Even though Uber and other similar rideshare services are highly convenient, good for the environment, reduce the incidence of drinking and driving, and have many other benefits, ridesharing also has significant drawbacks, including increased motor vehicle accidents.
If you or someone you love was involved in a rideshare accident, you must speak with an experienced Ocala rideshare accident attorney about your claim as soon as possible. Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. handles complex car accident claims involving rideshare vehicles, so never wait to reach out today.
About Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we have the experience and knowledge to win personal injury claims and the compassion and dedication to focus on our clients. Our Ocala personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in injury compensation for Florida clients and their families for over four decades. You can count on us to fight for your rights after a rideshare accident.
Some of our recent results include:
- $3.5 million for a car accident client rear-ended while slowing for traffic on I-75.
- $2.5 million for a car accident client who was driving on the highway when a semi-truck in on-coming traffic collided with another vehicle and spun into the client’s vehicle. Their semi trapped the vehicle, and authorities had to cut our client from the car. The semi-driver was arrested and charged with DUI. His BAC was four times the legal limit. The client sustained leg injuries requiring surgery.
- $1.6 million for a younger car accident client sideswiped by a negligent driver leading to a back injury.
- $1.125 million for an elderly car accident client on her way to church who was slammed from the rear at a high rate of speed by a distracted driver paying attention to her small dog.
- $1 million for a car accident client driving on a rural highway when suddenly, as he approached an intersection, a semi-truck (hauling cement) pulled out directly in front of him, resulting in hip and arm injuries.
- $350,000 for past and future lost wages for a car accident client
We serve clients throughout the Ocala area.
Rideshare accidents can arise from many of the same causes as other motor vehicle accidents; distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and not obeying traffic signs and lights. However, rideshare drivers are at greater risk of causing or being involved in crashes due to some of their specific job duties.
- They are drowsy or tired as this is their moonlighting job.
- They use technology more which serves as a distraction— for instance, they check their maps or the rideshare platform to see if they can pick up more passengers.
- Their minds focus on the next passengers they will pick up, what location they will drive to, and what route to take.
- They often drive in unfamiliar locations.
- They often work late at night or early in the morning to make more money and are drowsy.
- They can become distracted by talking to their passengers.
- Unsafe drop-off and pick-up practices, such as dropping passengers off in the middle of the road or on bus or bike lanes
American passengers have been hitching rides with rideshare drivers for over a decade. Uber alone had $57 billion in gross bookings in one recent year across 93 million users. Despite the pandemic, the company had nearly five billion trips and is worth $46 billion.
Rideshare accidents are more common than most Americans might think. As rideshare services continue to expand, accidents will continue to happen at concerning rates. Even with an ongoing pandemic, Uber sales increased 103 percent year-over-year, and Lyft sales increased 87 percent year-over-year, according to figures from recent years. Increased sales mean more drivers and riders on the road, which increases the risk of rideshare accidents.
Consider the following statistics from a recent study:
- Almost 1,000 daily motor vehicle fatalities result from an increasing number of rideshare vehicles on U.S. roadways.
- Uber drivers using the platform were involved in 97 fatal crashes over only two years, causing a total of 107 deaths.
- 21 percent of these accident victims were rideshare passengers
- 21 percent of them were drivers
- The other 58 percent of those crash victims were third-party drivers or passengers.
Florida has these requirements for rideshare vehicles operating in the state:
- Valid registration and tags from the state of Florida
Fundamental standards for both Uber and Lyft vehicles include:
- The vehicle be in good shape and free of any visual harm
- Drivers cannot advertise at any time.
- At least eight seat belts are necessary for SUVs.
- Prohibitions on the use of automobiles with salvage titles
Both Uber and Lyft keep a list of permitted and disallowed automobiles. Additionally, Uber requires its drivers to have top-tier vehicles when accepting rides at luxury rates.
Determining liability can be tricky in any car accident; often, rideshare accidents can be even more so. Under Florida’s personal injury laws, you have the right to file an injury claim against the person or party who caused your injuries. However, the rideshare company may or may not be that party.
If the rideshare driver caused the accident and was using the platform to provide rides at that time, the rideshare’s insurance company will pay for your damages.
Under Florida law, the company must provide the following coverage amounts:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If the driver is en route to pick up riders and actively on a trip, rideshare companies have the following auto insurance on behalf of their drivers:
- $1 million third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision
- Up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible
If you were a motorist or passenger in another vehicle and the driver wasn’t working for a rideshare company, their private insurance policy should cover your damages according to their policy limits and exclusions.
It’s also possible that there are third parties liable for the accident, and you can seek compensation from their insurance coverage.
These third parties might include:
- Government entities
- Vehicle or vehicle parts manufacturers
- Other motorists
One benefit of having legal representation after a rideshare accident is that they will maximize your compensation by utilizing all applicable insurance policies. Suppose the applicable insurance companies fail to offer you a fair settlement for your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In that case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Should I Hire a Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
Hiring an experienced Florida rideshare accident attorney is in your best interest. Motor vehicle accident claims often become complicated fast. What might seem like a straightforward case with apparent liability and injuries, most of the time, is not. This is especially true when it comes to rideshare accidents.
With so many parties involved and multiple potential insurance coverages to draw from, rideshare accidents are more likely to be complicated than others. Handling your claim or litigation independently of a professional legal team is not only a significant challenge, but it can also be counterproductive to getting the compensation you need and deserve. Without an experienced rideshare accident attorney, you likely won’t achieve the best outcome possible in your claim.
There are several benefits to doing so to legal representation after a rideshare accident, the most obvious being increased compensation for your damages. Studies from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reveal that individuals represented by a lawyer after a car accident receive about 3.5 times more compensation than injured parties who represent themselves.
Other benefits of hiring a lawyer after a rideshare accident include they:
- Are skilled negotiators
- Can help you get the medical care you need
- Can provide peace of mind
- Help provide objectivity and aid in decision making
Should You Settle Your Claim or Go to Trial?
Various studies reveal that only about five percent of all U.S. car accident cases will ever reach the inside of a courtroom. The rest settle between the parties. When you hire a car accident attorney, you want someone with trial experience who is also a skilled negotiator. You need an attorney who can work to skillfully negotiate a full and fair settlement but who also has the intentions and ability to take your claim to court if need be.
Settlements are the preferred way to end a personal injury claim because they have several benefits.
- Injured parties get compensation sooner
- Cases that settle are less costly and time-consuming for all parties
- Injured parties don’t have to endure an emotional or stressful trial
- Personal and private information doesn’t get added to public court records
- Insurance and rideshare companies can help avoid bad press and preserve their reputation
- There is less risk involved, and parties have more control over the conclusion of the case
However, in some rideshare injury claims, you must file a lawsuit against Uber, Lyft, or other potentially liable parties.
Litigation might be necessary for your claim if:
- Insurance policies are inadequate to pay the sum of your damages
- Insurance company fails or refuses to pay
- The rideshare company acted irresponsibly
Keep in mind that many cases may need months or a year, or more, to negotiate a settlement. Even if your Florida rideshare lawyer doesn’t negotiate a fair settlement right away, they might still reach one before going to court.
How Long Do You Have to File a Rideshare Accident Claim in Florida?
Time is of the essence if you have sustained injuries in a vehicle accident. Rideshare accidents are no different. Florida has a statute of limitations of four years from the date of the accident. In other words, if you are going to file an injury lawsuit, you have to do so within four years of the date of the accident. If this date passes and you don’t file a lawsuit, you lose your legal right to do so.
Four years might seem like a long time. However, waiting to reach out to a reputable Florida rideshare attorney can prove detrimental to your case.
Your attorney needs time to examine the facts of your accident and injuries and to perform their own investigation. Then they must abide by the standard and legal framework for requesting damage compensation after an injury accident. They will need time to negotiate with those liable for your accident and their insurance companies. If they cannot obtain a fair settlement offer, they will file a lawsuit.
They need as much time as possible between hiring and filing a lawsuit to prepare a substantial case on your behalf. You can help them by contacting them sooner rather than later after your rideshare accident.
Determining liability and how insurance coverage for your damages will work is a time-consuming and often complex process. As such, many rideshare accident victims turn to a skilled Florida lawyer for help. An attorney can investigate who is liable for the accident, which insurance policies apply, and handle your negotiations for compensation.
Whether your rideshare accident occurred in Ocala, Gainesville, or elsewhere in Florida, the attorneys at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. are here for you and ready to help.
We make every effort to negotiate your claim. Still, if the insurance or rideshare companies don’t provide you with an acceptable settlement, we are fierce litigators who aren’t afraid to stand up for your rights. When necessary, we will file a lawsuit and pursue your injury compensation before a judge or jury.