Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services have completely changed how people get around in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, the popularity of transportation networking companies, or TNCs, has far surpassed the demand for taxi companies. In 2016, Uber issued an average of 5.5 billion rides a day. With so many drivers working for Uber and Lyft on the city’s busiest streets, it might just be a matter of time before you find yourself involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Fort Lauderdale.
Like any other drivers, those working for Uber and Lyft can be negligent and cause a car crash. As an accident victim, you have the right to seek compensation for any injuries you sustain as a direct result of a rideshare accident. These accidents can be more complicated than regular accidents due to the multiple parties that may be involved. A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer who handles Uber accidents side can help you determine the best course of action to obtain maximum compensation.
Uber and Lyft Regulations in Florida
Under Florida’s Uber and Lyft Law, TNCs like Uber and Lyft must abide by a set of rules regarding who may drive for a transportation network company and what kind of insurance coverage they must carry. Under the law, those who drive for these companies must meet these insurance minimums:
- $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
The Uber and Lyft Law also requires TNCs to run background checks on all prospective drivers that review their criminal and driving records. By law, no one with any of the following convictions in the past five years may drive for a rideshare company:
- Any felony
- DUI misdemeanor
- Misdemeanor hit-and-run or fleeing or eluding police
- Misdemeanor sexual battery or violent crime
- Indecent exposure/ lewdness
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license
Although these seem like reasonable restrictions, some argue that they don’t go far enough in keeping passengers safe. Taxi drivers, in particular, point out that these regulations are much more lenient than those for taxi companies. As a result, Uber and Lyft accidents may be more dangerous than other types of accidents.
What Makes Uber Accidents More Dangerous?
Uber and Lyft accidents differ from other types of motor vehicle crashes in a few distinct ways. Among them are:
- Drivers rely on GPS systems that may provide a distraction from the road.
- Drivers may not have much driving experience prior to working for a TNC.
- Drivers may not be familiar with the area in which they are driving their passengers.
- Background checks for Uber and Lyft may not be as thorough as they are for other companies, which may place passengers in harm’s way.
Who is at Fault in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Uber and Lyft accidents are more difficult to navigate than other types of accidents. Uber drivers are contractors rather than employees, so determining liability generally depends on the status of the Uber app at the time of the accident, and whether the driver had or was on his way to pick up a passenger. It is not always clear who is at fault. Depending on the facts of the case, it may be necessary to file a claim against the TNC or the individual driver.
Compensation after an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you required medical care after an Uber or Lyft accident, you might be capable of recovering financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The settlement you receive should cover any of the following that may apply:
- All medical bills associated with the accident
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Medication and medical equipment
- Psychiatric treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
The knowledgeable Uber and Lyft accident attorneys with Salpeter Gitkin, LLP can help you determine the best method to proceed with your case so that you may receive the most compensation possible for the harm you suffered. Call us toll-free at (800) 675-4128 at any time of day. You can also reach out to us online for a free case review.