Ridesharing is a relatively new service where a company provides a method of letting customers find drivers who are not taxis to take them places. The earliest ridesharing companies trace their history to World War I, but the ridesharing industry did not gain mainstream acceptance until the early 2000s.
While many ridesharing trips get completed without incident, there have been a notable number of accidents involving ridesharing drivers and their passengers. Because these companies do not have the same classification as taxis or other common carriers, the question of liability becomes an issue when there is an accident.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident with a ridesharing driver, you might qualify to file a lawsuit to claim compensation. You can discuss your case with a Tallahassee ridesharing accident lawyer to better understand your legal options. You can contact the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 for a free consultation about your case with a team member.
Causes of Ridesharing Accidents
Ridesharing accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Although drivers try to avoid accidents, they can still happen in an instant. Some of the causes of ridesharing accidents include:
- Tiredness and drowsiness: According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), fatigue and drowsiness are among the leading problems among ridesharing drivers. Because of the long hours without breaks, drivers tend to grow less attentive and experience issues with exhaustion while working.
- Inclement weather: Inclement weather, such as rain and snow, can make driving difficult. Many ridesharing drivers continue to drive through inclement weather because they need the hours to earn a living. However, many ridesharing drivers do not have advanced safety equipment, like snow chains, that they need to continue working in such conditions.
- Rushing to work: Ridesharing drivers have their income based mainly on the number of trips that they take. Because of this, many drivers try to complete their trips as fast as possible. This incentive motivates drivers to ignore speed limits and other driving laws while increasing the number of trips they make.
- Distractions: Having passengers in the car can distract even the most experienced driver. For ridesharing drivers, having new passengers in the car on every trip raises the chances of being distracted.
- Violence: In some cases, passengers can become violent against ridesharing drivers, which can distract drivers to where they cannot drive safely until resolving the situation.
Just like any driver, ridesharing drivers are subject to many different types of problems that interfere with their driving. As the driver, they hold special responsibility for getting everyone to their destination safely. If the driver causes an accident in which you suffer injuries, you could hold them responsible.
For a free legal consultation with a ridesharing accidents lawyer serving Tallahassee, call 800-959-1444
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains how insurance companies do not offer personal auto policies for ridesharing drivers that include coverage when they use their vehicles for commercial purposes. This policy means that a ridesharing driver’s insurance will likely not cover damages in an accident.
According to the FTC, the debate over whether drivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft should have employee status complicates the determination of liability when a driver causes a car accident through their negligence or recklessness. Drivers can purchase specific insurance that covers accidents while they were on duty, and Uber and Lyft offer supplemental policies to cover what the driver’s policy does not.
Rideshare accidents are still largely a gray area in the law, with cases working their way through the courts to determine how these situations should be handled. If you suffered injuries in an accident involving a ridesharing driver, you could speak with a Tallahassee ridesharing accident lawyer about the specifics of your case to shed some light on what legal actions you can take. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for a free case review with a team member.
Tallahassee Ridesharing Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
It is still unclear if victims can sue ridesharing companies for the accidents caused by drivers using their platforms. Because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, they do not work for the company, so Florida’s vicarious liability statutes do not apply when they cause an accident.
Because of the legal confusion over rideshare companies’ responsibility, a car accident lawyer can help you decide what actions you can take. If the Uber or Lyft driver is responsible, then you could likely file a lawsuit against the driver if your injuries were severe enough to cost more than your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage limit. In some cases, a lawyer might want to file a claim against the rideshare company as well.
Your Legal Options
If you decide to file a lawsuit regarding the accident, you must do so before the statute of limitations runs out. Florida Statute of Limitations 95.11 establishes a four-year time limit for personal injury and property damage lawsuits like those that arise from car accidents. If the statute of limitations expires, the court might not accept your case.
You want to give yourself as much time as possible to gather evidence and find witnesses who can bolster your claim for compensation. A personal injury lawyer can collect the necessary reports and valuate your medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, and other damages so that you file for the compensation you deserve after a ridesharing accident.
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If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a ridesharing accident, you could consult a lawyer to explore your legal options. A Tallahassee ridesharing accident lawyer may be able to help you build a case and file a lawsuit to recover compensation. Contact the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 today to discuss your case with our team.