Florida is one of the nation’s most popular vacation destinations, and many tourists opt to save on the cost of a rental car by relying on rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber to get around town while visiting. But if your driver gets in an accident, who will pay for the cost of your medical bills and lost wages?
If this happens to you, you may be able to seek compensation from the rideshare company. Take these steps to protect your interest after an injury in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft.
Get immediate medical help
Your injuries should be the priority concern after a serious accident. Whether an ambulance takes you to the local hospital or you are able to transport yourself to the doctor, carefully document all care you receive and the cost.
Call law enforcement so they can provide assistance at the crash site. The responding officer will interview the rideshare driver, you and any other passengers and witnesses at the scene. He or she will issue an official police report about the incident. If possible, take video and photos of the crash site from all available angles. Ask for names and phone numbers of witnesses so you can contact them for statements later if necessary.
Seek legal compensation
The IRS treats Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors, which means the parent companies are not responsible for driver actions. Instead, file a claim directly with the driver’s insurance company to cover the costs related to the accident. If the police report indicates that another driver, not your driver, was at fault, file a claim with his or her insurance company.
The insurance adjuster may strive to limit the company’s payout for your damages. If they offer a settlement that does not cover your medical bills, lost wages and other costs, you may file a lawsuit against the insurer to receive compensation for your full out-of-pocket costs as well as loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering associated with your injuries.
In some cases, you can seek compensation under the supplemental insurance policies held by Uber and Lyft. Often, drivers do not have the type of commercial insurance designed to cover significant damages.