Ridesharing has become a popular way for people to earn extra cash each month. Instead of using a taxi, riders have the option of getting into a privately-owned vehicle driven by someone they were connected to through either the Uber app or Lyft app. Because of the rise in popularity of these ridesharing platforms, there have been more accidents on the roads, making it necessary for victims to reach out to a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident lawyer.
There are 3 scenarios that can occur with ridesharing:
- If the Uber or Lyft app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request: Damages can be recovered from the driver’s personal insurance as well as Uber’s/Lyft’s contingent liability coverage.
- If the Uber or Lyft app is on and the driver has accepted a passenger: Damages can be recovered from the Uber or Lyft’s commercial coverage, or by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- If the driver is with either Uber or Lyft but has the app turned off during the time of the accident, then their car accident is treated the same way as any other car accident between two or more passenger vehicles.
Background on Uber and Lyft
A number of states have been trying to require Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, whereas the companies argue that their drivers prefer working as freelancers. This is significant because there are many state and local labor laws that apply only to employees of companies, but not to independent contractors.
In July 2017, Florida legislators passed a new statute that regulates the ridesharing industry in the Sunshine State. This means that companies such as Uber and Lyft can lawfully classify their drivers as independent contractors as long as certain statutory criteria are met.
The Complexity Of Uber/Lyft Cases
The area where the distinction between an independent contractor and employee matters is regarding auto insurance. As independent contractors, Uber and Lyft drivers technically operate as commercial drivers. However, as private vehicle owners, their auto insurance may not cover commercial use unless the driver has purchased the extra coverage. Uber and Lyft offer their own contingent comprehensive and collision insurance.
This puts victims in between two extremely tough places: On the one hand, the car insurance company may refuse to pay the damages, and on the other hand Uber and Lyft may refuse to pay as well because they are not the employers of the driver.
Whether you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver or were a passenger being transported by an Uber or Lyft driver when the accident happened, you will want to call a Fort Lauderdale Uber and Lyft accident lawyer.
Why Florida Injury Law Group
We have helped many Fort Lauderdale residents and tourists who need an Uber/Lyft attorney after their accident. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.