St. Petersburg Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are daunting. In a split second, they can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health – to say nothing of the paperwork and financial costs involved.
The good news is that while you can’t turn back time and make the accident unhappen, you can get just compensation for your troubles.
To do that, you need to read up on the relevant regulations and join forces with an experienced Whittel & Melton rideshare accident lawyer in St. Petersburg.
With this in mind, here’s the least you need to know if you’ve had an Uber or Lyft accident.
Source: University of Chicago Booth School of Business”What Kind of Compensation Can You Get After a Rideshare Accident?
If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident – as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian – you may be eligible for compensation in the form of insurance payouts or court-mandated damages for:
- Damage to property
- Healthcare expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A specialist Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in St. Petersburg from Whittel & Melton’s stellar team can help you determine what type of compensation you’re entitled to – and how much.How Is Liability Determined in Uber and Lyft Accidents in St. Petersburg?
Each case is unique. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get compensation through your own insurance, the rideshare driver, or the rideshare company.
To maximize your chances of success, hire an experienced Whittel & Melton Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in St. Petersburg. We’ll ensure that you go after the party with the deepest pockets.
Your Insurance Provider
St. Petersburg, like all of Florida, is a no-fault jurisdiction. In plain English, this means that you must first tap into your own insurance regardless of who was at fault. This helps minimize payment delay and reduces the strain on the court system.
If you own a motor vehicle registered in Florida, you must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage. These cover up to:
- $10,000 in medical expenses
- $10,000 for damage caused by your vehicle to another person’s property
However, keep in mind that your PIP will only kick in if you seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.
The Rideshare Driver
In some cases, you may not carry personal insurance, or it may not be enough to cover your losses.
If so, you may bring a claim against the rideshare driver’s personal insurance.
If their insurer denies the claim, you could pursue a lawsuit instead. However, this is only possible if your injuries are considered severe. Under Florida law, severe injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Significant disfigurement
- A substantial disability that lasts 90 days or more
- Significant or permanent limitation of the use of a body organ, member, function, or system
The Rideshare Company
If going after the driver isn’t an option for whatever reason, you may be able to tap into Uber or Lyft’s commercial or contingent liability insurance. For more information, see the next section.
Taking Uber or Lyft to court is considerably more difficult. Their drivers are independent contractors, so the companies aren’t generally liable for accidents unless there are negligent hiring practices.Other Parties
Other persons may be liable as well, such as other drivers, the manufacturer or mechanic of the at-fault vehicle, and anyone that may have contributed to the crash.How Much Can You Get If You’ve Been in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
The maximum compensation available to you is determined by the rideshare driver’s behavior and whether the Uber or Lyft app was turned on at the time of the crash. For more details, call Whittel & Melton to talk to an Uber and Lyft accident attorney in St. Petersburg.
1. The App Was OFF
You may only file a claim against the rideshare driver’s personal insurance. Uber or Lyft’s commercial coverage won’t apply, even if you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle.
2. The App Was ON, and the Vehicle Was Available for Booking
Here, both the driver’s personal auto insurance and the rideshare company’s contingent liability insurance apply.
The contingent liability coverage includes:
- Up to $25,000 for property damage
- Up to $50,000 for bodily injuries (per person)
- Up to $100,000 for bodily injuries (per accident)
3. The App Was ON, and the Vehicle Was Either Carrying a Passenger or Going to Collect Them
In such cases, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance will kick in. This includes:
- Contingent collision coverage with a $2,500 deductible
- Up to $250,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Up to $1,000,000 million in third-party liability
Knowing what to do after a rideshare accident is crucial to getting the maximum compensation possible. The dos and don’ts below are a great start, but make sure to speak with an experienced Whittel & Melton auto accident lawyer for case-specific guidance.
- Call 911. Get in touch with law enforcement and request emergency medical assistance if required. When the police arrive, let them know if someone’s hurt and if any rideshare passengers were involved in the accident.
- Document the accident. Take multiple long-shot and up-close pictures of the vehicles. Write down the rideshare driver’s contact, insurance, and license details. Gather the names and contact info of any eyewitnesses.
- Inform your insurance company about the crash. Do this as soon as you can, but don’t provide a thorough statement before you’ve talked to a Whittel & Melton Lyft and Uber accident attorney in St. Petersburg.
- Seek medical help. Again, you want to do this as soon as possible. Not seeking medical assistance promptly or at all could hurt your compensation.
- Book a consultation with Whittel & Melton, the leading Uber and Lyft accident law firm in St. Petersburg. Rideshare accident law can be tricky. Hiring a Whittel & Melton car accident lawyer is the best way to protect your interests.
- Don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Keep calm and stay at the scene of the accident until law enforcement officers give you the all-clear to go home.
- Don’t admit fault. Never say that you feel guilty, apologize, say you didn’t see the red light, etc.
- Don’t speak to anyone other than law enforcement officials or medical personnel. You should only engage with representatives of the other party – such as their insurer and attorneys – after consulting with a Whittel & Melton St. Petersburg Uber accident lawyer.
- Don’t sign any paperwork. This includes giving statements or agreeing to anything without consulting with your attorney first.
Can You Sue Uber and Lyft?
You may be able to take Uber or Lyft to court if you can show that they are liable for negligent hiring. In most cases, however, your chances of getting compensation are higher if you tap into the rideshare company’s commercial liability coverage or the driver’s personal insurance.
Is It Worth Getting a Rideshare Accident Lawyer in St. Petersburg?
Yes, it is. Rideshare regulations are complex and still in flux. Partnering with an experienced Whittel & Melton St. Petersburg Lyft accident lawyer is the best way to protect your interests and maximize your payout.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek in an Uber Accident?
You can typically seek compensation for bodily injury, property damage, loss of income, pain and emotional suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Yes, Florida is one of 12 no-fault states. This means that if you are ever in a car accident, you must tap into your personal insurance first before going after other parties, even if they were at fault.
Whittel & Melton is the premier Lyft and Uber accident law firm in St. Petersburg and all of Florida.
Contact our team today to get the compensation you deserve.