As the ridesharing industry continues to grow, accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles are becoming increasingly common as well. According to Automotive News, there are now more than four million Uber and Lyft drivers nationwide, and late last year Business Insider reported that the introduction of ridesharing services in various cities has corresponded to a two to three-percent increase in fatal vehicle collisions.
In 2017, Florida enacted a law that enhanced the insurance requirements for ridesharing drivers. The law (known as the “Uber / Lyft Bill”) also requires ridesharing companies to provide coverage in cases where a driver’s insurance has lapsed or is inadequate. While this is important for accident victims, in order to recover their losses through insurance, victims of Uber and Lyft accidents still need to effectively assert their legal rights in order to recover financial compensation.
What Should You Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident in Florida?
If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Florida, the primary steps you need to take to protect your legal rights are the same as those required following any other type of accident. The main differences come in dealing with the insurance companies – including adequately demonstrating that Florida’s Uber / Lyft Bill applies based upon when and where the accident occurred. If the Uber or Lyft driver who caused the accident is uninsured or underinsured, then you may need to deal with Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance company as well.
In order to protect your legal rights after an Uber or Lyft accident, you should:
1. Record the Uber or Lyft Driver’s Vehicle and Insurance Information
Regardless of whether you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle or you were hit while driving your own car, it is important to try to collect the rideshare driver’s vehicle and contact information at the scene of the accident. If you were a passenger in the vehicle, you should not rely solely on the information available to you in the Uber or Lyft app.
2. Take Photos at the Scene
The easiest way to record vehicle and insurance information is to take pictures of each vehicle involved in the accident and each driver’s insurance card. Before leaving the scene of the accident, it is also important to try to take pictures of:
- The damage to each vehicle
- The Uber or Lyft sticker in the ridesharing driver’s window
- Each vehicle’s interior (to show whether airbags were deployed)
- Your injuries and any damage to your personal items
- The road surface, any traffic signals or signs, and the general surroundings
3. Seek Medical Attention
If you are in pain or experiencing other symptoms of a possible traumatic injury, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
4. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
If you have auto insurance, you should have a personal injury protection (PIP) claim under your policy. This is true even if you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident. You should report the accident promptly, but you should not discuss details of the accident or say who you think was at fault at this time.
5. Speak With an Attorney
Once you file an insurance claim, you should let your attorney deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. An experienced attorney will also be able to collect the evidence needed to pursue your claim, help you obtain appropriate medical care, and calculate the full extent of your accident-related losses. For more on the benefits of hiring an attorney, you can read: 7 Facts About Your Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident in Florida.
Speak With a Crestview, FL Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
To get help with your Uber or Lyft accident claim, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 850-682-2757 to request an appointment, or tell us how to reach you and we will be in touch as soon as possible.