Florida Rideshare Accident Attorney | Whittel & Melton
Have you or a loved one been hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident? You may be eligible for compensation, but you need to act fast and contact a Florida rideshare accident attorney right away.
Rideshare accidents are a relatively new area of practice. As a result, the rules are not only complex but also in constant flux. If you try to go it alone, you risk getting far less in damages or insurance payouts than you have a right to – or nothing at all. We at Whittel & Melton can make sure that doesn’t happen.Grounds for Determining a Rideshare Accident Claim in Florida
Here’s the least you need to know about rideshare crashes in Florida:Who is Liable in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that if you were injured in a rideshare accident, you should turn to your own insurance first.
All drivers in Florida must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which can provide up to $10,000 in immediate coverage for medical and non-medical-related costs. To qualify, you must seek medical treatment no later than 14 days of the accident.
If your coverage is not enough, you may be able to bring a claim against the rideshare driver’s or, in some cases, the rideshare company’s insurance.
In the event that the driver’s insurer denies the claim or the company coverage doesn’t apply, you could file a lawsuit against the driver instead. To do that, you would need to have sustained severe injuries. Under Florida law, only some injuries are considered severe. These include:
- Broken bones
- Significant disfigurement
- Substantial disability for 90 days or more
- Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
- Permanent limitation of the use of a body organ or member
Filing a suit against Uber or Lyft is more difficult. Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees. As such, the companies normally won’t be held responsible for an accident. That said, Florida law has strict requirements on who can work as a driver, so Uber and Lyft may be liable for negligent hiring.
In some cases, third parties may also be liable, including:
- Other drivers involved in the accident
- The manufacturer of the at-fault vehicle if a defective part caused the crash
- The mechanic who serviced the at-fault driver’s car
- Any other third party who contributed to the accident
How much you can get and whether the driver’s or the rideshare company’s coverage will kick in depends on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident.1. The Driver Had Turned the Rideshare App ON and Was Either Transporting a Passenger or Was En Route to Pick Them Up
In that case, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance coverage will apply. It includes up to:
- $1 million in third-party liability coverage
- Contingent collision coverage with a $2,500 deductible
- $250,000 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UDM) coverage
The driver’s personal insurance and the company’s contingent liability coverage will apply. The latter includes:
- $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries
- Up to $25,000 in property damage coverage
If so, you can only access the driver’s personal auto insurance.What Kinds of Damages Are Available in Uber and Lyft Accidents?
You may typically claim compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you were involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, doing the right thing at the right time (or not) can make or break your case. Fortunately, an expert Florida rideshare accident attorney can guide you through the process.
Here are the most important steps to take after a rideshare crash:DOs
- DO call 911 right away. Safety always comes first. Contact law enforcement immediately and request an ambulance if needed.
- DO seek medical assistance. Even if you don’t think you need emergency care – or any care at all – seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should never adopt a wait-and-see attitude, as that can impact your eligibility for compensation and damages later. The other party’s insurance provider or defense lawyers may argue that you waited too long to get help. What’s more, getting prompt medical attention serves to document your injuries.
- DO report the crash to your insurer. The sooner, the better. However, don’t give them a detailed statement until you’ve spoken to a rideshare car accident attorney.
- DO document everything. Use your phone to take detailed photographs of the vehicles and the scene of the accident. If possible, take photos of the rideshare driver’s licenses, contact details, and insurance information. If there are any eyewitnesses, try to collect their contact details as well.
- DO speak to law enforcement officials. Let them know who the injured party is and that they were a rideshare passenger, if applicable. Provide any other information that may be requested.
- DO collect evidence. Gather copies of all your medical paperwork and request a copy of the accident crash report.
- DO take notes. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget critical details about a traumatic experience. To ensure that the accident stays fresh in your mind, take detailed notes about the crash, including the time of day, the road and weather conditions, your and the rideshare driver’s actions, etc.
- DO contact a Florida rideshare accident attorney. It’s crucial to talk to a specialist rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. This is a complex area of practice. A single mistake can jeopardize your eligibility for compensation altogether.
- DON’T panic. Try to stay calm and don’t flee the scene of the accident.
- DON’T sign anything. Never sign any documents, give a statement, or agree to anything without talking to a rideshare car accident lawyer first.
- DON’T speak to representatives of the other party without consulting with your attorney. This includes the other party’s insurance company and lawyers. Anything you say will likely be used against you in the future.
- DON’T say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault. Don’t tell anyone – including other drivers, passengers in your car, witnesses, your insurer, or law enforcement officers – that you are sorry, didn’t see the red light, or anything to that effect.
- DON’T delay contacting an attorney. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to prove your case.
If you’re looking for an Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, or anywhere else in Florida, you’ve come to the right place. Our lawyers have decades of experience in winning traffic accident and personal injury cases.
Over the past ten years, our team has successfully branched into the new practice area of rideshare accidents. We have both the knowledge and the experience to handle your claim and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.Uber and Lyft Accidents in Florida FAQs
Here are the answers to some questions we often get in our practice:Can You Sue an Uber Driver for Crashing?
Yes, you can. However, your first line of defense would be to make a claim against the rideshare driver’s insurance.
If the insurance company denies your claim or the coverage is insufficient, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To do that in Florida, you need to have suffered severe injuries, such as fractured bones, significant disfigurement, disability for 90 days or more, a significant limitation of the use of a body function or system, or a permanent limitation of the use of a body organ or member.What Should You Do If You’re Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger in Florida?
If you’re injured as a passenger, your injury protection (PIP) insurance should kick in. If you don’t carry PIP yourself, the coverage of a family member or someone from your household may cover your damages. Alternatively, you could file a claim against the insurance of the driver of the vehicle in which you were injured.Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Was My Fault in Florida?
You are not required to hire an attorney after an accident. However, an experienced Lyft or Uber accident attorney can help you navigate the complex insurance and court systems and increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Florida?
According to Florida’s statute of limitations rules, you have four years after the day of the accident to file a claim, so you want to hire an attorney before that. The sooner, the better. Ideally, you should call a Florida Uber and Lyft accident lawyer right after the crash.
Remember, the risk of losing crucial evidence or giving a head start on the other party’s case grows exponentially with each passing day.Has Anyone Sued Uber?
Plenty of people have filed lawsuits against Uber since it was first launched in 2009. The company was sued 433 times in 2017 alone. This figure includes claims for negligence, personal injuries, failure to train drivers, exaggerating background checks, as well as class actions related to the company’s treatment of drivers.What Happens If an Uber Driver Gets Into an Accident?
How much compensation you can get if injured will depend on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident.
If they had turned the Uber app on and were either transporting or going to pick up an accepted passenger, you may file a claim against Uber’s $1 million commercial insurance coverage, contingent collision coverage, or $250,000 million uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UDM) coverage.
If the driver had turned the app on and was waiting for a fare, their personal insurance and Uber’s contingent liability coverage will apply. The latter includes up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries and up to $25,000 in property damage.
Finally, if the driver had turned the rideshare app off, you can only tap into their personal auto insurance.I Was Injured in a Florida Rideshare Accident. What Should I Do Now?
The first thing to do is to call 911 to contact law enforcement and seek emergency medical attention if needed. Next, get in touch with an experienced rideshare accidents attorney in Miami, Tampa, or elsewhere in the state. They’ll take it from there.How Much Does a Lyft or Uber Accident Lawyer in Florida Cost?
Fees vary across providers and depending on the circumstances of your case. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation, during which you can discuss your needs and the nature of your claim and learn about their pricing before making a financial commitment.Talk to an Experienced Florida Rideshare Accident Attorney
Looking for a rideshare accident attorney in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and elsewhere in Florida whom you can trust?
Contact Whittel & Melton for a free consultation today. We’ll make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.