If you or a loved one was just arrested for a DUI, they will be provided an arraignment following their release from jail.

The majority of crimes in the state of Florida are entitled to pretrial release.

As an insurance policyholder, you pay your premiums with the expectation that if you ever need to file a claim, the insurance company will cover the cost.

Attorneys Chris Keller, Rob Melchiorre and Paul Walsh each began their legal careers as Assistant State Attorneys.

Ridesharing offers a convenient alternative option for transportation. If your car is with the mechanic, you need a safe ride home from the bar, or you want to forgo the hassle of public transportation, you can quickly summon an Uber or Lyft ride to your location via an app on your phone.

In the aftermath of a rideshare accident, one often has more questions than answers. Dealing with the fallout of an accident can be challenging on your own; especially when you take into account your injuries. This is why you should consider contacting Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh about your rideshare accident case. 

KMW Law Can Help With Your Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident Claim

Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have settled an immense number of rideshare car accident lawsuits involving Uber or Lyft drivers and secured restitution for damages like hefty medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. 

KMW Legal’s rideshare accident clients benefit from our experience navigating Florida’s complex rideshare laws. Our expertise and dedication have earned us the respect of our satisfied clients, allowing us to build our reputation by word-of-mouth.

When you’ve been injured in a Tampa rideshare accident, you should be able to dedicate yourself to physically and mentally recovering, rather than fielding calls from insurance companies hoping to talk you into a quick settlement or debt collectors looking to be paid.

That’s where we take over. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we will aggressively protect your right to claim and recover compensatory damages in a rideshare accident lawsuit.

Do Rideshare Drivers and Vehicles Have a Commercial Designation?

In a typical car accident involving someone driving a company car for business purposes, Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine would dictate that the owner of the company car would be held accountable through vicarious liability should the operator of the car injure someone and be found negligent.  

This principle holds the owners of dangerous “tools” accountable for how they are used, making them liable to pay the damages of an injured or deceased party in an accident if their vehicle was used carelessly. However, Uber and Lyft vehicles are privately owned but sometimes used for business purposes, placing them in a gray area.

Florida Rideshare Drivers Are Not Commercial Operators

The Florida legislature clarified its position on a rideshare company’s liability in accidents in 2017. Rideshare drivers, like those who work for Uber or Lyft, are technically categorized as independent contractors. They use their personal vehicles to offer rides, and these are not considered commercial vehicles under Florida law

The companies they work for are designated as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) because Uber and Lyft have successfully argued that they are merely facilitators who connect drivers with customers. 

This classification can complicate the process of recovering damages in a rideshare accident lawsuit. Drivers who are not in the process of transporting paying passengers or actively logged into the app in preparation for transporting a passenger are not under the shield of Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy.

Florida Requirements for Rideshare Drivers and Companies

Florida law concerning insurance requirements for rideshare services, also known as TNCs, stipulates that rideshare companies must have a $1 million dollar policy in case one of their drivers is in an accident while they are actively transporting a passenger.

When one of their rideshare drivers is in an accident while waiting to pick up a customer, they still need substantial coverage. Between the TNC and the rideshare driver, the value of the insurance must satisfy the following:

  • $50,000 per person for death and any injuries
  • $100,000 per accident for death and physical injuries
  • $25,000 for any property damage that may occur as a result of the accident 
  • Personal Injury Protection coverage 
  • underinsured or uninsured vehicle coverage

Considering that Uber and Lyft rideshare drivers can be found liable for damages if they are not actively logged on to the ridesharing app, Florida rideshare drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and property damage liability coverage insurance that covers $10,000 in both injuries and property damages, as well as a portion of lost wages. 

Rideshare Company Responsibilities

Rideshare companies must also vet their independent contractors through the National Sex Offender Registry and run a background check to ensure that they do not have any disqualifying issues. It is rare that a lawsuit against the company would be warranted, and would likely pertain to negligent hiring practices or inadequate driver training.

Who Pays for Damages in a Tampa Rideshare Accident?

The broad understanding is that if a driver is “on the clock”, the rideshare company has some degree of responsibility, depending on which specific capacity the vehicle was being used for. If the driver was not logged into the Uber or Lyft rideshare app, then they would fall under the same liability category as any other individual operating a privately owned vehicle. 

The scenarios outlined below assume that you have first collected your own PIP benefits and that the rideshare driver is at fault unless otherwise specified.

If the rideshare driver was logged in, but was not committed to or actively engaged in picking up a passenger:

After being injured in a Tampa rideshare accident under these conditions, you should be eligible for the following from the rideshare company’s policy:

  • $50,000 per person for death and injuries
  • $100,000 per accident for death and physical injuries
  • $25,000 for property damage 

Should the value of your damages exceed the value of your PIP insurance and the value of the rideshare company’s mandated coverage, you may then pursue compensation for damages from the driver’s personal insurance policy. It is beneficial to engage the legal services of a qualified rideshare accident lawyer to ensure your claim is successful.

If the rideshare driver was logged in and en route to pick up a confirmed passenger or already had a passenger in their vehicle:

If you or the occupants of your car sustained injuries in a rideshare accident, Uber or Lyft’s $1 million dollar insurance coverage for injury, death, or property damages will be applicable after PIP coverage is exhausted. If the driver has any commercial insurance coverage that they purchased then the passenger may be entitled to that as well. 

A passenger’s personal injury protection offered by their insurance policy will still cover them even if they are not driving their car. In some cases, a passenger may not have their own PIP. They may manage to get PIP coverage from a family member that they live with them. 

If the rideshare driver was not logged in: 

After exhausting your own Personal Injury Protection benefits, you may seek a settlement with the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance carrier, just as you would if you had been rear-ended or t-boned by any other non-commercial vehicle. This also applies to Uber or Lyft drivers who were not on the clock, regardless of their role in the accident. 

If their insurance company is reticent to fulfill your request for the damages you are eligible for, you may require the assistance of an expert rideshare accident attorney to recover your medical expenses and associated costs in a rideshare accident lawsuit.

Keep in mind the standard 4-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is applicable to Uber or Lyft rideshare accidents.

Services of an Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer

As evidenced by the information above, rideshare accident claims can quickly become a quagmire for people who were injured in an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident. Most people aren’t familiar with the complicated world of insurance negotiation, and attempting to take on a rideshare accident lawsuit to recover damages on your own may get you less than you bargained for.

Insurance companies may attempt to drag out the process by pointing fingers at each other,  arguing over who has liability because while rideshare drivers own their vehicles, they are being compensated for a service. 

A lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims will be able to sort through the confusing technical language and policies governing rideshare accident compensation to get you the damages you are due.

At KMW Legal, our rideshare accident attorneys will:

    • Determine which insurance policy is applicable 
    • Project future medical expenses and help calculate lost wages to claim damages
    • Investigate ridesharing app records, acquire any pictures or video of the crash and scene, interview eyewitnesses for statements, and review police reports
    • Listen to your story
    • Coordinate information and inquiries from all relevant insurance companies or parties 
    • Manage our resources acting on your behalf
    • Protect your right to compensation
    • Negotiate a fair settlement that covers the full range of your expenses 
  • Fight for your right to compensation in a trial

KMW is Proud to Represent Injured Rideshare Accident Victims in Tampa, Florida

With a population of 387,916 people, Tampa is the largest city in Hillsborough County and among one of the largest cities in the state. Despite rideshare as a transport phenomenon arising only within the past decade, our firm has provided expert legal representation for many injured in rideshare accidents over the years. 

KMW Law has developed extensive expertise in handling these types of car accident claims and can assist you like we have many others in getting sufficient compensation from your rideshare accident claim. 

Contact an Experienced Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer

The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have a proven track record of effective representation of our clients when it comes to handling rideshare accident lawsuits involving Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare providers. Our skills have been acknowledged by our peers in the legal field, but the opinion that matters most to us is our clients’. 

Our clients know they can count on us to dispute lowball settlement offers and fight for your best interests. Instead, we’ll work tirelessly to ensure that you get the resources you need to pay medical bills for surgeries, medication, or therapy, as well as make up for the wages you have lost while recovering from your injuries. 

KMW Legal offers the ideal balance of resources and personal attention that your rideshare accident case needs for a settlement to be reached successfully. Our rideshare accident attorneys are capable and responsive, meaning you’ll get expert advice tailored to your claim, rather than getting lost in the shuffle at a settlement mill.

Reach out to our team today to schedule your complimentary strategy session for your rideshare accident lawsuit.

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