Since Uber and Lyft pioneered the ridesharing market over a decade ago, their services have reached every major city in the US. As a result, rideshare drivers are all over the road and susceptible to the same mistakes that can cause an accident as any other motorist.
Our attorneys in Pensacola handle Uber and Lyft accident cases. If you have questions about who is liable for damages in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, our rideshare accident lawyers can help you understand the legal process and protect your right to compensation.
How Can Our Pensacola Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys Help You?
The aftermath of any auto accident can have varying consequences, with the most severe resulting in serious injuries and substantial damages. The role of a Pensacola rideshare accident lawyer is to help you identify who is responsible for the crash, gather evidence to prove their negligence, and file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. Consider other critical contributions they may make to your case:
- Identifying the recoverable damages available to you
- Adequately valuing the non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress
- Negotiating with the insurance company to reach a fast and fair settlement for your case
- Completing all the administrative work, such as filing the paperwork necessary for a lawsuit
- Preparing your case for trial should the insurer fail to offer an adequate settlement
Having a skilled lawyer represent you through the legal process relieves you of the burden of building and arguing your claim. You can focus on healing from your injuries and rest comfortably knowing a professional is on your side.
What Are the Requirements To Drive for Uber and Lyft in Pensacola?
Uber drivers must be at least the minimum driving age in the city and provide the necessary documentation, including a valid in-state driver’s license, a recent profile photo, proof of residency, and the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage. In addition, they need a minimum of one year of experience or three years if they are under 25 years old. They also need an eligible vehicle with four doors.
Lyft drivers must have a state driver’s license and complete a criminal background check. Lyft will also review their driving record. Drivers can rent a vehicle through Lyft’s Express Drive program. However, they must upload proof of insurance and registration into the app if they drive their own car.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents in Pensacola
An experienced Uber or Lyft driver will see many of the same conditions that lead to any auto accident in rideshare accident cases. However, there are some causes more common in accidents where the Uber/Lyft driver is at fault:
- Distracted driving: Rideshare drivers have more potential distractions than most other drivers, including chatty passengers and app navigation.
- Driver fatigue: Uber and Lyft drivers sometimes work long hours or fit in a few rides after a long day at work.
- Unfamiliar roads: Ridesharing often takes drivers to areas of the city they have never seen, causing slow, unsettled driving and unanticipated stops or turns.
- Speeding: The risk of speeding is higher on familiar roads where drivers feel more comfortable. Sometimes they may speed without intention.
Determining the cause is the first step a Pensacola Uber accident lawyer will take during their investigation into your claim. In addition, understanding the cause will lead to determining whose insurance is liable for damages.
Whose Insurance Covers Damages in a Rideshare Accident Case?
In an at-fault state, whoever caused the accident is responsible for all resulting damages. However, Florida is a no-fault state with stipulations for making an at-fault claim. Therefore, should you meet the requirements to file a claim against the rideshare driver, you must first determine if you file your claim with the rideshare company or the driver’s insurance agency.
Uber and Lyft insurance coverage
Uber and Lyft apply similar rules for insurance coverage under the company policy. If your vehicle collides with a rideshare driver’s car, how active they are on the app when the collision occurs:
- When offline, the driver’s personal insurance covers the damages.
- When available on the app and waiting for a ride request, Uber and Lyft offer limited third-party liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage.
- When en route to pick up a passenger or during trips, Uber and Lyft cover $1 million in third-party liability and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.
Passengers injured during an Uber or Lyft ride can also file claims under the company’s insurance policy.
No-fault auto insurance in Florida
Florida drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance to cover 80% of reasonably incurred medical expenses and 60% of lost income in the event of an accident. Under the no-fault laws, an injured party can receive compensation without proving fault. However, you may file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you suffered a serious injury. Florida’s serious injury threshold includes the following injuries:
- Permanent or significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent or significant loss of an important bodily function
- Any injury causing permanent damage within a reasonable degree of medical probability
If your injuries meet any of the serious injury requirements, you can bypass the no-fault system and file an at-fault claim. Even if your insurance runs out, it is still possible to file a claim.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Claim After a Rideshare Accident?
If you suffer a severe injury following a crash, there may be little more you can do than wait for emergency medical services to arrive and talk to a Pensacola Uber accident lawyer. However, in the days and weeks that follow, there are steps you can take to protect your health and your right to compensation:
- Seeking medical attention: Go to all your scheduled medical appointments, including prescribed rehabilitative treatment.
- Avoid discussing the case: Talking to the other driver or posting about the accident on social media could unintentionally harm your claim. The insurance company will monitor your online activity while investigating your claim.
- Contact a Pensacola car accident lawyer: Attorneys practicing tort law offer free case evaluations. You can speak to one for free and take the first steps to file your claim immediately after the crash.
Every case is different in some way. To protect your rights, the safest move is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
What if You Are Partially Liable for the Accident?
Florida adheres to the modified comparative negligence rule to handle cases involving shared fault. Therefore, if the defendant claims you bear some responsibility for the accident and the court agrees, you could still recover a portion of the damages.
The modified comparative negligence rule requires the court to assign a percentage of fault to both parties. If your percentage of fault is less than 50%, you can still recover a portion of your losses equal to the other party’s percentage of fault. For example, if the damages equal $10,000 and the defendant is 70% liable, you can still collect $7,000. However, if you are 70% responsible, you cannot collect compensation for your losses.
When Should You Contact a Pensacola Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer?
If you suffered an injury in an accident in Pensacola involving an Uber or Lyft driver, our lawyers can help you determine if you have the right to compensation for your losses. Given Florida’s two-year statute of limitations for auto accident claims, it is never too soon to speak with an attorney and take action.
At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we understand the burdens that can follow a rideshare accident and are ready to represent you to the fullest extent of the law. Contact our firm online or call (850) 706-4077 to schedule a free case evaluation today.