Taking an Uber is second nature to many people in Miami. Ubers can help save on the cost and stress of parking, transport visitors who can avoid renting cars, and can serve as designated drivers for those enjoying the many restaurants and nightclubs in South Florida. However, many Uber rides can take an unexpected turn if the driver gets into an accident and passengers suffer injuries. If the Uber driver was at fault in the crash, what are your rights as a passenger to file an insurance claim against Uber?
When Uber started, to say the insurance claim procedures were confusing is an understatement. As ridesharing services have expanded and have become commonplace in cities like Miami, states have taken action to apply greater regulation to insurance requirements in order to best protect passengers in Uber cars. These regulations do not mean that insurance claims involving Uber are simple, however, and your first call after an Uber accident should be to an experienced rideshare accident lawyer who can identify the best options for you to receive full compensation.
Losses from a Florida Uber Accident
It is important to understand how Uber insurance claims work because the losses that you may incur due to an Uber accident can be extensive. The following are some examples of losses for which an accident victim deserves compensation:
- Medical bills – Car accident injuries can range from soft tissue damage to concussions to catastrophic injuries. Even seemingly minor injuries require a proper medical diagnosis and treatment, however. No matter what type of injury you suffered, you likely have bills from the emergency department, doctors, specialists, physical therapists, and more. For more serious injuries, accident victims can have overwhelming bills for hospital stays, surgeries, or ongoing medical care for lasting injuries.
- Lost earnings – After a car accident injury, many people need to take time away from work. This time may be due to a hospital stay or doctor’s orders to rest. In some cases, a specific injury may interfere with your job performance – such as a back injury preventing you from engaging in physical activities or lifting. If an accident caused permanent impairments, you may have to search for a different job altogether, which may pay less than your previous position. All of this can result in a substantial amount of lost earning for which you should be compensated.
- Pain and suffering – Many car accident injuries can be painful and ongoing pain can wear you down quickly. Pain can limit your activities around your house, at work, and recreationally. Taking pain medication can also interfere with your faculties and can be dangerous in the long-term. Many injury victims who experience severe or chronic pain can develop depression or other emotional injuries as a result. In addition, being involved in a sudden and serious car crash can be a traumatic experience, which can result in mental conditions including irrational fears and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
While the value of a claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your Uber accident and your injuries, losses can easily rise into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. There can be a lot at stake in these insurance claims, so you always need a highly qualified Uber accident law firm on your side.
Florida Law Regarding Uber Insurance Requirements
All drivers in Florida are required by law to have a minimum no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy of $10,000, a property damage liability policy of $10,000, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In spring of 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law mandating new minimum rideshare insurance requirements to enhance protections for passengers. These requirements are in addition to existing requirements and they include:
- When an Uber driver is online and available but does not have a passenger:
- Property damage liability coverage of $25,000 per crash
- Bodily injury or death liability coverage of $50,000 per person injured
- Bodily injury or death liability coverage of $100,000 per crash
- When an Uber driver has at least one passenger:
- Liability coverage for bodily injury, death, and property damage of $1 million
The above coverage may be provided by the drivers themselves or by Uber. In fact, Uber cannot assume that drivers have proper coverage and must have policies in place to provide coverage in case a driver’s insurance is inadequate or has lapsed. While these requirements do work to protect passengers, it does not mean that Uber insurance claims are simple matters.
Complex Insurance Claims
Recovering for your losses after an Uber accident may involve a complex web of PIP claims, claims against the driver’s personal policy, and claims against the Uber company’s policy. Under the new law, Uber policies are considered to be primary coverage and, therefore, a claim cannot be denied based on your own personal coverage. However, Uber insurance companies can try to reduce or deny claims by Uber passengers in many other ways.
It is imperative to have the help of a skilled Uber attorney from the very start of the insurance process. Adjustors may seem to be on your side, however, it is wise to have your attorney handle all communications with adjusters, as they are often seeking information to reduce liability. Our attorneys will identify any and all necessary claims in your case, file the paperwork, and see them through to obtain the most favorable settlement possible for you.
A Miami Uber Accident Law Firm can Assist You
Being involved in an Uber accident can leave you feeling stressed and helpless. You should always realize that the Miami firm of Uber Car Accident Law is here to help injured Uber crash victims throughout every stage of the insurance process. We know all of the tricks used by insurance companies to limit payouts and we will always identify when a settlement offer is inadequate and fight for what you deserve.
If you sustained injuries in an Uber accident, you need the right legal representation as soon as possible. Please call our office at (305) 964-8806 or contact us online for a free discussion.