Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ride-sharing companies currently on the market. These ride-sharing companies have taken the transportation industry by storm and given taxicab companies a serious run for their money. Uber and Lyft bill themselves as inexpensive, reliable, and safe means of transportation—especially for people traveling to and from airports, train stations, and other transportation centers. Uber and Lyft are also extremely convenient. Riders may download apps onto their iPhones and other smart devices, request and pay for rides, and keep track of driver locations at all times. The apps give them the amount of the fare, which the rider pays via credit cards that Uber and Lyft keep on file.
The advantages of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft come with downsides. For starters, motor vehicle accidents can take place involving Uber and Lyft drivers, and when that happens, serious injuries and damages can befall riders. Because several potential persons, companies, and insurance companies are in play in an accident involving a ride-sharing vehicle, these personal injury cases have the potential to grow complicated and cumbersome.
If a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle injured you, the knowledgeable Miami personal injury attorneys at Uber Car Accident Law may assist you with your case. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys can discuss the facts and circumstances of your accident and can file claims against all of the necessary (and potentially responsible) parties on your behalf. By filing as many claims as necessary and bringing as many potential defendants into a personal injury case as possible, you maximize your chances of financial recovery and potentially increase the settlement or verdict value of your case. If the insurance company or insurance companies in the case refuse to make appropriate settlement offers, our experienced attorneys welcome the opportunity to litigate your case or take it to trial, if necessary.
Employees and Independent Contractors
Although Uber requires its drivers to undergo thorough background checks and carry their own motor vehicle insurance while working for it, Uber drivers are not Uber employees. Rather, Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors. The difference between an employee and an independent contractor largely rests on the amount of control the company has over a worker, whether the worker sets the work schedule, and how the employer pays the worker. As a general rule, at tax time, employees receive a W-2 tax form, while independent contractors get a Form 1099 from all people or entities with whom the independent contractor has done business in the last year.
In terms of personal injury lawsuits, the distinction between employees and independent contractors becomes important. In the past, Uber has tried to keep its distance from drivers who failed to drive in responsible ways, especially those who caused motor vehicle accidents. In more recent cases, however, Uber has shared in some or all of the liability.
Potentially Responsible Parties in an Uber Accident
In motor vehicle accidents involving negligent Uber or Lyft drivers, the following people and entities could potentially share in the liability (or responsibility):
- The Uber or Lyft driver
- Uber or Lyft—the companies
- The insurance company for the driver or company
A knowledgeable Uber or Lyft car accident lawyer will typically file a claim or lawsuit against all of these potentially responsible parties to safeguard liability and maximize the potential settlement and verdict value of the case at trial. On the downside, each of these entities will probably try to make the injured passenger sign an agreement that limits the settlement or that precludes the injured passenger from taking future legal action. Injured Uber or Lyft passengers should never sign one of these agreements—under any circumstances—without first consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer. By saying or doing the wrong thing at this juncture, the injured passenger could potentially lose out on recovering thousands of dollars in monetary compensation.
Injured Uber and Lyft passengers may also recover monetary compensation in cases where the driver operated a vehicle in a reasonable, careful, and safe manner under the circumstances, but another motor vehicle driver acted negligently and caused the accident.
Policy Limits of Coverage in Uber Accident Cases
In terms of Uber’s direct liability for an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, the following general policy limits apply:
- 50/100/25 of contingent coverage by Uber in-between fares (that is, contingent on a driver’s personal automobile insurance policy). This will pay out only if the driver’s personal automobile insurance policy refuses to pay anything to satisfy the injured passenger’s claim.
- $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits per accident (rather than per person). This amount provides coverage for when another driver causes a collision or other type of accident and injuries Uber passengers.
- $1 million of liability coverage per accident, which is divided into a liability for bodily injuries and property damage.
In Uber and Lyft car accident cases, injured passengers may recover monetary compensation and damages for all of their medical and physical therapy expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, mental anguish, and lost the enjoyment of life.
Contact a Miami Uber or Lyft Car Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
If a car accident involving Uber or Lyft injured you, you may recover monetary compensation in your case. Uber and Lyft have teams of experienced lawyers at their disposal who will do everything in their power to eliminate Uber and Lyft’s potential liability.
The attorneys at Uber Car Accident Law, however, stand ready and willing to represent you throughout your personal injury car accident case. You can contact the attorneys at Uber Car Accident Law by calling (305) 964-8806 or sending us an email through our online contact form.