When two or more cars are in an accident, the process of determining fault can be complicated. In a rideshare car accident (Uber, Lyft, etc.), things can be even more complicated, as there are multiple parties and entities involved.
These rideshare services have made more than 11 billion trips combined since their introduction. Most of these rides happen without incident; however, some of these rides end in a serious accident. As per Fatality Analysis Reporting System, between 2017 to 2018, Uber vehicles were involved in 97 fatal crashes leading to 107 casualties.
The biggest confusion a person may have following a rideshare accident is determining who is at fault. The involved parties often don’t know which insurance company to contact in order to be compensated for the bodily injuries and property damages they’ve sustained.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to determine fault in a rideshare accident and the necessary steps you should take after a rideshare car accident.
What Should You Expect From a Rideshare Service?
Operating a vehicle with care is the duty of every driver, whether they are a rideshare driver or not. If a driver is working for a rideshare company, then they are responsible for the safety of the rider(s) while they are using their services. If breaching this duty causes an accident and injures the rider, then the rideshare company is liable for the damages caused by this breach. As per law, the minimum coverage a driver should carry is liability insurance.
Usually, these accidents happen due to negligence by the Lyft or Uber driver (or other rideshare driver). As a rider, you are entitled to fair compensation in the event of a Lyft or Uber accident.
Contact the rideshare accident lawyers at Kaire & Heffernan to learn more about your rights as a rider and what actions you can take to claim compensation for lost wages, medical bills, property damages, and other sufferings.
Call us at 305-376-7860 if you have been involved in an accident while in a rideshare in Miami, Florida.
Common Examples of Driver Negligence in Rideshare Accidents
There are several possible reasons behind rideshare car accidents. Below we have compiled a few of them. However, the rideshare driver might not be at fault every time, as some other vehicle or circumstances could be the cause of the accident as well.
Traffic Light Violations
In order to save time and drop the rider at their destination quicker, rideshare drivers might try to beat a yellow light or run a red light. Or they might make an illegal turn at a light. As per the law, the driver is at fault if a traffic light violation causes an accident.
Most rideshare drivers use smartphones to find riders and as navigational aids. It may be necessary, but it also causes distractions, which can lead to accidents. Drivers are held accountable for such crashes.
Impairment mainly refers to driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance. However, it can also refer to visual or audio impairment, such as an object that blocks the windshield. Even if the behavior does not qualify for criminal charges, the driver could be civilly liable to compensate the affected riders for any bodily injury they have sustained.
Driving at High Speeds
Sometimes a driver is purposely going fast to speed up a ride and sometimes they are just not attentive enough to their speed. If an accident happens due to the driver going too fast, their insurance company can liable for damages.
Steps You Should Take After a Rideshare Accident
Knowing what steps to take following a Lyft or Uber car accident is important, especially if you want to seek compensation. The first step in any scenario is to remove yourself and others from danger, then get proper medical attention right away if necessary. After you are sure you are safe, you can take the following actions:
Collect Information from the Accident Scene
If you are in a state to collect information, go ahead and gather details. The details should include contact information from the Lyft or Uber driver, contact information of any witnesses, license plate numbers, and the driver’s insurance company information.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Evidence plays a crucial role when seeking compensation from the responsible parties. Thus, you should take photos of the accident scene. Try to document as many details of the crash as possible. These should include the following:
- Physical injuries
- Vehicle damage
- Road and weather conditions
- Traffic signs
- Any visual obstacles
File a Police Complaint
Call 911 and wait for the Florida highway patrol or other law enforcement to arrive. File a report that documents all details of the rideshare accident and any damages. Make sure to get a copy of the police report.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if there are no visible injuries at the time of the accident, you should get a proper diagnosis and treatment from a certified medical professional shortly after the accident. A thorough evaluation is important for your overall health and for insurance claims as well.
File a Claim with the Insurance Company of the Liable Party
In order to file a successful Florida car accident claim, you need to show who was at fault. Additionally, the claim must show that you sustained injuries and other damages during the accident.
Filing a claim after a rideshare accident can be pretty complicated because you need to decide if the driver was at fault or if the accident happened due to some other factors, such as poor road conditions.
To ensure that you get compensated for all your suffering, you should hire a professional personal injury protection lawyer. They will help you determine who is at fault and show you how to file a successful claim.
At Kaire and Heffernan, we are expert personal injury lawyers in Miami, FL, and have successfully handled several rideshare accident cases. From determining who’s at fault to negotiating with the insurance company, a car accident attorney from our firm can assist you throughout the entire process.
Speak to our friendly associates at 305-376-7860 and explore the available options.
👉 Learn More: What You Need to Know About Making a Claim
What Damages Can You Recover in a Rideshare Accident Claim?
In general, you may be eligible for compensation for all accident-related expenses and losses. With proper documentation and with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can recover:
- Medical treatment expenses for injuries
This includes current and ongoing medical care, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and future medical expenses.
- Lost wages and other income
If the accident resulted in serious injuries that prevent you from working, you could recover lost wages and lost future income.
- Car repairs and property damage
If your car or property was damaged due to the accident, you could receive compensation for the repair costs.
- Pain and suffering damages
Pain and suffering can be defined as the physical and emotional anguish one experiences as a result of an injury. In many rideshare accident cases, pain and suffering damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages, in order to account for the non-tangible effects of the injury.
In order to recover the above-mentioned, you need to file a claim against the at-fault party.
👉 Learn More: Legal Ramifications of an Uber or Lyft Accident
How Does Rideshare Insurance Work?
Usually, drivers are covered by a personal auto insurance policy. In the event of an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy offers reimbursements for the medical expenses of the rider and other losses suffered by the involved parties.
However, most personal auto insurance policies contain a business-use exclusion clause, which means the policy will not cover the damages of the rider or other involved parties if the insured vehicle was used for business-related purposes. When transporting a rider or while logged into the app, the rideshare company’s insurance coverage gets activated.
How to Determine Who’s at Fault
Determining who is at fault can be quite challenging since the circumstances of the situation play a crucial role here. Below we have compiled some situations you might be in during the rideshare accident, and it’ll help you understand who’s at fault here.
When the Rideshare App is Off
If the driver has yet to log into the rideshare app and is in an accident, it is entirely the driver’s liability. The rideshare company, like Uber or Lyft, is not liable for any accidents the driver may cause. Moreover, the coverage offered by the rideshare companies doesn’t activate if the driver has not logged on to the app.
When the Rideshare App is On and the Driver is Waiting for a Rider
Once the driver logs into the app, the rideshare company has some liability. If the app is on, but the driver has not received a ride request yet, it is considered the fault of the driver if the vehicle meets with an accident.
When the Driver is Transporting a Rider
If the driver is transporting a rider or is on their way to pick up a passenger, the rideshare company would be at fault. The Lyft or Uber insurance company should be contacted for any claims or compensations.
When the Accident is Caused by a Third-party
If a third party, such as another driver, causes the accident, then they should be held accountable for it. Neither the driver’s personal auto insurance nor the rideshare company’s insurance is held accountable or expected to compensate all the involved parties for all the damages they have sustained.
When the Accident is Caused by the Rider
Some riders are difficult to drive with, particularly if they are high or intoxicated. Their behavior can result in a collision if they disturb the rideshare driver. In such events, the passenger may be held accountable for the accident, and any insurance company offering coverage to the rider is liable for the compensation.
Whose Insurance Company Do You Need to Contact?
It is essential to contact the right insurance company to get compensation for your pain and suffering. Filing a claim with the wrong insurance company can result in the rejection of the claim, and you’ll need to file it again.
Below we have covered five potential situations, along with which insurance company is responsible for compensating you.
Situation 1: When the Driver Isn’t Logged into the App
If the driver is not logged into the app, the rideshare insurance won’t cover the claims. No coverage is provided to the affected parties for the injuries or the damages caused to the property. You can contact the driver’s auto insurance provider in such a case to get compensation.
As per Florida law, every driver must carry liability insurance.
Situation 2: The Driver Is Logged into the App, But Hasn’t Accepted a Ride
If the driver has logged on to the app, it means their work hours have started. In the event of an accident, a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft provides liability if the driver is at fault. The coverage could be up to $100,000 total liability per accident or $50,000 per person.
Situation 3: When the Driver Has Accepted the Ride
If the driver has accepted the ride and is on their way to pick up the rider, the rideshare company provides liability coverage. The amount could be up to $1 million depending on the severity of the accident, including the injuries or the damages it has caused.
Situation 4: When the Rider Is in the Car
If the driver is taking the rider to their destination and the vehicle meets with an accident, the rideshare company is held accountable for the compensation. The liability coverage could be up to $1 million, plus limited coverage for the vehicles involved in the accident.
Situation 5: When the Accident Is Caused Due to Vehicle Defect
If a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle is due to a manufacturer’s defect, such as a blown tire, failed beaks, or faulty airbags, the vehicle manufacturers, designers, and mechanics may be held responsible. The insurance companies offering coverage to these parties should be contacted for compensation-related purposes.
Why Hiring a Rideshare Attorney Is Beneficial After You Have Been in an Accident
Florida is a no-fault automobile insurance state, which means every driver must carry their personal injury protection or PIP to pay for the accident-related damages or medical expenses caused by a collision.
Under Florida law, 80% of the medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000, are covered by the PIP of the affected person. However, with the help of an attorney, you can recover more compensation from the liable party to avoid paying the extra expenses from your pocket. Here are some reasons why you should hire a rideshare attorney after you have been in an accident.
They Help Determine the Party At-fault
An important aspect of filing for compensation is determining the party at fault. An attorney will help you determine which party is at fault and which insurance coverages apply to the situation. Professional car accident lawyers are well-versed with the state laws and understand the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying compensations.
They Take Care of the Paperwork
Filing for an insurance claim after an accident requires a lot of paperwork, such as submitting medical records, repair bills, and more. In order for your claim to be successful, you need to gather evidence, which is where an attorney will help. They will tell you about the documents required to file the claim.
Plus, legal professionals help you in making a strong case for higher chances of approval.
They Help You Determine All Sources of Coverage
Some injuries may look small today, but they may have a long-term effect on your life. Attorneys know the after-effects of injuries and help you decide the claims you should make.
They Negotiate with the Insurance Provider on Your Behalf
One of the most important aspects of a rideshare accident is the resulting settlement, and the most crucial part of a settlement is how it is valued. The insurance company wants you to settle for the least possible amount, but a rideshare attorney can prevent that from happening.
The lawyers you hire to negotiate with the company on your behalf ensure you get every dollar that you deserve.
At Kaire and Heffernan, we are a team of professional rideshare lawyers that can assist you with your case. Whether you are a driver, a rider, or someone else affected by a rideshare accident, we can help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve for your sufferings.
Call us at 305-376-7860 for a free case evaluation and to learn what legal actions you can take.
How Much Compensation Could an Injured Individual Receive Following a Rideshare Accident?
The amount that you receive depends on several factors, such as the severity of the accident and the party that should be held accountable for it. As per rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, every driver must carry comprehensive personal vehicle insurance.
This auto insurance will cover any incidents that take place when the driver has not logged on to the app. Once the driver logs in and accepts a ride, the coverage offered by Uber and Lyft comes into effect.
These rideshare service providers offer coverage of up to $50,000 for the bodily injuries of one person and up to $100,000 aggregate for the bodily injuries of more than one individual. Also, coverage of up to $25,000 is offered for property damage.
The policy comes into effect if the driver’s PIP is not adequate to cover the injured individual’s damages.
If the rideshare vehicle is involved in a car crash with the rider inside, the rideshare company’s full coverage goes into effect. The policy offers up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
Deciding how much you can claim entirely depends on the severity of the injuries and other circumstances. An attorney will help you determine the right amount of claim you should make so that it has a higher chance of getting approval from Lyft or Uber’s insurance company.
Let Kaire & Heffernan Help You Determine Fault Following a Rideshare Accident and File a Claim
Lyft or Uber accidents can be complicated, especially when there is no clear-cut responsible party. These rideshare companies will vigorously defend themselves against negligence claims and might employ aggressive tactics in order to minimize their liability.
If you have suffered injuries due to a rideshare accident, it is important to have professional lawyers by your side in order to help you calculate the claims and negotiate with the insurance company.
At Kaire & Heffernan, we have experienced rideshare accident lawyers in Miami, Florida. We are familiar with all the processes of determining fault following a rideshare accident and filing for a successful claim.