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Governor Passes New Law Regulating Uber Drivers

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Last week, Governor Rick Scott officially signed House Bill 221 into law. The new law requires transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft to comply with certain rules regarding driver qualifications and insurance and is expected to offer substantial protections to those who are injured in accidents caused by TNC drivers. If you were recently injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, it is important to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney who can explain how the new law could affect your case.

Background Checks

House Bill 221 requires Uber and Lyft drivers who are operating in Florida to undergo both criminal background checks and a review of their driving record, although they will not need to provide fingerprints. TNCs are also required to display photographs of their drivers as well as their license plate numbers prior to a rider entering the car. In an effort to avoid inconsistent laws across the state, the bill also bars local governments from trying to regulate TNCs.

Mandatory Insurance

The recently passed law also requires TNC drivers who are providing a prearranged ride to have primary automobile liability insurance coverage of at least one million dollars for the death, bodily injury, or property damage of an injured party. However, if drivers are on the clock, but not actually providing a ride at the time of an accident, the law would require the driver or the company to carry policies providing:

  • $50,000 for the bodily injury or death per person; and
  • $100,000 for bodily injury or death per accident.

Finally, the law also requires that TNCs provide property damage coverage in an amount that equals at least $25,000, which is much higher than the standard $10,000 requirement.

According to the newly passed bill, these coverage requirements can be satisfied by:

  • An automobile insurance policy maintained by the driver;
  • An automobile insurance policy provided by the company; or
  • A combination of the two.

According to the law, when a driver’s insurance policy has lapsed or doesn’t provide enough coverage, the TNC company must provide coverage for the remaining costs. Drivers are also required to retain proof of insurance with them at all times when using their vehicle for TNC-related purposes. If an accident occurs, the driver must provide insurance information to the following individuals:

  • Directly interested parties;
  • Automobile insurers; and
  • Investigating police officers.

Finally, TNC drivers are required to disclose whether they were engaged in a prearranged ride at the time of an accident.

Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today

The new law provides TNC passengers with the peace of mind that comes with knowing another driver has insurance. Unfortunately, it could still be difficult to collect compensation after an accident, so if you were recently involved in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver, please contact one of the experienced auto accident attorneys at Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale by calling 954-566-9919. A member of our legal team can also be reached via email and live chat.

Resources:

flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0221/BillText/Filed/PDF

floridatrend.com/article/21980/florida-house-senate-pass-rideshare-legislation-with-overwhelming-support

Boone & Davis, Attorneys at Law is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and serves clients in and around Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Dania, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach and Broward County.

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