The ridesharing industry has completely changed the public transportation landscape. Companies like Uber and Lyft, which are now used by 30% of Americans, provide private transport service via mobile apps. This is very similar to traditional taxi service, however, there’s one major distinction – ridesharing drivers are independent contractors instead of dedicated employees. While this may seem like an insignificant detail, it causes complications when an accident results in passenger injury.
If you sustained injuries in an Uber or Lyft accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights. At Felice & Ehrlich, we have years of experience helping victims of auto accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. We also understand what sets ridesharing services apart when it comes to insurance and liability. Call us at (561) 444-8822 for help today.
Under Florida law, public transportation services such as buses are considered common carriers. These entities are responsible for providing a certain level of care to passengers. In fact, if a common carrier fails to live up to safety standards as a result of negligence, they may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $1,000. However, Uber and Lyft are considered transportation network companies. This changes the way they’re viewed under the law. It also makes the issue of liability quite complicated, especially when determining whose insurance is responsible for paying out damages.
If you get injured in a ridesharing accident, it may seem plausible that the Uber or Lyft driver’s own auto insurance will pay for damages such as medical bills. Unfortunately, most private auto insurance policies have a “business use exception” that denies coverage if the driver is using their car for profit. That’s why Uber and Lyft carry $1 million in liability coverage meant to cover passenger injuries if their driver is at fault. It may also provide coverage if another driver causes the accident and either has too little or no insurance. However, this coverage only applies if the rideshare driver is logged into the app and actively transporting you at the time of the accident.
If you’re involved in an accident while taking an Uber or Lyft, you may feel like these companies will automatically step in to protect you. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. It’s crucial you take several steps to protect yourself. A good rule of thumb is to treat the accident as if you were the one driving. Make sure you take the following steps:
If you’ve been injured and are confused about your rights, Felice & Ehrlich can help. Our attorneys understand the complexity of ridesharing accidents and will help navigate you through the legal process while ensuring your rights aren’t violated.
Uber and Lyft have taken measures to protect themselves, primarily because their drivers are independent contractors instead of employees. This legal loophole can make it difficult to seek compensation, even with $1 million of liability insurance in place. In addition, if another driver is at fault, there’s a good chance their insurance provider will do everything they can to deny your claim or pay as little as possible. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights. Attempting to handle the case yourself may end in further financial loss.
If you’ve been injured while taking an Uber or Lyft, you have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Let Felice & Ehrlich protect your rights and help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Contact us at (561) 444-8822 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
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