Ridesharing is part of the fabric of our lives now. And whether you’re a passenger, the driver, or in the other motor vehicle involved in an accident with a company such as Uber or Lyft, there are certain procedures essential to the insurance and claims process that you need to be aware of.
The underlying problem is the rideshare industry is still relatively new, so the insurance companies are still playing catch up to make sure policies involve ridesharing agreements for coverage. That’s why it’s important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney from the onset that has experience in handling cases against certain rideshare brands. At Weinstein & Cohen, we have successfully handled numerous claims against Uber and Lyft and generated successful outcomes on behalf of our clients.
How does Uber & Lyft screen their drivers?
Before a person can drive for a rideshare company, they are screened for things like a safe driving record and serious criminal charges. Drivers must present the rideshare company with a host of information such as: name, date of birth, social security, driver license number, insurance, and complete vehicle inspection report. Additionally, rideshare companies use a third party vendor to run background checks against potential drivers screening against other national databases.
Can you lose your rideshare access if you file a personal injury claim?
It’s not an uncommon concern for drivers and passengers to worry about bringing a claim against a rideshare company for fear that it will lead to exclusion from ever using or working for the service again. The truth is that if you bring a valid personal injury claim against a rideshare company’s insurance policy, you will not be penalized. Companies like Uber and Lyft extract a portion of each fare to pay for insurance for this exact purpose. At Weinstein and Cohen, we deal regularly with both Uber and Lyft’s insurance companies and as long as your claim is valid and well documented by the proper authorities, your use of the rideshare company will not be jeopardized.
How are Uber and Lyft vehicles classified?
Many think of rideshare companies as commercial vehicles, similar to a taxi, but they are exempt from following the same guidelines and procedures as a commercial vehicle. Since rideshare companies operate through an app-based system putting individual drivers in touch with those needing a ride, they are not required to operate under a commercial vehicle license.
So what happens if you’re in an accident with Uber or Lyft?
In Florida, a bill was passed in 2015 and updated in 2017 that requires rideshare companies to meet minimum insurance standards. The law requires Uber and Lyft drivers to apply their insurance coverage from the time the driver is logged on to the app until the driver has dropped off passengers. The required coverage amounts when a driver is transporting a customer are at least $1 million death and primary automobile liability insurance, which meets the minimum requirements of a limousine user. If you’re a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and involved in a accident, your automobile policy would not provide coverage for an injury, however the rideshare insurance will more than likely cover you.
So what should you do if you’re involved in an accident with Uber or Lyft?
Accidents involving rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft can be unique because of the evolving landscape of the laws that regulate the industry. Right now, drivers are covered if they are logged into the app and passengers as well. The grey area is when a driver is on his way to pick up a client. Then you’ll probably have to go through the driver’s personal insurance before working up to the rideshare company. Because Uber, Lyft and other rideshare platforms operate as independent contractors, the question of liability can be confusing. That’s why you should consider hiring our experienced attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen. We can help you determine fault while achieving fair and just compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical care, suffering and other damages.
An experienced personal injury attorney will put your priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident across South Florida and Southwest Florida, contact the accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen at 239-793-3331 or 305-374-1011, or visit fairnessforall, for an absolutely free and confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.