Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer in Miami
With the proliferation of ridesharing, more and more Floridians are finding it easier to travel without owning a vehicle. Ridesharing takes away the primary costs of owning a car by eliminating car payments, insurance coverage, parking costs, gasoline, and regular maintenance.
Not surprising, with the increase in ridesharing, so have the number of accidents these vehicles have been involved in. In 2017 and 2018, there were 97 fatal crashes that led to 107 deaths and countless accidents that have led to injuries, from minor to severe.
However, trading lower overhead costs with cost-per-ride services do come with its own risks. With so many new rideshare drivers signing up daily in Miami, one can never be sure of a vehicle owner’s driving record. Have they been in an accident before? How many speeding tickets have they received in a year? Are you really safe traveling on the roads with someone who may have just earned their license a week ago?
If you were injured in a car accident while using Uber or Lyft, a Miami Uber and Lyft accident attorney can help. We understand the complexities of ridesharing, including who is liable after a rideshare accident occurs. With years of experience, the Uber and Lyft accident lawyers with Schlacter Law can help get you the best compensation possible.
Vehicle Requirements in Florida
Before a driver can qualify to drive for a rideshare company, there are minimum requirements that their vehicles must pass in Miami before they enter service. These include:
- The vehicle must be newer than 15 years old
- The vehicle must have four doors
- The vehicle must be in good condition with no noticeable cosmetic issues
- The vehicle must not have any commercial branding
In addition, all drivers must have their own automobile insurance policy that complies with local or state laws. Uber currently provides its own liability insurance for all of its drivers as well. Higher levels of their service have additional requirements relating primarily to comfort and the number of seats the vehicle possesses, but additional safety features include:
- Factory-installed seatbelts for all seats
- No rebuilt or salvaged vehicles
- Windows that operate properly
Uber requires its Miami drivers to pass minimum standards before being allowed to drive for the service. These requirements include:
- Drivers must be 21 years old or older
- Driver must have at least three years of driving experience
- Drivers must have a driver’s license from the state where they are driving
- Driver must have a driving record free of accidents
- Drivers must agree to and pass a background check
Additionally, Miami drivers are unable to join the service if they acquired more than three at-fault accidents or traffic citations over the last 5 years. Any serious citation would also disqualify a driver, such as speeding past a school zone or getting a ticket for driving while under the influence.
Lyft’s vehicle requirements are similar and include:
- Vehicles must have four doors
- Vehicles must have 5-8 seats
- New rules require vehicles to be manufactured in 2017 or newer
Lyft’s driver requirements include:
- Drivers must be 25 years old or older
- Drivers must be licensed to drive in the state they operate
- Drivers must pass a driver screening review which includes driving history and a background check
- Drivers must possess a smartphone to use the Lyft app
Additionally, all Lyft driver must have:
- Proof of insurance for their vehicle
- Proof of registration for their vehicle
- A photo on their profile
Uber and Lyft have these requirements to help attract drivers who have a history of safe driving and have safe vehicles that are properly insured and registered in the state the vehicle is operated. Failing to properly maintain a vehicle, or operating a vehicle that isn’t up to Uber’s and Lyft’s standards could put passengers at risk, and giving incorrect information on driver history or a background check jeopardizes the safety of its passengers.
If a driver fails to inform either company that they were involved in more accidents then the companies allow, are Uber and Lyft still responsible following an accident? What if a driver’s automobile insurance carrier denies a claim when the driver was driving while working for a ride-share company? If Uber and Lyft treat their drivers as independent contractors and not employees, what responsibility do Uber and Lyft owe to passengers when they are injured in an accident?
These are just some of the complex questions that arise following an Uber or Lyft accident, and the answers are not always easy to determine. In some cases, the driver may be personally liable if he or she failed to disclose prior traffic violations to obtain work through a rideshare company or if the driver was the cause of a serious accident. But fault is determined through numerous factors, and it is essential for a Miami Uber and Lyft car accident lawyer to evaluate the circumstances surrounding an accident to help determine who is at fault. Call today for a consultation.
Uber-Partner Insurance in Miami
In an effort to ease confusion on liability, Uber created its own liability coverage for drivers under their service. This insurance provides a driver with insurance coverage when an accident occurs. The coverage changes yearly, including the company that provides the insurance changes and the liability limits, so coverage can vary based on when the accident occurred.
Most rideshare programs carry insurance coverage during trips with a passenger
- $1,000,000.00 in third-party liability
- $250,000.00 Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance for bodily injury
- Comprehensive and collision coverage
*It is important to understand that the carriers and the limits are always changing so double-check limits with your lawyer and the rideshare company website.
As a passenger, this coverage can help get you compensation following an accident. Even if the driver failed to secure their own insurance, it may be possible to file a claim through the rideshare company to seek this compensation.
Immediately following an accident, a driver is instructed to ensure that everyone is ok, and if not, to call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Following medical help, the driver would need to contact his or her lawyer to have them get in contact with Uber or Lyft to report the crash and initiate a claim. If for some reason you speak with Uber/Lyft or the insurance company do not admit fault and do not admit that you have no injuries until you are checked out by a medical professional.
We recommend immediately hiring a Miami lawyer as there are many avenues for recovery. Following an accident where the driver was not at fault, your lawyer can submit a claim with the driver’s own insurance carrier if they own an automobile and with the at-fault driver as well. A claim could also be made under the passenger’s own uninsured motorist coverage if they have this additional coverage.
There are countless questions that arise during a rideshare claim including without limitation:
- Who was at fault?
- Were you a passenger in the Uber/Lyft? What stage of the ride were you in?
- Were you engaged with a ride with the Uber/Lyft Driver?
- Were you hit by a Uber/Lyft vehicle in your own personal vehicle?
- Were you hit by a Uber/Lyft vehicle while a pedestrian?
- Were you a Uber/Lyft driver and involved in an accident? Was the other party at fault?
- Do you have your own insurance?
- Who will pay for PIP, Property Damage?
To help ensure that you get the best compensation available, be sure to contact an Uber/Lyft accident lawyer immediately following an accident. Schlacter Law has been rated a 10Best Miami Personal Injury Lawyer and has extensive experience handling rideshare accident cases.
Stages of Coverage
There are a few stages of passenger engagement when dealing with a Uber/Lyft claim – each phase providing varying levels of coverage for the claim:
- App Open, No Passengers: This is the phase when the driver is available for passengers but has not paired with one yet. This contains the biggest lapse and gap in coverage
- Accept Ride, No Passengers: The Driver was on his/her way to pick up a passenger
- Have Passenger in Ride: The Driver is actively transporting a passenger
It is important to check the specific rideshare companies’ website for exact coverage limits. It is important to understand that the carriers and the limits are always changing policies, limits, insurance companies, and procedures, so be sure to contact a Miami Uber Lyft accident lawyer today.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you were actively engaged in a ride and you were a passenger you are entitled to $1,000,000.00 of liability coverage if the Uber/Lyft driver was at fault. If he/she was not at fault you can look to your own uninsured motorist policy or the Uber/Lyft uninsured motorist policy which is generally $250,000.00. It is important to understand that the carriers and the limits are always changing so double-check limits with your lawyer and the rideshare company website. So if you are reading this, max out your uninsured motorist coverage it will protect you when you most need it. These limits may change if the Uber/Lyft driver was not actively engaged in a ride. Be sure to speak with a Luft lawyer to determine what compensation may be available.
If the Uber/Lyft driver was actively engaged in a ride you are entitled to $1,000,000.00 of liability coverage. You can look to your own uninsured motorist policy if for some reason (there are many) that the Uber/Lyft Policy does not cover the at-fault driver for the accident or if the limits are insufficient to cover your injuries. You can also look to the at-fault driver’s own personal liability policy which is required by Uber. Unfortunately, many times a driver does not disclose the fact they are driving for Uber/Lyft, and these policies are often rescinded. It is important to understand that the carriers and the limits are always changing so double-check limits with your lawyer and the rideshare company website. So if you are reading this, max out your uninsured motorist coverage it will protect you when you most need it. These limits may change if the Uber/Lyft driver was not actively engaged in a ride. You should consult an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer to discuss the current limits of compensation.
If you were injured your own insurance company should provide the PIP coverage. If you were a pedestrian and do not have a vehicle, and you are not required to carry PIP coverage, the at-fault driver’s own personal policy or Uber/Lyft usually will pick up the coverage. PIP pays 80% of reasonable medical expenses and 60% of lost pages up to $10,000.00. This is for medical expenses incurred and actual lost wages. Hire a lawyer to present your claim to avoid denials.