Boca Raton Rideshare Accidents Lawyer
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law can help you if you have been injured in a rideshare auto accident, including if your vehicle was struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, if you were a rideshare passenger, or if you were driving for Uber or Lyft and hit by a negligent driver. Different rules apply when rideshare vehicles are involved which can make these claims more complicated and difficult to resolve. The attorneys at Hersh Kirtman Injury Law have a record of success in the most challenging auto accident cases, including those involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. You can count on us to put forward the necessary skill and effort to maximize your recovery based on the facts of your case. We are in this with you and ready to make sure you get the care and compensation you need after an injury crash caused by another driver’s negligence. Call our Boca Raton rideshare accident lawyers today.
Important Facts About Rideshare Accidents in Florida and How Our Boca Raton Rideshare Accident Lawyers Can Help
The state of Florida has put certain requirements in place for what is referred to as a Transportation Network Company, or TNC, like Uber or Lyft. These requirements can be found at Florida Statute § 627.748. These requirements include having a driving record free from DUI or reckless driving convictions, as well as a limited number of moving violations or other convictions that indicate the person might not be safe to transport passengers.
Beyond those basic requirements, however, the law does not require Uber or Lyft drivers to have any special skill or training, and drivers aren’t supervised by the TNCs regarding how well they are driving. People who choose to transport others for pay should take extra care to drive safely and attentively, and the vast majority probably do. However, there are aspects of driving for a TNC that can make rideshare driving dangerous and put both drivers and passengers at risk of getting into accidents. Some of these aspects include the following:
Driver Fatigue. Many rideshare drivers put in excessively long hours to make a living. Much of that time is spent deadheading, which refers to driving around the city without a fare to hopefully be in the right vicinity to make a match on the app. Uber and Lyft allow their drivers to stay logged in to Driver Mode for 12 hours before they get locked out for six hours, but nothing prevents a locked-out driver from switching apps and putting in even more hours on the road. Others who drive as a second job to pick up extra cash on nights or weekends often log in after putting in a full day’s work and don’t otherwise give themselves the chance to rest. All of this driving puts drivers at risk of getting into a crash due to drowsy driving, falling asleep at the wheel, or making errors due to slower reflexes and impaired judgment.
Distracted Driving. Rideshare drivers in Boca Raton might not be local to the area, or they might be taking people to areas and neighborhoods they are unfamiliar with. Because of this, the drivers rely more heavily on GPS navigation and map apps to get where they are going. These apps can be visually, manually, and cognitively distracting to the driver as they take their eyes off the road to look at the app, take their hands off the wheel to program it, and take their attention from driving to focus on the directions. Rideshare drivers also have to deal with the distractions of passengers in their vehicles who might be distracting in a number of ways, including engaging the driver in conversation or rowdy behavior. Some drivers keep multiple apps open at the same time, so even while they are transporting a passenger for Uber, they are looking to match a fare with Lyft, which keeps them constantly checking in on the other app while they are driving.
Vehicle Maintenance. Drivers who put a lot of extra mileage on their cars are responsible to keep them maintained in good working order, but this responsibility is totally left up to the driver. A tire blowout, brake failure, or other mechanical fault at a critical moment can lead to a crash that could have otherwise been avoided.
The available relief in a claim after a rideshare car accident differs depending on whether the driver was logged into the app or if they were transporting a passenger or on their way to pick up a rider they matched with. While logged in, Uber and Lyft cover their drivers with liability insurance that provides $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person up to $100,000 per accident, plus $25,000 for property damage. Once the driver has matched with a rider or is transporting a passenger, the companies provide a million-dollar insurance policy.
If the rideshare driver wasn’t logged in at the time of the crash, then your claim will have to be brought against the driver and his or her own insurance policy, not Uber or Lyft’s. Even if the person drives for Uber or Lyft full-time, they are not an employee of the company and their car is not a company vehicle, so you will not have a direct claim against the TNC for accidents that happen when the driver is logged out of the app. Even when logged in, however, TNCs such as Uber and Lyft argue that they are not directly responsible for the negligence of their drivers because the drivers are not their employees. For that reason, TNCs such as Uber and Lyft are only directly liable if a claim is brought against them for their negligence. These claims are complicated but in some instances valid and should be pursued.
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law can help you figure out the proper party responsible for your injuries and help you pursue your claim if you were hurt in a rideshare accident as a passenger, the driver of another car, or a cyclist or pedestrian. We also represent rideshare drivers who got injured in accidents that weren’t their fault. Our lawyers have taken on all types of car accident cases and won significant results for our clients. You can trust we’ll do all we can to get you a good result too.
Contact Hersh Kirtman Injury Law Today
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law can help when you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in Palm Beach County. We have the skill and experience to handle even the most complicated cases, combined with the compassion and drive to make sure you are taken care of and listened to on a personal level. Car accidents are traumatic events. Our team can help. Contact our experienced Boca Raton rideshare car accident lawyers today.