Tampa Lyft Accidents Lawyer

Why You Need a Lyft Accident Lawyer

The ride-sharing company, Lyft, is becoming more and more popular in the greater Tampa area and throughout the state of Florida. In 2017, Lyft provided 375 million rides throughout the United States. Although it is still smaller than Uber, Lyft is growing, with a 130 percent rise in rides year over year. The company currently has over 40,000 drivers operating on the roads and highways in Florida. Given the amount of Lyft vehicles driving at any given time, it is not surprising that there is an increasing number of car crashes involving Lyft vehicles. These automobile accidents are different than normal ones, and are more complicated. That is why if you are injured as a Lyft passenger or by the negligence of a Lyft driver, then you should immediately contact an experienced Lyft accident lawyer.

Types of Insurance Coverage in Florida Lyft Crashes
Like what is required in almost all the states in the United States, Florida has enacted a law that regulates ride-sharing companies such as Lyft. This law regulates driver qualifications, vehicle requirements as well as how much and what types of insurance Lyft vehicles are required to have. A driver must either purchase a ride-share commercial policy or purchase a ride-share endorsement on its personal automobile policy. Depending upon what the driver is doing at the time of a crash, there are four scenarios that matter:

• If the driver is not working at the time of the crash and is not logged into the Lyft app, then the personal insurance policy kicks in and the accident is treatment as a normal one;

• If the driver is logged into the app, but does not yet have a passenger, then the personal policy will kick in, but also there will be a limited amount of coverage supplied by a policy purchased by Lyft;

• When the driver has been paired with a passenger and is on the way to pick up this person, Lyft’s policy will kick in. Further, there are some personal insurance policies that will provide some coverage in this scenario.

• Once a passenger is in the vehicle, then Uber’s insurance policy will be the only policy to cover the passenger and driver.

Florida’s minimum requirements for the Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy is set at $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage coverage. The Florida law also requires Lyft to have a policy that provides for the following benefits:

• While the app is on but no passenger: $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident;

• While there is a passenger in the vehicle: $1 million in coverage for bodily injury and property damage.

Are Lyft Drivers Unsafe?
The question of whether Lyft drivers are unsafe is complicated. First, most Lyft drivers are safe and follow the rules of the road. But this becomes an issue when Lyft’s driver incentives kick in. Lyft’s main goal as a company is to increase the number of riders. This is how they make money. In order to do this, Lyft needs as many Lyft vehicles on the road as possible at any given time in order to be available when people need rides. Therefore, Lyft offers its drivers incentives to stay in their cars and logged onto the Lyft app for as long as possible. This incentive scheme might entice some drivers to stay on the road for a long time; thus creating a hazard when that driver becomes tired. Also, there are no rules that limit the amount of time that Lyft drivers can be in their vehicles. When there are hundreds of very tired drivers on this roads of Tampa, then this could increase the likelihood of crashes.

Uber offers bonuses to the drivers if they hit a certain number of rides in a given shift. Uber gives drivers award badges the more rides they take. Also, Uber sends drivers texts messages encouraging them to drive more and longer. It also encourages its drivers to “binge-drive” and not take rests in between rides by sending new rides before the current one is complete. This behavior can create dangerous situations and cause crashes.

Lyft Driver Requirements in Florida
Florida’s ride-share law places certain requirements upon Lyft drivers that go above and beyond what Lyft requires. A background check and driving record check must be completed first to become a driver. Background checks are also completed every three years. A driver is disqualified if the background check finds any of the following:

• The driver is listed on the Federal Sex Offender Registry;
• No valid driver’s license or vehicle registration;
• In the last three years, the driver was convicted of driving without a valid license (either suspended or revoked);
• In the past five years, the Lyft driver had been convicted of a serious driving offense, such as a DUI or hit-and-run.

How Much Is My Lyft Accident Case Worth
Because Lyft accidents can be more complicated than car accidents, you may want to know how much your case is worth. There are many issues that will dictate how much your Lyft accident case is worth. But the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Lyft accident attorney to have your questions answered. In most instances, the initial consultation with the attorney is free so there is no downside to contacting a lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries. The issues that will affect the value of your case are as follows:

• There seriousness of your injury and length of your treatment — will there be any aspect of your injury that is permanent such as scarring or will there be a full and complete recovery;

• The amount of medical bills — this includes past medical bills as well as medical bills that you might incur in the future that are related to your Lyft crash injuries;

• The amount of lost wages — and just like with medical bills, this number counts both past lost wages as well as future loss wages due a lower earning power caused by an ongoing disability;

• The amount of “pain and suffering” that you have endured — this category of damages is called non-economic damages and can be difficult to put a number on it because there is no formula that can be used. The only way to determine this number is to hire an experienced lawyer who has handled many Lyft accident cases;

• How much insurance coverage are you able to get access to — this depends on the insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver has to cover your injuries. Also, do you have underinsurance or uninsurance if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. You may have suffered injuries that an average person would agree should be worth millions of dollars. However, you will only receive the policy limits of the various insurance policies that are in play.

Why You Should Talk To a Lyft Accident Lawyer
Lyft automobile crashes can be complicated litigation. Many questions and issues can arise as to who is at fault and what types of insurance will be available to compensate you for your injuries. The smartest thing to do is to contact an experienced Lyft accident lawyer to provide answers to all of your questions and to help you through this difficult time.

If you have been injured in a Lyft car accident, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Joyce & Reyes at (813) 251-2007. The initial consultation is free.