Why You Need an Uber Accident Lawyer
Ride-sharing has become hugely popular in and around Tampa and throughout the state of Florida. The biggest ride-sharing company is Uber. There are thousands of Uber vehicles on the roads and highways of Florida at any given time. With so many Uber vehicles out there, they are bound to get into automobile accidents. But these accidents are different than just a regular car crash. If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle during an accident, or you get hit by an Uber driver due to the driver’s negligence, then you want an experienced Uber accident lawyer on your side.
Are Uber Drivers Unsafe?
The question of whether Uber drivers are unsafe is complicated. First, most Uber drivers are safe and follow the rules of the road. But this becomes an issue when Uber’s driver incentives kick in. Uber’s main goal as a company is to increase the number of riders. This is how they make money. In order to do this, Uber needs as many Uber vehicles on the road as possible at any given time in order to be available when people need rides. Therefore, Uber offers its drivers incentives to stay in their cars and logged onto the Uber app for as long as possible. This incentive scheme might entice some drivers to stay on the road for a long time; thus creating a hazard when that driver becomes tired. No rules exist that limit the amount of time that Uber drivers can be in their vehicles. When there are hundreds of tired drivers on the roads of Tampa, then the likelihood of crashes increases.
Uber offers bonuses to the drivers if they hit a certain number of rides in a given shift. Further, Uber drivers are awarded badges the more rides the drivers take. Uber is also constantly sending its drivers text messages encouraging them to drive more and longer. It also encourages its drivers to “binge-drive” and not take rests in between rides by sending new rides even before the current one is not even complete. This incentive scheme can create a dangerous situation and cause extra crashes.
Types of Insurance Coverage in Florida Uber Crashes
Like what is required in almost all the states in the United States, Florida has enacted a law that regulates ride-sharing companies such as Uber. This law regulates driver qualifications, vehicle requirements as well as how much and what types of insurance Uber vehicles are required to have. A driver must either purchase a ride-share commercial policy or purchase a ride-share endorsement on its personal automobile policy. Depending upon what the driver is doing at the time of a crash, there are four scenarios that matter:
• If the driver is not working at the time of the crash and is not logged into the Uber app, then the personal insurance policy kicks in and the accident is treatment as a normal one;
• If the driver is logged into the app, but does not yet have a passenger, then the personal policy will kick in, but also there will be a limited amount of coverage supplied by a policy purchased by Uber;
• When the driver has been paired with a passenger and is on the way to pick up this person, Uber’s policy will kick in. Further, there are some personal insurance policies that will provide some coverage in this scenario.
• Once a passenger is in the vehicle, then Uber’s insurance policy will be the only policy to cover the passenger and driver.
Florida’s minimum requirements for the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy is set at $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage coverage. The Florida law also requires Uber to have a policy that provides for the following benefits:
• While the app is on but no passenger: $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident;
• While there is a passenger in the vehicle: $1 million in coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
How Much Is My Uber Accident Case Worth
Because Uber accidents can be more complicated than a regular car accident, you may want to know how much your case is worth. There are many issues that will dictate how much your Uber accident case is worth. But the first thing you should do is to contact an experienced Uber accident attorney to have your questions answered. In most instances, the initial consultation with the attorney is free so there is no downside to contacting a lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries. The issues that will affect the value of your case are as follows:
• There seriousness of your injury and length of your treatment — will there be any aspect of your injury that is permanent such as scarring or will there be a full and complete recovery;
• The amount of medical bills — this includes past medical bills as well as medical bills that you might incur in the future that are related to your Uber crash injuries;
• The amount of lost wages — and just like with medical bills, this number counts both past lost wages as well as future loss wages due a lower earning power caused by an ongoing disability;
• The amount of “pain and suffering” that you have endured — this category of damages is called non-economic damages and can be difficult to put a number on it because there is no formula that can be used. The only way to determine this number is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer who has handled many Uber accident cases;
• How much insurance coverage are you able to get access to — this issue involves how much are the insurance policy limits do the at-fault driver has to cover your injuries. Also, do you have underinsurance or uninsurance if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. You may have suffered injuries that an average person would agree should be worth millions of dollars. However, you will only receive the policy limits of the various insurance policies that are in play.
Why You Should Talk To an Uber Accident Lawyer
Uber car crashes can be complicated litigation. Many questions and issues can arise as to who is at fault and what types of insurance will be available to compensate you for your injuries. The smartest thing to do is to contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer to provide answers to all of your questions and to help you through this difficult time.
If you have been injured in an Uber car accident, please do not hesitate to contact the accident lawyers at Joyce & Reyes at (813) 251-2007. The initial consultation is free.