Who’s Liable In A Ride-Sharing Accident?

  • Story Highlights:

Car accidents happen all over Florida, as well as the rest of the country. That’s not really a surprise considering how car-dependent America is. When you’ve got millions of cars on the road, all of them driven by fallible people, sooner or later, a mistake is going to occur, and sometimes that mistake can involve others. When that mistake results in a car accident, it’s now time to start resolving the issue by answering the biggest question; who is at fault?

In car accidents, this is the most important question, since an accident victim is entitled to financial compensation, whether that’s just repairs to the vehicle itself, or actual compensation for medical treatment, or even loss of life and punitive damages depending on how serious the accident and consequences are. But in recent years there’s a new wrinkle added to assigning blame, and that’s the rise of the “ride sharing” concept.

Like Taxis, But Not


Ride sharing is most commonly recognized with the names “Uber” and “Lyft.” These two companies have rocketed to the top with a unique concept. They don’t actually own garages, or provide vehicles or maintenance to anyone. The rides they “share” are provided by any American, who owns a car, and wishes to make some money on the side—or even full time—as a driver that is paid to take people to their destinations like a taxi driver. However, unlike a taxi driver, who uses a company vehicle with company branding and is the employee of a taxi cab company, a ride sharing driver works under a different model.

Rather than be an employee of a company, an Uber or Lyft driver works under an “independent contractor” agreement. He or she uses her own vehicle, and merely gives a “cut” of the total passenger fee to the ride share company, that acts as a ride dispatcher through the software provided.

The Accident Scenario


Of course, just like any driver on the road—and just like taxi drivers—ride share drivers can make mistakes. However, unlike a private driver, who is covered by his or her own insurance when driving on his or her own time, or a taxi driver that is insured by the company worked for, ride share drivers are not employed, but are working and on the clock if an accident occurs while carrying a passenger.

So, in a situation like this, what are the legal consequences if you get into an accident with a ride sharing driver when you know that driver is the one at fault?

The State Of The Ride


Both Uber and Lyft have a one million dollar insurance policy that covers people using their software. However, there are very specific conditions for when that insurance policy would be considered active. If the driver is not “on the clock,” the insurance doesn’t apply. If the driver has accepted a passenger but is on the way to pick up the passenger, but has not started the ride, the insurance does not apply.

However, if the driver has the passenger in the car, and is delivering the passenger to his or her destination, now the insurance policy is active. Keep in mind that this only applies when it comes to determining fault for insurance to pay out. If you decide to take things a step further, and contact a car accident lawyer for a lawsuit, you will be suing the driver, not the ride sharing service, so the “prize” of that one million dollar insurance policy may not be on the table if you decide to go for a personal injury lawsuit instead.


 

Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.

 

Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office

Sarasota

941-954-1234

2822 University Parkway Sarasota Florida 34243

Bradenton Office

Bradenton

941-752-7000

1215 Manatee Ave West Bradenton Florida 34205

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg

727-381-9200

6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Lakewood Ranch Office

Sarasota

941-330-0088

9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch Florida 34202

Venice Office

Venice

941-496-9555

3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office

Englewood

941-474-4800

2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Punta Gorda Office

Punta Gorda

941-613-1141

122 Nesbit St, Suite 113, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte

941-613-1141

3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office

Arcadia

863-494-0122

10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers

239-332-0770

8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office

Lakeland

863-683-5600

5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813
 

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.


 
×