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Who is Liable after an Uber or Lyft Accident in Florida?

on  Car Accidents

Just like any other type of motor vehicle accident, the driver and owner of the vehicle that caused the crash is responsible. This means that if an Uber or Lyft vehicle caused an accident, the Uber or Lyft operator will be liable. However, Uber Technologies Inc or Lyft, Inc. may also be liable depending on the circumstances. Generally speaking though, the vast majority of injury claims stemming from accidents involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle do not need to involve Uber Technologies Inc or Lyft, Inc. because their drivers are very well insured while using the platform. 

After a serious Uber or Lyft accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next. You may be dealing with painful injuries, mounting medical bills, and uncertainty about who is responsible for covering the costs – the rideshare driver, the company, or another driver involved in the crash. 

The truth is that pursuing compensation after a rideshare accident can be complex. These cases involve multiple insurance policies and often require extensive investigation to determine liability. Trying to handle it all on your own while recovering from your injuries can be incredibly stressful and may result in a lower settlement than you deserve.

That’s where an experienced Uber accident lawyer like Prosper Shaked can help. Attorney Shaked and his team will handle all the legal heavy lifting on your behalf – dealing with the insurance companies, gathering evidence to build a strong case, and aggressively advocating for the full and fair compensation you need to move forward after a serious crash. 

You don’t have to navigate this difficult process alone. If you’ve been hurt in an Uber accident in Florida, let Prosper Shaked evaluate your case for free and discuss how he can help you get back on your feet. Call today for your free consultation.

How Common Are Rideshare Accidents?

Rideshare accidents have become increasingly common as the popularity of services like Uber and Lyft continues to grow. A study from the University of Chicago and Rice University found that when Uber or Lyft arrives in a city, this results in an average 3% increase in overall traffic fatalities.

In one recent year, Uber reported that their drivers were involved in 97 fatal crashes, resulting in 107 total deaths, representing nearly 1% of all traffic deaths.

While these numbers may seem small in the context of overall traffic accidents, it’s important to remember that the rideshare industry is still relatively new and growing rapidly. As more people opt for Uber and Lyft rides, the number of accidents involving these vehicles will likely continue climbing.

If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Florida, please know that you are not alone. These accidents are becoming increasingly common and difficult to navigate. That’s why you need a car accident attorney with experience handling Lyft and Uber accidents to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Liability Basics

Every driver – including rideshare drivers – has a legal obligation to operate his or her vehicle with due care. That care equates to a reasonably prudent driver’s actions in similar conditions. If a driver breaches this duty and causes an accident, he or she is legally responsible (liable) for any damages that occur as a result of the breach. This means that negligent drivers have a legal obligation to compensate injury victims for the losses, pain, and suffering the victims endure as a result of an accident. Every state in the U.S. requires drivers to carry liability insurance for this very reason.

The insurance companies of all involved drivers conduct their own investigations to determine whose negligence caused the accident. If a company determines that its driver was at fault, it will begin negotiating the value of each victim’s personal injury claim. Sometimes, liability is very clear (such as if you were injured in a rear-end accident in Florida). 

In other cases, the insurance companies may dispute liability and refuse to acknowledge that their driver was at fault for the accident. In such cases, your car accident lawyer may have to file a lawsuit to establish liability and recover damages.

When Is Uber and Lyft to Blame After a Car Accident?

What sets rideshare accident cases apart is the involvement of a third party—the rideshare company itself.

In a typical scenario where a negligent driver causes an accident while on the job, the injured party could potentially pursue a claim against the driver’s employer. But the relationship between rideshare companies and their drivers is different. Uber and Lyft drivers are generally not classified as employees; instead, they are considered independent contractors. The rideshare companies essentially serve as a marketplace platform, connecting drivers with passengers who need rides.

This distinction can make pursuing a claim against Uber or Lyft more complex than filing a claim against a traditional employer after an on-the-job accident. However, it doesn’t mean the rideshare companies are entirely absolved of responsibility. They carry insurance policies that could compensate injured parties, depending on the specific circumstances of the crash and the driver’s status within the app at the time of the incident.

When an Uber Driver is To Blame After an Accident

Though Uber has recently come under fire for self-driving Uber accident pedestrian deaths, the most common causes of rideshare accidents are caused by the driver. There are a number of bad choices a driver can make that constitute negligence. Such choices include:

Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies

When you’re involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, pursuing compensation can be complicated. While you may not be able to file a lawsuit directly against the rideshare company, they do carry insurance policies that could cover your damages, depending on the driver’s status at the time of the crash.

Fortunately for victims of ridesharing accidents, both Uber and Lyft carry substantial insurance policies, providing up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage in some situations. 

Uber and Lyft drivers fall into three categories for insurance purposes, each with different levels of coverage:

1. Driver is actively transporting a paying passenger: In this scenario, Uber and Lyft provide the most extensive coverage, offering up to $1 million in third-party liability. If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft or if your car was hit by a driver carrying a passenger, you could file a claim through the company’s insurance policy.

2. Driver actively seeks a passenger: When a rideshare driver uses the app to find riders but hasn’t picked anyone up, they are still covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance but at lower limits. The policy typically provides up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, as well as $25,000 for property damage. Injured passengers and third parties can pursue this coverage.

3. Driver is not using the rideshare app: If an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident while using their vehicle for personal reasons and is not actively engaged with the app, they are not covered by the company’s insurance policy. In this situation, you would need to seek compensation through the driver’s personal auto insurance.

In addition to the standard liability insurance, Uber may provide supplementary coverage to protect drivers and passengers in certain situations. This extra coverage could include:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you’re involved in a hit-and-run or an accident caused by a driver without insurance or sufficient coverage, this protection can help cover injuries sustained by you and your passengers. As of 2024, Uber and Lyft no longer offer uninsured motorist coverage in Florida. 
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This type of coverage can help pay for medical expenses and lost wages incurred by you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. PIP is designed to provide swift financial assistance without determining liability first. 
  • Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay): Similar to personal injury protection coverage, medical payments coverage helps pay medical expenses up to a certain limit following an accident. 

As you can see, rideshare accident claims can be challenging, especially when dealing with injuries and mounting expenses. An experienced Uber accident attorney at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., can help you understand your options, investigate the crash, and pursue the maximum compensation for your losses.

As an accident victim, it’s important to understand that insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on every claim they receive. So, while one million dollars in coverage sounds good, that doesn’t mean Uber and Lyft’s insurance companies are happily sending out checks to victims. Insurance companies use a number of tactics to settle cases for as little as possible, so it’s highly advisable for you to retain an attorney to protect your rights and handle your claim.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against Uber or Lyft?

Uber and Lyft are giant companies that’ll likely want to settle your claim quickly. This is not always advantageous to you, and they may try to get you to settle for far less than you need. 

Florida’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a rideshare accident is generally two years from the crash date. If you were injured as a passenger, driver, or third party in an Uber or Lyft accident, you have just two years from the day of the incident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

However, there are some important exceptions and considerations to keep in mind. If your rideshare accident involved a government vehicle or employee, you may need to follow a different set of rules. You may have significantly less time to file a lawsuit in this scenario. 

While you have two years sue Uber or Lyft, you must notify the relevant insurance companies and start the claims process immediately after the accident. Delaying too long could hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Act quickly after a rideshare accident to protect your legal rights and ensure you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages.

Experienced Miami Personal Injury Attorney Prosper Shaked Represents Victims of Rideshare Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of what to do next. The physical, emotional, and financial toll of a serious crash can be devastating, leaving you wondering how you’ll ever move forward.

At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., we understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re here to help. Our compassionate team of experienced Florida rideshare accident attorneys is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims like you. We believe you deserve justice, answers, and fair compensation for all you’ve suffered.

Attorney Prosper Shaked is an experienced personal injury attorney who can help protect your legal right to compensation for injuries sustained in any ride-share accident. Call (305) 694-2676 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.