Taxi and Rideshare Company Accident Liability Is ComplicatedMay 17, 2019 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share
Millions of people who live and visit in Southwest Florida use either taxi or rideshare services. If there should be an accident, there are differences in liability, which makes the situation complicated.
It is not uncommon for a traffic accident to involve a taxi service. Should a passenger be injured, or the driver and/or passenger of another vehicle be injured, the taxi service owner may have liability. Liability can depend on whether the taxi driver is an employee or leases the vehicle from the taxi company. Should the driver lease the taxi, then the driver could be considered an independent contractor and could be held personally liable.
Experts report that there has been a recent decrease in the number of drunk drivers, as many are using rideshare services. However, there have been instances of rideshare drivers driving drunk.
In December 2018, a Lake County, Florida Uber driver faced charges of driving under the influence (DUI) and leaving the scene of an accident after taking a passenger on a wild ride that ended in a crash. The passenger told authorities that the Uber driver was speeding and swerving in and out of traffic, ending with a crash into a power pole. The question of liability when rideshare company drivers, such as Uber and Lyft, are involved in an accident is complex.
Drivers are not employees of Uber or Lyft but are independent contractors. As independent contractors, they are required to carry their own insurance coverage. Both companies do carry third party $1 million insurance policies, which cover rideshare drivers if the drivers have paying passengers in their vehicles at the time of an accident. If Uber or Lyft drivers do not have paying passengers in their vehicles, then the $1 million insurance policy does not apply.
Florida does require taxis, limos and other similar for-hire vehicles to have insurance. According to Statute 627.733(1)(b), they must carry a minimum liability policy that offers at least:
- $125,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $250,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and
- $50,000 for property damage
If another driver causes the accident, then the taxi driver or rideshare company insurance may not cover the accident. The other driver’s insurance company could be considered liable.
“It is important that victims of taxi and rideshare accidents contact our experienced team of attorneys. We are available 24/7 to assist the injured in determining their rights, which may include compensation for past and future medical care, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering compensation,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Cape Coral Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.