Tampa Ridesharing Accident Lawyers Providing Victims with Skilled Legal Assistance
The popularity of ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber has dramatically increased in the last few years. These companies have changed the transportation industry by building platforms for passengers to connect with drivers who operate as independent contractors. Once passengers open the app and request a ride, they can be on their way in minutes.
While ridesharing companies provide unrivaled convenience, they can be quite difficult to navigate when seeking compensation for your injuries after being involved in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle.
Ridesharing accident claims quickly can become complicated and stressful, but RTRLAW’s experienced Tampa ridesharing accident attorneys can simplify the process and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Tampa law office today at (813) 370-0229 or toll-free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (1-833-447-3787) to schedule a no-obligation case review with a helpful and skilled personal injury lawyer who can answer all your rideshare accident questions.
What Should You Do After an Accident to Protect Your Legal Rights?
Car accidents are shocking, and the aftermath can be chaotic. Whether you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident as a passenger, a driver of another vehicle, or as a pedestrian, staying calm after a crash can prove beneficial to your case. Of course, getting necessary medical treatment is all that matters if you are badly hurt. But if you are physically able, the following steps can safeguard your rights and bolster the likelihood of a successful claim:
- Call 911 for emergency help for seriously injured victims: Under Florida law, if you’re able, you must render aid to anyone hurt by the crash. Failing to assist others or leaving the scene can expose you to civil and criminal consequences.
- Get a prompt medical evaluation: If you’re severely hurt, call for emergency help or go to the nearest emergency room. Even if you feel like you sustained no significant injuries, you should go to urgent care as soon as possible for an evaluation. Some serious injuries, including some that are life-threatening, can be masked by the adrenaline rush caused by the crash. Getting medical care promptly ensures your safety and provides a record of your injuries that can support your accident claim.
- Notify the police: A police report is a vital document in any personal injury case because it establishes what occurred and who may be at fault. If police did not come to the scene or a police report hasn’t been issued for your accident, be sure to contact the police on your own to report the accident.
- Take pictures of your rideshare app and the driver’s app: If you were an Uber or Lyft passenger during the crash, you should be covered by their insurance. Having proof of your passenger status can ensure that you recover the full compensation you deserve. Even if you weren’t a passenger, knowing the driver’s status at the time of the crash is crucial because it impacts the extent of their insurance coverage.
- Record images of the accident scene: Photos can be used to reconstruct the accident and determine who was at fault. Capturing multiple angles is best if it can be done safely.
- Collect information: Gather the names and insurance information from all drivers involved in the crash. If witnesses are present, ask for their names, addresses, and phone numbers so your lawyer can contact them later.
- Stick to the facts in all discussions of the case: While answering questions from the police, do not discuss fault. If you are uncertain of an answer to a question, tell them you do not know. If you contradict your narrative of the accident later, it can reflect poorly on your claim, so it is best only to discuss facts you know with certainty.
- Contact a rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible: Rideshare accident cases can be complex, and the rideshare company’s insurance may try to deny your claim. Having a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can increase your chances of recovering a full settlement for your injuries.
What Type of Insurance Do Rideshare Drivers Have?
Determining where to file your claim after an Uber or Lyft accident can be incredibly confusing. The specific circumstances of your crash will establish how you need to proceed, but in general, there are up to four different insurance companies you may have to deal with, including:
- Your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage provider.
- The rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance.
- The rideshare company’s insurance.
- The auto insurance of other drivers involved in the crash.
To understand which insurance policy might apply to your accident, you first have to know the working status of the rideshare driver, as coverage varies depending on what the driver is doing. The standards for coverage are as follows:
- The driver is active on the rideshare app but is not actively carrying or heading to pick up a passenger: Drivers may have limited coverage through their rideshare company’s insurance company. Often, the amounts of coverage in this situation can be $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage.
- The driver has accepted a passenger and is driving to pick them up or has them in the vehicle: Uber or Lyft’s insurance applies in this case, which provides typically provides $1,000,000 of coverage per accident and includes underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
- If the rideshare driver is not on the app when the accident occurs: The rideshare company’s insurance coverage is not active because the driver is no longer acting as a private contractor for Uber or Lyft. Instead, the driver’s personal auto insurance will apply.
The situation can become even more complicated because the rideshare company’s coverage only kicks in once all other available insurance companies have paid their maximums. If this maze of insurance policies has you overwhelmed, a personal injury lawyer from RTRLAW with extensive experience handling rideshare accident cases can help you navigate the claims process.
What Compensation May Be Available to Rideshare Accident Victims?
A rideshare accident can be devastating to victims and their families. Physical injuries from the wreck can require many costly treatments, and victims often miss work and paychecks while they heal. If the injuries are severe, the victims may be unable to return to their jobs and could find themselves permanently disabled. If you’ve suffered financially due to your injuries, economic damages can compensate you for your losses, including:
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Costs for travel to and from doctor appointments
- Medical expenses, such as surgery, hospital bills, prescriptions, durable medical equipment, and more
- Ongoing medical care fees
- Loss of future earning capacity if you are no longer able to work
- Property replacement or repair
While financial hardships are challenging, they are not the only difficulties caused by accident injuries. A fair rideshare accident settlement also should consider the non-economic damages a victim has endured. Calculating these damages may seem challenging due to their intangible nature, but your lawyer will assess the severity of your injuries and how long they are likely to disrupt your life when determining fair compensation. Non-economic damages may cover the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
While deaths from ridesharing accidents remain relatively rare, some research points to the introduction of ridesharing as a factor in increased overall traffic fatalities nationwide, including this study by professors at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
If you’ve tragically lost a loved one in a ridesharing crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship and support
- Outstanding medical expenses related to the decedent’s (the person who has died) accident injuries
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
Attempting to handle a rideshare accident claim on your own can be a frustrating experience. The claims can be complex and the various insurance companies involved may try to deny you benefits. Even though Uber and Lyft carry large insurance policies for accidents involving their drivers, their insurance companies are for-profit businesses that will attempt to limit the amount they pay out to victims.
The rideshare accident lawyers at RTRLAW have comprehensive, up-to-date knowledge of Florida’s auto insurance laws and your legal rights for recovering damages. We have strong negotiation skills and can often secure a settlement payout without the need for a trial, but we will not back down from taking a large rideshare company to court if they refuse to provide our clients with the full compensation they deserve.
Call us in Tampa today at (813) 370-0229 or toll-free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (1833-447-3787) for your free, no-obligation rideshare accident case evaluation.