Rideshare companies like Lyft have taken Miami by storm. An increasing number of residents and tourists are ditching traditional forms of transportation – particularly taxi cabs and buses – in favor of Lyft’s technology-driven services. However, Lyft drivers aren’t professionals and there’s no guarantee that you will not be involved in a car accident. It’s important to understand your legal options if you are injured in a Miami Lyft accident.
Thanks to lobbying efforts on behalf of rideshare companies, it can be difficult to navigate a personal injury claim after a Lyft accident. The best way to get the money you deserve is by enlisting the help of an experienced Miami personal injury attorney. Contact Lavent Law, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team today. We’re here to help you understand your rights and demand compensation from whoever caused you harm.
How Lyft Accidents Are Unique in Florida
When you’re injured in a taxi cab accident you can hold the taxi cab company responsible for any damages you suffer. Why? The taxi cab driver is an employee. This is important because employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. So, the cab company is likely on the hook for damages resulting from an accident involving their negligent driver.
Things are different if you’re involved in a Lyft accident in Miami. You may think that Lyfts are basically the same as taxi cabs. However, legally speaking, that’s not true. Florida law designates Lyft and other rideshare companies as Transportation Network Carriers, or TNCs. These companies do not have to play by the same rules as other similar transportation resources. One of the biggest impacts this has is that Lyft drivers, by law, are not employees of the Lyft company. Under Florida CS/HB 221, Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors. This shifts most of the liability away from Lyft and onto the individual driver.
What does this mean for you? If you’re injured in a Lyft accident you’ll probably have to look to your own insurance company or the Lyft driver to recover compensation. There are, however, limited situations in which you may be able to recover compensation from a Lyft insurance policy.
Lyft Insurance Requirements in Miami
When you’re injured in a Lyft accident and someone else is to blame, you have the right to recover compensation. This will typically involve an insurance company in some capacity.
Insurance Requirements for Lyft Drivers
In 2017, Florida legislators increased the mandatory minimum insurance requirements for all rideshare drivers in the state. Under current law, traditional drivers not engaged in rideshare services must carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL).
Under CS/HB 221, Lyft drivers are required to purchase and carry additional coverage. Minimum coverage requirements depend on the driver’s activity.
Logged Into App, But Not Providing a Lyft: When a Lyft driver is logged into the rideshare app, but not currently transporting a passenger, he or she must satisfy the following insurance coverage requirements:
- Minimum PIP;
- Primary coverage of no less than $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person;
- Primary coverage of no less than $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident; and
- $250,000 PDL per incident.
Providing a Lyft Ride: When transporting a Lyft passenger, a driver must satisfy minimum PIP/PDL requirements and also have primary coverage of no less than $1 Million to cover death, bodily injury, and property damage. However, this insurance coverage will only kick in when a Lyft driver has accepted a fare on the rideshare app. If you’ve gotten into a Lyft and your ride request hasn’t been confirmed, Lyft’s insurance policy will not cover your ride. Always make sure that your Lyft driver accepts your request and tracks the ride.
A Lyft driver’s insurance coverage is considered “primary.” This simply means that the Lyft driver’s insurance will be first in line to pay when an accident happens.
Insurance Requirements for Lyft
There may be certain times when the Lyft company itself may be liable for your accident-related injuries. In order to ensure that rideshare accident victims can recover the compensation they need, Florida state law requires TNCs like Lyft to carry an insurance policy of at least $1 Million per incident. This policy, however, is secondary to the Lyft driver’s insurance coverage. The Lyft benefits will probably only kick in if the Lyft driver’s policy is insufficient to cover your costs.
Recovering Compensation After a Miami Lyft Accident
So, how can you get the money you need after a Miami Lyft accident? Do you have to start with your own insurance policy and PIP coverage? Should you be able to recover compensation from the Lyft driver, Lyft company, or both? The answer will ultimately depend on facts specific to your case. Our personal injury lawyers will review your case and determine the best course of action. Here are some of the ways you may be able to recover compensation after your accident.
Personal PIP/UIM Coverage: All drivers in Florida with a registered vehicle must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. Your insurance policy doesn’t just protect you when you’re behind the wheel, but also when you’re a passenger. If you purchased uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) through your insurer, those benefits can also help to cover your costs. You can file a claim with your insurer to recover benefits from your own policy.
Lyft Driver Insurance: Did the Lyft driver’s negligence cause your accident and injuries? If so, you can file a claim with their insurance company. Remember, Lyft drivers must carry additional insurance to cover your injuries in the event of a rideshare accident. However, it’s important to note that some insurance companies may refuse to cover Lyft accidents if the driver violated the terms of his or her policy by driving for a commercial purpose.
Lyft Insurance Policy: Lyft’s $1 Million insurance policy must cover damage that occurs when a Lyfta driver accepts a fare and transports a passenger. Coverage extends from the moment a request is accepted until the ride is terminated in the app. This insurance policy, however, will most likely be secondary to the Lyft driver’s own personal policy.
Personal Injury Lawsuit: You don’t have to rely on insurance to get the money you need after a Miami Lyft accident. You also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the Lyft driver or another negligent third party. Possible defendants could include manufacturers of defective products, the local government, or a negligent driver. A lawsuit may be your best course of action if the Lyft driver’s insurer refuses to pay or if your injuries are particularly severe.
Damages Available to Miami Lyft Accident Victims
When you’re injured in a Miami Lyft accident and someone else is to blame, you have the right to demand compensation. In Florida, accident victims are typically entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are paid to compensate for your financial costs (e.g., medical bills), while non-economic damages are paid to compensate for intimate and hard-to-value injuries (e.g., chronic pain).
At Lavent Law, P.A., our personal injury lawyers will aggressively pursue all damages to which you may be entitled, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Nursing care
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
It’s our goal to maximize your financial award. We work closely with experts to make sure that your case is valued properly. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Miami Lyft Accident Injury Lawyers
Have you been injured in a Miami Lyft accident? Are you struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of the crash? If someone else caused your accident you have the right to hold them financially responsible. Contact Lavent Law, P.A. to find out how our Miami Lyft accident lawyers can help you fight for the money you deserve. We offer a free case assessment, so do not hesitate to call for help today.