Auto Accidents & Rideshare Cars
Ridesharing companies are very new in Florida, only becoming common within the last few years. Because they have not been around very long, though, the law around rideshare car accidents is somewhat untested. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft car, there are a few unique details that your attorney needs to keep in mind while handling your case, but these types of cases are very possible to win.
Higher Insurance Requirements
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that every driver must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 property damage liability insurance. However, a law signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2017 raises the minimum insurance coverage for all rideshare cars – the requirements are $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. While they are on duty, a rideshare driver must also have at least $1 million coverage for property damage, injury and death.
Normally, Florida law does not allow injured plaintiffs to sue drivers for their injuries, instead requiring them to file claims with their own insurer. However, the law acknowledges that some injuries will meet a certain threshold after which someone should be held liable for the harm they have caused. If your injuries are severe enough – if you have suffered a “significant and permanent loss” of a bodily function or a limb, or other permanent injury or scarring, the law allows you to sue in court. If your accident was with a rideshare car, you may have that larger insurance pool to draw from when seeking compensation.
Are They “On The Job?”
The other major factor in Uber or Lyft accidents is whether or not the driver was on the job during the accident, or was using their car for a non-work purpose. If you are involved in an auto accident with someone who happens to drive for Uber or Lyft, but they are not working, then traditional insurance rules apply – you would file a claim with your own insurer for any injuries, unless they cross that ‘significant and permanent loss’ threshold.
However, if the driver is working when your accident happens and they can be shown to have caused the accident, the increased insurance pool does come into play. In addition, the issue of vicarious liability comes into play. Vicarious liability is a concept that holds that the employer of someone who commits a civil tort while “in the scope of employment” may be liable for the actions of that employee.
Contact A Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in an auto accident, you need to be aware of your options moving forward, especially if you are dealing with a rideshare driver. The Tampa car accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group understand the differences in car accident cases when one is dealing with a driver who is on the job, and will work hard to advise you on your best options to seek compensation. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.