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Suffering through pain and injuries caused by a rideshare accident is not something you need to bear alone. You need a rideshare accident lawyer in Gainesville, like the experts at Whittle & Melton, who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
As a relatively new area of legal practice, rideshare accidents can be complex situations. The rules and laws surrounding rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft change frequently. That is why you should trust your case to the experts at Whittel & Melton.
If you choose to pursue the situation on your own, you risk getting a lot less than you have a right to or getting nothing in return. At Whittel & Melton, we will do what we can to ensure that doesn’t happen.
One of the most important things to remember about most accidents in Florida is that Florida is a no-fault state. In a no-fault state like Florida, you must use your own insurance first, even in a rideshare accident. This applies whether you were driving your vehicle or were a passenger in the Uber or Lyft.
Every driver in Florida is required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is usually part of an auto insurance policy. This coverage offers up to $10,000 in payments for medical and other accident-related costs. To qualify for a payment, you must receive medical treatment within two weeks of the accident.
When your injuries and related medical bills exceed what your PIP insurance covers, then you may be able to make a claim against the rideshare company’s or rideshare driver’s insurance.
If the driver’s insurance denies your claim, you might be able to sue the driver. In Florida, this requires proof of severe injury.
If you want to pursue legal action against Lyft or Uber, your case becomes more difficult. Rideshare companies typically do not consider their drivers as employees – they are independent contractors. This designation severely limits the liability of the parent company. However, if Uber or Lyft negligently hired an unqualified driver, they could be held liable.
The criteria to become a rideshare driver in Florida includes:
This will vary significantly based on the severity of your injuries and what the rideshare driver was doing during or leading up to the accident. There are three distinct situations to consider.
1. Rideshare App Was on, and Driver Was Transporting or on their Way to Pick Up a Passenger
In a situation like this, you could seek compensation from the company’s commercial insurance policy. These policies typically include up to $1 million in coverage for third-party liability and coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers up to $250 million.
2. Rideshare App Was on, and Driver Was Waiting for a Job
In this scenario, you could make a claim on both the company’s liability coverage and the driver’s personal coverage. Personal liability insurance usually includes coverage for property damage up to $25,000 and up to $50,000 per person for injuries.
3. Rideshare App Was Off
Only their personal insurance will apply when the rideshare driver has not activated the rideshare app.
There are certain things you should and should not do after getting in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. Doing or saying something at the wrong time may make you inadvertently liable for all costs.
Here are some of the most crucial things you should and should not do after a rideshare accident:
If you are a passenger in a vehicle during a rideshare accident, many of the same rules and regulations apply to you. Your first source of compensation will be your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. A family member’s policy may apply if you do not have this. If not, you can try filing a claim with the driver’s insurance.
In short, yes, you can sue Uber. Since Uber was launched in 2009, it has been sued thousands of times, with 433 lawsuits filed in 2017 alone. These suits were filed for various reasons, including accidents, misclassification of its drivers, and discrimination of disabled passengers.
Whether you live in Gainesville or anywhere else in Florida, the attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help. Our team of experts has been working hard for over a decade to master all the legal technicalities that come with rideshare accidents.
Ready to talk to a lawyer you can trust? Schedule a free consultation with us today.