Fort Lauderdale Uber Accident Attorney
Uber has been around since 2009. It is extremely popular in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in Florida. Uber and other ridesharing companies, also known as Transportation Network Companies, have dramatically changed the personal transportation industry.
People enjoy the convenience of Uber, the protection of having a ride if they cannot drive safely, and affordability gained by reduced car usage.
Because Uber and other rideshare services are a relatively new type of transportation, when there is an accident, new and complicated legal issues may arise. If you are injured in an Uber accident, you need the skill and resources of a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident lawyer to guide you through the legal process.
Who We Are
The legal team at The Levin Firm proudly represents individuals who have sustained serious injuries in car accidents, including those that involve rideshare services such as Uber. At The Levin Firm, we provide compassionate legal services that focus on client satisfaction.
Review our client testimonials page to get an idea of the high-quality legal services that we provide. We use our network of experts and our extensive resources to pursue maximum compensation for every one of our clients. Our award-winning attorneys offer free consultations to prospective clients, during which they can ask questions and determine whether they want to file a lawsuit.
The Levin Firm has offices in three states, including one conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale. We have experience representing individuals who have sustained injuries in Uber accidents, and we know how to navigate the complexities of a rideshare injury claim. If you sustained injuries in a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Why Hire Us?
Uber accident claims are complex, as they often involve multiple at-fault parties. Whether Uber’s insurance policy covers its drivers, and whether you can pursue compensation from that policy, depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your accident. At The Levin Firm, our attorneys understand the law surrounding rideshare accidents, and we know how to pursue compensation from powerful rideshare companies like Uber and its insurance company.
We have a track record of success, having recovered millions on behalf of injured people, and we’ve earned a reputation for zealous advocacy and aggressive litigation. We use our negotiation skills to pursue maximum compensation through settlement, and if necessary, we aren’t afraid to take a case to trial. Insurance companies know about our litigation skills, which makes them more likely to offer fair settlements to our clients.
If you sustained serious injuries in an Uber accident, you need to focus on your mental and physical recovery; let an experienced Fort Lauderdale Uber accident lawyer handle your legal claim. From our Fort Lauderdale office, the legal team at The Levin Firm is ready to pursue compensation for you. Contact us today for a free consultation, during which you can discuss the details of your Uber accident, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to file a claim.
How are there so many Uber accidents?
We don’t actually know how many Uber accidents take place, because the company doesn’t release that data and the government doesn’t collect it. We do know that the rise of Uber hasn’t meant a decrease in car accidents. Uber seems to have added to the number of cars on the road, not reduced it, and that volume of traffic brings with it more accidents.
Data from the Pew Research Center indicates that the number of people in the United States using the services of a transportation network company has more than doubled in recent years.
Researchers estimate that the market share of transportation network companies will increase to $218 billion by 2025. By 2020, there were four times as many ridesharing vehicles on the streets as taxis. Uber has approximately 91 million users in over 80 countries. Uber is available across Florida. While Uber’s presence is larger in cities, Uber use continues to grow.
In Florida, 25 percent of Florida residents use Uber for their daily commute. The company promises a clean, safe, and easy ride. Sometimes this is true. Unfortunately, ridesharing can also be dangerous. As more Floridians use Uber, there are more accidents. Some of these accidents result in serious injuries.
How does the law classify Uber?
Uber, like other ridesharing services, is not a taxi service. They are similar, but there are some critical differences. Taxi fares are generally based on use, time, and mileage. In most cities, the Uber app calculates your estimated cost in advance. However, they may include surge rates. When demand from Uber users increases, in some areas fares are higher.
There are many benefits to using Uber. It is fast and easy to hire a driver using your cell phone from almost any location at any time. In cities where Uber is available, you can use the Uber app to request a ride. The driver automatically knows where you are. When a driver in the area accepts your request, the app will give you an estimated time of arrival for the driver to pick you up and notify you when they are close to arrival.
The app provides basic information about your driver, such as first name, vehicle type, and license plate number. You can provide your destination before or during the ride. When you arrive at your destination and exit the vehicle, your trip ends. The app automatically calculates the fee and charges the payment to the source you’ve linked to your Uber account, so no cash changes hands. The app emails a receipt and the passenger has options for rating and tipping the driver.
There are also disadvantages. Uber drivers are not licensed, screened, and regulated using the same requirements that govern traditional taxi companies. Uber’s drivers transport passengers using their own vehicles. Legally, they are independent contractors. This is important as it affects their income and insurance requirements. It is also important because it affects what insurance coverage may be available to you in the case of an accident.
What is the law in Fort Lauderdale regarding Uber?
On July 1, 2017, Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 221 into law, which addressed some of the concerns regarding Uber and other transportation network companies. This law requires rideshare drivers to carry insurance above and beyond the state’s standard minimum requirements. The minimum insurance coverage rideshare drivers must carry is $50,000.00 per person in bodily injury liability, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Ridesharing companies must perform background checks on drivers operating in Florida and adopt “zero-tolerance” policies regarding alcohol and drug use. The company must suspend drivers suspected of driving under the influence, pending investigation.
Uber carries $1 million single limit bodily injury liability coverage, and $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. That means in certain circumstances, their insurance company covers the damages rather than the driver’s insurance company. When the driver accepts a passenger and is on the way to pick up their rider, the insurance provided by Uber is typically in effect.
However, Uber differentiates between coverage during a ride and coverage when the driver is using the vehicle for personal use.
Drivers logged onto the Uber app, but who don’t have passengers in their vehicle, must meet these insurance requirements above the PIP and PDL requirements:
- $50,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $100,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per incident
- $25,000 minimum property damage liability coverage per incident
Uber drivers who have passengers must have a $1,000,000 minimum for each type of coverage.
What are the minimum requirements for Uber drivers and their cars?
- The vehicle must be 15 years old or newer, but requirements may vary in some areas.
- The vehicle must have four doors.
- It must be in good, undamaged condition.
- Commercial branding is prohibited.
- There must be an Uber decal displayed on the vehicle.
- It must be inspected within 30 days of taking your first trip.
Uber driver requirements include:
- Drivers must be at least 21 years of age.
- Drivers must have a minimum of 3 years of driving experience.
- Drivers must have in-state car insurance in their name, as well as in-state car registration. (Uber accepts temporary and official registrations).
- Drivers must have an in-state Driver’s License.
- Drivers must have a Social Security Number for purposes of the background check.
Drivers must have a clean driving record. There must be no:
- DUI or drug-related offenses.
- Incidents of driving without insurance or license.
- Fatal accidents.
- Record of reckless driving.
- Criminal history.
What are the common causes of Fort Lauderdale Uber accidents?
As with all motor vehicle accidents, human error is the cause of an overwhelming number of accidents (94 percent). There are countless mistakes and misjudgments that, at the wrong place and the wrong time, may cause an accident.
Common causes include:
- Inattentive drivers. Uber drivers often drive on congested city streets. Meanwhile, they may be keeping an eye on their GPS and their Uber app or looking around the street for passengers who are waiting for pickup.
- Sudden or illegal U-turns. Drivers may make a sudden turn when they spot a passenger.
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Driving faster than the posted limit or too fast for road conditions.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (either illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter).
- Driver fatigue. Drivers typically need the money they earn, so they may drive too long without rest breaks. Driver fatigue can affect a driver’s judgment and driving skills. Experts compare it to alcohol-impaired driving.
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle. Maintenance and repairs are costly in terms of time and money, and drivers may choose to put them off for financial reasons.
- Failure to abide by traffic regulations.
- Risky lane changes.
- Driving too close to the car in front.
- Aggressive driving. Driving recklessly or aggressively is always dangerous. Sometimes it turns into deadly road rage.
What types of injuries may result from Fort Lauderdale Uber crashes?
Some of the more severe injuries that can result from an Uber accident include:
- Brain and skull injuries –Traumatic brain injuries disrupt normal brain function. These devastating injuries can require continuous long-term care.
- Injuries of the spine and spinal cord – A spinal cord injury is usually catastrophic. It almost always affects a victim’s mobility and sensation. The associated medical and personal costs can be astronomical.
- Internal injuries – Internal injuries are tricky because symptoms may not become apparent right away. However, untreated internal injuries can kill people.
- Fractures – Car accidents can cause severe fractures. They are painful, limit mobility, and often take a long time to heal.
Who may be at fault for a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident?
In Florida, buses, taxis, and other transportation options that service high volumes of people are considered “common carriers” and are held to a higher standard of care than regular drivers. How Uber is not a common carrier in Florida. Uber’s drivers are typically considered independent contractors, rather than employees of Uber. This is an important distinction when determining liability for injuries and damages caused by an accident.
An Uber driver can be legally classified as an independent contractor when:
- The driver sets their own workdays and hours.
- The driver may work for other ridesharing companies, if they wish.
- The driver may work for other employers regardless of the field and industry.
- The driver and Uber must sign a formal agreement that clearly classified the driver as an independent contractor rather than an employee.
The at-fault parties in an Uber accident may include:
- The Uber driver.
- Another at-fault driver.
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle.
- The person or entity responsible for road maintenance of the vehicle.
- Pedestrians or cyclists.
Can I file a lawsuit for a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident?
Those injured in a car accident often face enormous medical bills. They may be out of work for a long time and sometimes permanently. Depending on your injuries, you may be experiencing intense pain and suffering. Most insurance policies pay a limited amount for medical expenses and lost wages, and generally nothing for pain and suffering. Filing a lawsuit could fully cover these costs.
Florida’s car insurance rules allow you to take your case to court only in limited circumstances. First, if your injuries are severe enough to cost more than $10,000, you can usually take your case to court. Second, you can file a lawsuit for your injuries if they are considered “permanent.” This basically means a significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function, significant and permanent scarring, disfigurement, or death.
Remember, all lawsuits and insurance claims must be filed within a limited time, so you should consult an attorney as soon as possible.
What types of compensation might be available after a Fort Lauderdale Uber crash?
Following a crash, you may be traumatized and in pain. Insurance companies usually want to settle injury claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. A quick settlement offer from an insurance company may seem like an easy solution to your problems, but if you accept, you may lose the right to pursue civil action later. You should not sign any release or other paperwork or accept any settlement offer without first speaking to an experienced attorney.
Compensation depends on the type and severity of the injuries, lost time at work, and the future prognosis. To obtain fair compensation, it is essential to keep all of your medical records and bills. Medical documentation plays a critical role whether you are attempting to negotiate a settlement or preparing for trial.
In general, compensation may include:
- Current and ongoing medical expenses, including emergency care, starting with emergency care, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, and medication. If you need long-term care, you may require physical or occupational therapy, adaptive equipment, and more.
- Lost wages. You will probably lose income because of your injuries, especially if you cannot return to work in the same capacity.
- Property damage.
- Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life.
- Damages for wrongful death.
- In certain cases, punitive damages.
Were You Injured in a Fort Lauderdale Uber Accident? Call the Levin Firm Today
If you were seriously injured, no amount of money can restore what you have lost. However, full and fair compensation can provide the resources you need to rebuild your future. If you or someone you love has been injured in a ridesharing accident, contact a Fort Lauderdale Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible. For more information or a free consultation, please call the experienced lawyers at The Levin Firm at (954) 715-3260 or contact us online.