There’s no question that rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have transformed the transportation ecosystem in South Florida. The rideshare industry has exploded in popularity over the past several years, perhaps because of the convenience, safety, and reliability of these apps that exist right at our fingertips. At the swipe of a finger and tap of a button, you can hail a car through your smartphone, and within minutes, you’re picked up at your desired location and whisked off to your final destination.
What happens, though, if you’re in an Uber or Lyft car and your vehicle gets into an accident that results in an injury? Who’s held responsible, and what do you do?
Liability in a Rideshare Accident in South Florida
Uber and Lyft claim to vet their drivers, but the potential still exists for sub-standard vehicles and drivers to slip through the cracks. Data from the University of Chicago states that the rate of traffic deaths have increased two to three percent in cities after Uber, Lyft, and similar apps were introduced. New York City Uber drivers were involved in more accidents than taxi cab drivers, which is significant considering that there are more than 13,000 yellow cabs in the city.
In general, liability in an Uber or Lyft accident will fall upon whoever is responsible for the accident. That could be the rideshare driver, another driver, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or any number of other parties. While that might seem relatively straightforward, the insurance rules for compensation can be confusing for everyone involved. It will help to know what sort of steps to take after such an incident.
Steps to Take Following a Rideshare Accident in South Florida
In general, you should approach the accident as you would if it were your own vehicle and you were the driver. This includes the following steps:
Call the Police and Emergency Medical Services
First and foremost, seek medical attention for anyone who’s been injured, including yourself. Grab your phone and dial 911, or if you don’t have your phone, ask a witness or the driver if they can do it for you. You should also make sure to request a police officer to the scene so they can report the accident and have the roads cleared, if necessary.
Take a Screenshot of the Rideshare App on Your Phone
This can support your claim for compensation by proving that you were in a ridesharing vehicle at the time of the accident.
Obtain Your Driver’s Insurance Information
It’s important that you get the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information as it’ll be needed for your claim. Likewise, if there were any other drivers involved in the accident, you should exchange information with them as well. You shouldn’t assume that the ridesharing company will handle everything.
Document the Scene
If you can, use your phone to take pictures of the scene, including any damage to your vehicle or any injuries you sustained. Collecting evidence is essential if you wish to receive compensation for your injuries.
Whose Insurance Will Pay for the Accident?
It’s important to note that most ridesharing companies—including Uber and Lyft—don’t employ their drivers. Instead, drivers are considered independent contractors. This means you might not be able to sue Uber or Lyft directly for a car accident case involving one of their drivers, but you can still get compensation for your injuries.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that each driver’s own insurance pays for injuries and damages up to their policy limit. If the injured party’s medical costs, lost wages, and property damage exceed their own limits, they can go after the other driver’s liability insurance. Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that can kick in to provide compensation if your own insurance coverage or the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover the cost of your injuries. This contingent auto policy includes up to $50,000 for bodily injury per person, $100,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
An expert Florida rideshare accident attorney will best be able to help you understand these confusing laws and execute a strategy that will most effectively help you navigate the claims process.
Contact an Expert Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Boca Raton
If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident and wish to pursue an injury claim against the at-fault party, consider reaching out to the qualified rideshare injury lawyers at Baker Legal Team. Led by Attorney Robert B. Baker, our firm takes a client-centered approach and is dedicated to ensuring that your case proceeds smoothly and efficiently.
Robert is a Board-Certified lawyer who has recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout his career. He’ll not only provide expert guidance during every stage of the legal process but also help you build, file, and present your case in order to receive the compensation you deserve. With over 30 years of experience helping injured victims, Robert will give your case the attention it deserves. Give us a call at (561) 320-0000 or complete our contact form today!