you can make a full financial recovery. Compensation for rideshare accidents can cover the cost of:
- Medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages and earnings from missed work
- Property damage, if applicable
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Claims
In the unfortunate event that a loved one loses their life due to an auto accident, you may be able to pursue compensation on the deceased person's behalf as an executor of their estate. In order to do this, you must be able to prove the negligent party's liability and that the defendant breached the duty of care. If a family member has suffered a fatal accident in Hernando County or anywhere else in Florida our Brooksville personal injury attorneys can help you discover your legal options.
The Most Common Obstacles That Keep Rideshare Drivers from Getting Compensation for Injuries
Driving for work can be risky, and rideshare drivers sometimes sustain injuries while working for the app. If you were injured as an Uber or Lyft driver, seek experienced legal representation for help getting the compensation you need.
Some common obstacles drivers face to claiming money for their serious and permanent injuries include:
- Determining which insurance entity or entities to file their insurance claim with – There may be multiple insurance entities involved in a rideshare accident, especially because of Florida’s no-fault policies. By not filing a claim with the appropriate entities, a driver could lose the chance to recover fair compensation through a Lyft accident settlement.
- Having their claim denied – Both the rideshare company’s insurance policy and personal policies deny claims for Uber driver accidents for various reasons. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit entities. Their allegiance is to their investors, not those that claim compensation.
- Agreeing to a low settlement – The insurer may make an offer that is much lower than what the driver needs or deserves. It’s always best to have a lawyer review any insurance settlement offers you receive before you agree to them.
How to Choose a Rideshare Accident Attorney
You may have questions about the legal process, the attorney-client relationship, or aspects related to your particular case and circumstance. Our lawyers are available to answer your questions during an initial free consultation in which we can come to a better understanding of what your needs are and how we can provide legal assistance.
Can I Afford an Injury Lawyer?
Many people wonder whether they can afford to hire an attorney. Florida lawyers work on a contingency fee agreement, meaning that you won't pay anything unless your case is successful. Your lawyer's fees will then be deducted from your ultimate settlement value.
Why Hire a Local Attorney
When deciding how to pursue your personal injury claim, you'll no doubt be faced with many options. Our Brooksville, FL attorneys are experienced not only in handling personal injury cases, but also knowledgeable about the area, the local law, and what kinds of accidents victims tend to face in their neighborhoods.
Why Holliday Karatinos Law Firm Is the Best Choice for Your Rideshare Accident Case
If you were seriously injured in a rideshare car accident, the dedicated car accident attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm are ready to help. We have over 50 years of collective experience and have recovered more than $125 million for our clients. We will put our knowledge and experience to use to pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.