Anyone who uses a ride-share service like Lyft or Uber has the potential to be injured during that ride. Because the ride-sharing concept is still relatively new, the laws surrounding it are still changing and adjusting. If you are injured during your ride-share travels, do you have rights? What are those rights, and how do you exercise them? Can the law help you when it is still changing? These are all important questions for anyone who uses these services, and it may be necessary to work with an attorney in order to find out your rights and responsibilities if you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
A lot of people who use ride-share services like Uber and Lyft do not really know that much about how the business works. They just know that they can use an app on their phone, and that someone who works with the app’s company will arrive and pick them up, then take them to their destination. It seems easy, and often costs less than a taxi would. Despite the convenience and cost factors, though, these services do not operate the same way as a taxi service, are not under the same rules and regulations, and do not have the same requirements for their drivers, which could make them riskier to use in some cases.
Drivers who work for companies like Uber and Lyft are contractors, and are not considered employees of the company they drive for. This affects how they are paid and the benefits they get, but it also affects the type of insurance coverage they are required to have. They are not driving a company vehicle, and they are not professional drivers. They are simply normal people who are using their personal vehicles for their own needs as well as the ride-share service. Because insurance requirements for these drivers are very different from what would be required of actual employees, care must be taken to protect your interests.
Typically, if you are injured in a ride-share accident you would make a PiP claim against your insurance company if you personally own a car. Because not all states require PiP coverage for taxis and limos, ride-share cars often get put into the same type of category. Since the driver is logged into the app and has accepted the ride-share request, the insurance company would be able to prove the driver was working for the ride-share company at the time of the accident, and could deny your claim based on not covering that type of service. That is not always the case, as there are some ride-share insurance policies.
Injured in an Uber car accident? I want to be your lawyer!
In 2016, some insurance companies started to offer ride-share policies. Not all states have them, and they can still be difficult to get, but there will likely be more opportunity for these types of policies as ride-sharing programs and companies continue to grow. In the meantime, Uber and Lyft both provide secondary coverage for liability up to $1 million, and offer uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage that also reaches $1 million. Personal liability insurance is available in some cases, and drivers can ask about that option. While it is not available everywhere, drivers should check to see if they can select it and what it costs.
Unfortunately, most of that insurance protection is for the Uber or Lyft driver, and not for the passengers that driver is carrying around. If you are a passenger in the vehicle and are injured in an accident, your coverage options and opportunities may still be more limited than you would expect. Finding out about that before you use a ride-share service is a great idea, but it is not always practical. It is also not something most people think of, and that can mean they end up with a serious concern and the need of a legal professional so they can move toward recovering damages based on their injury.
While the laws regarding Uber and Lyft drivers and how they are handled by insurance companies are still changing and evolving, that does not mean an injured person should not have fair treatment and compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured during a ride-share, contacting an attorney may be necessary to ensure your interests are protected. Do not allow big insurance companies to take advantage of you. There are options, and you have rights when you are the victim of a ride-share accident.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Ride Share Miami car accident or anywhere in South Florida, you need an experienced car accident lawyer in Miami on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Victor Dante to learn more about all of your legal options.