At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we recognize that rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have changed the way people are getting from place to place. This article deals with what happens if an Uber or Lyft causes an accident and you are not a passenger.
You Are a Pedestrian and Are Hit by an Uber or Lyft
If you are on foot, on a bicycle, or on a scooter and are struck by an Uber or Lyft, you may have questions about how a claim for your injuries works. If you have a vehicle or live with a resident or relative with a vehicle, you will qualify for PIP or no fault benefits through that car insurance company. PIP benefits mean that your medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000 will be covered. If you do not own a car and do not live with a relative that owns a car, the good news is that you will qualify for PIP benefits under the Uber or Lyft insurance policy. Florida law requires every Uber or Lyft to carry the same $10,000 of PIP or no-fault benefits that every other car is required to. So, after an accident, you will be covered for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages.
If You Were in Another Vehicle and Were Hit by an Uber or Lyft
If you were in another car, then you will be covered for PIP benefits through your own car insurance policy. If you were a passenger in a car hit by an Uber or Lyft and have your own car insurance policy, then your own PIP policy is used for these benefits. In all cases, you would be covered for PIP insurance in the amount of $10,000.
Making a Claim for Injuries When the Uber or Lyft Is at Fault
Making a claim for injury damages after an accident with an Uber or Lyft depends on certain factors. It is a much more complex analysis. The first part of the analysis is to determine if the Uber or Lyft driver had a passenger or just had the app on. Make sure you get this information and pass it on to the police officer. It can make a big difference. If the Uber or Lyft driver had a passenger, they are required to carry 1 million in bodily injury (BI) coverage. This is mandated by Florida law. BI is insurance that pays for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Uber’s BI insurance is through Progressive and Lyft’s BI insurance is through Greenwich Insurance Company.
If the Uber or Lyft driver did not have a passenger and only had the app on, find out if both of the apps were on or just one. If the apps were on, Uber and Lyft provide $50,000 in BI insurance. This is a tricky situation, however. I have seen both Uber and Lyft deny claims when the driver had the app on. I have yet to litigate this issue, but I simply do not trust Uber or Lyft to provide coverage in this situation.
Yet another part of the insurance analysis is to make a claim against the Uber driver’s own insurance company. Uber and Lyft drivers are supposed to notify their own insurance company that the vehicle is being used for rideshare services. Most insurance companies will not cover the driver during a ride, but some will. It is important in every accident case to make a claim against the insurance policy, request a copy of it, and review it for possible coverage. The worst that the company can say is that there is no coverage, so it makes sense to explore the option.
The final part of the insurance analysis is to look toward your own UM policy. If you carried UM insurance, you may be able to make a claim against your own policy as a matter of last resort. Remember, UM insurance only applies if you were not at fault and there was not enough BI coverage to handle the claim. This means that in a case where the Uber or Lyft had a passenger, that your claims exceed 1 million and if no passenger and the app was on, that your claim exceeds $50,000.
Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we specialize in Uber and Lyft accident cases. We have handled every type of Uber and Lyft claim and know where to look for insurance and how to present a claim. We are proficient in understanding the apps and unlike many attorneys, have used both Uber and Lyft. If you have been in an accident that was caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you will need to speak to an experienced car accident attorney immediately. Our consultations are always free of charge. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible after an accident to assist with your injury claim.