Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become extraordinarily popular in recent years. This is particularly true in cities like West Palm Beach, where relying on rideshare services can be both easier and less expensive than relying on your own car.
Whether you rely on Uber or Lyft as your primary mode of transportation, or you utilize rideshare services for trips to the airport or nights out, the risk of being injured in an accident is very real, and following an accident, it is important to speak with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
10 Key Facts about Rideshare Accidents for Uber and Lyft Passengers in South Florida
There are some unique aspects to recovering financial compensation after a rideshare accident in South Florida. If you have been seriously injured, here are 10 key facts you need to know:
1. Rideshare Drivers are Subject to Additional Insurance Requirements Under Florida Law.
In 2017, the Florida legislature enacted a law that establishes additional auto insurance requirements for rideshare drivers. The law (Fla. Stat. § 627.748 ) establishes separate requirements for when drivers are (i) logged into a rideshare app, and (ii) providing “prearranged rides.” When logged in, rideshare drivers’ coverage must include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $10,000
- Bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident
- Property damage (PD) coverage of $25,000
When providing prearranged rides, rideshare drivers’ coverage must include:
- PIP coverage of $10,000
- Combined BIL and PD coverage of $1 million
2. Florida Law Also Requires Rideshare Companies to Provide Insurance Coverage for Accidents.
Florida’s rideshare law provides that if a driver does not have adequate coverage on his or her own, then the rideshare company must provide the legally-required coverage. Uber and Lyft both have insurance that covers auto accident claims. Crucially, under Florida law, a rideshare company’s insurance coverage, “must not be dependent on a personal automobile insurer first denying a claim, and a personal automobile insurance policy is not required to first deny a claim.”
3. Rideshare Drivers are Held to the Same Standards as Other Drivers.
Rideshare drivers are held to the same standards as all other motorists on Florida’s roads. Among other things, this means that they must obey the speed limit, they must obey all traffic signs and signals, and they must avoid being distracted behind the wheel .
4. Rideshare Companies are Supposed to Conduct Background Checks Prior to Approving Drivers.
Florida’s rideshare law also requires rideshare companies to conduct background checks prior to approving drivers to provide prearranged rides, and they are prohibited from approving drivers who (i) have certain offenses on their records, (ii) lack a valid driver’s license, or (iii) do not have proof of registration. If a rideshare company approves a dangerous driver, then the company could be at risk for direct liability in the event that the driver causes a collision.
5. You May Have a Claim Against the Rideshare Driver, the Rideshare Company or Both.
All of this means that, if you have been injured in a rideshare accident in South Florida, you can hire a West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer to help you file a claim under the driver’s insurance policy, the rideshare company’s insurance policy, or both. Of course, this assumes that the driver or the rideshare company was negligent in causing or allowing the accident to occur.
6. You May Have Claims Against Other Parties as Well.
If the rideshare driver or company was not negligent, then you may have a claim against a third party (you could also have a third-party claim if the rideshare driver or company was only partially at fault). Potential third-party claims in rideshare accident cases include claims against:
- Other drivers involved in the collision
- Another passenger in a rideshare pool
- A vehicle manufacturer, dealership or repair shop
- A road authority or contractor that is responsible for a roadway hazard
7. Florida’s “No-Fault” Insurance Law Still Applies.
Under Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law, individuals who are injured in accidents can file PIP claims regardless of who is to blame for their injuries. As a rideshare passenger, you are covered by your own PIP policy (if you have auto insurance); and, if you do not have PIP coverage, then the rideshare driver’s or rideshare company’s policy will apply.
8. You Can File a Claim Whether You were a Rideshare Passenger or You Were Traveling in a Different Vehicle.
Rideshare drivers’ and companies’ insurance policies apply regardless of who is injured in a collision. This means that you can file a claim as a rideshare passenger or as the occupant of another vehicle.
9. Proving Fault is Complicated. So is Proving the Amount You are Entitled to Recover.
In order to seek compensation outside of PIP, you need to be able to prove who was at fault in your accident. This is not easy, and it requires the services of a law firm experienced in conducting auto accident investigations. Additionally, in order to negotiate a fair settlement, you need to know how much you are entitled to recover, and this also requires the advice and representation of an experienced auto accident attorney.
10. An Experienced West Palm Beach Auto Accident Lawyer at Hollander Law Firm Can Help Maximize Your Financial Recovery.
Given the challenges involved in proving your claim (and the risks of failing to assert your claim successfully), it is extremely important that you hire an attorney to handle your rideshare accident as soon as possible. At Hollander Law Firm, we are here for you 24/7, and we are prepared to get to work immediately to prove your claim for just compensation.
Contact a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer for a Free, Consultation
Were you seriously injured in a rideshare accident in West Palm Beach? If so, Hollander Law Firm can help you. To speak with an experienced auto accident attorney in confidence as soon as possible, call (561)-556-7873 or contact our personal injury law office to submit your information online now.