Uber & Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Pompano Beach, FL
If you’ve been injured while riding as a passenger in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer from Long, Jean & Wechsler, P.A. will review your case in a free one-on-one consultation. Whether your rideshare driver was at fault or they were also a victim of another’s negligence, we can help. Contact our Pompano Beach law officer for a free consultation.
Responsibility of the Rider and Rideshare Company
Both drivers and the companies they work for must carry insurance. Under Florida state statute 627.748, drivers must carry $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury or death per person and $100,000 per incident. Additionally, they must have $25,000 in coverage for property that’s been damaged. However, the transportation network company (TNC) must carry a policy of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage. The driver’s policy applies when they are logged into the TNC (typically Uber or Lyft) app. When they are actually in the process of a scheduled ride, the TNC insurance company is in force. So, if you are in another vehicle when a rideshare driver hits your car, either policy may apply. When you are being transported, the TNC $1 million policy covers your claim.
Proving Liability in a Rideshare Accident
In order to establish liability in a ride-share vehicle accident, personal injury lawyers must be able to prove the following four elements.
1. The Driver Had a Duty of Care to the Plaintiff
Drivers are responsible not only for the safety of their passengers but for all other people using the roadways. This is known as the duty of care.
2. The Driver Breached Their Duty of Care
In order to collect damages, the plaintiff’s attorney must show that the defendant somehow breached their duty of care. Common examples of breach of duty include violating traffic laws, failing to maintain the safety equipment on the vehicle, driving while impaired, etc.
3. The Driver Caused an Accident
Not all breaches of duty are responsible for accidents. However, nearly all traffic accidents are caused by a breach of duty. For example, if an Uber driver runs into the back of a vehicle that’s stopped at an intersection because they were checking their app, a personal injury lawyer can show that they caused the accident.
4. The Accident Caused Damages
Damages are the monetary and intangible causes of an accident. If you’ve been hurt, you have damages. Damages include medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
During your initial consultation with an LJW attorney, they will review your case to determine whether all four elements are present. If they are, they will begin representing you on a contingency basis. The consultation is free, so there’s no risk.
Types of Rideshare Accidents
While drivers may spend more time behind the wheel than most people, they are susceptible to the same types of accidents that other Broward County drivers experience. Here are some common types of accidents.
Uber and Lyft drivers are always logged into their apps while driving. This is how they find riders and locations. However, it can be a tremendous distraction, which endangers passengers and other motorists.
Both major rideshare companies (Uber and Lyft) have zero-tolerance policies when it comes to drinking alcohol or using drugs while driving. Additionally, driving over the legal BAC limit of .08 is illegal. This does not mean that drivers are always sober.
Uber and Lyft drivers make the greatest amount of money by covering the most miles with occupants. That becomes a natural incentive to speed and take other risks. This is dangerous for passengers and other drivers.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers cover more miles in a day, tires, brake pads, windshield wipers, etc., tend to wear faster. Additionally, these cars may require more frequent maintenance appointments than the same vehicle that’s not used for rideshare.
Damages in Rideshare Accident Cases
Florida recognizes three categories of damages:
These are the financial costs of a car accident or a motorcycle accident. They include all hospitalization and other medical bills, lost income from missing work, property damage, and other direct costs from the accident.
Not every cost associated with an accident involves a monetary expenditure. Non-economic damages or pain and suffering refer to compensation paid for intangible costs, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, and general inconvenience.
In some instances, the courts will award damages above and beyond the above-described compensatory damages. Punitive damages are intended to penalize the defendant for reckless or intentional behavior. For example, if it’s discovered that your driver endangered your life by drinking alcohol or using drugs while working, the court may add damages to punish the driver. In Florida, punitive damages are capped at three times the combined amount of economic and non-economic damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.
What to Do in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you were injured while riding in a rideshare care, the first few moments might be critical to your life and your personal injury case. The following suggestions should not be construed as legal advice. For free legal advice, contact Long, Jean & Wechsler, P.A.
Get to a Safe Location
Remain in the car if that’s the safest place. If not, watch for traffic as you exit the vehicle and move to the side of the roadway. Pay attention to your driver for signs of erratic behavior.
Tell the dispatcher your exact location or provide geographic indicators if you’re unsure. They’ll also require your vehicle description, the types of injuries, etc. Try to remain calm and stay on the line until they have a full understanding of the situation they’re sending first responders to.
Screenshot the Driver’s Information on Your Phone
This may save you time and effort down the road.
Talk to Witnesses
The best time to speak to witnesses is in the minutes after a crash. Once they know first responders are on the way, witnesses tend to get in their cars and leave. If they don’t remain on the accident scene, ask for their contact information.
From a secure position, take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible. You’ll want to include the position of all vehicles involved, damage to the vehicles, debris on the roadway, visible injuries, road signs, and other geographic indicators. If you can get photos of the license plates of the vehicles, it may also be helpful.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is of primary concern. Allow EMTs to examine you and if necessary, transport you to the emergency room. In any case, you should follow up with your doctor at your first opportunity.
Report the Accident to the Rideshare Company
Both Uber and Lyft have forms on their apps to report accidents and other issues. Don’t rely on the driver to report the incident.
As soon as you’re able, call our Pompano Beach personal injury law firm to speak to an accident attorney. The call is free, and it may make a substantial difference in the amount that you can collect from the insurance company down the road. The earlier we can begin on your case, the better for you.
How to File an Insurance Claim
If you speak to an attorney at LJW, they can guide you through the claims process. However, if you have the police case number, you can file the claim yourself. Because both the driver’s insurance and the rideshare company’s insurance may be liable, you may have to make a claim through both companies. Insurance company adjusters are proactive, and they will contact you within or a day of your accident, even if you didn’t file a claim. They will inevitably offer you a quick settlement for your medical bills. However, you won’t really know what your claim is worth so early in the process. If you accept the settlement offer, they will have you sign a waiver of liability, which will prevent you from pursuing future damages.
How an Attorney Can Help with an Uber or Lyft Accident
Motor vehicle injury claims can be complex. There are few people without law degrees that can properly negotiate with the trained adjusters and defense attorneys hired by insurance companies. At LJW, we aggressively pursue damages on behalf of our clients. Here are some of the services we provide:
- Collecting evidence, including medical records, police reports, and driver and rideshare information from the rideshare company.
- Subpoenaing and deposing all witnesses involved, including the driver and investigating officers.
- Reviewing all discovery evidence provided by the defense.
- Consulting with a professional accident investigator.
- Filing a demand letter based on the compensation you deserve for a full and fair recovery.
- Filing a lawsuit in the Broward County civil court or the court of jurisdiction.
- Negotiating with the insurance company.
- Sending letters of protection to doctors, so you can get medical treatment without having to pay out of pocket.
- Litigating your case in a court of law if necessary.
Rideshare Car Accident FAQ
The following questions are often asked by rideshare car accident victims. Contact LJW for specific answers about your case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Rideshare Accident Claim?
The state of Florida allows four years from the date of the accident to file a claim so knowing the time of the accident is important. However, the earlier you contact an accident attorney, the better your chances of receiving a full and fair settlement.
What’s the Most I Can Recover from My Injuries?
Florida does not have damage caps for compensatory damages. However, each case is different. Our accident attorneys will calculate all economic and non-economic damages before filing a demand letter with the insurer.
Why Choose LJW Legal?
With an established track record for bringing personal injury victims justice, Long, Jean & Wechsler, P.A. is a name that stands out among the legal elites in Broward County. Contact us for a free consultation and immediate representation.