When you’re in an accident involving Lyft, Uber, or another ridesharing company as a driver, passenger, or the other motor vehicle, there are specific concerns and rights that must be attended to when it comes to the insurance and claims process. Because the ridesharing trend is still new, insurance companies are trying to catch up to be sure that their policies include an agreement for options and coverage. For this reason, it’s important to hire a car accident attorney in Miramar to handle cases and claims against Lyft and Uber.
What Happens in a Lyft or Uber Accident
In the last few years, several bills have been signed into law that regulates how app-based businesses like Lyft and Uber work and are insured. Because Lyft and Uber use a brand-new business model that works on the premise that they are an app that helps people find others willing to drive them, their vehicles are not considered commercial and therefore are not subject to the same strict policies on insurance that are governed by the state.
Feeling pressured by the public after a number of accidents in the U.S., Lyft and Uber added insurance coverage for their drivers which applies once they have accepted and picked up passengers, but that’s only helpful for certain situations.
What Florida Law Stipulates for Lyft and Uber
Back in 2015, the House of Representative Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee voted on House Bill 509, passing it with a landslide 10 to 1 vote. This bill required rideshare businesses to maintain minimum insurance standards. Lyft and Uber were now required to offer insurance coverage for their drivers from the time they log into the app until they drop off their passenger, with at least $50,000 coverage for bodily injury and death per person, $25,000 for damaged property, and $100,000 per bodily injury and death per incident.
Then, in 2017, the Florida bill was updated to state that the rideshare company or the driver himself must provide primary car insurance that recognizes the driver as a TNC operator, using the vehicle for commercial reasons. It also stipulated that coverage amounts must cover at least $1 million in primary automobile liability and death insurance benefits, equal to the minimum requirements of a limo driver.
With these law changes, the rideshare company’s policy becomes the primary one if the driver logs into the app rather than the driver’s personal insurance taking effect if he didn’t have a passenger.
What Happens If You’re a Lyft or Uber Passenger
You should know that if you are injured in a Lyft or Uber accident as a passenger, your personal car insurance policy probably won’t cover your injuries. They base this decision on the fact that private-passenger insurance policies aren’t intended to cover injuries sustained in a commercial vehicle. This includes TNC operations. However, the rideshare insurance should be able to cover any injuries you may have incurred. When in doubt, call a car accident attorney in Miramar.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident
Because the laws around these businesses are always changing, an auto accident involving a rideshare company can be a bit confusing. Under current ridesharing policies, drivers should be covered for injuries and damages as long as they log onto the app. Their passengers should be covered as well.
The one time you may run into trouble is getting into an accident on the way to pick up a customer. In this situation, the victim of the crash would have to file a claim through the driver’s personal insurance first. Sometimes an injured passenger may have to fight back against the driver, the driver’s contractor, and the driver’s insurance to obtain the compensation they deserve. As Lyft and Uber are simply independent contractors, liability isn’t always clear-cut.
Working with a car accident attorney in Miramar can help you get to the heart of the matter to protect your interests and pay your medical bills. The Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman, P.A. has the needed experience to evaluate your options and help you move forward. Call us at 954-438-1000