If you are involved in a car accident, you should follow some basic, common-sense principles, including:
- Health First: Make sure that everyone who was potentially injured in the crash gets the medical attention they need as soon as possible.
- Move To Safety: If it is possible to move the cars that were involved in the crash out of the roadway, you may want to do so to decrease risk of further crashes and avoid blocking traffic.
- Get Details: If you are able, you should get pictures of the scene of the crash and the cars involved, and gather important information including the address and cross streets where the crash happened, the contact and insurance information for drivers of all cars involved, and the names and contact details of any witnesses to the crash.
Coverage For The Costs Of Damages In Rideshare Accidents
Whether you are the driver of another car involved in the crash, or a passenger in the rideshare vehicle, you should be aware of how to take handle of any medical expenses or other damages that you suffer as a result of the crash. A recent Florida law requires rideshare companies including Uber and Lyft to have automobile liability coverage that covers all of the cars that are owned by active drivers for the company.
The rideshare drivers are also required to have their own insurance coverage on their vehicles, as is required of any car owner, but they must comply with some additional requirements. When the driver is logged on to the rideshare network but has not yet picked up a rider, the driver’s own insurance coverage is in effect at coverage limits specified in the law for rideshare drivers waiting to pick up passengers. When the driver picks up a passenger, the rideshare company’s insurance coverage kicks in for any accidents that happen. Florida law requires that rideshare companies carry insurance with coverage limits of at least $1 million.
Personal Injury Protection: No-Fault Coverage
Automobile liability insurance laws in Florida follow “no-fault” principles of insurance coverage. This means that the first $10,000 of your medical bills and lost wages caused by a car crash come from the insurance company of the car that you were in, no matter which driver caused the crash. This insurance coverage is called “personal injury protection,” and it is designed to pay injured drivers’ and passengers’ medical bills and lost wages quickly, without waiting to resolve disputes over who was at fault in causing the crash. There are limitations, though. The insurance plan’s personal injury protection is only required to pay 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages, up to the $10,000 amount.
These rules also apply to rideshare accident liability. If you were injured in a crash while getting a ride through an app-based service, any medical bills and lost wages you may have due to the accident would be paid by the insurance company of the car that you were riding in or driving.
If your medical bills and lost wages totaled over $10,000, or you suffered a permanent injury, then you will need to make a claim against the driver who was at fault in causing the crash. The driver at fault could be the driver of the rideshare car, another driver, or even multiple drivers.
For injuries that result in medical bills and lost wages above $10,000, the payment of damages gets slightly more complicated. The question of which driver caused the crash becomes important, as the insurance company of that driver (or the driver personally, in some cases) is responsible for paying the additional costs of damages to people who were injured in the crash.
To be fair, Florida laws say that the responsibility should be divided among everyone who played a part in causing the crash. Many accidents are the result of multiple factors. For example, one driver may be speeding, and another driver may try to merge into that lane without looking closely enough in their mirrors to see that the other car is quickly approaching. If an accident results, both drivers may be found to be partially at fault because they were both negligent.
As a passenger in a rideshare vehicle or as a driver of another car involved in the accident, you may have a claim against the rideshare driver if they were at least partially responsible for the crash. As long as there was a passenger in the rideshare, your expenses from your injuries may be covered, at least in part, by the rideshare company’s insurance policy that carries a much higher limit than most individuals’ insurance coverage. It is important to be aware of Florida’s laws surrounding no-fault liability and rideshare liability so that you can know what to expect in case you are involved in an accident.
Florida Uber, Lyft Accident Attorneys
If you have sustained injuries in a ridesharing accident, then you should get medical attention and then touch base with a personal injury attorney. At Koberlein Law Offices, our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped countless Floridians with holding bad drivers and their ridesharing companies responsible for the harm that they have caused. We will fight to ensure you get paid every dollar that you deserve in your ridesharing accident case. Call us toll-free at 877.556.2889 or contact us online for a free consultation with a Koberlein Law Offices attorney.