Ridesharing is a convenient form of transportation in South Florida. With a few swipes on a phone, you can get pretty much anywhere. However, different from a taxi or other transportation services, drivers who work for Lyft are working for a tech company. These companies offer convenient and affordable transportation options for many travelers and locals, however, as with any form of transportation, accidents are possible. If you have been injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle or have been injured as a result of an accident with a vehicle contracted by a ridesharing company, such as Lyft and Uber, you need to understand your legal options to obtain compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. You need a car accident attorney, specifically, a Lyft car accident attorney.
Can I file an insurance claim against Lyft after an accident?
Yes, you can file an insurance claim against Lyft or Uber after you have been injured as a passenger while using one of the ridesharing services. If you were injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you can file a claim against the ridesharing company or the driver’s personal insurance depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident.
Lyft and Uber drivers must carry the minimum insurance requirements because there will be times when the driver is not using the app. Depending on the period in which a Lyft or Uber driver is working, the insurance coverages will vary. It is critical to determine what period the Lyft driver was in after an accident because this will affect your claim.
Minimum insurance requirements
In Florida, every driver is required to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). Lyft does not provide PIP or PDL to its drivers.
If you are in period 0, meaning that the Uber or Lyft driver is not using the app and is driving the vehicle for personal reasons, then the driver’s personal auto insurance policy applies, which also must meet Florida’s minimum auto insurance requirements for PIP and PDL.
Third-party liability insurance requirements
When the Lyft or Uber app is on but the driver has not been assigned a passenger, the driver needs higher policy limits. This happens when the Lyft or Uber driver’s app is on and they are available or are waiting for a ride request. This is period 1, and the driver is covered under Florida’s commercial insurance requirements for ridesharing drivers. These limits are higher than the state minimum as stated above.
This is when the third-party limited liability policy is in effect, meaning that in the event that someone is injured other than the Lyft driver and their vehicle, the coverage will apply. The third party is anyone other than the driver and includes drivers and passengers of other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. The minimum coverage for a Uber or Lyft driver is $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, with a maximum of $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability to comply with the TNC (Transportation Network Company) requirements per Florida law.
The driver may opt for this coverage through their own auto insurance company or the ridesharing company may provide that insurance coverage to its drivers. But the higher coverage is mandatory for ridesharing drivers per Florida law. Florida statutes also dictate that ridesharing companies must provide commercial insurance coverage to their drivers if the drivers do not have a commercial insurance policy on their own. A Lyft car accident attorney specializes in helping you in these cases.
Ridesharing companies have a $1 million policy
In Florida, Lyft or Uber provides up to $1 million in liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage in the event that the ridesharing company is at fault for an accident while they are en route to get a passenger or are transporting a passenger. The policy also covers any third party who is injured in the accident and applies to passengers (in other vehicles or the ridesharing vehicle), pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists if the ridesharing driver was at fault for an accident that involved these parties.
This coverage applies to periods 2 or 3. Period 2 is when a ridesharing driver has matched with a rider and is en route to pick up the passenger(s). Period 3 is when the ridesharing driver is transporting a passenger. In this case, the $1 million liability insurance still applies for bodily injury and property damage.
What kind of insurance will cover my injuries in the event of an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver?
Depending on what period the ridesharing driver is in, different insurance policies may apply to your accident. The best option is to consult an experienced ridesharing attorney who can help you determine what period the Lyft or Uber driver was in after an accident because this will affect your claim.
These periods can be less clear when there are stops along the way. For example, if a ridesharing driver is matched with a rider but stops at a fast-food restaurant to grab food and hits a vehicle in the parking lot then the driver uses the vehicle for commercial and personal use. The periods then become more nuanced and the insurance claim increases in its complexity.
Who is at fault for a car accident with a Lyft or Uber vehicle?
Just like any car accident, there must be an establishment of fault. If a ridesharing driver is found to be negligent, which means that they have a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and the breach of that duty has led to your injuries, then they will be liable for an accident. If an Uber or Lyft driver is speeding and then hits another vehicle or texts and then drives off the road, for example, they will be considered negligent and liable for your injuries and losses.
Just as you can obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering when you are in a car accident that involves another driver’s negligence, you may do the same when you are injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle.
What if I am hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver while riding in an Uber or Lyft?
Ridesharing companies carry underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage in the event that the Uber or Lyft vehicle is involved in an accident with a driver who does not have enough car insurance or does not have any car insurance. This coverage is also used in the event of a hit-and-run accident. In this case, the injured Uber or Lyft driver and passenger will be covered under this policy.
Speak with a Certified Ridesharing Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Now
If you have been injured as a result of the negligent actions of a driver while traveling in a rideshare vehicle, let a personal injury lawyer help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Remember, because Uber or Lyft will attempt to reduce the amount that they will pay out the sooner you get in touch with a lawyer, the earlier all the evidence can be gathered and preserved. An experienced Lyft car accident attorney can help build a solid case, advise you of other options and represent you in court.