Since their introduction less than a decade ago, rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular. However, despite the ubiquity of rideshare services in today’s day-to-day transportation infrastructure, the relational dynamic between drivers, the rideshare company, and their passengers is frequently misunderstood.
If you’ve been harmed in a rideshare-related accident in Florida, then — depending on the circumstances — you may be entitled to significant compensation. We encourage you to contact The Florida Law Group for further assistance. Since our founding over three decades ago, our attorneys have helped injured clients secure millions in verdicts and settlements in a range of motor vehicle lawsuits.
Multiple Defendants in a Rideshare Accident
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the rideshare accident, there are multiple potential defendants.
The driver himself is perhaps the most obvious defendant. If your driver was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, for example, then you would likely have an actionable claim against him for damages.
What about the rideshare company: Uber/Lyft?
Rideshare drivers are not “employees” of the company, and as such, vicarious liability rules do not apply (such rules would automatically impose liability on the company for the negligence of their employee). If you wish to attach liability to the rideshare company, you’ll have to show that the company engaged in negligence of its own, either by failing to conduct a proper background check of the driver or failing to adequately inspect the vehicle at issue, or some other action.
For example, suppose that your Uber driver was intoxicated and got into an accident. You later discover that Uber was aware that the driver had a long and consistent history of DUI accidents but gave him permission to ride for the app anyways. By doing so, Uber might have opened themselves up to a lawsuit.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage
Due to public pressure demanding that passengers be granted a higher level of protection when traveling with rideshare services, Florida implemented laws requiring that rideshare drivers carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance coverage to pay out for accidents that occur when the driver is actively transporting a passenger or when the driver is on his way to pick up a passenger who has “called him” via the app.
This insurance coverage is accessible to third-party injured persons as well. For example, if you are a pedestrian and are hit by a distracted Uber driver who is actively transporting a passenger, you could ostensibly sue and recover damages and have those damages covered by the $1 million liability insurance plan.
Importantly, however, insurance coverage may be limited if the accident occurred while the rideshare driver was not yet actively transporting a passenger (but was “searching” for a passenger through the app). Typically, liability insurance coverage under such circumstances is pegged at $50,000.
Contact Our Team of Experienced Tampa Rideshare Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Here at The Florida Law Group, our attorneys have substantial experience advocating on behalf of those who have been injured in various motor vehicle accident scenarios, including those that involve an Uber or Lyft car. We have represented numerous clients in car accident and rideshare accident disputes, some of which have been quite complex and challenging to litigate. This has helped us develop a keen understanding of what works and what doesn’t in such cases.
We believe that effective litigation is undergirded by personalized legal service. At Florida Law Group, we see clients as collaborative partners in litigation. We encourage attorney-client communication and put the time and effort into truly understanding the client’s needs, goals, and limitations, enabling us to provide tailored legal representation.