Fort Lauderdale Rideshare Accident Lawyers Helping Crash Victims Get the Settlement They Deserve
Rideshare services have skyrocketed in popularity across the country. However, most people only think about the insurance issues involved with a rideshare accident once they’ve been involved in one. The truth is that filing a claim and recovering damages for your rideshare accident injuries can be very challenging and confusing. Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can handle all the details of your Uber or Lyft accident and ensure that you get the full compensation to which you are entitled. Don’t be pressured into accepting an offer from an insurance company that doesn’t cover all your losses. Call our law office for a free consultation and learn how we can advocate for you: 954-466-3220.
How Do Rideshare Companies Work?
Ridesharing has risen as an alternative to taxi services or public transportation for short trips. Instead of providing a fleet of vehicles and drivers, large ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft give customers a platform on which they can connect with drivers. Each driver works as an independent contractor for the ridesharing company, using their own vehicles to transport fares to their destinations. Passengers schedule rides using the ridesharing company’s app on their phones. This system can provide convenience for passengers who need a ride on short notice and allows many people to take up a side job as a rideshare driver to make extra money.
However, as the number of rideshare drivers grows, so does the number of accidents they are involved in. While many rideshare drivers are skilled and have reliable vehicles, with thousands of independent contractors working across Florida, it can be challenging for Lyft or Uber to thoroughly vet every driver they hire. The training process for a rideshare driver is also much less rigorous than for a taxi driver. Unfortunately, the details surrounding how Uber and Lyft accident victims can recover compensation for their damages after a crash is highly complicated and still evolving. Without the help of a knowledgeable rideshare accident lawyer, victims may find themselves facing denied claims and struggling to recover financially after their auto accident.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been in an Accident With a Rideshare Vehicle?
Victims may be involved in a rideshare car accident in a few different ways. For example, you may be driving your own car when a Lyft or Uber driver collides with you. Pedestrians and bicyclists can also be struck by a rideshare vehicle. Or you may be a rideshare passenger when the collision occurs. In all of these cases, your first act should be to ensure everyone involved in the accident is out of danger and receiving the medical care they need. If anyone has serious injuries, call 911 for emergency medical assistance. After this, the steps are very similar to the recommended procedure for any car accident, with a couple of extra additions:
- Contact the police: If local law enforcement has not already responded to the scene, contact them to get the assistance of an officer who can take statements and make an official accident report. Be sure to ask how you can get a copy of the report once it is complete.
- Get the insurance information of all involved parties: Collect their name, the name of the insurance company, the company’s phone number, and the name of the rideshare service they work for.
- Report your ridesharing accident to Uber or Lyft: This can often be done through the ridesharing app.
- Gather the contact information of all witnesses: Eyewitness testimony can be critical in car accident cases, so attempt to get the name, address, and phone number of anyone who saw the crash.
- Take photos of the accident scene: Using your phone, take several pictures of the crash from different angles. These can be useful in determining how the accident occurred.
- Snap a photo of the rideshare driver’s app: This shows their status when the crash happened and significantly impacts where you will file your claim. If you were a passenger at the time of the crash, also take a picture of your rideshare app to prove that you were en route to a destination.
- Contact a trusted Uber and Lyft accident attorney: They can begin investigating and handling the case while you focus on healing.
The rideshare’s insurance will likely contact you in the days following the crash. You can politely decline to discuss the details of the incident with them until after you’ve consulted with an attorney. Never agree to a settlement or provide a recorded statement without seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer first.
How Might a Rideshare Company or Driver Be Found Negligent?
Most car accidents result from negligence by one or more drivers involved. As part of a successful Uber or Lyft accident lawsuit, you must prove that your driver:
- Owed you a duty of care: Unlike some states, Florida does not consider rideshare services to be common carriers, which would require them to provide exceptional care to their passengers. However, they are still bound to provide reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle to protect the safety of their passengers and others on the road.
- Breached their duty: The driver acted in a way that a reasonable person in the same situation would not have done, which caused the accident.
- Caused direct harm through their breach of duty: Riding with a reckless driver can be a scary experience, but if you are not harmed, it does not rise to the level of negligence. For a driver to be held responsible, their actions must have directly caused your injuries.
In some situations, the rideshare company may argue that because they are a Transportation Network Company (TNC) that only provides a platform connecting passengers and drivers, they are not responsible for the actions of those drivers. However, a skilled Lyft and Uber accident attorney may still be able to prove liability if the company was negligent in certain activities, such as:
- Hiring or retaining drivers that do not meet the company’s qualifications.
- Providing substandard training, monitoring, or supervision of their employees.
- Making fraudulent claims about the safety of their drivers or vehicles.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation for the harm they caused you. Whether they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failed to abide by the rules of the road, did not maintain their vehicle to an acceptable standard of safety, or engaged in any other activity that led to your crash, our law firm can help you seek a settlement that fully covers your losses stemming from the accident.
How Can the Status of the Uber or Lyft Driver Impact Your Claim?
A large portion of what makes rideshare accidents so complicated is the overlapping insurance coverages involved. To determine which coverage is in effect, you have to know the working status of the driver at the time when the accident happened. The three possible statuses for a rideshare driver are:
- The driver is on the clock and has a scheduled ride: They have a rideshare passenger in the vehicle or have accepted a passenger in the app and are en route to pick them up. If an accident occurs at this time, the driver is covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy of $1,000,000 per accident. This coverage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- The driver is active on the rideshare app but has yet to accept a passenger: The rideshare company provides limited secondary coverage for this situation if the driver’s primary auto insurance does not cover the accident. The liability coverage limits for the rideshare company’s insurance are $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage.
- The driver is not active on the app: At this point, the driver is deemed a private citizen unaffiliated with the company, so only the driver’s personal automobile coverage applies.
Sorting out where to begin filing your claim is even more complex because the rideshare company’s insurance coverage typically only applies once all other coverages have been maxed out. Since Florida is a no-fault state, most individuals will have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance. You will likely have to use this coverage first before filing a claim with any other insurance company for any further expenses you may have incurred. However, some PIP insurance companies have been known to deny coverage for rideshare accident injuries, leaving victims in limbo. If you are struggling to recover compensation after a rideshare accident or don’t know where to begin, our experienced lawyers at Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can simplify the process for you and help you get the settlement you deserve.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Rideshare Accident Claim?
After a rideshare accident, you may be inundated with medical bills and costs related to your injuries. It can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’ve missed work or had to quit your job altogether due to how badly you were hurt. Your PIP coverage benefits can provide some relief, but since many people only carry the minimum $10,000 policy, it may only put a small dent in your hefty medical expenses. A personal injury claim gives victims another way to recover damages for losses related to their rideshare accident. The types of compensation an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer may secure for you through negotiation or a lawsuit include:
- Lost wages.
- Medical bills, including expenses for surgeries, rehabilitation, hospitalization, travel to and from doctor appointments, and more.
- The cost of future medical treatment if your injuries are long-term.
- Consideration for the pain and suffering you experienced.
- Property replacement and repair.
Why Hire a Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
Because ridesharing services are still relatively new, the laws governing them are still in flux. At Kurzman Law Group, P.A., we stay current on court rulings and state laws that may impact our client’s claims. We understand the intricacies of rideshare accident law and can provide skilled representation for crash victims, no matter the circumstances of their case. If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident, we can help you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet again. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique case, call us at: 954-466-3220.