Florida Uber Accident Attorney
As ridesharing services like Uber continue to surge in popularity, the incidence of accidents linked with these companies is unfortunately also on the rise. These services, while providing an economical and practical alternative to conventional means of transportation, are increasingly becoming part of accident statistics.
If you become the victim of such an accident – whether as a passenger, another vehicle’s driver or passenger, or a pedestrian or bicycle rider – you might be eligible for financial recompense for the harm suffered. Navigating through the complexities of accident claims involving ridesharing companies can be daunting. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Uber accident attorney who has a deep understanding of these specific kinds of cases.
At Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are committed to safeguarding your rights and ensuring you are completely informed about all the legal pathways available to you. Our car accident lawyers are dedicated to serving injury victims across the Tampa Bay area. With offices in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, and Tampa we are proud to serve those who need it most. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Are Passengers Protected in an Uber Car Accident?
In most cases, rideshare companies like Uber provide some level of protection for passengers. However, it is important to check with the specific company to see what is covered. You should also contact a Tampa Uber accident lawyer. They will negotiate with the insurance company and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Uber Accidents
There are various factors that contribute to the occurrence of Uber accidents. These range from distracted driving – often due to the constant need for drivers to interact with the Uber app- to negligent driving and the fatigue resulting from long hours behind the wheel. Other common causes include speeding and reckless driving, often exacerbated by the pressure to complete as many rides as possible within a given timeframe.
Uber accidents present unique challenges when compared to regular vehicular accidents. One of the key issues is determining liability. The complexity arises from the fact that Uber drivers are not employees but independent contractors. This situation often leads to contentious debates about whether it’s the ridesharing company or the individual driver who should be held responsible. Another unique challenge involves insurance coverage. While Uber provides a $1 million liability policy, this doesn’t always mean Uber accident victims can easily recover the full amount. Hence, it is essential to engage a knowledgeable Uber accident attorney who is familiar with the nuances of ridesharing accident claims.
Who is Liable For Uber Accidents?
The circumstances involved in your accident will not only determine who is liable but also how much you will be able to recover. There may be several liable parties in any given Uber accident. These include:
This applies when the driver has the app turned on, is actively looking for passengers, or is carrying a passenger at the time of the incident. Because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees, drivers and riders sometimes have difficulty obtaining compensation after an accident. However, Florida law has strict requirements on who can work as a driver, so Uber may be held responsible if they were negligent in their hiring.
An Uber driver may be at fault for the accident and, therefore, liable for your injuries and other damages. This includes times when the driver does not have the app on or is not currently picking up passengers for rideshare purposes.
A Third Party
In rare circumstances, a third party may be partially at fault for the accident. This includes situations involving defective car parts, poor road design, and more.
What Is Your Coverage as an Uber Driver?
As an Uber driver, you are covered under Uber’s insurance policy in multiple ways.
If the Accident Was Not Your Fault:
When you’ve accepted a passenger trip, Uber provides uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage on your behalf. In the event of an accident where someone else is at fault and lacks sufficient insurance or in the case of a hit-and-run, this coverage may apply to safeguard you.
If the Accident Was Your Fault:
The coverage you receive depends on the timing of the crash.
Before Receiving a Trip Request: If you’re in a covered at-fault crash while online but haven’t yet received a trip request, you’re insured for liability to a third party. Coverage varies by state but is at least $50,000 in injury liability per person, $100,000 in total liability per crash, and $25,000 in property damage liability per crash.
After Accepting a Ride Request: If the covered at-fault crash occurs after you’ve accepted a ride request, you’re insured for:
- Your liability to a third party (at least $1 million)
- Collision and comprehensive coverage
- If your personal insurance already includes this coverage, Uber’s insurance will replace it for vehicle damage (subject to a $2,500 deductible effective 3/1/2021; certain vehicles may have a $1,000 deductible as per the Vehicle Marketplace).
Florida Uber Accident Laws
Florida law addresses rideshare accidents under the Florida Transportation Network Companies Act (Chapter 2017-12). As per this Act, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are required to provide insurance coverage for their drivers from the moment they log into the app until the moment the ride is ended in the app.
The insurance requirements are as follows:
- When the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t accepted a ride request, a minimum of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage coverage is required.
- Once the driver accepts a ride request and during the duration of the ride, the coverage increases to $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.
Additionally, both Uber and Lyft are mandated by Florida law to conduct comprehensive background checks on their drivers to ensure passenger safety. The law also necessitates that these companies implement a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit after a rideshare accident, it is important to know that there is a statute of limitations in Florida. For most personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations is two years from the accident date. This means that you have a limited time to file your lawsuit.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Doctrine
In the state of Florida, there is a comparative fault doctrine. As of March 2023, Florida’s legal fault system has shifted from a pure comparative fault model to a “greater percentage of fault” model under HB 837. The implementation of this new model means that individuals who are more than 50% responsible for their own harm are prohibited from receiving any compensation for their damages. Therefore, it is crucial to have a skilled Uber accident attorney on your side who can help determine fault and work towards maximizing your compensation.
Insurance Coverage for Uber Accidents
Navigating through insurance claims following an Uber accident can be a complex process due to the various parties involved and the myriad of insurance policies. Let’s break it down based on who the injured parties may be:
Insurance Coverage as an Injured Passenger
As a passenger in an Uber vehicle, if an accident occurs, you are covered under Uber’s $1 million liability policy. This policy is in effect from the moment you begin your trip until its completion. However, compensation may depend on the determination of who was at fault for the accident.
Insurance Coverage as a Driver of Another Vehicle
If you’re driving a non-Uber vehicle and are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, your claim will depend on who is found at fault. If the Uber driver is at fault and they were carrying a passenger or on their way to pick one up, Uber’s $1 million policy should cover your damages. If you are at fault, then your own insurance policy would be responsible for covering the damages.
Insurance Coverage as a Pedestrian or Bicyclist
If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in an accident with an Uber driver, the insurance coverage that applies is similar to the scenario of being a driver of another vehicle. If the Uber driver is found to be at fault, their insurance should cover your damages, provided they were on an active trip or on their way to pick up a passenger.
Insurance Coverage as an Uber Driver
As an Uber driver, your insurance coverage will largely depend on what phase of the trip you were in at the time of the accident. If the app is on and you’re waiting for a ride request, your private insurance and Uber’s contingent liability coverage will cover you. Once you’ve accepted a ride request and till the end of the trip, Uber’s $1 million policy will be active. However, if your app is off, only your private car insurance applies.
What is Covered in a Rideshare Accident Claim?
If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your Uber accident injuries. Some of the things that may be covered in a claim include:
Economic damages are those that reimburse an accident victim for financial losses. These can include lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are more subjective. They can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party and deter future harmful behavior. These are not available in all cases, however.
It is important to note that each case is different, and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the facts of your case. Our experienced Tampa Uber accident lawyers can help you determine what you may be entitled to.
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Uber Accident
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, you should follow the same steps as any other car accident.
Seek Immediate Medical Care for Anyone Involved – If you are involved in an Uber accident, you should seek medical assistance. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is always best to get checked out by a medical professional.
Contact the Police – The police will create a report of the accident, which can be used by your attorney to help build your case.
Get the Contact Information of Witnesses – If there are any witnesses to the accident, it is important to get their contact information. Witnesses can provide valuable testimony if your case goes to trial.
Take Photos of the Scene – If you are able, take photos of the accident scene. These photos can be used as evidence in your case.
Do Not Admit Fault – It is important that you do not admit fault for the accident. If you do, it could jeopardize your case.
What Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Do For You
At Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 22 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case is, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
Hire a Florida Uber Accident Lawyer Today
At Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We tirelessly strive to assist injured individuals and loved ones of those wrongfully killed in securing the full and fair recovery they deserve. Our legal expertise spans a variety of accidents, including car, bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accidents.
In circumstances where you believe you’ve fallen victim to a car accident through no fault of your own, our Tampa Uber accident attorneys are prepared to guide you through the legal process, aiming to secure the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Reach out to our law firm today by calling (727) 637-0100 or contacting us online for a free consultation to kick-start your journey towards obtaining maximum compensation for your personal injury case.