Public transportation has changed a lot in recent years. Plenty of rideshare companies have taken advantage of the opportunity to provide an alternative to busses, trains, and taxis. However, along with this new transportation option comes legal issues. If an accident occurs when you are driving for a rideshare company, or you are a passenger, the case can quickly become complex.
Here are the ten most vital things to know when suing a rideshare company.
- In many situations, Uber and Lyft drivers don't carry adequate insurance to fully compensate you for your losses.
- Wear your seatbelt. Florida's modified comparative fault rule may come into play and could hinder your ability to claim damages if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of an accident.
- If the rideshare vehicle did not have a working seatbelt, you may still be able to claim if you attempted to secure yourself using the seatbelt but could not.
- Take photos of the accident scene immediately after and jot down notes about the circumstances (weather conditions), other vehicles, and witnesses. Be sure to photograph the road, any stop signs or lights, and the surrounding area. These images may become evidence in your case.
- Collect information from the other driver, your rideshare driver, their license information, and insurance carrier and get statements from any witnesses who saw the accident. If you are the rideshare driver, collect as much information as possible from the other driver, including license plate number and contact details.
- If you were driving, do not admit guilt or make any apologies or statements, especially to law enforcement. Instead, wait until the police report is filed to see how fault is determined.
- Seek medical attention as soon after the accident as possible. Even if you feel like you are not hurt badly, you should see a medical professional. The medical bills and assessment may come into play during your lawsuit.
- Research Lyft and Uber's insurance policies online. Understand that each company carry up to a $250,000 payout for passengers when the driver was not at fault and a $1 million payout when the rideshare driver is at fault. Uber has recently reduced its uninsured/underinsured policy. If you are the driver, these amounts may differ.
- Most rideshare accidents are settled and rarely go to court. However, your personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed and who to contact.
- If you are a passenger in a rideshare accident, you cannot sue Lyft or Uber directly. You must file a lawsuit against the driver or their insurance carrier.
The most important thing to do in these situations is to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with rideshare companies and lawsuits after an accident.