Miami Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Getting in an accident, no matter the circumstances, can be devastating. However, rideshare accidents carry a particular set of challenges that make getting the compensation you are entitled to more challenging. This is why you need a rideshare accident lawyer in Miami, like our experienced team at Whittel & Melton, who can help you navigate this difficult situation.Whittel & Melton Serving Florida as Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyers
Whether you live in Miami or elsewhere in Florida, we have offices across much of the state. For the past 10 years, we have worked hard to understand the complex rules and laws surrounding rideshare accidents in Florida.
If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, it is crucial that you get the legal help you need as soon as possible. Without professional legal counsel, you risk missing out on the compensation you deserve.Who Has to Pay in an Uber or Lyft Crash?
As a no-fault state, Florida law requires individuals to use their own insurance before making a claim with another party.
Every driver in Florida must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This includes up to $10,000 in coverage for medical and other accident-related costs. To access your PIP funds, you must get medical attention within 14 days of the incident.
When your accident-related expenses exceed what your PIP insurance covers, then you can try making a claim with the rideshare driver’s insurance, or possibly with the rideshare company itself.
You can pursue other legal actions against the driver if those claims are denied, including filing a lawsuit. In Florida, this requires proof of severe injuries. There are limits on what is considered a severe injury.
There may be a third party who is liable for your injuries in some situations. This may include:
- Any other drivers who were involved in the crash
- A vehicle manufacture if a defective part on the at-fault vehicle caused the crash
- A third party who contributed to the crash in any way
- A mechanic who recently serviced the at-fault vehicle
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against a rideshare company. Thousands of individuals and organizations already have. However, it’s not easy, mainly because rideshare companies usually do not classify their drivers as official employees. Instead, the drivers are employed as independent contractors. This designation greatly limits the liability of Uber and Lyft.
One factor that may allow you to sue a rideshare company is if it negligently hired an unqualified driver. In Florida, there are strict requirements for becoming a rideshare driver. These include:
- Passing a background check
- Having a good driving record
- Holding a valid Florida driver’s license, car insurance, and vehicle registration
- Driving a 4-door vehicle that is no more than 10 years old
- Being at least 21 years old
- If under 23, being a licensed driver for at least three years, otherwise, at least 1 year
- Having a Social Security number
After the $10,000 from your own PIP insurance, the amount you can claim from either the rideshare driver or the rideshare company will depend on what the driver was doing when the accident happened.
Three distinct situations may apply to a rideshare accident.
1. Driver was Traveling with a Passenger and Rideshare App Was Activated
With this type of scenario, you could try filing a claim through the company’s commercial insurance. These policies usually include up to $1 million for third-party liability and up to $250,000 for underinsured and uninsured drivers.
2. Driver was Waiting for Job with Rideshare App Turned On
In this situation, you might be able to file a claim with both the driver’s personal insurance and the company’s contingent liability insurance. Contingent liability coverage typically includes up to $50,000 per person for injuries and up to $25,000 for property damage.
3. Rideshare App was Turned Off
If a rideshare driver is not actively working or waiting for a ride, you can only file a claim against their personal insurance.
Most insurance companies will do whatever they can to avoid paying a claim. Here are some of the potential roadblocks you may encounter:
- Even when a driver does not have the app activated, their personal insurance provider may still deny the claim by saying the driver was still driving commercially.
- Because Florida law classifies rideshare drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, it is much more difficult to establish liability with the parent company.
- When a driver has not accepted a ride, the commercial insurance coverage will not apply.
With so many challenging situations, it is crucial that you hire a rideshare accident lawyer in Miami as soon as you can after an accident.What You Should and Should Not Do After a Rideshare Accident
Being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident can be traumatizing, whether as a passenger or driver. However, it is crucial that you take the proper steps at the right time to ensure the best outcome.
Here are some of the most important things you should and should not do after a rideshare accident:
- Call 911: Make safety your priority. Call 911 immediately to request emergency assistance.
- Get medical attention: After an accident, many people are in a state of shock. This can cause you not to realize you are in pain. It is essential to get medical attention as soon as possible, whether you feel injured or not. Not only does this help with your potential injuries, but it also gives you documentation for any insurance claims and litigation. Waiting too long for medical help may make you ineligible for compensation.
- Contact a car accident lawyer: As soon as possible after the rideshare accident, get in contact with one of our experienced rideshare accident lawyers in Miami. With our expert legal advice for this complicated situation, you will know what you need to do at each step.
- Speak with law enforcement: You must cooperate with any law enforcement officials. However, before you offer a detailed statement, you should talk with your auto accident lawyer at Whittle & Melton.
- Take pictures: Take lots of pictures of any damaged vehicles and the accident scene. If you can, you should also take a picture of the rideshare driver’s license, the Uber or Lyft operating license, their insurance information, and contact details. If there were any eyewitnesses, try to get their contact info too.
- Report the incident to your insurance: Most insurance companies require policy holders to report an accident within 24 hours. However, this is not the deadline for filing an injury or property damage claim. Ask us for legal counsel before giving your insurance a detailed statement as you don’t want to jeopardize your chance for compensation.
- Write down what happened: It does not take long to forget details of an event, even something as jarring as a car accident. While it is still fresh in your mind, write down as many details as you remember. Include things like the traffic conditions, weather, what time the accident happened, and what you and the rideshare driver were doing.
- Don’t admit fault: While your first reaction might be to apologize, this is considered an admission of fault. Do not say sorry or anything like that to anyone.
With over 10 years of experience, Whittle & Melton understand the complexities of car accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver. We will give you the best legal counsel we can to ensure you get the compensation you are due.
Want to learn how we can help you? Contact Whittel & Melton and set up a free consultation today. We are available 24/7.