Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become popular forms of transportation in many cities in Florida including Palm Coast. But what happens if you are injured in an Uber car accident?
An accident involving a ridesharing vehicle can complicate the questions of liability. In some cases, there may be disputes about who is liable for a victim’s injuries. The financial stakes are higher because Uber and Lyft driver are required to maintain higher amounts of insurance coverage.
You may need the assistance of a knowledgeable Palm Coast car accident lawyer if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.`
What are Rideshare Apps? (Uber & Lyft)
Ridesharing is essentially a car-for-hire, with the vehicle owners providing rides to the requested destinations for fees that are established by the ridesharing companies.
Uber and Lyft are both San Francisco-based ridesharing companies that operate in many cities across the U.S. Both Uber and Lyft allow people to hail rides through mobile phone apps. The drivers who pick up and deliver passengers are generally independent contractors using their own vehicles.
A driver with Uber is required to have a valid United States driver’s license, an eligible four-door automobile, and at least one year of driving experience (three if the driver is less than 23 years of age). They also need to have proof of automobile insurance and a smartphone, and they will need to pass a background check.
Lyft drivers have to be 21 years of age and have a valid United States driver’s license for at least one year, an eligible four-door automobile, proof of automobile insurance, and a smartphone. Lyft also performs Department of Motor Vehicles and criminal background checks of its drivers.
The state of Florida requires all drivers to have certain types of auto insurance. The minimum amounts required include $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance and $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
However, Florida passed a law in 2017 requiring rideshare drivers to maintain higher amounts of auto insurance. The minimum amounts of coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers are $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Drivers also must have personal injury protection insurance that meets the requirements for a limousine under Florida law and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
When rideshare drivers are carrying passengers in Florida, they are required to have primary liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury and property damage.
That means the stakes will be higher after an Uber or Lyft accident. You should seek guidance from an Uber injury attorney with experience handling rideshare accidents.
Uber and Lyft Car Insurance
Uber and Lyft both provide automobile insurance coverage for their drivers when they are on the clock. Uber separates its coverage into three types of coverage, while Lyft has four.
With Uber, insurance coverage depends on what stage the driver was in:
- Driver is offline and not logged into Uber app — Uber provides no coverage, and a driver’s personal automobile insurance policy applies.
- Driver is logged into Uber app and is waiting for ride request — Uber provides coverage of up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, as well as $25,000 property damage.
- Driver is picking up or transporting passenger — Uber provides coverage of up to $1 million per accident.
With Lyft, the insurance includes four types:
- Contingent Liability — Contingent liability coverage provides coverage when the app is in driver mode before a driver has received a ride request with limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
- Primary Automobile Liability — Primary liability coverage provides coverage from the time the driver accepts a ride request until the end of the ride with limits of $1 million.
- Contingent Comprehensive and Collision — Contingent comprehensive coverage covers drivers for non-collision events, provided that they have personal comprehensive automobile insurance policies, and applies up to the cash value of their vehicles or the costs of their repairs, whichever is greater.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) — Lyft provides UM and UIM coverage when accidents are caused by drivers who are uninsured or underinsured, but these limits vary by state.
While the $1 million policy limits offered by both Lyft and Uber may seem sufficient to cover an accident, insurance companies may dispute liability. In some cases, there may be disagreements about whether a driver was logged into the app and therefore covered by the company’s insurance. Some victims may find themselves being accused of having done something to cause their own injuries.
It is important to consult an experienced lawyer if your injury claim is being disputed.
Steps to take after an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are injured in a crash involving a ridesharing driver, you should seek medical care. Even if you do not think you require medical treatment, you should go to the doctor and receive a medical evaluation.
Medical treatment is important in case your injuries involve delayed symptoms. Furthermore, you will want to have a record of treatment in case an insurance company tries to dispute the severity of your injuries. Your medical records will document your injuries.
After seeking medical attention, your next steps will vary depending on your role in the ridesharing accident.
A driver involved in a crash caused by an Uber or Lyft driver will often be dealing with their own no-fault automobile insurance company if the damages are minor. However, if you sustain a serious injury or one that will cause a permanent disability, you may have a right to file a claim and demand full compensation for your losses.
Contact a Florida Rideshare Accident Lawyer
A car crash involving an Uber or Lyft car can be complicated, as you can tell. You can get an understanding of your legal options by taking advantage of a free consultation with a Palm Coast rideshare accident lawyer.
Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, handles Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing accident claims for clients in Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, and surrounding areas of Flagler County and Volusia County. Call (386) 753-3245 or contact us online to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.