Thousands of Floridians use Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services every day to get from destination to destination with ease. However, despite the popularity of Uber and Lyft, most people would admit to not knowing what to do in case they get hurt while using ridesharing services, or when struck by a ridesharing vehicle. If you have found yourself in such a situation, you are vulnerable to excess damages being wrongly placed upon your tab in an Uber or Lyft accident, simply because you do not know your rights as an injured party.
Interested in knowing more about our legal services at Roman & Gaynor?
Let us know by calling (727) 877-1212.
By retaining the services of our firm, you can rest easy knowing that your best interests are being protected by a team withmore than $95 million in winning verdicts and settlements under their belts. We will do everything in our power to reduce your liability as much as possible, fighting for the largest compensation award in turn.
Contact Roman & Gaynor at (727) 877-1212 today to speak with our Clearwater rideshare accident attorneys about what to do following an Uber or Lyft accident in Florida.
Who Is Liable for an Uber or Lyft Accident in Florida?
The legal world has encountered issues with car accidents caused by or involving an Uber or Lyft driver. Plaintiffs often want to treat the claim as they would any other auto accident claim, but insurance companies have often seen things differently.
In particular, since a ridesharing driver is technically working at the time, can liability be placed on their parent company, such as Uber or Lyft? The question must be addressed on a case-by-case basis and should be approached with the assistance of an Uber and Lyft accident attorney from Roman & Gaynor in Clearwater, Florida.
Parties that could be found liable for excess damages caused by an Uber or Lyft accident include:
- Ridesharing driver: If you get hit by a ridesharing driver or get hurt while inside an Uber or Lyft, it is probably safe to say that some, if not most, of the liability falls on the ridesharing driver. They have the responsibility to keep passengers and passersby safe as they travel from location to location. Even if another driver slams into your Uber or Lyft, your driver might be liable for not taking the right steps to prevent or minimize the crash.
- Ridesharing company: Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing drivers need to download and run a smartphone app in order to get paid for their services. The trouble is that they need to run the app while they are driving, and it generally has to be visible at all times so they can see new ride requests from nearby clients. This clearly creates a driver distraction and may put liability on the ridesharing company for not providing a safer way to use the app and act as a driver representing them.
- Other passengers: In some public transit accident cases, the operator of the vehicle, like a bus, is not found liable for an accident due to a rowdy, disruptive passenger. The same might be true in an Uber or Lyft accident in which a passenger intentionally tries to distract the driver, or even force them into a crash.
As aforementioned, pinpointing liability is often a difficult task, even with Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance laws in place. If total damages exceed the automatic payout given by the insurer, then someone will need to be held accountable for what remains.
Understanding Your Rights After a Rideshare Accident
When an Uber or Lyft driver causes your accident and you suffer injuries as a result, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Due to the unique issues inherent to the way these companies operate, however, accident cases involving Uber and Lyft are not always straightforward.
At Roman & Gaynor, we know how to effectively navigate fault, liability, and coverage issues for the benefit of our clients.
When it comes to Uber and Lyft accidents, who can be held liable and how you may be compensated will vary depending on a few circumstances:
- In your own vehicle – If you are involved in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, who can be held liable will depend on whether the driver is performing a trip. Rideshare companies have clauses that establish liability and coverage in auto accidents. If a driver is transporting a fare when they cause an accident, there is a $1 million commercial insurance liability policy. When the app is on but the driver is in between trips, either the driver’s personal insurance or the company’s contingent insurance policy may provide coverage for excess damages. This contingent policy is lower than the $1 million commercial policy for when there is an active fare. In cases where the driver has the app turned off, however, the at-fault driver’s personal insurance will provide coverage to victims they harm.
- As a passenger – If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft that is involved in a car accident, you will be covered by the company’s $1 million liability policy, which includes $1 million in uninsured and underinsured coverage. This means that even when a collision is not caused by the rideshare driver, you still have a significant safety net to recover your excess damages.
It is your right to work with an attorney who has the experience and resources to help navigate liability and coverage issues on your behalf and guide you through the process of protecting your right to compensation. Remember, even though you have the right to compensation, you should never expect to be automatically awarded money.
This is because auto insurance companies, Uber, Lyft, and their commercial insurance insurers are all businesses that work to make money, not provide payouts to victims. As such, they commonly prioritize profits ahead of people, fight claims, and try to minimize payouts as much as possible. This is why you need a legal advocate on your side.
If you were recently involved in an Uber / Lyft accident – as a passenger, pedestrian, or driver of another vehicle – do not hesitate to bring your case to the attention of our legal team at Roman & Gaynor. We are readily available to review your case free of charge. We can also make home and hospital visits if you are unable to come to us.
Let Roman & Gaynor Handle Your Claim
The last thing you want to do after being in an Uber accident or Lyft crash is trying to figure out the nuances of liability laws in such circumstances.
When you enlist the help of proven attorneys such as Mark Roman and Morgan Gaynor – both of whom are Board Certified Civil Trial Experts – you benefit from a legal team that can effectively level the playing field between large corporations and injured victims. Over the years, we have leveraged decades of experience to do just that, and have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
By retaining our Clearwater rideshare accident lawyers, you can allow yourself the opportunity to focus on your recovery. All the while, our team will be dutifully working on building your claim so it can take down any defense and secure a maximum recovery. Call now to learn how we can help you through this difficult time.
Free initial consultations are available at Roman & Gaynor. Contact our office at (727) 877-1212 to schedule yours.