In the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident, your injuries may have cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the emotional toll a painful recovery can take on your mental health.
If you attempt to go up against a rideshare company like Uber or their insurance carrier on your own, there’s a good chance you won’t receive the full value of your damages. A skilled rideshare accident lawyer will be able to navigate the complex qualifications for acquiring compensation and negotiate a fair rideshare accident settlement on your behalf.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Boca Raton Rideshare Accident Claim
The lawyers of KMW Legal have a decade of experience successfully negotiating maximum compensation for our injured rideshare accident clients. Our expertise, relentless work ethic, and have made us one of the most sought-after personal injury law firms in Boca Raton.
The process for seeking compensation in a car accident involving a negligent Uber or Lyft driver can be challenging because the insurance coverage for rideshare accidents varies widely based on liability. If negotiations with the insurance company stall, you can’t afford to risk being let down by a rideshare accident lawyer who lacks the tenacity and trial experience to succeed.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh offer personalized legal advice that acknowledges the nuances of your situation. We encourage you to get in touch with our Boca Raton office to schedule a free strategy session where our team will work with you to construct a compelling rideshare accident lawsuit to recover your damages.
Do Rideshare Drivers and Vehicles Have a Commercial Designation?
Assigning a driver or car a commercial designation implies that the owner of the company is liable for the way in which the car is operated, according to Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine. In the case of a rideshare accident, Uber or Lyft would theoretically be responsible for the damages caused by their drivers if their negligence caused a car accident.
However, labeling rideshare drivers as commercial operators is not so straightforward. For example, an employee for a pest control company who gets distracted by a text and t-bones another car in their company truck would typically be considered a commercial operator and vehicle, which means the pest control company would likely be liable for the cost of damages.
Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles to transport passengers and are only employees when they are logged into the ridesharing app, so rideshare drivers are not considered commercial operators, nor are their vehicles required to be commercially licensed.
Rideshare Drivers Are Considered Independent Contractors in Florida
With the rise of rideshare car services like Uber and Lyft, state legislatures across the country have had to figure out how to classify rideshare drivers under the law. In Florida, the legislature determined that rideshare drivers were independent contractors. This means that in the eyes of the law, Uber and Lyft drivers are not seen as employees of the rideshare companies they drive for.
The independent contractor designation came about after well-funded and persistent lobbying efforts by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft successfully convinced the legislature that they were primarily tech companies that facilitated rides, hence their labeling as Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in the statutes.
This distinction is significant because it limits the rideshare company’s exposure to liability if one of their drivers is negligent and caused a car accident. Your ability to recover a settlement that fully compensates your costs will likely be dependent on whether or not the negligent rideshare driver was acting as a private operator.
Causes of Boca Raton Uber and Lyft Accidents
Rideshare drivers are prone to the same mistakes and negligent habits as other drivers. They may become distracted by their navigation system or a roadside accident and rear-end another vehicle, run a red light, or lose track of their speed. Negligent Uber or Lyft drivers may also engage in other dangerous behaviors like drunk driving, tailgating, or road rage.
Other common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents include:
- Dangerous weather
- Poor maintenance
- Negligent hiring practices
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Traffic rule violations
Florida Requirements for Rideshare Drivers and Companies
To protect car accident victims from being unfairly burdened with the cost of damages caused by a rideshare driver’s negligence or circumstances like inclement weather, the state of Florida mandates that rideshare drivers and their companies must carry a certain level of insurance.
Between the TNC and the rideshare driver, the insurance coverage must meet the following conditions:
- $50,000 per person for death and any injuries
- $100,000 per accident for death and physical injuries
- $25,000 for any property damage resulting from the accident
- Personal Injury Protection coverage
- underinsured or uninsured vehicle coverage
Florida rideshare drivers are still required to carry their own Personal Injury Protection insurance if they cause an accident while they are off the clock and functioning as a private operator. PIP benefits are a part of Florida’s no-fault insurance that allows injured people to collect compensation for the majority of their medical bills and lost wages regardless of their role in the accident.
Rideshare Company Responsibilities
In addition to insurance requirements, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are required to vet potential employees through a criminal background check and the National Sex Offender registry. If they are careless in their hiring practices like by allowing someone with a history of DUI convictions to drive for them, they can be found liable for damages in a rideshare accident lawsuit if their negligence led to someone else being injured.
Most rideshare companies make a good faith effort to be thorough, but when a dangerous driver is allowed to slip through the cracks other people can be seriously injured or killed. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a rideshare company’s negligence, you may have questions about your legal options. Contacting a rideshare accident lawyer will be your best resource for information.
Who Pays for Damages in a Boca Raton Rideshare Accident?
In most cases, rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft will be liable for at least a portion of the cost of damages if one of their drivers was actively working in their capacity as an independent contractor when the car accident occurred. If the rideshare driver was driving their private vehicle for personal purposes, you will likely be more limited to collecting compensation from their personal insurance.
Establishing that your rideshare accident was caused by an Uber or Lyft driver who was on the clock may require additional investigation, which is best handled by a rideshare accident lawyer with experience collecting and verifying evidence.
Understanding Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Insurance Coverage
The following are guidelines to help injured rideshare accident victims understand what damages they may be eligible to collect in a rideshare accident lawsuit based on the circumstances of their accident. These examples assume that you have exhausted your PIP benefits and you have a basis for accusing the rideshare driver of negligence.
If the rideshare driver was logged in to the app but had not accepted a ride or passenger:
The rideshare companies will provide the following for injured Boca Raton residents:
- $50,000 per person for death and injuries
- $100,000 per accident for death and physical injuries
- $25,000 for property damage
After a serious rideshare accident, the value of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering can extend far beyond the limits of your PIP coverage. In this scenario, you would be able to seek damages from the driver’s personal insurance after you had used up your PIP benefits and the rideshare company’s coverage.
If the rideshare driver was logged in to the app and had accepted a ride, or was actively transporting a passenger:
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have a $1 million dollar insurance policy in place to cover their drivers in the event that they are found to be at fault for an accident while logged in and actively working.
The policy ceiling may seem high, but the cost of serious injuries, time off work, and property damage can accumulate quickly. If your needs are still unsatisfied after maxing out your own PIP and the rideshare company’s policy, you can also seek compensation from the driver’s commercial insurance, if they carry it.
If the rideshare driver was not logged in to the app:
When a rideshare driver causes an accident while they are using their car for personal purposes, the claim for damages gets treated like any other car accident between two private parties. What this means for you is you can seek compensation from their PIP benefits after applying your own, and if their insurance company is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement you can escalate your claim to a rideshare accident lawsuit.
How Can a Boca Raton Rideshare Accident Lawyer Help Me?
As evidenced above, insurance coverage can range drastically based on what the driver’s role was when the accident happened, which means you need a rideshare accident lawyer in your corner who will persistently advocate to get you the best settlement possible.
The knowledge of a skilled rideshare accident lawyer is invaluable when it comes to ascertaining liability, detailing damages, and negotiating a fair settlement offer in a rideshare accident lawsuit. They can also help you draft statements summarizing the accident and your injuries, calculate your current and projected expenses, and collect evidence to demonstrate the rideshare driver’s negligence to establish the foundation of your claim.
If you attempt to file a rideshare accident lawsuit against a rideshare company or pursue an insurance claim for damages on your own, in most cases you will very likely get a lower settlement than you would with the help of a trustworthy rideshare accident lawyer. Companies like Uber and Lyft will have a team of lawyers guarding their back, and so should you.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident
Popular rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft typically don’t want to go to trial as it can be made into a public relations issue that costs them time, money, and their reputation. As rideshare accident lawyers with backgrounds in trial experience, we have the advantage.
When you’re up against a major company that wants to pay out the minimum amount possible, the ability to leverage your lawyer’s successful trial experience can be a powerful persuasion tactic in negotiations. KMW Legal has proven our effectiveness as negotiators with diligence that starts with listening to what our clients need from their rideshare accident settlement.
Our clients know that they can rely on us to provide outstanding service that respects their dignity as well as their losses. They have helped us cultivate a word-of-mouth reputation, which has allowed us to provide critical legal advice to injured rideshare accident victims across the state of Florida.
KMW Legal is Proud to Serve Injured Rideshare Accident Victims in Boca Raton, Florida
With a population of 97,422 residents, Boca Raton is one of the major cities in Palm Beach County. Boca Raton is an exclusive community with upscale shopping and dining, breathtaking beaches, and an established business district. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft offer Boca Raton residents the chance to travel in safety and luxury.
KMW Legal’s lawyers have worked closely with many injured Boca Raton residents in order to obtain the damages they deserve in rideshare accident lawsuits. If you have been injured as a result of a Boca Raton rideshare driver’s negligence, we will avidly pursue compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional costs you have sustained.
Contact a Boca Raton Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today
When you’ve been injured in a rideshare car accident caused by the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, you don’t need the additional headache of pursuing a rideshare accident lawsuit by yourself. KMW Legal will apply our extensive knowledge and widely-recognized negotiating skills to secure you a settlement that meets your needs.
We know that any serious car accident can send a family into emotional and financial turmoil, which is why we won’t pressure you to accept a penny less than what you deserve. If you were injured in an accident involving a rideshare driver and need compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional costs but are intimidated by the prospect of filing a lawsuit, KMW Legal can help.
Reach out to our Boca Raton team today to join us for a free, no-obligation strategy session with our talented team. We will work with you to determine what damages you are eligible to collect and how we can best help you recover a fair settlement offer in a rideshare accident lawsuit.