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Are Uber and Lyft Liable for Your Injuries?

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Posted on February 29, 2024

Uber and Lyft currently have millions of active drivers on the road picking up riders around the world. As a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian in Florida, there is a chance that you will be involved in an accident with one of these rideshare company vehicles. In this scenario, find out when you could legally hold Uber or Lyft financially responsible, or liable, for your injuries and losses.

Florida Is a No-Fault State

First, you must understand Florida’s insurance rule for car accidents in general. Florida is one of only 12 no-fault states in the country. Under this insurance law, all drivers involved in a car accident must pursue compensation from their own personal injury protection (PIP) automobile insurance, regardless of fault. The only exception is if the victim’s injuries meet Florida’s serious injury tort exemption, in which case he or she can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.

How Are Uber and Lyft Accident Claims Paid?

If you have the right to file an insurance claim against an at-fault Uber or Lyft driver outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance rule, it is important to know when you must hold the individual driver liable and when you have access to the rideshare company’s insurance policy. Every rideshare driver in Florida is required to carry at least $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance, plus $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.

In addition, both Uber and Lyft offer the same amounts of insurance to injured accident victims according to the same coverage structure, which is based on the phase or period of the ride:

  • Period 1: the driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request. The driver’s rideshare insurance will provide primary coverage and Uber or Lyft will provide supplemental coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, plus $25,000 for property damage.
  • Period 2: the driver has accepted a ride request and is en route to pick up the rider. In this period, Uber and Lyft will provide primary insurance coverage to accident victims with a limit of $1 million for bodily injury and property damage.
  • Period 3: the driver has picked up passengers and is bringing them to their destination. The same $1 million in coverage applies in this phase as Period 2, but it also extends to the passengers of the rideshare vehicle.

This insurance will only cover your car accident if the Uber or Lyft driver was logged onto the rideshare app at the time of the crash. Otherwise, you must seek coverage from the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.

Can You Sue Uber or Lyft for a Car Accident?

Uber and Lyft protect themselves from liability for accidents involving their drivers by classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. This way, they avoid an employer’s vicarious liability for the negligence of its drivers.

To sue the rideshare company for an accident, your Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Tampa would need to prove that the company itself was negligent, such as by hiring an unsafe driver without a proper background check or ignoring complaints or bad ratings about a driver.

It may also be possible to hold a third party responsible for your Uber or Lyft accident. If another party caused or contributed to the crash, such as the manufacturer of a defective motor vehicle part or the government agency responsible for maintaining safe roadways, this party may be held liable for your losses.

If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Tampa, contact Vanguard Attorneys for a free consultation about your legal rights and recovery options.