Ridesharing with companies like Uber and Lyft is the hottest new thing. Thousands of customers use these companies to take them to their destination of choice in South Florida each day, whether they are headed to Miami International Airport, Aventura Mall, or visiting one of the trendy restaurants in South Beach. Yet, like any other form of transportation, accidents happen, and they are often the result of negligent or reckless driving.
Florida’s no-fault insurance laws and the still-new laws surrounding rideshare accidents can make even small accidents involving Uber or Lyft challenging, let alone multi-vehicle crashes. If you have been injured in an accident involving Uber or Lyft, find a skilled attorney with experience going up against ridesharing companies to help you navigate the insurance claims process and complexities of any legal issues. This guide will offer some background information about ridesharing, claims, and insurance in Florida, and your next steps after being in a multivehicle crash involving Uber of Lyft.
How Does Florida Law Define Ridesharing?
Peer-to-peer ridesharing companies provide the opportunity for passengers to hire a driver to take them to their destination of choice; Uber and Lyft are the largest of these companies. Uber and Lyft drivers work as independent contractors who use their personal vehicles to give rides to passengers, who request service and pay through a convenient smartphone app. After the service is completed, passengers rate the driver to provide other riders information about what to expect from a particular driver.
Insurance Requirements Florida Drivers
Florida is a no-fault insurance state which requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When a motor vehicle accident occurs, each person files a claim under their own PIP insurance to cover medical costs and lost wages in accordance with the limits on their policy. Florida law requires all those who own a motor vehicle to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
When someone uses personal vehicle for a commercial enterprise like Uber and Lyft drivers do, PIP insurance may not cover all of the costs associated with the accident. In 2015, Florida lawmakers passed a bill requiring all Uber and Lyft drivers to carry 50/100/25 coverage at a minimum. This insurance may be provided by the individual or the rideshare company and includes:
- $50,000 death and bodily injury coverage per person
- $100,000 death and bodily injury coverage per incident
- $25,000 property damage liability
Additional requirements went into effect in 2017:
- Rideshare drivers, or the company with which they have contracted, need primary automobile insurance that recognizes that they use their vehicle for commercial purposes as a rideshare driver.
- When drivers are transporting passengers, they must carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability coverage, the same requirements as those who drive limousines.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Multi-Vehicle Crash Involving Uber or Lyft?
Accidents that involve Uber or Lyft drivers are highly complex. The appropriate course of action varies based on whether you are a passenger, a rideshare driver, or the driver of another vehicle. Although there are exceptions and an experienced lawyer can give you specifics for your situation, here are some general guidelines for passengers and drivers involved in an Uber or Lyft accident.
- Passengers who carry their own PIP insurance typically file a claim under their own policy for injuries. PIP insurance in Florida only covers 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost wages related to injuries. Once a person reaches their PIP threshold, or in the event they do not carry PIP insurance, they should also file a claim with Uber or Lyft’s insurance carrier. In Florida, Uber provides liability coverage for drivers through Progressive and Lyft provides liability coverage through AIG.
- Rideshare drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers who are injured in a multi-vehicle crash while working will submit a claim under their primary commercial coverage, whether through the company or purchased on their own. If they are not logged into either system, they will likely need to file a claim under their own PIP coverage. In the event that another driver caused the accident, the insurance companies will fight it out.
- Other drivers. Regardless of who caused the accident, other drivers will also begin a claims process by filing a claim under their own PIP insurance. Once limits are exceeded, drivers may need to file a claim against the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal policy, or company policy.
Hire a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney in South Florida
Regardless of whether you are an Uber or Lyft driver, a passenger, or a driver in another car, handing a claim with Uber or Lyft on your own is often not in your best interest. With multiple vehicles and insurance carriers involved, the waters become murky very quickly. Additionally, Uber and Lyft are relatively new, so consistency is rare among cases. You may not end up filing a personal injury lawsuit, but seeking legal counsel to help you navigate the claims process can ensure that you follow protocols and avoid denials for not meeting deadlines or doing things incorrectly.
Unfortunately, even if you file claims correctly, the insurance company still might deny your claim, and it’s unlikely that all of your expenses will be covered. In these cases, and those involving severe injuries, filing a personal injury lawsuit against liable parties may be necessary to recover all the damages you have incurred because of your injuries.
If you sustained an injury in a multi-vehicle crash involving Uber or Lyft, you most likely are going through an ample amount of physical, emotional, and financial stress. Let a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience with ridesharing companies guide you through the insurance claims process, which may include helping you file the necessary paperwork, investigate the accident, and speak to witnesses, while you focus on rehabilitation. Your attorney can advise you on the right course of action for your particular circumstances. Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Uber Car Accident Law at (305) 964-8806 or email us for a free consultation.