After being severely injured in a rideshare car accident, you may be unsure how to recover the cost of your medical bills or lost wages due to the complicated nature of car accidents involving rideshare drivers using apps like Uber or Lyft. Many injured people find themselves overwhelmed enough by the physical and mental stress surrounding the accident which can make taking legal action in the aftermath all the more difficult.

At KMW Legal, we understand and have experience untangling the complications involved with determining liability in a rideshare car accident. This itself is just the first step of many when it comes to seeking compensation for car accident injuries after a motor vehicle crash involving an Uber or Lyft rideshare vehicle. Having a trusted rideshare accident lawyer who is capable of taking charge of your rideshare accident claim gives you a better chance of recovering maximum compensation.

KMW Legal Can Help With Your West Palm Beach Rideshare Accident Claim

With over thirty years of combined experience and an outstanding track record, KMW Legal is can provide the legal representation you need to succeed in a rideshare accident lawsuit. We offer comprehensive legal services to injured rideshare accident victims and their families that have garnered us recognition from our peers and former clients.

Our award-winning team can be your greatest asset when it comes to negotiating a settlement for a rideshare accident lawsuit. KMW Legal’s unique background in trial experience and relentless work ethic make us stand out among other rideshare accident lawyers. 

If you have been injured in a West Palm Beach rideshare accident, the best thing you can do for your future claim is to secure qualified, experienced representation from a rideshare accident lawyer. We invite you to join us for a complimentary strategy session to learn about the benefits of our services and what damages you may be entitled to receive in a rideshare accident lawsuit.

Do Rideshare Drivers and Vehicles Have a Commercial Designation?

Designating a car or driver as commercial distinguishes privately owned and operated vehicles from those used for business purposes. Categorizing rideshare drivers and their vehicles is complicated because they use privately owned vehicles for business purposes when they are logged in to the app. The implications of designating rideshare drivers as commercial operators are significant in terms of liability exposure.

In most cases, if a company car is involved in a car accident that causes injuries, the owner of the car would be held liable for the damages under Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine if negligence can be established. Essentially, Uber and Lyft could be held accountable for their drivers’ negligence because they would be considered responsible for how employees use their cars, which are considered an inherent risk. 

Uber and Lyft Rideshare Drivers Are Considered Independent Contractors in Florida

In Florida, rideshare drivers are not considered commercial operators, and are labeled as independent contractors instead. This alleviates some degree of rideshare companies’ responsibility for their drivers’ negligent actions. The amount and type of damages you are able to recover in a rideshare accident can depend heavily on what capacity the rideshare driver was functioning under. 

After extensive lobbying, rideshare companies successfully made the case that they were facilitators who streamlined the process of connecting drivers with people looking for a ride. Instead of being considered employers of drivers, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have been labeled Transportation Network Companies (TNCs).

Florida Requirements for Rideshare Drivers and Companies

Like any other driver, rideshare drivers are susceptible to making the same mistakes that cause car accidents. Rideshare drivers may fail to yield the right of way, become distracted by a text, speed, or even drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Events that are out of their control, such as inclement weather or dilapidated roads, can also play a role. That is why Florida requires a certain level of insurance coverage from rideshare companies and their drivers.

Together, the TNC and the rideshare driver must have insurance coverage that meets 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 Personal Injury Protection Insurance, as they may be found liable if their negligent behavior causes an accident while they are acting as a private operator outside of the rideshare app. This coverage will pay for a portion of medical bills and lost wages for the injured party.

Rideshare Company Responsibilities

Rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft are required to check for criminal histories and run their drivers through the National Sex Offender Registry before hiring them. If a rideshare company was negligent in its hiring practices, it may be found liable if the undiscovered background issues can be tied to injuries sustained in a rideshare accident. 

These situations are relatively rare, but if you do choose to file a rideshare accident lawsuit again the rideshare company itself, you will need a skilled team to help prove the rideshare company is ultimately liable for your damages.

Who Pays for Damages in a Tampa Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident?

Generally speaking, a rideshare company has some degree of liability for damages when one of their drivers is involved in an accident while they were logged into the app. If someone who happens to drive for a rideshare company is in a car accident while operating their vehicle as a private owner, the process for recovering damages would be the same as if they were any other driver.

Understanding which coverage applies to your rideshare accident can be confusing, which is why we have provided example scenarios that stipulate what damages you may be entitled to recover based on the conditions surrounding your accident. The examples detailed below assume that you have already maxed out your PIP benefits.

If the rideshare driver was logged on to the app but had not accepted a ride or passenger:

The rideshare companies will provide the following for injured West Palm Beach residents:

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

In the event that your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses exceed your own PIP coverage and the rideshare company’s insurance policy, you may then tap into the driver’s personal insurance policy.

If the rideshare driver was logged on to the app and had accepted a ride, or was actively transporting a passenger:

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are required to have a $1 million dollar insurance policy in place to cover the cost of injury, death, or property damages related to a rideshare accident under these conditions. If the rideshare driver has it, you are also eligible to make a claim against the driver’s commercial insurance after PIP and Uber’s $1 million dollar insurance policy are applied against your damages.

If the rideshare driver was not logged in to the app:

When a rideshare driver is not logged into their app, you should proceed as if it is any other car accident with a privately owned vehicle. What this means in terms of recovering damages is that you should first exhaust your own PIP benefits, and then seek compensation from the other driver’s PIP insurance. In some cases, it may be necessary to file a rideshare accident lawsuit in order to recover a fair settlement that compensation you for your physical, financial, and emotional losses.

How Can an Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer Help Me?

The laws governing compensation for damages incurred in Uber or Lyft car accidents are incredibly complex to navigate, especially if you don’t have experience parsing legal language and negotiating settlements. 

Insurance companies might try to stall in these situations in hope of dodging liability or reducing the amount they are forced to pay out. If you attempt to represent yourself against a powerful insurance company or multi-million dollar company like Uber, it won’t be a fair fight. They will have a team of lawyers ready to back them up, and so should you. 

Rideshare accident lawyers can help you ascertain which damages you may be eligible for and what your future medical needs are likely to cost. Beyond that, we will deal with the insurance company on your behalf, help you draft statements, review medical records, and conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.

KMW Legal Can Help With Your Rideshare Accident Claim

KMW Legal has become an essential resource for West Palm Beach’s injured rideshare accident victims. Our clients depend on us to give them realistic expectations, communicate clearly, and settle their cases in a timely manner. Their glowing testimonials speak not only to our ability to deliver results, but also to our character.

Our lawyers are compassionate, driven advocates who won’t hesitate to stand up against injustice. We know that your emotional and mental needs are just as important as your bills and physical recovery, and we will strive to recover maximum compensation to rectify your losses.

KMW Legal is Proud to Serve Rideshare Accident Victims in West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach is home to 117,415 residents and serves as the county seat for Palm Beach County. It is known for its vibrant arts scene, beautiful beaches, and its role in Florida’s history. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh we have made it our mission to protect injured rideshare accident victims and their families from being taken advantage of by powerful insurance companies looking to protect their profits.

Our focus is on the well-being of our injured clients, which is why we won’t accept a contingency fee until after we successfully settle your rideshare accident claim. West Palm Beach residents know that they can depend on the lawyers of KMW Legal to get the job done.

Contact a West Palm Beach Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today

KMW Legal has received many accolades over the years, but none are more meaningful that the endorsements we receive from our clients. With their help, we have been able to expand our practice to serve injured rideshare accident victims on both coasts of Florida recover fair settlements.

We are proud to represent clients at the negotiating table and in court in order to obtain compensation for their injuries and job-related losses, like reduced earning capacity. Our founding partners all have the extensive trial experience and negotiating prowess that sets us apart from other personal injury law firms.

KMW legal offers an unrivaled combination of expertise, extensive resources, and a diligent attitude towards service. Reach out to our West Palm Beach office today to take advantage of a free, no-obligation strategy session with our team. We look forward to hearing your story and helping you rebuild your future.