Ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber have changed the way people get where they’re going. Rideshares popularity only continues to increase in Florida and around the country.
For this reason, you should educate yourself on the process if you’re injured in a rideshare accident in Florida. The financial responsibility in these cases may land in complicated ways.
Here’s what you need to know to file a claim against a rideshare driver if you’ve been injured while using their services in Florida.
What Is a Rideshare?
In Florida, as issues arise with increased rideshares, the legislature has attempted to offer some clarity on rideshare and accident liability.
A rideshare is defined as a type of transportation in which many people use the same vehicle. It’s sort of like carpooling, but technology allows passengers to request and pay for a ride to a specific destination.
Drivers use their own personal vehicles to transport their customers. That’s the key reason why these cases can get complicated when accidents happen, especially when injuries result.
The Liability of Ridesharing
When it first started, ridesharing provoked much contention in terms of liability.
- Do you hold the ridesharing company liable in an accident?
- Or do you target the driver, the official owner of the car?
- What type of insurance should be required?
- Does Florida’s no-fault liability come into play?
In 2017, Florida passed a bill that helped define ridesharing companies as “Transportation Network Companies”. This means that, under Florida law, Transportation Network Companies are required to carry minimum levels of insurance. They must maintain coverage for:
- $50,000 in minimum insurance for bodily injury
- $100,000 for accidents
- $1 million for personal injuries sustained in each accident
The law also requires drivers to carry enhanced insurance while logged into the app and providing rides. In the event that they fail to carry the appropriate insurance, the company’s insurance should cover that gap.
Even though this technically should benefit you if injured in a rideshare accident, note that the bill bars individuals from directly sueing a Transportation Network Company.
That leaves you with only one option in the wake of an injurious accident: you must pursue claims through the company’s insurance policy.
What About FL No-Fault Insurance?
Remember that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. However, in personal injury cases involving a rideshare, Florida’s personal injury protection laws still apply.
This means you must file a claim with your own insurance first. If your medical bills exceed $10,000, you can then pursue a claim against the at-fault driver in the accident.
Are There Any Circumstances Where The Transportation Company Is Liable?
In general, Florida law does not allow you to pursue a lawsuit against a rideshare company, with very specific exceptions.
One such exception: the law requires Transportation Network Companies to screen and authorize new drivers. If they violate that legal requirement, they can be held liable for negligence on behalf of the driver.
Consult with an attorney to understand the legal avenues available to you.
Rideshares are overall convenient, but they come with risks. If you’re injured and left to pay high medical bills on your own, someone needs to be held responsible for your injuries.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.