Been In An Accident With A Rideshare Car?
In Tampa, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have slowly become omnipresent, offering convenience for anyone who needs a ride. However, with more traffic on city roads comes more accidents, and the procedure if you have been in an accident involving a rideshare car is different than if you are in an accident with a private vehicle. Contacting an experienced attorney to help you through the legal process can help to ease your mind.
In Theory, The Company Will Pay
There are three possible types of accidents that can involve rideshare vehicles: a crash where a driver has accepted a ride and has a passenger in the vehicle; a crash where a driver is en route to pick up a passenger, but the app is on and engaged; and a crash where a rideshare car strikes a pedestrian. The main issue in these types of crashes is whether or not the rideshare app is engaged, because the level of insurance coverage will change whether the app is on or off. Florida law requires Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services to provide elevated levels of coverage which includes up to $100,000 for bodily injury and death per accident.
Theoretically, rideshare companies are required to have up to $1 million in corporate insurance available for both driver and passenger injuries. However, it is far too common for the company to refuse to refer an accident case to its insurer (alleging driver or passenger negligence). Drivers are also generally classed as independent contractors, which means that the companies are far more likely to claim that their negligence is a personal matter and refuse to pay.
Still A No-Fault System
Before even considering the possibility of filing a claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurance for their drivers, you must file a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurer. Florida uses a no-fault system of auto insurance, which means that every driver is required to carry their own insurance (at least $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage) to be used in paying medical bills in the event of injury. While the law does allow someone to file suit if they sustain more than $10,000 in damages, it can be difficult to establish this necessity.
If you have exhausted your PIP coverage, then the next step is to file against the company’s insurer – but ultimately, your claim may go to trial if they refuse to pay. Like with any auto accident case, rideshare accidents are brought to trial under a theory of negligence. You must be able to establish that the defendant or defendants – whether the driver, the company, or any other involved actor – breached their duty to exercise reasonable care, and that their breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries. An experienced attorney on your side is crucial to help you navigate this process.
Call A Tampa Rideshare Accident Attorney
Uber and Lyft are still in a somewhat provisional status regarding their operations in Florida, but the law is clear that they must be able to cover damages in the event of an accident. Calling a Tampa rideshare accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help to ensure that you recover appropriately if you are injured in an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.