Leesburg FL Uber Accident Lawyer
Uber Accident Attorney in Leesburg, Florida
Florida is a No-Fault-Based System
Florida follows a no-fault based auto accident system. This basically means that if you are involved in a car accident, your initial medical bills are submitted to your own auto-insurance company. Don’t be worried about this, your insurance company will not raise your rates for making a no-fault a/k/a (PIP) claim, if you did not cause the accident.
All Florida residents that own a vehicle are required to carry auto insurance. This required coverage has two main components: no-fault a/k/a (Personal Injury Protection or PIP), and property damage. The required minimum is $10,000. PIP coverages medical expenses and lost wages. Property damage provides coverage where the at-fault party’s insurance will repair or total the innocent party’s vehicle.
What you will note is that Florida does not require bodily injury insurance. This coverage provides insurance if the at-fault person injuries the other party or parties.
In the event of an accident where the at-fault driver has bodily injury (BI), the insurance company will pay damages for excess medical, wage loss, pain and suffering (if certain criteria are met). Ideally, every driver has to carry this insurance, but in reality, there are still many uninsured drivers in Florida (27%), which is one of the leaders in uninsured motorists.
No-Fault System and Uber Accidents in Leesburg FL
Since Florida follows the no-fault system, things can get fairly complicated if the car accident involves an Uber driver. In case the Uber driver gets in a collision with another driver, and if the Uber driver is at fault, then it will be either Uber or the driver’s insurance company that will be held responsible for the damage to the car and injuries sustained in the accident. However, in Florida, there is also a system of pure comparative negligence. This means that in case of an accident where more than one party may be responsible, the liability for damages is shared among those involved according to their level of fault. That means if the Uber driver is 50% at fault, he is only responsible for 50% of the damages caused in the accident. However, if the Uber driver is 100% at fault, then it will be Uber’s responsibility to pay for damages to the injured party.
If Uber’s insurance company finds that it was the Uber’s personal negligence that resulted in the accident, then the liability will fall on the driver’s insurance company. If the driver does not have insurance, then the injured party, which could either be another driver, another driver’s passenger or an Uber passenger, can file a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation.
The Interests of Car Accident Insurance Companies
It is important to understand that insurance companies claim and advertise that they are there to protect you after an accident, in practice this just doesn’t happen. The process of making a car accident claim, gets more and more complex every year. The more difficult the process, the more people will decide that it is not worth their time or effort to go forward with the claim. After an Uber accident, the Uber driver does not always have the Uber policy on which to rely on. If they are at fault – either because of speeding or driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or distracted driving, they will have to bear the responsibility for their actions. While this may be fair in the eyes of the law, the actual suffering is incurred by the party who suffered bodily injury or property damage. If Uber does not pay up, and the driver’s insurance company also does not cover the driver either because he has no insurance or because his ridesharing business is not part of the personal car insurance policy, the injured party’s claim could be denied.
We discussed the fact that the Uber driver may be at fault for the accident, but there is also another factual scenario that can happen. You are an Uber passenger and another driver runs into the Uber. Both you and the Uber driver are injured in the crash. In these circumstances because there are multiple parties, the insurance company will try to find reasons to limit any money paid because two claims can be more expensive than one claim.
Things can get even worse if the at-fault driver is underinsured. The Uber passenger, may have uninsured motorist coverage through their own auto insurance company, and if they don’t, any potential recovery is dependent on the Uber driver’s insurance company or Uber.
Since ridesharing is so new, the regulations regarding insurance, passenger rights, and claims have not been sorted out in Florida’s courts. I can see the trend with Florida insurance companies. Every time my office opens a new claim for a client, the insurance company asks if the client was in an Uber or working as an Uber driver at the time of the crash. What they are attempting to do is find the insured working in their vehicle, without telling the insurance company so they can deny coverage.
If Uber is involved in a car accident, it is a good idea for the injury party to at least speak to a car accident lawyer so they can get the lay of the land. What the injured party doesn’t want is to be in the middle of insurance companies each taking the position that there is no coverage for the accident because Uber is involved. It’s not fun, having to deal with injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and rehabilitation costs, and having the insurance companies deny responsibility for these expenses.
If you have been in an Uber-related accident in Leesburg FL and you are not sure if your claim will be approved, you should speak to a lawyer immediately. If you are confused with how FL no-fault works and what you have to do with Uber because of the accident, you should at least speak with a car accident lawyer, who can tell you how these matters are handled. Remember, knowledge is power.