On April 19, 2017, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 221 which governs the ridesharing services of transportation network companies (TNC) operating throughout the state of Florida. The new Florida statute requires that all Uber, Lyft and other TNC companies carry automobile insurance for drivers who transport passengers for a fee. The driver must also maintain liability insurance, which pays up to $50,000 for accidental injuries per person per accident to a maximum of $100,000 per accident, as well as up to $25,000 for damage to property.
Transportation network companies use digital networks to connect drivers and passengers for prearranged rides. TNC drivers connect to the digital network as agreed in their written contract. Uber and Lyft are a couple of the most popular TNCs that shuttle hundreds of thousands of passengers every day in Florida. Florida Statute 627.748 (1)(e) defines Lyft and Uber as TNCs that don’t own or operate their own vehicles or employ or manage their own drivers.
While these technologies and services have revolutionized travel in modern America, it also comes at a cost. In fact, it’s estimated that Lyft and Uber alone have increased the total number of car accidents in the United States by 2.3% annually.
In many cases, car accident claims become much more complex and difficult when a ridesharing company is involved. You may be wondering who pays and what to do.
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Even though Lyft and Uber are incorporated in and licensed in California, they (and other rideshare companies) are required to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 of liability insurance to pay for negligent acts of their drivers that result in passengers’ personal injuries or wrongful deaths in every state — including Florida.
Typically, a passenger will only be held legally responsible for a rideshare car accident if they behaved in a way that caused the driver to lose control of their vehicle. If the company suspects that the passenger was partially responsible for the crash, they may hold the passenger vicariously liable under the laws of imputed negligence. In other words, they may say it’s your fault your driver wasn’t safe.
If you’re injured in a Lyft or Uber car accident, first you must report the accident and request to be taken to the hospital to be examined before you get out of their driver’s vehicle because their $1,000,000 insurance policy is only in effect while you’re a passenger in the ridesharing vehicle and your driver is active in the company’s system.
After you’re treated for your injuries, you’ll need to contact the company — be it Lyft, Uber, or another TNC — to file a claim. Tell the customer service representative when and how the accident happened, but avoid answering any specific medical questions. This customer representative acts like an insurance claims’ adjuster and may assess your pre-existing conditions to reduce their liability for your ridesharing accident.
Following a reported ridesharing accident, the TNC must supply insurance information — including the driver’s insurance information, the precise times the driver was active in the digital system, and list any other insurance company involved in the claim. The TNC must immediately tell the accident victim or their attorney the exclusions and limits of each policy involved in the individual accident claim.
For the reasons listed above (and many more), we recommend consulting a ridesharing accident attorney to represent you against the company.
At Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, our Lyft and Uber car accident lawyer can help give you peace of mind by fighting for the compensation and treatment you need.
Our experienced attorneys will help prove liability for your injuries and make sure you recover the maximum possible compensation for your:
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare car accident in Florida,
contact the experienced attorneys at Tragos Law for your
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