Tampa Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Have you had an accident with a rideshare vehicle?
Whether you were a rideshare customer, driver, or passenger in another vehicle, you could be entitled to compensation in the form of damages or insurance payouts.
But, to get what you’re owed, you must act quickly and speak with Whittel & Melton’s rideshare accident lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible. The regulations governing Uber and Lyft accidents are complicated. Insurers and rideshare companies will try every trick in the book to avoid making a payout, and taking them to court can be challenging.
Hiring a Whittel & Melton rideshare car accident lawyer is the best way to protect your interests and get the compensation you deserve.Who Is Responsible for Rideshare Accidents in Tampa?
The information below is strictly educational. No two cases are alike, and how much you can get and who is liable depends on the unique circumstances of the accident. To ensure you get the maximum compensation available to you, consult an experienced Tampa Uber/Lyft rideshare accident lawyer from Whittel & Melton.
Your Insurance Provider
Florida is one of the 12 no-fault states in the U.S. What this means is that in the event of an accident, you must tap into your personal insurance before going after any third parties.
As a driver in Florida, you are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This includes a maximum of $10,000 for medical and non-medical expenses.
Note that for your PIP coverage to kick in, you have to seek medical assistance within 14 days of the accident.
The Uber or Lyft Driver
But what if you don’t carry PIP coverage, it doesn’t kick in, or it isn’t enough to cover your expenses?
If so, you could file a claim against the insurance of the rideshare driver or the company.
And if none of these options works, you could take the driver to court. However, you’re required to have suffered severe injuries such as:
- Fractured bones
- Significant disfigurement
- At least 90 days with substantial disability
- Significant limitation on your ability to use a body system or function
- Permanent limitation on your ability to use a body member or organ
A Whittel & Melton rideshare injury lawyer can advise you whether your injuries meet the severity threshold and recommend next steps.
The Rideshare Company
In rare cases, you could pursue a lawsuit against the rideshare company itself.
Florida law classifies rideshare drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. As a result, the company isn’t typically responsible for accidents unless it violates the state’s rideshare driver requirements, which could be considered negligent hiring.
Rideshare drivers in Florida must:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Have a Social Security Number (SSN)
- Have had a driver’s license for at least one year (three years if under 23)
- Have a four-door vehicle that is maximum 10 years old
- Hold a Florida registration, license, and car insurance under their name
- Pass background and driving record checks
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, other parties may also be liable, including:
- Other drivers
- The manufacturer of the at-fault vehicle
- The mechanic who serviced the at-fault vehicle
- Other third parties who contributed to the accident
This largely depends on what the rideshare driver was doing at the time of the accident.
1. Uber/Lyft App Was ON, and the Driver Was Transporting a Passenger or Was on Their Way to Pick One Up
Uber or Lyft’s commercial insurance will kick in. It covers:
- Third-party liability: Up to $1,000,000.
- Contingent collision coverage: Up to the actual cash value of the car plus a $2,500 deductible.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Up to $250,000.
2. Uber/Lyft App Was ON, and the Driver Was Available to Be Booked
The personal insurance of the driver will apply. If this is unavailable, the company’s third-party liability coverage kicks in. It includes:
- Property damage: Up to $25,000 per accident.
- Bodily injury: Up to $50,000 per individual or $100,000 per accident.
3. Uber/Lyft App Was OFF
Your only option is to tap into the driver’s own insurance.What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Rideshare Accident?
You can get damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost earnings
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Decreased enjoyment of life
An experienced Uber or Lyft accident lawyer from Whittel & Melton can advise you what damages are available and how to get the maximum amount.Dos and Don’ts After Uber/Lyft Rideshare Accidents in Tampa
- Dial 911. Report the accident right away and ask for an ambulance.
- Seek medical help. Get medical assistance as soon as possible, even when you aren’t sure it’s necessary. Not seeking medical help or waiting too long can hurt your ability to claim compensation later.
- Talk to law enforcement. Inform them who the injured party is and that they were a rideshare passenger if that was the case.
- Inform your insurance company about the accident. Just don’t provide them with a statement before you’ve consulted a Tampa Uber and Lyft accident lawyer from Whittel & Melton.
- Collect evidence. Take photos of the scene and get the Lyft/Uber driver’s contact, license, and insurance details. Ask for the contact information of all eyewitnesses, if any. Later, request copies of any medical documents and the crash report, and take detailed notes about the accident.
- Speak with a Whittel & Melton Lyft or Uber accident lawyer. You want to get in touch with a Whittel & Melton rideshare auto accident lawyer in Tampa as soon as you can. Rideshare accident law is complicated. Just one wrong step can cost you your compensation altogether.
- Try not to panic. Compose yourself and don’t leave the scene of the accident before law enforcement officers tell you to.
- Don’t consent to anything. This includes signing paperwork, giving a statement, or making any kind of commitment before speaking with a Whittel & Melton Uber or Lyft accident lawyer in Tampa.
- Refrain from talking to the other party. This includes their insurance provider and lawyers. Always speak to your attorney first.
- Never admit fault. Never apologize, say that you didn’t see the other car, or anything along those lines.
- Don’t delay hiring a Whittel & Melton rideshare accident lawyer. Each passing day makes it more and more challenging to prove your case.
Can I Take Uber to Court for an Accident?
Yes. However, your best bet normally is to file a claim against the Uber driver’s or the company’s insurance. Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, so the company isn’t usually liable unless you can prove negligent hiring practices.
Is It Worth Getting an Accident Lawyer?
Yes. Rideshare accident law is a new area of practice. The rules are complex, still in flux, and have many loopholes that allow rideshare companies to avoid making payouts. An experienced Whittel & Melton Uber/Lyft accident attorney in Tampa can ensure that doesn’t happen.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek in an Uber Accident?
You can seek compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Yes, Florida is a no-fault state. If you were in an accident, you must tap into your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage first. This includes up to $10,000 for medical and non-medical costs. However, for your PIP insurance to kick in, you must seek medical assistance no later than 14 days from the day of the accident.
If you need an Uber/Lyft accident lawyer in Tampa you can trust, contact Whittel & Melton.
Talk to Whittel & Melton’s ridesharing accidents lawyers in Tampa, Florida today.