Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft Car Accident Lawyers
We help ride share accident victims throughout South Florida obtain the compensation they deserve
Over the past few years, ride sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have exploded in popularity as an alternative to commercial taxis and limos. These services have disrupted the game on how we get from place to place. We no longer have to depend on taxis and their prices to give us a ride, and have different fares and services from which to choose. These app-based services are typically less expensive and more convenient for South Florida residents to get around, whether it's a ride back and forth to the airport, or just a quick lift home from a night out.
But if you're in a car accident as a ride share passenger, what are your rights? Who will pay for your injuries, your medical bills, and your lost wages? These companies certainly have a responsibility to you and should not try to avoid your claim. You need an adept and tenacious attorney to fight on your behalf. At Yeboah Law Group, P.A. our legal team has extensive experience handling car accident cases in the Fort Lauderdale area and throughout South Florida. We know how to deal with companies like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar when they try to deny liability after a car accident. Look to us for skilled assistance in defending your rights.
How ride sharing services work
Ride share companies offer “driver-for-hire” services directly to consumers by contracting with freelance drivers who use their own vehicles to pick up and transport passengers. Users simply open the app, request a ride, and a driver is immediately on their way. You can track the driver's progress, as well as their name and the make and model of their car, as they come to pick you up. They'll pick you up, drop you off at your destination, and you pay via the app, so no money needs to change hands.
Do ride sharing services screen their drivers?
The short answer is “yes.” Before people can drive for an Uber- or Lyft-type service, they're screened for criminal charges and a safe driving record. They also must provide the following information to the company: name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, a copy of said driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance, and proof of a vehicle inspection. A third-party also runs a background check, which includes running the name against the national sex offender database, public records, and driver records.
Who is liable in a ride sharing car accident?
When you hire a taxi or limo in Florida, the driver is an employee of that company, and that company is fully insured in the event of an accident. Taxis, limos, and buses are known as “common carriers.” Common carriers owe a high duty of care to their customers. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are more like independent contractors, and don't owe you the same duty of care. They try to position themselves more as facilitators, or middlemen, who simply provide technology to match drivers with passengers. The companies lobbied the state to treat them as such, relieving them of legal responsibilities and holding the drivers liable for passenger safety.
A showdown of sorts to determine who is responsible once and for all for the safety of ride share passengers in Florida took place in the spring of 2017 in the Florida legislature. Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that governs how and when you can hold a ride share company responsible for injuries or death sustained in a car accident due to an Uber or Lyft driver's negligence.
This bill is titled House Bill 221 and states the following:
- Services like Lyft and Uber are not to be considered common carriers.
- Drivers are independent contractors, and therefore the companies are not liable for the driver’s negligence in causing wrecks.
More and more, however, courts are attempting to hold employers like Uber and Lyft responsible for accidents, as they are the ones who conduct the background checks and connect riders with safe drivers. However, they have regularly attempted to sidestep responsibility for accidents by stating that, technically, they're not actually employers. So, suing the app company itself is a difficult process that requires the assistance of a savvy Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney.
What are Florida's insurance laws regarding Uber & Lyft?
Even though ride share apps do have a lower duty of care to their passengers than common carriers, passengers do have some protections. Uber and Lyft have policies for their drivers. The requirements are as follows:
- $0 when the driver is not logged into the app.
- $50,000/$100,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage when the driver is logged in but has not accepted a ride request.
- $1,000,000 when the driver is logged in and has accepted a ride request.
You can see how important it is that you only accept rides from the driver you requested and that they officially accepted your ride request, otherwise they may not be liable in the event of an accident.
Let our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys take on negligent ride share providers
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft in South Florida, the Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Yeboah Law Group are here to help you fight for justice. You deserve support for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Call us at 954-764-2338 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have convenient locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton & Key West.
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