Uber and Lyft Ride Sharing Accidents in Florida

Ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber have become very popular during the last few years. However, there are several risks associated with these ride sharing services that  passengers should know about.  Most relate to what happens if one of those motorists becomes involved in an accident and has to make an insurance claim. In Florida, the laws related to auto accidents or auto insurance don’t always ensure that victims or injured parties get the best possible outcome. What’s worse is that many drivers have little knowledge regarding traffic laws, so some ride sharing passengers are subjected to risks. That means passengers involved in a ride sharing accident could face challenges when it comes to paying their medical bills or other issues related to possible injuries.

There are other problems that affect drivers who provide ride shares through services like Lyft and Uber. For example, these companies have been accused of not conducting thorough background checks and in some cases, not accepting responsibility for coverage in some ride sharing accidents.  This can be a large issue because in some cases, ride share drivers may not carry insurance that is sufficient for injuries sustained by passengers.  This coverage issue is in a constant state of change, and Florida’s Governor recently signed into law a rule that uniformly governs all ride sharing services throughout the state. Further, in particular with Uber, recent claims we have handled have been adjusted by insurers for Uber that provide standard coverage of $1million per claim.

While Uber and Lyft drivers are often normal people that drive to make extra money on the side, it is important to note that when transporting passengers, they are driving commercially. This is an important distinction to make since most individual auto insurers for the driver do not cover commercial activities, like ride sharing via Uber and Lyft. That would mean no insurance coverage is available in the event of a ride sharing accident if the ride sharing service didn’t have their own coverages.

Can Lyft and Uber get away without addressing my injury?

There are a few different ways in which companies like Lyft and Uber have tried to avoid covering a ride sharing injury or getting their insurers to manage your compensation claim. They include:

  • When the driver’s insurance policy does not cover his or her ride-sharing profession.
  • When the driver was between fares and the accident happened.

Uber claims to service around 55% of the US population with their ride-sharing service. They operate in over 200 cities and more than 40 different countries. So, the problems centered around ride-sharing accidents are not unique to Florida. Perhaps those companies will start to make improvements due to increased pressure from service users living in other locations around the world. No one knows for sure what the future might hold. One thing is for sure, injured passengers will need the help of an experienced ride sharing accidents attorney to ensure they receive all of the medical care required, and when appropriate, receive the compensation they may be entitled to.

I believe that as more passengers file claims for injuries sustained in a ride sharing accident, companies like Uber and Lyft will further update their policies and insurance coverage to provide more consistent coverage for injured passengers. Until that time, it really does make sense for potential ride share customers to verify what insurance is available and what might happen if they find themselves in an auto accident.

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About the Author

P. Hutchison Brock, II
Hutch is Board Certified in both and Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Law by the Florida Bar. Hutch has extensive experience representing clients affected by Auto Accidents, other Personal Injury Claims, and related legal issues. If you are searching for an experienced and highly respected Personal Injury Attorney in Wesley Chapel, then send us a message. You can also call our office at (813) 333-7267 and I will answer all of your questions.