Pensacola Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Uber & Lyft Accidents in Florida
The increase in availability of Ubers, Lyfts, and other rideshare vehicles has made it more convenient than ever to get around. However, it does not come without a cost. According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, the introduction of ridesharing services has been connected with a 3% increase in traffic fatalities nationwide.
While they must have “good” driving records to work for these companies, rideshare drivers do not receive any special training. As such, they are just as likely to cause an accident as anyone else on the road. Unfortunately for victims, the process of recovering compensation after a rideshare accident is far more complicated than it is for most standard car accidents.
If you or someone you love was involved in a rideshare accident in Pensacola or any of the surrounding areas, it is important that you contact an attorney with experience handling these claims as soon as possible. At the Law Office of J.J. Talbott, we have helped countless victims of rideshare accidents successfully fight for fair compensation. Our legal team has the experience, resources, and skills to not only protect your rights but also effectively advocate for your recovery.
Who Is at Fault for a Rideshare Accident?
Just like in other car accidents, the fault for an Uber or Lyft accident nearly always lies with the person who caused the crash. This could be the rideshare driver, another driver on the road, or even a negligent bicyclist or pedestrian. In some cases, fault may be shared between multiple parties.
Because Florida is a no-fault state, fault is not always relevant. If the accident did not result in serious injuries, victims can seek compensation for certain covered losses through their no-fault, or PIP, insurance. However, PIP does not cover the full extent of one’s damages after a car accident, especially when injuries are severe.
To make matters worse, it can be extremely difficult to successfully bring a claim against the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance provider. Most personal auto insurance policies do not cover commercial driving, and the claim will likely be denied. The next step would be bringing a claim against the rideshare company.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft After a Crash?
It is possible, though difficult, to sue Uber or Lyft after an accident caused by one of their drivers. Even if you can prove that you suffered “serious injuries” (as defined by the state) and that the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault, these companies purposefully make it hard for people to bring legal action against them. One of the ways they do this is by limiting their liability by classifying drivers as “independent contractors,” rather than employees. However, this does not mean that you are entirely out of luck.
Both Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for accidents involving their drivers that occur under the following circumstances:
- When the rideshare driver has the app turned on and is actively waiting for—but has not yet accepted—a ride request
- When the rideshare driver has the app turned on, has accepted a ride request, and is on the way to pick up the passenger
- When the rideshare driver has the app turned on, has accepted a ride request, and is actively transporting the passenger
In the first two situations (known as driving periods 1 and 2, respectively), Uber and Lyft offer limited coverage to those injured in accidents caused by their drivers. When a rideshare driver is actively completing a ride request, known as driving period 3, Uber and Lyft both offer up to $1 million in insurance coverage.
If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft during any of these driving periods, you could be entitled to compensation from the rideshare company under its applicable policy. We strongly recommend that you contact the experienced attorneys at our firm for help with your claim.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
Just like any other car accident, a rideshare accident can have devastating consequences. Victims may experience life-altering injuries, as well as serious physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Collectively, these losses are known as “damages.”
The exact damages you can recover in your rideshare accident claim depend on the specific details of your case. If you did not suffer an injury that meets the state’s definition of a “serious injury,” you may only be able to recover compensation through your PIP coverage. This limits your recovery to certain damages, including medical expenses and lost wages.
However, in other instances, you could be entitled to compensation for all of your damages, which may include the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Past, current, and future lost income/wages
- Past, current, and future pain and suffering
- Lost or diminished earning capacity
- Lost or diminished quality/enjoyment of life
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
- Emotional distress and anguish
The Law Office of J.J. Talbott team can review your case and determine the types of damages you may be entitled to receive in your rideshare accident claim. Reach out to our Pensacola Uber and Lyft accident attorneys today to learn more.
If you were partly to blame for the accident, you could still be entitled to file a claim for compensation. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages as long as the other party was at least somewhat to blame. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, for example, if you are found 25% at fault, you can only recover up to 75% of the total amount you are seeking in damages.
In Alabama, the rules regarding shared fault are much stricter. Under the state’s contributory negligence rule, you cannot recover any compensation for your damages if you are found to be even 1% to blame for the crash.
What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Pensacola Uber or Lyft Accident?
The immediate aftermath of an Uber or Lyft accident can be disorienting and stressful. However, following an appropriate course of action will significantly enhance your prospects of a successful compensation claim. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Safety First: Ensure that you and others involved are safe. If anyone needs immediate medical help, call an ambulance.
- Contact Authorities: Dial 911 to report the accident. The officer will file an accident report, which can be a crucial piece of evidence.
- Document the Accident: Take pictures of the accident scene, noting the time, date, and location. If there are any visible injuries, document those as well.
- Gather Information: Collect the contact and insurance information from all parties involved, including the rideshare driver. Also, note the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicles involved.
- Identify Witnesses: If there are any witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information. They could provide valuable testimony later.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't feel hurt immediately, seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be evident right away.
- Report to the Rideshare Company: Notify Uber or Lyft about the accident through their apps.
- Contact an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer in Pensacola: Reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced Pensacola Uber/Lyft accident attorney who can help navigate the complexities of your personal injury claim. Remember, early legal representation can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.