The two biggest ridesharing service giants in the United States – Uber and Lyft – have gone from unregulated to somewhat regulated, and yet taxi cab accidents in Cooper City and all across Florida are still quite prevalent.
Ridesharing services have become a godsend for people all across our country. Nowadays, all you need to get to your destination is to pull out your phone and press a few buttons. Within 5 minutes, your ride will arrive.
And while the fact that Uber and Lyft make it easier for us to get around, it does not change the fact that ridesharing services have been responsible for a growing number of taxi cab accidents in Cooper City and all across Florida.
But who is truly responsible for a ridesharing accident involving Uber or Lyft? What happens after you get into a taxi cab accident? Should you contact the ridesharing company whose driver was involved? Or will you be dealing with the independent contractor driver’s auto insurance company?
These are the questions we asked our Cooper City taxi cab accident attorney at the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman. And turns out, the ever-growing popularity of such ridesharing services as Uber and Lyft has actually reshaped taxi cab regulations in Florida in recent years.
Why Uber/Lyft accidents are not the same as taxi cab accidents
Before 2017, Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services had to comply with a series of regulations and requirements for traditional taxi cabs, which, needless to say, did not reflect how ridesharing vehicles operated. But since May 2017, when Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law CS/HB 221, Uber and Lyft their own regulations and requirements.
Before the so-called Uber/Lyft bill was introduced, ridesharing services in Cooper City and all across the state were largely unregulated, as these companies were not legally required to abide by taxi cab regulations such as background checks, regular vehicle inspections, insurance for liability coverage, and many more.
The sole problem that did not allow lawmakers to categorize Uber and Lyft vehicles as taxi cabs was the fact that these ridesharing vehicles were operated by independent contractors. Not only do these independent contractors use their personal vehicles to work for Uber and Lyft, but also use their own auto insurance for liability coverage.
This fact alone made it impossible for victims of car accidents involving Uber and Lyft to hold their respective companies liable. The lack of regulations prompted the government to impose standards for ridesharing services, which resulted in the so-called “Uber/Lyft bill,” or CS/HB 221, in 2017.
Liability in taxi cab accidents involving Uber and Lyft
Our Cooper City taxi cab accident attorney explains that since the legislation was signed into law last year, ridesharing services have been legally required to abide by the statewide ridesharing requirements in Cooper City and all across the state.
Among many other things, the new legislation required each and every driver operating under Uber and Lyft to carry a minimum insurance coverage of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
But the biggest question remains unanswered: who is responsible for an Uber or Lyft accident? In reality, says our best taxi cab accident lawyer in Florida, Uber or Lyft, which provide $1 million in coverage per accident, may have their auto insurance policy kick in if the app was on and in driver mode at the time of the accident.
If the app was off, on the other hand, the victim of an Uber or Lyft accident will have to seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance policy. As you can see, determining liability in taxi cab accidents involving Uber and Lyft can be quite complicated and confusing, which is why it is advised to consult with an experienced attorney.