There is no question that getting around town by Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare is convenient, but that does not make it safer. Any vehicle on the roadway is at risk of an accident, including those that are part of a “transportation network company” (TNC), as these services are defined by Florida law. The same statute also regulates the operations of TNCs and provides certain requirements for insurance purposes in the event of the accident. It is good to know that you are covered in an Uber/Lyft crash that was not your fault, but the legislative landscape does make these matters more complex than a typical collision. You should discuss your circumstances with a Florida car accident attorney.
TNCs and Insurance Requirements in Florida
As of January 2017, Florida made certain insurance coverages required for TNCs and the drivers who use their digital services to provide ridesharing services. The insurance must cover the TNC driver as follows:
- While he or she is logged into the system, but NOT engaged in a prearranged ride, the coverage must be at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury. The policy must also cover $25,000 for property damage.
- While the TNC driver IS engaged in a prearranged ride, the auto liability coverage must be at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.
How Insurance Requirements Apply to Accidents
The matter is straightforward if you were in the Uber/Lyft in a prearranged ride: You can seek damages from the driver, the TNC, or both. However, if you were not – such as where you were in another car, riding a bike, or walking – the critical questions are whether the TNC driver:
- Was or was not logged in to the digital app;
- Was or was not transporting a customer on a prearranged ride;
- Was doing neither – in which case the accident is the same as one involving any other motorist.
Of course, there is also the issue of fault: If the accident was a result of negligent acts by someone other than the TNC driver, your remedies lie elsewhere.
What to do if You Have Been Injured in a Rideshare Accident
Fortunately, despite the complications described above, the steps to take after an Uber/Lyft collision are largely the same as any accident. Therefore:
- Call 911 right away;
- Seek proper medical care, if you are not already being transported by ambulance;
- Document the scene of the crash;
- Talk to potential witnesses;
- Obtain insurance details; and, as with any motor vehicle collision in Florida,
- Consult with an experienced attorney.
Trust a Florida Car Accidents Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Some aspects of rideshare accidents are similar to experiencing a crash in your own car, but they are also far more complicated in other ways. The most important common element is that you should contact an experienced attorney right away after being hurt in any type of collision. Please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free consultation today. We can set up an appointment to meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.
(image courtesy of Andras Vas)