Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become an essential part of our daily lives, transforming transportation for Florida residents and out-of-state visitors. While ridesharing apps offer a convenient way to see the sights or return home after a night on the town, riders in a shared vehicle can still be injured in a serious car accident

What Makes Rideshare Accidents Different?

Rideshare accidents are different from any other type of accident. For example, Uber considers their drivers as independent contractors, and thus, may deny an injury claim for that reason. 

Rideshare drivers use smartphone applications to schedule passenger pick-ups and navigate to drop-off points. These apps can distract even the best of drivers by diverting their attention from the road and causing the rideshare driver to be at-fault if an accident occurs. Additionally, almost anyone with basic auto insurance and a driver’s license can sign-on to be a rideshare driver. This means drivers are transporting passengers without proper training, making it crucial for rideshare companies to provide insurance to their drivers. 

Insurance Coverage for a Rideshare Accident

Despite the precautions taken when ridesharing, there’s still always a risk that you could be involved in an accident. To account for this risk, ridesharing companies, including Uber and Lyft, provide liability coverage for their drivers in the event of an at-fault accident. 

However, insurance coverage varies depending on the circumstances when the accident occurs:

  • Period 0: When the driver is not logged into the rideshare app, Uber/Lyft provides no coverage
  • Period 1: When the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request, Uber/Lyft provide liability coverage for any accident that is the fault of the driver, up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
  • Period 2: When the driver has accepted a trip and is on the way to pick-up, liability coverage increases to $1 million.
  • Period 3: When the rider is in the car, ending at drop-off. Liability coverage of up to $1 million, plus limited coverage for damage to the driver's car, and uninsured motorists' coverage.

Who Is Liable for a Rideshare Accident?

Rideshare drivers are not the only parties that may be involved or at fault in an accident. You may be entitled to pursue compensation for damages against another driver involved in the crash.   Parties that could be liable in your rideshare accident claim include:

  • The rideshare driver
  • The rideshare’s insurance company
  • An uninsured driver
  • Another driver’s insurance company
  • Other rideshare passengers
  • The vehicle manufacturer (for auto defects)

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you are involved as a passenger in a rideshare accident, there are some things you need to do to protect your interests:

  • If you or someone else is injured, call 911 for any necessary medical treatment. 
  • Contact law enforcement. Section 316.065, Florida Statutes, requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash involving injury or death, or at least $500 estimated vehicle or property damage to contact local law enforcement immediately. However, you will want the accident officially investigated as soon as possible, so that you'll have an accident report if legal action is taken. 
  • Obtain the names, contact information, and insurance details of those involved. Ask any witnesses for their contact information, if applicable. 
  • Get copies of the driver’s insurance information, both personal policy and the ride-sharing company’s commercial vehicle policy.
  • Take as many pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and anything else relevant to the accident—from as many angles as you can—before you leave the scene.
  • Document the details of your ride, including screenshots on your phone of your fare with the driver's name, date of the ride, and route of the trip.


Trust An Experienced Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a ride sharing auto accident, you might have many unanswered questions and some uncertainty. The attorneys at Hudgins Law Firm can answer your pressing questions and help protect your legal rights and options.

At Hudgins Law Firm, our sole responsibility is to YOU. We will fight for the compensation you deserve following an auto accident. We deal with insurance companies and take them to court if necessary. To set up a FREE consultation, call us toll-free at 800-950-5534, or complete the contact form on our website. We're the right team for you!


Sources:

https://www.browninglawfirm.com/practice_areas/rideshare-accident-liability-lawyer-in-fort-walton-beach-florida.cfm 

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/i-was-hit-by-an-uber-or-lyft-driver-what-now.html 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.065.html