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What Are Your Rights After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Florida law provides important new protections for individuals who are injured in accidents involving Uber and Lyft rideshares. Passengers in Uber and Lyft vehicles and drivers who have been injured in accidents involving these vehicles have always enjoyed the same rights as individuals injured in other types of car accidents, but now Florida law requires both ridesharing drivers and companies like Uber and Lyft to carry additional insurance beyond the state’s standard minimum requirements.
Florida’s Enhanced Insurance Requirements for Ridesharing Drivers and Companies
The law – known as CS/HB 221 or Florida’s “Uber/Lyft Bill” – applies any time a ridesharing driver is logged in to the Uber or Lyft app. If a driver is logged in but, “not engaged in a prearranged ride,” the new law requires insurance coverage including:
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, with a total limit of $100,000 per accident;
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $25,000 for property damage;
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that complies with existing statutory requirements; and,
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as required by existing law.
When an Uber or Lyft driver is providing a prearranged ride, the insurance requirements are even higher:
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury and property damage; and,
- PIP and UIM coverage in compliance with existing statutory requirements.
Under the new law, either the ridesharing driver or the ridesharing company can purchase the requisite coverage; but, if the driver’s coverage lapses or is inadequate, then the ridesharing company (i.e. Uber or Lyft) must provide full coverage, “beginning with the first dollar of [every] claim.”
While accident victims’ compensation claims can often get held up between insurance companies seeking to shift liability between one another, the new Uber/Lyft Bill seeks to do away with this issue as well. Under the new law, ridesharing companies’ coverage cannot be contingent upon victims’ personal insurers denying their claims, and accident victims are not required to pursue personal auto insurance claims before filing claims against ridesharing companies’ insurers.
Mandatory Background Checks for Uber and Lyft Drivers
In addition to these enhanced insurance requirements, the Uber/Lyft Bill also institutes mandatory background checks for rideshare drivers. The new law requires ridesharing companies to conduct initial background checks and ongoing background checks every three years, and these companies, “may not authorize an individual to act as a [ridesharing] driver,” if:
- The driver has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI), or a misdemeanor violent or sexual offense within the past five years;
- The driver has been convicted of driving on a suspected or revoked license within the past three years;
- The driver does not possess a valid driver’s license or proof of vehicle registration; or,
- The driver is listed on the National Sex Offender registry.
If you were seriously hurt in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft ridesharing vehicle, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.