While the rise of rideshare companies has simplified transportation for millions of Americans, it’s also contributed to more dangerous roadways. Rideshare drivers rely on their cell phones when driving. Unfortunately, distracted driving like this is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents.
Industry leaders highlight that the introduction of ridesharing is responsible for an estimated 3% national increase in fatal auto accidents since 2010, adding roughly 987 additional deaths annually to American roadway fatalities.
What to do after a car accident in Tampa, FL
Following an Uber accident, it’s important to know what to do. While these guidelines apply to accidents following an Uber accident, you should also consider them if you’ve been involved in an accident with any other rideshare company.
What you need to know if you are in an Uber accident in Florida
Starting in 2014, Uber announced that it would offer $1 million in insurance coverage for drivers, passengers, and anyone else impacted by an Uber accident. How this insurance covers you depends on the circumstances of the accident.
If you’re a driver
Florida is a no-fault state meaning auto coverage laws do not recognize who caused the accident. Instead, all drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that kicks into play after an auto accident occurs. You’ll have to file through your PIP insurance first before you can make a claim against Uber for additional coverage.
In states that recognize at-fault auto laws, the insurance provider of the individual who is at fault or caused the accident is where the claims process begins.
If you are a passenger, pedestrian, or a third party
Whether you are another motorist injured by an Uber driver or were a passenger, you will likely need to file a claim through your PIP insurance or health insurance first. Any additional coverage can then be sought by filing a claim with Uber directly.
What to do at the scene of an Uber accident
The moment after an auto accident is critical. Ensuring that you’ve collected the right information and followed through with the necessary procedures allows you to best position yourself for a successful and comprehensive claim settlement.
Make sure the situation is safe and call the police
Whether or not you have sustained injuries, it’s important to call the police so that a formal report can be filed. The police report will detail what happened, who the parties involved were, injuries sustained, and other important details.
Don’t rely just on the police report either. It’s important that you get the names, contact information, and insurance information of all drivers and passengers involved. Having this information on hand will allow you to move forward with your own investigation.
Document the scene of the accident and wait for the authorities
As you wait for authorities to arrive, document the scene as quickly and accurately as possible. Documenting the scene is one way of preserving evidence.
- Take notes of how the accident happened, who was there, who arrived on the scene, the type of injuries sustained, and any other pertinent details relevant to your case.
- If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of any vehicle damage or injuries. Be sure to take pictures of both your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle.
- Speak to witnesses who observed the accident. Document witness accounts as well as their contact information. Witness statements can be relevant and extremely helpful when building an Uber accident claim.
- As officers arrive on the scene, you must give an honest and concise statement, but you should avoid admitting fault. Anything you say in the police report can be used against you in the future and impact any settlement amounts you are awarded.
Do I need to go to the hospital?
Assess yourself for injuries to see if you have any visible injuries that need immediate medical attention. Often following an auto accident, victims might not feel like they are injured due to the shock or adrenaline rush, only to experience pain or find an injury hours or even days later. Especially if you hit your head, neck, or back, it’s in your best interest to go to the hospital after an auto accident to ensure you have not sustained any internal injuries.
What you need to know about Uber accidents
Whether you are an Uber driver or a passenger, it’s important to understand rideshare coverage policies and how Florida’s auto laws apply following an Uber accident.
Uber has higher insurance limits than typical car insurance policies
Uber drivers will be covered under Uber’s $1 million accident insurance coverage. However, there are strict regulations when operating an Uber in Florida and when Uber’s insurance coverage goes into effect.
Florida’s no-fault insurance laws mean that all drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance will be the first to go through before any claims can be made through Uber’s insurance coverage. When Uber insurance coverage does go into effect, the driver’s state will impact coverage. Things that will be considered include:
- Whether the driver was logged off the app
- Whether the driver is logged into the app and is available to accept ride requests
- Whether the driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick up a passenger
- When a driver is transporting passengers from one location to another
Uber cannot be sued directly for an accident
Uber drivers are independent contractors and not direct employees of the company. This separation of entity makes it incredibly difficult to sue Uber, although lawsuits have been attempted in the past.
Instead, individuals who are involved in an Uber accident can sue the Uber driver directly and any others involved in the accident to recover compensation for injuries and other losses.
Uber accidents typically settle out of court
Like most personal injury settlements, Uber accidents will typically settle out of court, with very few ever going to trial. Having an experienced rideshare attorney who will represent you during settlement negotiations is critical to recovering the compensation you’re entitled to.
What Florida’s no-fault insurance laws means for your case
Florida’s auto laws can get complicated if you are an Uber driver. The Transportation Network Company, a conveyance under the Federal Travel Regulations outlines that commercial drivers, including Uber and Lyft drivers, must have a commercial insurance policy also known as rideshare insurance.
This rideshare insurance will be tapped into before a claim can be made with Uber. In addition to carrying this rideshare insurance, Florida drivers must continue to carry their own personal insurance policies.
There are specific scenarios in which rideshare insurance can go into effect. If it’s not applicable in your case, your PIP insurance will be subject to claims first. Working with an experienced Uber accident lawyer can help you understand these complex scenarios and how Florida’s no-fault insurance laws can impact your case.
How much can I get in a settlement?
Average car accident settlement amounts in Uber accident cases vary because of the many different factors that can go into a claim. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the average car accident settlement is $15,443. However, cases can easily go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if severe injuries have been sustained. Factors that will determine the outcome of your settlement include but are not limited to the following:
- Injuries sustained and the severity of those injuries
- Economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, treatment costs, or property loss
- Non-economic damages: pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other non-calculable losses
- The type of proof used to substantiate the losses
- Working with an experienced rideshare attorney who can aggressively negotiate with all parties
How can a car accident lawyer help you?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with an Uber or other rideshare driver, navigating insurance claims and understanding your rights and options can be difficult. Working with a car accident lawyer who understands rideshare claims can help you confidently navigate the legal road ahead.
Car Crash Costs & Statistics. (2015).
DeMarco, J. (2023). Rideshare Insurance in Florida.
Federal Travel Regulations. (2021).
Grover, A. (2022). Rideshare Accident Statistics in the U.S.