As ridesharing services like Lyft continue to grow in popularity, accidents involving their drivers are also becoming more common. If you find yourself involved in a Lyft accident in Florida, you may be wondering whether you can sue Lyft for the damages you've suffered. In this article, we'll explore the intricacies of rideshare liability, Florida's no-fault insurance law, and the steps you should take if you've been involved in a Lyft accident.
Rideshare Services and Liability
Lyft and other rideshare services operate differently from traditional taxi companies because their drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. This distinction has important implications for liability in the event of an accident. While Lyft does offer insurance coverage for its drivers, there are specific conditions that must be met for this coverage to apply.
Lyft's Insurance Policy
Lyft Insurance Coverage Limits
Lyft provides liability coverage for its drivers, which includes:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury;
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury;
- $25,000 per accident for property damage;
These limits apply when the Lyft driver is in driver mode and has accepted a ride request but has not yet picked up the passenger.
When a driver is en route to pick up a passenger or during the trip itself, Lyft's coverage is as follows:
- $1 million in liability coverage per accident;
- Uninsured motorist coverage;
- Underinsured motorist coverage.
When Lyft's Insurance Applies
Lyft's insurance will only apply if the driver is actively using the app and is in driver mode. If the driver is not logged in or is using their vehicle for personal reasons, their personal auto insurance policy will be responsible for covering any accident-related expenses.
Understanding Florida's No-Fault Insurance Law
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that every driver is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. In most cases, you'll need to file a claim with your own insurance company to receive PIP benefits.
Filing a Lawsuit in Florida Lyft Cases
In Florida, you can only file a lawsuit against another driver if your injuries meet a certain threshold. This means that you must have suffered significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent disability, or significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement. Additionally, death resulting from the accident also allows for a lawsuit in Florida.
If your injuries meet this threshold, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party, which may include the Lyft driver, Lyft itself, or another third party involved in the accident.
Steps to Take After a Lyft Accident in Florida
Document the Scene
After an accident, it's crucial to gather as much information as possible. Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles and any injuries sustained. Collect contact and insurance information from all drivers involved and get the contact information of any witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only is this important for your health and well-being, but having a medical record of your injuries can be valuable evidence if you later decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
Report the Accident
Report the accident to Lyft through the app or by contacting their customer support. Additionally, you should report the accident to your own insurance company, as you may need to rely on your PIP coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.
Consult an Attorney
Navigating the complexities of rideshare accidents can be challenging, and it's in your best interest to consult with an attorney that handles Uber and Lyft accidents in Florida. Your lawyer can help you understand your different legal options, negotiate with insurance companies to get you maximum compensation, and pursue a lawsuit if necessary.
Suing Lyft and the Driver
To successfully sue Lyft or the driver, you'll need to prove that their negligence caused the accident. This may involve showing that the driver was speeding, distracted, or otherwise acted carelessly. In some cases, you may also need to show that Lyft was negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision of the driver.
Damages You Can Recover
If you can prove negligence, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Keep in mind that although Lyft's insurance coverage is extensive, there are limits to the compensation you can receive.
If another driver or entity is responsible for the accident, you may need to file a third-party claim against their insurance company. In this case, it's essential to work with an attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of multiple insurance policies and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Help You with Your Uber Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Lyft accident in Florida, you should speak with a skilled and aggressive Orlando rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. We offer free legal consultations, so a call is no risk to you.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation by phone. When you schedule a consultation at our law firm, you will get a consultation with a rideshare accident lawyer, not a customer service representative or intake person.
If you need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So, if you’ve been injured in the Southeast, we may be able to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
For more information on personal injury cases in general, you can download our free personal injury guide: P.I. 101: Your Quick Guide to Personal Injury Claims.