Uber Accident Lawyers Here to Help You
Were you or a loved one hurt in an automobile accident in Tampa or anywhere else in Florida while riding in an Uber or Lyft? Contact an attorney who has experience with ride-share accidents for a possible Lyft or Uber crash lawsuit. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you are eligible to file a legal claim seeking compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and time off work.
Ridesharing is a popular way to get people where they are going in a fast, economical way that will hopefully lead to less congestion on the roadways. People carpool to work. Parents load up their car with children to transport to soccer practice, dance classes, and other extracurricular activities.
Many people forego carpools, public transportation, and established taxi services to catch a ride with Uber or Lyft. As long as everyone drives safely and there are no accidents, these seem to be good transportation alternatives. If there is a car crash and someone is injured, the consequences may be dire, and those who are injured may find themselves mired in litigation in a fight to receive compensation for their damages.
Uber, Lyft and Vicarious Liability
Uber and Lyft are transportation network companies (TNC). They are also known as ridesharing modes of transportation. TNC drivers use their own vehicles to sometimes transport people. They are similar to taxis, but are not required to follow the same federal and state regulations that apply to taxi companies.
People connect with an Uber or Lyft driver through an app they download on their phone. Riders have to set up an account with the TNC and have a credit card on file. Then, when they want a ride, they contact the company through the app and a driver is sent to pick them up and take them where they are going.
There are generally quite a few drivers in the area, so riders do not have to wait very long for their ride. Since payment, including tips, is all done through the app with the credit card on file, no money exchanges hands. Many people have successfully and satisfactorily used a TNC. But, if there is an accident, there may be problems collecting for their damages.
Who Pays for Medical Bills & Vehicle Damage After a Lyft or Uber Accident?
Riders need to know that TNC drivers are not employees of the company for whom they are driving. Generally, employers of drivers who are negligent and at fault for an accident are liable for the resulting harm of personal injury or property damage but not Uber and Lyft drivers. TNC drivers are independent contractors so neither Uber or Lyft are considered responsible for the driving actions of their drivers. Injured parties must look to other avenues, primary insurance, to obtain compensation for their injuries.
TNC Drivers and Their Private Insurance Policies
Neither Uber nor Lyft drivers are covered under their own personal car insurance while they are transporting paying passengers. Most insurance companies exclude coverage if a driver is driving for commercial purposes. Transporting paying passengers from one place to another is considered a commercial purpose.
To deal with the problem of drivers not being covered by their personal insurance when they are transporting paying passengers, both Uber and Lyft provide three levels of insurance coverage for injuries caused by their independent contractor drivers.
- Driver is online with the TNC waiting for a request. If a TNC driver is at fault for causing an injury to a third party, as long as the app is turned on, the company has insurance coverage for medical bills and property damage up to a certain maximum level. This does not cover the driver nor damage to the driver’s car.
- Driver has accepted a request and is on the way to pick up a rider.This provides third-party coverage to any injured third party such as a pedestrian or bike rider for example, as well as injuries suffered due to the fault of an uninsured or under insured motors in an amount up to $1 million. It also provides the driver collision and comprehensive coverage if the driver has this coverage under his or her own personal insurance.
- A rider is in the car. Coverage is provided for any damages to third parties, including passengers, pedestrians, bike riders, etc., in the amount of $1 million. This also includes coverage for damage caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists.
The Driver’s App Must Be On For TNC Insurance to Provide Coverage
The catch all riders must watch for is that there is no coverage at all from a TNC if the driver does not have the app on. It behooves every rider to ask drivers if they are logged into their app during the ride. If the app is turned off for some reason, the company’s policy will not provide coverage no matter how severely you may be injured, and it is likely the driver’s personal policy will not cover you since the driver is acting at that moment as a commercial driver.
Liability & Carpooling Convenience
Drivers, who are taking their turn as part of carpools to work and school, and for after-school activities, dining out, or any other reason, and are not charging for providing transportation, are still responsible for the injuries passengers suffer if the driver is at fault in an auto accident. Whether an injured person will be able to collect for all of their damages depends on the amount of coverage the driver carries, and the minimum required by the state is likely not enough if several passengers are injured in the same car crash. Riders should not hesitate to inquire about the insurance limits carried by a driver.
Other scenarios may complicate the matter. Suppose riders pay the carpool driver for gasoline? What if one driver consistently drives children to and from school and the parents pay the driver for the services? There are times when an insurance company, in its quest to save money and deny coverage, may say the driver was driving for commercial purposes, so not covered by his or her personal car insurance policy.
Contact Armando Personal Injury Law Firm
Call now to speak with an Uber crash lawyer near you about your eligibility to file an auto accident claim to compensate you for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling auto accident claims, and you pay nothing unless we recover a settlement for you.