Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Nowadays, in lieu of taxicabs, many people choose to use rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft to get around. However, these companies are relatively new, as are the laws surrounding them. This makes accident claims involving rideshare companies difficult to handle. A Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft rideshare accident and injury lawyer from Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. is available to help.

Insurance for Rideshare Drivers

Unlike with taxicab drivers, rideshare drivers are independent contractors of the company, not employees. Drivers must have their own vehicles and their own insurance. If an accident occurs when the driver mode is off, the driver’s personal insurance is in effect.

However, the company’s insurance will go into effect under certain circumstances. Both Uber and Lyft have similar rules regarding insurance coverage:

Contingent Liability Coverage

If an accident occurs while the driver is available to accept a ride (e.g., “on the app” for Uber, “driver mode” for Lyft), the driver’s own insurance coverage will pay for any injuries or damage he causes.

However, both Uber and Lyft provide contingent liability to protect drivers if they do not have insurance or if the insurance refuses to pay out. There is no deductible and the maximum limits are:

  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person;
  • $100,000 bodily injury coverage per accident; and 
  • $25,000 for property damage

Liability Coverage

If an accident occurs after a driver has accepted a ride request, the company’s commercial insurance kicks in.

Both Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage up to $1 million per incident for bodily injury or property damage suffered by any passengers or third parties involved in an accident.

Both companies also have $1 million uninsured/underinsured motorist protection policies that will pay out if the other driver involved in the crash carried insufficient insurance or did not carry any at all.

Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Both companies provide contingent collision and comprehensive coverage (once the driver has picked up a rider), but the rules are a bit different.

Uber: If the driver has personal comprehensive and collision insurance, this policy will cover up to $50,000 in physical damages during a trip with a $1,000 deductible.

Lyft provides contingent collision and comprehensive coverage to cover physical damages to the driver’s vehicle during a trip as long as the driver has collision coverage on their own policy. The policy will cover up to $50,000 in physical damages with a $2,500 deductible.

Who is liable for damages in a rideshare accident?

Rideshare accidents typically involve three parties: rideshare passengers, rideshare drivers, and pedestrians/occupants of the other vehicles. Each party may be able to recover damages in an accident depending on the circumstances. 

Rideshare Passengers

Uber or Lyft passengers may be eligible to recover compensation from the rideshare driver’s personal insurance as well as the company’s commercial policy. Passengers are also able to file a car accident claim or lawsuit against another driver involved in the accident if that driver was acting negligently. In order to establish a case, passengers will have to prove:

  • Duty: The Uber or Lyft driver owed you a duty to drive responsibly and adhere to appropriate safety standards.
  • Breach of Duty: The rideshare driver acted negligently, thereby breaching his duty to act responsibly behind the wheel. Negligence may include speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, and failure to follow traffic laws.
  • Causation: The rideshare driver’s negligence caused your accident and injuries.
  • Damages: You suffered damages in the accident.

In order to prove the above elements, passengers must present evidence including, but not limited to:

By establishing the driver’s negligence, rideshare accident victims may be able to recover the compensation to which they are entitled.

Rideshare Drivers

If a rideshare driver suffers injury in an accident, his personal injury protection policy will cover 80 percent of his medical bills and 60 percent of his lost wages. If his injuries are serious enough and the other driver was responsible for the accident, he can file a claim against the other driver.

In addition, the rideshare company’s contingent collision and comprehensive coverage will cover any damage to the rideshare driver’s car, up to $50,000.

Other Parties

Other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers (in other involved vehicles) can recover compensation for their injuries and lost wages through their own personal injury protection coverage.

If their injuries are serious enough, they may also be able to sue and recover damages from the rideshare driver’s insurance and company’s insurance. If there is a passenger in the Uber or Lyft vehicle at the time of the crash, the $1 million Uber/Lyft liability insurance coverage will go into effect.

It is important to note the period that the driver was in. For example, if the rideshare vehicle is on duty with no passengers on board, insurance coverage drops to only $100,000 per accident (that is, if the driver’s insurance refuses to pay; his actual insurance could be much lower).

What compensation can I recover?

Rideshare passengers and drivers, other drivers and their passengers, and pedestrians injured in an accident have the right to seek financial compensation for the damages they suffered. Some recoverable damages include:

  • Property damage, loss of income, missed business opportunities, and other economic losses
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Loss of future earning capacity caused by long-term injuries or disability
  • Non-economic damages such as mental anguish and pain and suffering

The rideshare accident attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. understand the complex legal issues involved in rideshare accident lawsuits.

If you have questions regarding your ability to recover compensation after a rideshare accident, please feel free to contact us at 954-524-2820 today. Let us be your path to justice.