Providing Experienced, Effective & Aggressive Representation
With the increasing popularity of ridesharing apps, like Uber and Lyft, the number of car accidents involving ridesharing vehicles has, naturally, increased right along with it. Uber and Lyft, collectively, operate in hundreds of cities throughout the US, garnering more and more users every day. However, because these ridesharing companies are so new, there are relatively few laws regarding the restrictions and guidelines for the operation of these types of organizations. Especially in Florida, the laws for Uber and Lyft drivers are fairly scarce and these companies limit their own liability by classifying their drivers as “independent contractors“, rather than employees.
If you’ve been injured in a ridesharing accident, you need skilled and knowledgeable legal representation to help you get the compensation you need.
At Viles & Beckman, LLC, our Fort Myers ridesharing lawyers have more than four decades of combined legal experience, providing us with a comprehensive understanding of Florida personal injury law. As a result, we have a long track record of success that speaks for itself and effective strategies that we can put to work for you. Regardless of how large, small, complex, or severe your situation may be, we have the experience and skills necessary to help you fight for the financial resources you are owed.
How Viles & Beckman Can Help with Your Rideshare Accident Claim
At Viles & Beckman, LLC, our lawyers are intimately familiar with all the laws, paperwork, and procedures related to rideshare accidents in Florida and we can put that knowledge to work for you. Our attorneys know all the tricks that ridesharing corporations and their insurance companies commonly use in order to minimize the amount that they pay out.
The insurance companies for these corporations are businesses and, as such, value profits and revenue above all else. Therefore, they will work to give you as little money as possible. We have more than enough experience to know when an insurance company is trying to lowball our clients by offering far undervalued settlements. We will fight relentlessly and we will fight for every single penny that you are owed.
Damages Caused by a Florida Rideshare Accident
With the financial compensation you could receive upon the successful settlement of your rideshare injury claim, you can help pay for the following common damages in a car accident case:
- Property damage (including vehicle damage)
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Changes in your quality of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lost income due to time away from work
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
- Future loss of income due to a disability or long-term injury
- Any other economic loss reasonably related to your accident
What kind of insurance do rideshare companies have in Florida?
Drivers for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft may or may not be covered under the companies insurance policy, or their own auto insurance policy, depending on the situation. These situations can be divided into four stages:
- Stage 1: If a rideshare driver is driving with their app off, then their regular auto insurance policy is in effect.
- Stage 2: If the rideshare driver has their app on, but is waiting to be linked up with a passenger, they may be covered by a private form of rideshare insurance if they chose to purchase such a policy, or they will have a limited amount of liability coverage through the rideshare companies policy.
- Stage 3: When the rideshare driver has been linked with a customer and is on their way to pick them up, the rideshare company’s insurance coverage is in place.
- Stage 4: Once an Uber or Lyft driver has picked up their passenger, the rideshare company’s commercial auto insurance is in effect. Once the passenger is dropped off, the driver returns to stage 1 or stage 2 depending on if they turn off the app at that point.
Florida has tried to protect rideshare drivers by making sure that they have some type of insurance liability coverage in effect at all times; in the past, there were times when there were gaps in the coverage.
What Should I do After a Rideshare Accident?
The aftermath of any motor vehicle accident can be a confusing and frustrating situation. Throw in the added complexity of it being an accident involving a rideshare vehicle and that frustration and confusion can increase quite a bit. When dealing with a rideshare accident there are a few steps that one should take in order to ensure that a possible claim or lawsuit gets the best chance possible at securing compensation for damages one may have suffered.
Personal Health is the First Priority
You should be primarily concerned with your own personal health following any motor vehicle accident. Make sure that you are okay and seek out emergency services as soon as possible. If you can, assist anyone else that may be in danger because of the accident. Delaying the diagnosis and treatment of any injuries you may have suffered can have a negative impact on a rideshare accident claim or lawsuit.
Collect the Information of All Parties Involved in the Accident
If possible, try to get the information of all the drivers and passengers involved in a rideshare accident. You should get their personal phone numbers, insurance info, license plate numbers, as well as any other relevant contact information. For rideshare drivers, make sure you have the information of their rideshare profile saved. It is also a good idea to take pictures and video of the vehicles, roads, and injuries that were part of the accident as soon as possible.
Don’t Say Anything More Than You Have to
Keep any statements you make regarding the accidents factual and to the point as possible and avoid opinion. Whatever you do, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. If you are a passenger, do not let the driver or anyone else speak for you. Say only what you must, collect necessary information and get medical help.
Try to Get Witness Information
Witnesses can greatly benefit a claim and provide valuable testimony that can help establish fault and prove negligence. Get witness contact information such as phone numbers, email, and addresses if possible.
Inform You Insurance of the Accident
When necessary, inform your insurance that you have been involved in an accident that is under investigation. Don’t tell them any more than they need to know if your insurance or another party’s insurance request a statement or offer a settlement do not move forward without the assistance of a legal professional.
Seek a Rideshare Attorney
You have the right to have the accident you were involved in properly investigated so that those at fault can be held responsible for causing the damages that you have suffered. Talk to an experienced attorney that specializes in rideshare accidents and have one present when dealing with insurance representatives to ensure that your rights are not infringed upon.
Contact Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorneys Today
Whether your injuries were caused by a negligent rideshare driver or while you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, we will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, both legally and financially.
Even though some rideshare companies have weak hiring practices and often hire far under-qualified drivers, they will strive to avoid any and all liability. These large companies like Uber and Lyft, as well as their insurance companies, have extensive teams of lawyers at their disposal to defend them against civil suits. However, our Fort Myers rideshare accident lawyers have the resources and experience necessary to help even the playing field and fight against even the largest corporations.
In fact, using our experience and work ethic, we have recovered numerous awards over 35 million dollars for our clients and we can help you, too.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Viles & Beckman LLC who have a combined experience of nearly 60 years: Marcus Viles, Michael Beckman or Maria Alaimo. The information provided in this article comes from years of experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida along with extensive research.