Uber and Lyft Accidents

Uber and Lyft are game changers or “industry disruptors.” Thanks to them, taxicabs are gone. But Uber and Lyft didn’t stop there. In addition to transportation, they even offer courier and delivery services—for just about everything. But their drivers can and do cause harm. So, for that and other reasons, Florida created section 627.748, creating special requirements for “transportation network companies” (TNC).

Among other things, this statute created provisions that address whether these drivers are “common carriers” or “contract carriers.” It also mandated that the companies designate and maintain an agent for service of process within the state. Under subsection 627.748(4), before a fare is collected from a rider, the TNC must disclose the amount of the fare or the way it is calculated. Under 627.748(5), the software “must display a photograph of the TNC driver and the license plate number of the TNC vehicle used for providing the prearranged ride before the rider enters the TNC driver’s vehicle.”

There’s more but the most important issue—for purposes of personal injury protection and seeking justice if you been injured as a result of an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver—is the insurance requirements.

Under section 627.748(7), Florida Statutes, the driver or the company, on behalf of the driver must maintain certain minimum insurance. When the driver is logged into the network but not currently engaged with a customer in a prearranged ride, they must have:

  • a primary automobile liability coverage of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage;
  • personal injury protection benefits; and
  • uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage, as required by section 627.727.

While the driver is engaged in a ride, they must have:

  • primary automobile liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 for death, bodily injury, and property damage; and
  • uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage, as required by section 627.727.

Section 627.748(10) implements a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.

Subsection twelve requires local and national background check, and mandates that these companies cannot authorize drivers who:

  • have had more than three moving violations in the prior three-year period;
  • have been convicted, within the past five years, of
    • a felony;
    • a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for reckless driving, for hit and run, or for fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer; or
    • a misdemeanor for a violent offense or sexual battery, or a crime of lewdness or indecent exposure
  • have been convicted, within the past three years, of driving with a suspended or revoked license;
  • is a match in the National Sex Offender Public Website;
  • does not possess a valid driver license; or
  • does not possess proof of registration for the motor vehicle to be used.

Under section 627.748(13), a driver may not accept rides for money for anyone other than riders arranged through the system, and they cannot accept or solicit people hailing a ride from the street.

And lastly, under subsection eighteen, these companies cannot be held liable for harm to persons or property which results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of a motor vehicle operating while the driver is logged on to the network if:

  • there is no negligence under the statute or no criminal wrongdoing under federal or Florida law, on the part of the company;
  • the company has fulfilled all of its obligations pertaining to the driver; and
  • the company is not the owner or bailee of the motor vehicle that caused the harm.

If you or anyone you know needs a lawyer to help seek justice in a motor vehicle accident involving Uber or Lyft, please call us at 754-400-5150 or contact us online. Let the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!

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