If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a passenger on a Lyft ride, it can be difficult to figure out whose insurance should pay your medical bills and other expenses. Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, your (or your parents’ or spouse’s) personal injury protection (PIP) insurance may cover you. But under a relatively new Florida law, drivers for ridesharing companies like Lyft must also hold a minimum of $1 million in PIP coverage that could pay for their passengers’ injuries too.
If you’re confused, and time is passing since your accident, seek out an experienced attorney to help you figure out your rights to compensation.
Complexities of Filing a Claim for Lyft Accidents in Florida
Because Florida is a no-fault state in which accident victims first seek coverage under their own insurance without regard to fault, one of the first things an injured Lyft passenger needs to do after seeking medical attention is determine with whom to file an insurance claim. This can seem confusing. As a Lyft passenger, you presumably have no-fault in the accident. However, you still may need to file a claim with your own (or parents’ or spouse’s) PIP insurance company first. Alternatively, if no such coverage is available to you, you may have to file a claim with the Lyft driver’s PIP carrier.
To add to the potential confusion, whatever the PIP carrier you claim against, you may also have rights to seek additional compensation, depending upon the amount of your damages and the severity of your injury, from other parties who may have been responsible for your accident. These may include the driver of the other car in a collision, the manufacturer of the Lyft driver’s car, or even entities responsible for maintaining the roads where the accident occurred.
Time Limits on Seeking Compensation in Florida
One thing to keep in mind is regardless of the extent of your injuries is that there are important time limits on seeking compensation. To begin with, under Florida’s no-fault insurance law, a covered party must seek medical attention for a covered injury within 14 days of sustaining it. If you fail to seek medical attention for your injury within that window of time, you may be prevented from recovering any insurance proceeds.
Even if you comply with that first-time requirement, keep in mind too that insurance companies may contest payment. In the meantime, the clock continues to run on your timeframe for seeking compensation from other sources, such as through a claim against a separate insurance carrier or from a party responsible for the accident. In Florida, the statute of limitation on personal injury claims is generally four years, but can be shortened or extended in certain special circumstances.
Speak with an attorney as soon as possible after sustaining an injury as a Lyft passenger in Florida to avoid missing one of these critical deadlines.
Every Decision You Make Matters Following a Lyft Accident
As a Lyft passenger, take appropriate action to protect your rights after an accident in which you sustain an injury. Here are some steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Seek medical attention – As noted above, even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should seek care immediately. When someone is involved in a car accident, their body tends to be flooded with adrenaline. The effects of adrenaline in your system include masking pain, which could mean you may not initially hurt, even if you are injured. Always seek care after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Contact your insurer – If you have your own PIP insurance, or are covered by a family member’s PIP policy, contact the insurer immediately and advise them of your accident. Avoid answering any questions that seem to be prying into the accident. Simply advise the insurer you have been involved in an accident, let them know which law enforcement agency took the report, and provide your personal contact information.
- Contact Lyft – Although the Lyft driver should have notified the company, you should contact them and provide only your name, address, telephone number and the date, time and location of the accident. Do not provide any other information.
- Contact a Lyft accident attorney – You are likely to be contacted by various insurance adjusters and you may feel overwhelmed with the number of questions you are being asked. As an injured Lyft passenger you should seek immediate assistance of an attorney. The last thing you want to do is sign off on something with any insurance company without seeking legal advice.
Lyft Accidents Can Be Complicated
Any accident involving a rideshare driver can be complicated. Whether you are a passenger in a Lyft, you are a driver of another vehicle involved in an accident with a Lyft, or you were a pedestrian struck by a Lyft operator’s vehicle, you need to understand what process must be followed and understand your rights.
Once you are safe, and have sought medical care, contact an attorney who has experience dealing with Lyft accidents. The sooner you contact an experienced attorney, the better your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve from all of the appropriate insurance companies and other parties.
At Uber Car Accident Law, we have attorneys who understand the complexities involved in Lyft accidents and we have experience handling a broad range of personal injury claims. We work with clients throughout South Florida, including in the cities of Miami, Aventura, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Hallandale Beach. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (305) 964-8806 or send us an email through our online contact form. We are here to help victims of rideshare accidents, including passengers of Lyft drivers, protect their rights and receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.