Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular. In some cities, they’re even overtaking taxis. Since you can hire a vehicle to pick you up by using a cell phone app, ridesharing is now prevalent throughout the country, including here in Florida.
Unlike traditional taxi companies, the drivers do not actually work for Uber or Lyft. They are not technically employees but are instead considered to be contractors.
As a passenger, this impacts you because of the confusion it creates surrounding liability in the event of a car accident. If you were to get into an accident in a taxi, your case would be more clear-cut than if you were to get into an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver.
A Difficult Issue to Untangle
This issue is actually incredibly complex and made even more so by the way that Uber and Lyft have structured their companies and insurance policies. For example, if someone drives for Uber and is not actively using the app at the time of a wreck, that driver is essentially on their own personal time and any accident is his or her personal responsibility.
This means that if you were hit by an Uber driver who was not actually using the app or driving a passenger at the time, you could not sue Uber. You could, however, file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Now, if you got into an accident with an Uber driver who was actively using the Uber app, then you could sue the company. It’s possible that Uber’s insurance wouldn’t cover all of your damages, however; so you might need to sue the driver directly, as well.
When Does a Rideshare Company’s Insurance Apply?
The average rideshare company’s insurance policy really doesn’t kick in until there is either a passenger in the vehicle or the app is in use. This means that if you are hurt in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you could potentially sue the rideshare company for damages as long as the app was in use. These companies have insurance policies in place intended to cover these circumstances.
Not really. Even with these insurance policies in place, there are ways that ridesharing companies can get out of liability. Since anyone driving for them is not an employee, they do not claim responsibility for the actions of their drivers.
This means that you can expect them to avoid accepting responsibility for an accident—even if one of their drivers was clearly “on the clock” at the time of the crash. This may make filing a personal injury lawsuit against the rideshare company, the driver, and anyone else who was partially responsible your best course of action.
Contact a Miami Rideshare Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been harmed in a car accident involving the driver of a rideshare company, you aren’t going to want to attempt sorting out who was liable without experienced legal counsel. Contact Lavent Law and let us help you determine how to proceed with your case.
Just give us a call at (305) 440-0450 or submit the contact form.
17295 NE 19th Ave
North Miami Beach, FL 33162