​Spring Hill Ridesharing Accident Lawyer

 

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When Uber began offering its services in Spring Hill in 2016, the move was greeted enthusiastically by potential drivers and riders. The years since ridesharing was a relatively new phenomenon have brought about additional concerns, such as what happens when a traffic accident involves a ridesharing vehicle.

If a ridesharing vehicle accident injured you, an experienced Spring Hill ridesharing accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group can provide a free case evaluation. We can seek compensation for your injury.

While ridesharing claims generally follow the same process as any traffic accident case, determining liability and the appropriate insurance resource to file the claim against can require a complex investigation that Dolman Law Group can complete for you.

Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers?

Spring Hill Rideshare Accident Lawyer

Dolman Law Group’s legal team has ample experience with this type of claim and success in garnering compensation for our clients who have been injured in ridesharing accidents, including:

  • $1 million for the family of a father killed in a ridesharing accident.
  • $939,000 for an individual who was injured in a ridesharing accident.

With offices across both coasts of Florida, the attorneys at Dolman Law Group have spent many years assisting the injured throughout the state in obtaining the compensation they need after someone else’s negligence injured them.

We have an extensive network of medical and legal professionals we can call on to assist with the case and the experience necessary to handle even the most catastrophic injury claims and complex cases.

Causes of Ridesharing Accidents in Spring Hill

Recently, a local news station was asked to do a traffic check at the intersection of Linden and Coronado, where accidents caused by speeding drivers and drivers running the stop sign have caused accidents were vehicles wound up in the yards of residents living near this intersection.

Some of these residents have expressed concern that a proposed zoning change at the park across the street that will allow new family homes to be constructed there will result in traffic on already busy roadways. This problem occurs across the city, with dangerous intersections and negligent driving behaviors. Ridesharing vehicles use the same routes as other types of traffic, meaning they also share the risk of being involved in an accident due to a speeding driver or a driver’s failure to yield.

Ridesharing drivers are often asked to take passengers to the Tampa Airport, roughly 46 miles away, on a journey that involves traveling the Suncoast Parkway, which is heavily used by many types of traffic, including large and hard-to-maneuver commercial trucks.

Additionally, drivers are often asked to pick up and drop off passengers in the busy downtown area, where there is an increased likelihood of encountering drivers who have been drinking. In addition to speeding and failure to yield, alcohol impairment is another common cause of traffic-involved accidents in Spring Hill.

Another common cause of Spring Hill car accidents—particularly ridesharing accidents—in Spring Hill is distracted driving, which is a major cause of all types of traffic accidents

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that more than 300 people died due to distracted driving accidents in Florida in one year, the highest number of fatalities related to driver distractions in eight years. The department’s executive director noted that Florida sees around 1,000 distracted driving crashes daily on its roadways. The distraction that causes the most concern is texting and other smartphone use while driving.

The three types of driver distractions include:

  • Manual distractions cause a driver to take their hands from the proper position on the steering wheel.
  • Visual distractions cause the driver to look away from the road.
  • Cognitive distractions cause the driver to focus their thoughts on something other than driving safely.

Texting and other smartphone use is of such concern to traffic safety experts because it simultaneously causes all three types of driving distractions. Distracted driving is such a risk for ridesharing drivers because they are required to use an app on their phones to receive and accept ride requests, to learn where to pick their passenger up, and where their passenger is going. It is common for a ridesharing driver to receive and accept new ride requests while transporting a passenger.

The Types of Injuries Incurred in Spring Hill Ridesharing Accidents

Car accidents can produce some of the most serious injuries an individual can experience, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries are considered catastrophic, as the brain and spinal cord have limited ability to heal from injury.

Damage to these organs commonly results in permanent disabilities that will impact the sufferer’s ability to earn an income or accomplish daily living tasks unassisted.

Other injuries commonly associated with car accidents, including ridesharing accidents, are:

  • Broken bones in nearly any part of the body can result in chronic pain.
  • Damage to the spinal vertebrae and discs can result in loss of stability in the spine.
  • Internal injuries can result in dangerous blood loss, a hemorrhage, and permanent damage to internal organs.
  • Burns result from an individual coming in contact with hot surfaces or flames during the accident.
  • Traumatic limb amputations result from contact between a body part and a sharp object, such as metal, from one of the vehicles.

The Impacts of Serious Injuries

Being seriously injured in a Spring Hill ridesharing accident can impact your life. Individuals recovering from car accident injuries often face many thousands of dollars worth of expenses related to medical treatment, including costs associated with ambulance transport, emergency services, hospitalization, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and routine management of complications arising from permanent injuries.

While experiencing profound expenses related to the treatment of their injuries, sufferers also commonly lose wages and other benefits due to being too injured to work.

These expenses are stressful for the sufferer and their family members, who are also experiencing changes in their relationship with their loved one.

Seeking Compensation After a Ridesharing Accident

There are several ways someone can be injured in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle and eligible to seek compensation from the liable party.

  • A rideshare passenger can become injured in accidents resulting from the rideshare driver’s negligence.
  • Rideshare drivers and passengers can become injured due to negligence from another roadway user.
  • Another roadway user—including other motorists or vulnerable users such as motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians—can become injured due to a negligent rideshare driver.

Because of Florida’s no-fault insurance law, individuals who are injured in car accidents in Spring Hill are expected, in most cases, to seek compensation first through their personal injury protection (PIP) policy. The drivers of vehicles registered in Florida must purchase and maintain at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.

They recover up to 80 percent of reasonable and necessary medical expenses pertaining to the injury and up to 60 percent of wage loss associated with the injury, up to the policy’s limits.

Those without a PIP policy, not covered by a household member’s PIP policy, or whose injuries meet Florida’s serious injury threshold may seek compensation through the at-fault party.

The Complexity of Insurance Coverage in Ridesharing Accidents

When a ridesharing accident occurs, there will be much concern and interest over who caused the accident. This is because the most popular ridesharing companies—Uber and Lyft—each offer $1 million in third-party liability protection.

However, this insurance is only available at certain times. Here is a look at how these rideshare company’s liability insurance policies work.

  • When the ridesharing driver has their app off and is using their vehicle for personal reasons, individuals injured by the driver’s negligence will seek compensation through the driver’s personal auto liability insurance policy, not the rideshare company’s policy.
  • If the ridesharing driver causes an accident while their app is on and they’re available to accept ride requests, the claim is still filed against their personal policy. However, if the insurance provider of the driver’s personal policy fails to insure the claim, Lyft or Uber will provide third-party liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
  • If the ridesharing driver causes an accident while en route to pick up a passenger or when transporting a passenger if the driver’s personal policy does not cover the accident, the ridesharing company will provide coverage of up to $1 million.

If another roadway user’s negligence caused the accident, injured people can seek compensation through the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy.

Why Would the Ridesharing Driver’s Insurer Fail to Pay the Claim?

Most insurance companies offer specific policies or endorsements to include coverage of injuries and property damage incurred by others due to the insured’s rideshare activities. However, these policies are generally more expensive than standard insurance policies in Florida.

Rideshare drivers must have the minimum level of insurance required in the state where they’re providing their services. However, they’re not required by Lyft or Uber to inform their insurance provider that they’re using the vehicle for commercial purposes.

Because of this, if an accident occurs while the vehicle is being used for ridesharing and the provider of the driver’s personal policy has not been aware of the driver’s commercial activities, they can (and often do) refuse to cover the claim.

Seeking Compensation for Your Spring Hill Ridesharing Accident

Spring Hill Ridesharing Accident Claims Lawyers

Individuals who have been seriously injured in Spring Hill ridesharing accidents generally seek compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s liability policy.

When the insurance provider who services that policy receives the claim, they will assign a claims adjuster to evaluate the details of the accident, interview the parties involved, and determine how much compensation is owed to the claimant.

Claims adjusters work for the at-fault party’s insurance company. They are interested in protecting their employer’s bottom line by keeping the payouts on claims as low as possible.

When the insurance provider has completed their claim evaluation, they can respond by either paying the claim outright, denying the claim, and informing the claimant in writing of the reason for this denial or offering to settle the claim for less than its established value.

They generally prefer to resolve claims through settlements, as a settlement agreement avoids the expense and uncertainty of litigation. However, the initial settlement offer is often only a fraction of the claim’s value, and the claimant’s attorney will be tasked with negotiating with the adjuster to get them to increase their offer.

If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, it can be filed in civil court as a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit is a legal complaint in which a judge or jury is asked to decide on matters of liability and compensation.

The experienced legal team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can protect your claim from the tactics of insurance companies while providing the experience and understanding of the law necessary to navigate the personal injury claims process.

Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation and learn how our services can help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a rideshare accident.

Frequently Asked Questions for a Spring Hill Ridesharing Accident Lawyer

Few things are more overwhelming than being injured due to someone else’s careless or reckless actions. When individuals get injured in ridesharing accidents, they face a complicated legal process to receive compensation for that injury. There are also additional layers of complexity created by the employment scheme of ridesharing drivers. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the personal injury claims process after a ridesharing accident.

Why would a rideshare driver’s insurance carrier refuse to pay a personal injury claim?

Both Uber and Lyft require the drivers who apply to receive rides through them to carry the required minimum level of insurance to operate their vehicle in the state where they will be driving. This means Florida drivers must have a personal injury protection (PIP) policy of at least $10,000 in coverage and property damage liability coverage of at least $10,000.

Interestingly, Florida does not require bodily injury liability coverage for most drivers. However, many drivers choose to have some level of bodily injury liability coverage to protect them from being personally responsible for compensating the expenses and impacts of another driver’s injury.

Unfortunately, many drivers who use their vehicles to provide ridesharing services fail to inform their insurance provider or obtain an endorsement or policy that covers commercial activities. The standard auto insurance liability policy often does not. Because of this, it is not uncommon for a driver’s insurance provider to deny claims for accidents while the driver was providing ridesharing services.

What can I seek compensation for after a ridesharing accident?

Individuals who get injured in a Spring Hill ridesharing accident can seek compensation for the expenses of their accident.

These economic damages and can include:

  • Wage loss resulting from being too injured to work.
  • All expenses related to the medical treatment of the injury.
  • Lost earning capacity if the injury results in disabilities that permanently impair the claimant’s ability to earn an income.
  • The cost of repairing and replacing the vehicle you were driving in the accident if you were another roadway user involved in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle.

Spring Hill ridesharing accident claimants can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts of the injury. This type of compensation is known as non-economic damages. It is also commonly referred to as pain and suffering, among the most common psychological impacts incurred due to a car accident. Plaintiffs also commonly include emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life in their claims.

If my spouse died in a ridesharing accident, can I recover compensation?

When an individual dies due to a negligent driver, their loved ones can benefit from a wrongful death claim.

In Florida, a wrongful death claim requires following a different process.

  • Although the compensation received from a wrongful death claim benefits the deceased’s family members and estate, family members cannot file the claim themselves. Instead, an administrator (executor) of the deceased’s estate must file the claim.
  • The statute of limitations for ridesharing accident claims in Spring Hill is generally four years from the date on which the injury occurred. However, the estate must file Spring Hill ridesharing accident wrongful death claims within two years of the death.

As with personal injury claims, wrongful death claimants can seek economic and non-economic damages for the expenses and impacts incurred by the family and the estate due to the loss.

A wrongful death claim may recover:

  • The deceased’s final medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial costs, paid directly by a family member or the estate.
  • The loss of wages, benefits, and other earnings from the time of the injury until the time of death.
  • The value of earnings the deceased would have likely earned throughout their career if they had survived the accident.
  •  The loss of support and services the deceased provided for their loved ones.
  • The loss of the deceased’s comfort, protection, companionship, guidance, and instruction.
  • The mental anguish of the deceased’s family members.

What is the statute of limitations, and why does it matter to my ridesharing accident claim?

The statute of limitations is the amount of time an individual has to seek a remedy to a legal matter using the courts. As noted, in Florida, the statute of limitations for seeking compensation for an injury incurred from a ridesharing accident caused by the negligence of either the driver or another roadway user is four years from the date of the injury.

The statute of limitations for seeking compensation for losing a loved one in this type of accident is two years from the date of death. To use the court process when seeking compensation, you must file a lawsuit within that time frame. Failing to do so will almost always result in losing the claimant’s right to use the court process when seeking compensation for their injury or loss.

Most ridesharing accident claims are resolved by settlement, not by litigation. However, filing a claim within the statute of limitations is still crucial to the case. Litigation is a legal consequence for insurance companies who fail to pay for their insured’s liability. If the claimant can’t litigate the claim because of the statute of limitations, there is no consequence for the insurance company for not settling. So they generally won’t.

If the ridesharing driver’s app is a distraction, why isn’t the ridesharing company liable?

For many years, there have been arguments that Uber and Lyft should be liable for accidents their drivers cause as a result of the distractions produced by the driver app. This app requires the driver to look at it for directions on where to pick up the passenger, where to drop them off, and even to respond to additional ride requests while the driver is transporting a passenger.

While the companies provide a third-party liability insurance policy that compensates those who negligent drivers injure, how they classify their drivers substantially limits any further liability they have.

When a company has employees, they are vicariously liable for the actions of those employees during work time. For this reason, other providers of commercial transportation services—such as taxis, delivery drivers, and even commercial trucking services—are the liable party when an employee has an accident.

However, at least for the time being, Lyft and Uber classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This not only gets them off the hook for having to pay overtime or offer other benefits but also limits their liability for what their drivers do, even if the driver causes an accident while trying to interact with their app.

Can I seek compensation for my injury through the rideshare driver’s PIP or my own?

In Florida, the law requires drivers who register their vehicles to obtain and maintain a personal injury protection (PIP) policy with a minimum coverage level of $10,000. The drivers use this policy to cover a portion of the wage loss and medical expenses incurred due to an injury sustained in a traffic accident, regardless of fault.

The policy’s coverage also extends to household members of the named insured and passengers of their vehicle injured in an accident. However, because the rideshare driver was using their vehicle for commercial purposes, their PIP benefits are not generally available for their rideshare passengers.

However, Florida PIP policies generally cover named insured and their household members if they are injured in a traffic accident while not in their own vehicle. Generally, an individual who has their own PIP policy or is a household member of someone who has a PIP policy can seek compensation for wage loss and medical expenses from that policy after a ridesharing accident has occurred. It is usually the first source of compensation for any accident.

Only those who have exceeded the limits of their PIP policy or whose injury meets Florida’s serious injury threshold are permitted to seek compensation through the personal injury claims process.

Florida’s serious injury threshold includes:

  • Significant loss of an important bodily function.
  • Permanent injury, within a reasonable degree of medical probability.
  • Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement.
  • Death.

I can’t afford an attorney. Can I file a ridesharing accident claim on my own?

You need an attorney to receive the compensation you need to cover the expenses of your injury, as a lawyer brings legal experience and an extensive understanding of the process to your claim.

This experience and knowledge help them to provide services that can achieve a successful outcome for your claim, including:

  • Determination of liability and the liability insurance resources available to compensate you.
  • The establishment of a value to your claim that includes both the expenses you incurred as a result of your injury and the profound psychological impacts.
  • Managing communication with the insurance provider to protect your claim from known tactics used by insurance providers to reduce or eliminate a claim’s value and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
  • Managing the timing of your claim to ensure that you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. This protects your right to use the court process when seeking compensation for the impacts and expenses of your injury.
  • Gathering the evidence needed to prove your claim and the documentation required to justify the value of your claim.
  • Presenting your case in court.
  • Assisting you in collecting the compensation awarded through a negotiated settlement or litigation.

Because of the billing method that personal injury attorneys use, anyone who needs their service can afford it. Spring Hill ridesharing accident lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. You only have to pay for your lawyer’s services once you receive compensation through a settlement or a court decision.

Here is how it works:

  • The ridesharing accident lawyer will ask you to sign a contingent fee agreement when you hire them to assist you with your claim. This agreement explains the type of services that they will provide for you and designates a percentage of any compensation received for your claim as payment for your legal team’s services.
  • Because you’re not required to pay any money upfront for your attorney’s services, work can begin on your claim immediately. Because they are not billing you any time they do work on your case, and you do not need to stay current on those bills for it to continue, your legal team can keep your claim active and work without interruption for a resolution.
  • After your claim, your attorney will collect the compensation awarded to you. They will place it in a trust. From that trust, your attorney will assist you in settling any medical liens placed on the award. They will also withdraw the agreed-upon percentage for their payment. You will then receive the remainder of the funds.

Contact Our Spring Hill Rideshare Accident Attorneys Today

For more information about the services an experienced Spring Hill ridesharing accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can provide and answers to the questions you have about your specific case, contact us for a free case evaluation. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach our Spring Hill personal injury lawyers by calling (352) 612-3437 or filling out our online contact form.

Spring Hill Office Location

10485 Heley St.
Spring Hill, FL 34609
(352) 612-3437

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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