Who Is Liable For Rideshare Accidents?
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have changed how many of us go about traveling from place to place. However, with the increasing number of rideshare drivers on the road, comes a higher risk of being involved in a collision. Unfortunately, determining who is financially responsible for these kinds of crashes can be complicated, so if you were involved in a rideshare accident and suffered serious injuries, it is important to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer about your legal options.
The Difficulties of Determining Liability
Ridesharing is a type of transportation that allows multiple people to use the same vehicle to get to a destination. Unlike a taxi, however, rideshare companies allow passengers to request and pay for a ride to a specific location by using a specific application. Furthermore, these rides are often cheaper than what taxi companies can offer because rideshare drivers use their own vehicles. The fact that rideshare drivers use their own cars is, however, the key reason why determining liability for an accident can be so difficult.
Minimum Insurance Coverage
In 2017, Florida enacted a new law, under which transportation network companies (i.e. rideshare companies) are legally required to carry minimum levels of insurance, including:
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person;
- $100,000 for bodily injuries per accident;
- $25,000 in property damage if the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t respond; and
- $1 million in primary third party liability coverage.
However, these policies only apply in certain situations, namely when the driver was actually logged onto the rideshare application, or while he or she was actually transporting a passenger. This same law also bars individuals from directly suing a rideshare company, which means that accident victims must pursue claims through the company’s insurers. There are also a few exceptions to this general rule. Rideshare companies are, for example, required to screen and authorize their new drivers. If it turns out that a company violated this requirement, which in turn led them to hire a negligent driver who then caused a crash, then the company could be held personally liable for that driver’s negligence.
Car accident cases involving rideshare companies are still subject to the same no-fault auto liability laws as other claims. This means that accident victims must still file a claim with their own insurer first. It is only when someone’s medical bills exceed $10,000, that the injured party can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver or its employer’s insurer. Alternatively, an accident victim who can demonstrate that his or her injury satisfies the state’s definition of “serious” could also be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the company’s insurer.
Experienced Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in an accident with a rideshare driver, you could be facing an uphill battle when it comes to holding the at-fault party accountable. For help with this type of claim, please call the dedicated Florida auto accident attorneys at Boone & Davis today. You can reach a member of our team by calling 954-566-9919, or by completing one of our online contact forms.