Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft provide a more cost-effective, convenient way for people to get around a city and ostensibly work toward the goal of decreasing the number of drunk drivers on the road. However, getting into a vehicle of any kind comes with the risk of an accident. With the high amount of rideshare activity in Miami, the chances of accidents involving Uber drivers increases.
If you get into an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare service vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation, whether you’re a passenger, pedestrian, or the driver of the other vehicle. But how do you know what to do after a Miami Uber accident? We’ve put together a comprehensive legal guide, including steps you should take after an accident with an Uber, in order to help you secure compensation as efficiently as possible. Here’s what you should know.
Uber Laws in Florida
The rideshare industry has changed the way Florida residents and visitors travel throughout the state. This has inevitably caught the attention of lawmakers, leading them to take action meant to keep passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers on the road safe. In the state of Florida, several rules, outlined under House Bill 221, impact Uber and Lyft drivers. This bill ensures that the requirements for these companies are uniform throughout the entire state.
Under this law, a driver who is logged on to the rideshare company’s digital network, but not engaged in a ride, is entitled to the minimum insurance levels of $50,000 per person for death and bodily injury, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. However, when driving with a passenger, an Uber driver must have a primary automobile coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage. Furthermore, if involved in an accident, the Uber driver must present proof of insurance at the scene of the accident to the officer, similar to what would happen in a personal vehicle accident.
The bill also addresses who can and cannot become a driver with a rideshare company. Background checks are required by law in order to become a driver, and there are certain issues that can prevent someone from becoming one.
These issues include:
- Having been convicted of a felony within the last five years
- Having a misdemeanor for DUI, reckless driving, hit-and-run, or fleeing from an officer within the last five years
- Being on a sex offender registry
- Having three or more moving violations within the last three years
- Having a misdemeanor for a violent offense, sexual battery, or indecent exposure within the last five years
- Driving with a suspended license within the last three years
- Not having a valid driver’s license
- Not having proof of vehicle registration
Additionally, there is a zero-tolerance policy if a rideshare driver is caught using drugs or alcohol, or engaging in discriminatory activities. Every rideshare company is also required to disclose fares before a passenger accepts a ride, and a driver’s license plate number and photograph must be available to view for the passenger.
Who Can Be Impacted by an Uber Accident?
As with any other auto accident, Uber accidents can impact a variety of individuals, including pedestrians, passengers, and other drivers.
When you’re minding your own business walking down the road (while obeying traffic signs and laws), you’re not expecting to be hit out of the blue by a car—but you can’t control what drivers do. Conversely, drivers can’t control what pedestrians are doing and keep them from jaywalking or otherwise putting themselves in danger.
Pedestrian accidents happen more often at night and in cities, rather than in rural areas. There are laws that pedestrians must follow when crossing a roadway, such as obeying traffic signals and keeping to the right side of the crosswalk. Unfortunately, even when pedestrians follow all the rules, there may be times when a driver causes an accident. This could be the result of a number of different behaviors, such as failing to stop at a stop sign, yielding but not fully stopping at a crosswalk, or driving under the influence. In these cases, the fault typically lies with the driver.
Most people expect to feel safe while using a rideshare service, but what happens if you are the passenger in an Uber when the driver gets into an accident? With rare exceptions, the passenger in an Uber is not likely to be at fault in most scenarios.
An Uber driver can get into many different types of auto accidents, whether it is their fault or not. Poor driving behavior, like running a red light or drowsy driving, can easily lead to an accident. However, other drivers can also cause accidents, such as rear-ending or sideswiping your Uber. In any of these instances, the passenger of an Uber is protected under their own insurance, if they carry any, and the Uber insurance policy of $1 million.
The Other Driver
What happens if you are the other driver in an accident with an Uber? The answer depends on who or what caused the collision, as well as the type and extent of any damages. Generally, the laws regarding regular automobile accidents in Florida will apply to Uber accidents. This means that Florida’s no-fault rule applies, as well as comparative negligence. It is vital to have the right legal representation if you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver.
What Happens If You’re in an Uber Accident?
Whether you’re the driver, a pedestrian, a passenger, or the other driver, there are certain steps you should take after an Uber accident. In order to bolster your chances of receiving compensation for damages, follow these tips.
1. Call 911 and Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The first thing you should do following an accident with an Uber driver is to call 911 and seek medical attention. Even if you do not appear injured after your Uber accident, some types of injuries that aren’t immediately noticeable can show up days or weeks later. A health professional will be able to examine you and determine whether or not you have severe injuries—it is important to be clear with your provider about where you may have experienced pain after the accident, as well.
Calling the police is an important step in supporting your future claim; they’ll document the accident with an official report that can record key details, such as the extent of the damage. If this isn’t done, you may find yourself having a hard time proving the accident happened the way you said it did, or, in some cases, at all.
2. Gather Evidence
In addition to ensuring the police collect evidence and create a record of your accident, it never hurts to document the scene on your own, as well. Take photos of the crash site, including damages to both cars and the placement of the vehicles after the impact. If you have injuries that are visible, take photos of those, too. It is also important to get the contact and insurance information from the other driver and make a note of the make and model of their car.
3. Report Your Claim to Your Insurance Provider
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that your auto insurance provider will pay for any medical bills that arise from a car accident—even when the accident isn’t your fault, you weren’t the driver, or you were a passenger in the Uber driver’s car. To get the medical claim process started, notify your auto insurance about the collision as soon as possible. However, don’t immediately give a detailed statement to your insurance provider, and be careful about giving information to the other insurance companies involved in the claim—the Uber driver’s insurance or the other driver’s insurance provider. You are not obligated to give them information. Consider contacting an attorney to assist you with the insurance company.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Regardless of the nature of your Uber accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Miami Uber accident attorney who will be able to assist you in securing the maximum amount of compensation for your damages, in as little time possible. Finding a law firm that has experience handling Uber accident claims is critical. A firm specializing in ridesharing cases will be able to help you seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, property damage, and more. Leave it to the professionals to handle the other driver’s insurance company.
Injured in a Miami Uber Accident?
The assistance of an experienced attorney can go a long way towards securing the amount of compensation you deserve. Our personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to help victims injured in automobile accidents involving drivers of Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare services vehicles. If you have been injured as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian in South Florida, contact us as soon as possible. We’ll put our decades of experience to work by advocating on your behalf—leaving you free to focus on healing.