Florida Rideshare Law
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft must adhere to certain laws when it comes to insurance coverage for accidents that may result in bodily injury or death. Under Florida Statute Section 627.748(7), rideshare drivers must maintain primary automobile insurance that is specifically intended for rideshare drivers.
The insurance must provide coverage while the rideshare driver is "logged on to the digital network" (i.e., logged into the rideshare app) or while the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride. Florida's rideshare law is a step in the right direction to ensure that injury victims have one source of coverage in the event of a rideshare accident.
What Are Your Rights?
As an accident victim, your legal rights will depend on many factors. Florida's rideshare statute provides information on one source of compensation for injured victims. However, a rideshare driver's insurance policy may only go so far. As such, as an injured victim, you may have to look to other sources to obtain compensation if your damages exceed the liability limit of a rideshare driver's insurance policy.
Under Florida law, the minimum amount of coverage for liability is $1,000,000, but this coverage only applies if a rideshare driver is engaged in transporting a passenger, either through a prearranged ride or through the use of the rideshare app. The rideshare insurance policy must cover bodily injury, property damage, and any benefits or costs associated with an accident victim's death.
If a rideshare driver is involved in an accident while off duty, he or she must have an insurance policy that covers a minimum of $50,000 for his or her vehicle when the vehicle is not being used for ridesharing services. What this means is that a person injured in an Uber accident may have limitations on seeking compensation if the rideshare driver was not on duty at the time of the accident.
Claims Against Rideshare Companies
You may have difficulty obtaining the compensation you deserve if you have suffered severe and debilitating injuries, the cost of which far exceeds mandated liability coverage limits. As such, seeking compensation may require the assistance of a Boca Raton, Florida personal injury attorney who has the means of identifying all sources of compensation.
For example, in addition to the rideshare driver's insurance policy, that driver may have an insurance policy that protects themselves while not operating a vehicle for the purpose of ridesharing services. In other words, if a driver is off duty, you may have an opportunity to see compensation from that driver's personal insurance policy that is separate from a rideshare insurance policy.
Another source of compensation might be your own insurance policy or even a rideshare company’s insurance policy. A Boca Raton, Florida personal injury attorney can help you explore all possible means of holding responsible parties accountable for their conduct.
What Should You Do?
First and foremost, you should seek medical treatment after being injured in a rideshare accident. Early treatment is critical to not only documenting your injuries but showing that you have taken steps to minimize the harm associated with your injuries. For example, waiting days or weeks to seek medical treatment for injuries you believe resulted from a rideshare accident can be harmful to any potential insurance claim or lawsuit.
Additional steps you can take to help your situation are to do the following:
- Take a screenshot of the trip details on the rideshare app;
- Report the accident to your insurance company and the rideshare company;
- Gather information, such as witness statements, all insurance information from individuals involved in the accident, and photographs of the accident;
- Get copies of all documentation, such as the police report, accident report, and medical records documenting your injuries; and
- Hire an attorney.
By speaking with an experienced Boca Raton, Florida, personal injury attorney, you are taking the right step to help your situation in the event you may need to file a lawsuit or seek other recourse. Because there are limitations on how long you have to pursue legal action, it is best to act quickly to seek the advice of a professional.