Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft have skyrocketed in popularity in Florida and across the globe, and it is one of the go-to-methods of transportation for people of all occupations. Uber alone has over 750,000 active drivers in the United States. However, little is known about how many lawsuits involve Uber accidents, and they make it standard practice to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements releasing Uber from liability for bodily injury claims.
Additionally, the legal regulations surrounding ride-sharing companies, who is at fault, and who will be held responsible for injuries are still being developed.
10 Things to Keep in Mind if You’ve Been Involved in Uber Accidents in Florida
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1. Make sure to wear your seatbelt in any ride-share you take, even if you haven’t yet been involved in an Uber accident.
If you are not wearing your seatbelt and an accident does occur, it might affect your ability to recover damages. Florida follows the rule of modified comparative fault, under which a plaintiff’s recovery for economic damages (such as medical expenses) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) is proportionately reduced by their percentage of fault. If you are not wearing a seatbelt, you will be partially at fault for your injuries.
2. If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt during an Uber accident, there is an exception to the comparative fault rule.
If there was not an operational and available seat belt in the car, you may still be able to recover fully. Make sure to work with an experienced accident lawyer to help counteract any claims of contributory negligence.
3. The first thing you should do if you are in an Uber accident is call 911 or have someone do it for you.
While you’re waiting for police to arrive, take photographs of the road, the surrounding area, any traffic lights, and pictures of all vehicles involved. The more evidence you can gather the better, as it will help support your case if you do file a lawsuit. You should also take notes in a phone app detailing the circumstances of the accident so that you don’t forget any details.
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4. Get the information of everyone involved in the incident.
If you were the passenger of the Uber, make sure to get the driver’s information, along with anyone else involved. The same is true for if you were a driver involved in an accident with an Uber. Ensure that you also get the insurance information of each driver.
5. Be careful what you say — to anyone.
Never make a statement that takes responsibility for the accident, including telling anyone that you were sorry or didn’t see a driving hazard. Do not talk to any passengers or witnesses about the scene.
6. Get medical attention right away if you need to.
Even if you’re not sure you need medical help, go to the hospital or a doctor as soon as possible. If you wait to obtain medical care for any injuries, you might get a lower amount in damages in any claim you file. If there is a span of time between the accident and any medical care you receive, the Uber insurance company may argue that the accident didn’t cause your injury, but something that happened in between did.
7. Know how Florida Law and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will apply in the situation.
Under Florida law, drivers are required to have PIP insurance. In order to file a claim under the policy, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident from a doctor (so you must go to an emergency room, urgent care, or see your primary care physician). However, if you are a passenger involved in an Uber accident and are injured, it might be more difficult to recover from a PIP claim.
Florida law exempts taxis and limos from the PIP coverage requirement, so it is possible your driver doesn’t carry it. However, if another car was involved in the accident, you can make a claim against that driver’s insurance.
8. Uber’s insurance coverage limits are larger than standard car insurance limits.
Uber and Lyft both provide bodily injury coverage for passengers. Uber also provides Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance. The amount of coverage you are able to access depends on if another driver was at fault ($250,000) vs if the Uber driver was at fault ($1 million). Of course, the amount of damages you receive will depend on your injuries and circumstances.
If you are another driver involved in an Uber accident, the amount you can recover depends on if the Uber was not on the way to pick up passengers or conducting a ride. If they were, the insurance limits increase from $100,000 per accident to $1 million.
9. You cannot directly sue Uber for an accident.
You must file your lawsuit against the Uber driver or their insurance company, and only if the Uber driver was at fault for causing the crash, or you were a passenger in an Uber vehicle during the crash.
10. Most Uber accidents do not result in lawsuits and are settled out of court.
Hiring an experienced traffic attorney will help you through the settlement process and ensure that you receive a fair and full amount.
Contact a personal injury lawyer who handles Uber accidents right away
If you have been involved in an Uber accident, make sure to receive medical care right away, and then contact an experienced Uber accident attorney as soon as possible. Give us a call today – we’re here to help.