Uber can be a great resource if you want to get around Miami without driving yourself.
The rideshare service has become so popular that the company’s name has evolved into a verb. You can Uber to work. You can Uber to a party. You can Uber to your hotel. Uber can make life much more convenient.
However, Uber drivers aren’t specially trained nor do they have access to private roads. Your chances of being involved in a Miami car accident aren’t necessarily reduced because you’ve decided to Uber.
If you have been injured in a Miami Uber accident it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Recovering compensation after an Uber accident can be difficult, especially if you try to handle things on your own. At Lavent Law, P.A., our Uber accident lawyers are well-versed in Florida injury law and can help you get the money you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Uber Laws in Florida
In 2017, Florida’s governor signed the Uber/Lyft Bill, which, among other things, designated Uber and other rideshare companies as Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs. As a result, Ubers are treated differently than other transportation services (e.g., buses or taxi cabs). This will affect your personal injury claim and ability to recover compensation.
There are two important things to understand about TNCs under Florida’s Uber/Lyft Bill, or CS/HB 221.
1. Ubers Aren’t Common Carriers
Common carriers are businesses who transport people from one place to another in exchange for a fee. Buses, trains, cruise ships, and airplanes are all examples of common carriers. In Florida, common carriers are held to a higher standard of care than others. This makes it easier for accident victims to recover compensation when they are injured in an accident.
Uber transports people from one place to another in exchange for a fee. However, CS/HB 221 explicitly states that Uber is not classified as a common carrier. Uber fought very hard to shield itself from the extra liability that is imposed on common carriers in the state.
So, Uber and Uber drivers have no additional legal responsibility to get you from Point A to Point B safely.
2. Uber Drivers Aren’t Employees
If you’re injured in a Miami bus accident you can hold both the bus driver and bus company responsible for your harm. This is because bus drivers are typically employees of bus companies. In Florida, employers can be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees.
Florida’s Uber/Lyft Bill specifically states that Uber drivers are to be classified as independent contractors. This lifts any responsibility the Uber company may have if a driver is involved in an accident. Liability shifts away from Uber and squarely onto the shoulders of your Uber driver. Rather than holding a billion dollar company responsible for your damages, you’ll likely be forced to try to recover compensation from another citizen like yourself.
Uber and Its Drivers Must Carry Special Insurance Coverage in Miami
When you are involved in an Uber accident and someone else is at fault, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. In Florida, insurance payouts will probably be the primary source of the money you receive. All drivers with a registered vehicle in Florida must purchase minimally-acceptable amounts of car insurance coverage ($10,000 PIP/$10,000 PDL). Under Florida’s Uber/Lyft Bill, Uber drivers are subject to additional insurance coverage requirements.
How much insurance must an Uber driver have in Miami? The answer depends on what the driver is doing at a particular moment in time. Increased insurance requirements only kick in when an Uber driver is logged into the Uber app. The specific requirements will depend on whether or not there is a passenger in the vehicle.
Uber Driver Logged Into the App, No Active Trip: Drivers who are logged into the Uber app, but not currently transporting a passenger, must carry minimum insurance coverage of:
- $10,000 PIP
- $50,000 death and bodily injury (BI) per person
- $100,000 death and bodily injury (BI) per incident; and
- $250,000 PDL per incident.
Uber Driver Providing a Ride: Drivers who accept an Uber ride request must carry coverage of at least $1 Million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.
Uber is also required to carry an insurance policy of at least $1 Million per incident in the event of an accident. Benefits from this policy are only applicable during an active Uber trip. A trip begins the moment a ride request is accepted and terminates the moment the driver ends the trip in the app. However, under Florida state law, the Uber driver’s insurance is “primary.” As a result, the driver’s insurer will be first in line to pay. Uber’s policy can cover damages that paid for by anyone else.
Recovering Money After Your Miami Uber Accident
There are two ways to recover compensation after an accident. The first is to file a personal injury claim with an insurance company. The second is to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party.
Insurance Benefits After Your Uber Accident
Insurance is typically the primary source of compensation for accidents victims in Florida.
Your Insurance Benefits: Your own car insurance policy can cover some of your costs after an accident. This is true even if you aren’t driving at the time of the crash. Your PIP coverage will be the primary source of compensation, up to your policy limit ($10,000, unless you opted to buy additional coverage). While drivers aren’t required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), you are encouraged to do so. If you have UIM, those benefits may also be available to cover your Uber accident-related costs.
Uber Driver Insurance: Did an Uber driver’s negligence cause your accident and injury? If so, you can file a personal injury claim with their insurance provider. It’s important to know, however, that the insurance company may refuse to cover your claim if the driver operated the vehicle for commercial purposes in violation policy terms and conditions.
Uber Insurance: Uber is required to carry a policy of $1 Million per incident to cover costs related to an accident. If you can’t recover compensation elsewhere, you can file a claim to receive benefits from Uber’s policy.
Personal Injury Lawsuits After Your Miami Uber Accident
While insurance is the first line of defense when you’re injured in an accident, you may also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, anyone who contributed to your Uber accident or injury can be liable for damages.
Uber Driver: You can file a personal injury lawsuit against your Uber driver if their negligence is the cause of your injury. A lawsuit may be the best option if the Uber driver’s insurer has refused to honor your claim.
Negligent Drivers: Uber accidents aren’t always caused by Uber drivers. Your crash may simply involve an Uber where another driver is to blame. If you’re injured, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation from that other negligent driver.
Companies and Manufacturers: Did a defective product contribute to or cause your Miami Uber accident? Perhaps faulty tires prevented your driver from braking properly. Or, maybe an airbag exploded in the car unexpectedly, causing your Uber driver to crash. If so, you can hold the company that designed, manufactured, or sold the defective product strictly liable for your injuries.
Other Third Parties: Uber accidents can happen for many reasons. You can ask for compensation from anyone who played a role in the crash. This includes pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even government agencies responsible for road maintenance.
Damages Available to Miami Uber Accident Victims
The consequences of an Uber accident should never be underestimated. The physical, emotional, and financial costs of your accidents can be incredibly overwhelming. While money won’t necessarily take away your pain, it can help to make your life a little bit less stressful.
At Lavent Law, P.A., our Miami Uber accident lawyers are prepared to help you maximize your financial award. We’ll aggressively pursue damages on your behalf, including compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Nursing care
- Chronic pain
- Emotional distress, and more.
Call Lavent Law, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team. Our goal is to help you get the money you deserve after your Miami Uber crash.
Call an Experienced Miami Uber Accident Injury Attorney
Have you suffered an injury in a Miami Uber accident? Recovering compensation after an Uber accident in Florida can be tough. You are more likely to recover the money you need if you enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Lavent Law, P.A., our attorneys understand that an accident can change your life forever. We are here to help you fight for what you deserve. You only have a limited amount of time to file your claim, so it’s important to act quickly. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.