Who is responsible for an Uber accident in Florida depends on the circumstances, but it could be the Uber driver or even the rideshare company itself.
In most cases, if the driver has the app open and gets into an accident, they and Uber are liable.
Understanding Uber Accidents in Florida
When you want to get a ride but don’t or can’t drive, Uber is one of many options available to you in Florida. It’s a quick, convenient and affordable way to get from one place to another. With a few taps on the Uber app, you can summon a vehicle to pick you up and be off to your destination. However, just like any other vehicle, rideshare vehicles can get into car accidents. Uber has a specific accident history and there are different causes of Uber accidents.
What Is Uber’s Accident History?
As one of the top rideshare companies in Florida and elsewhere, it’s only natural that Uber has a history of road accidents. Some of these are relatively minor, resulting in minor injuries or people escaping unscathed. However, others are severe and have left fatalities in their wake.
Uber releases U.S. Safety Reports to provide some insight into how many fatal accidents occur. For example, it reported that 107 people died in 97 crashes involving Uber drivers in 2017 and 2018. It should also be noted that many of these accidents occurred at speeds lower than those in the national average of car accidents. Most also took place during the nighttime in well-lit areas.
While Uber’s report discusses fatal crashes, it doesn’t address standard, non-fatal accidents. However, one pedestrian who suffered injuries and recovered, filed a lawsuit against the driver and the rideshare company, claiming that the driver was distracted due to using his smartphone. Unfortunately, with the way Uber and other rideshare services work, drivers have to use their phones and the company’s app to find people to pick up who order rides.
What Are the Causes of Uber Accidents?
There are many things that can cause Uber accidents. Some of the most common include distracted driving, fatigue, speeding, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to yield the right of way, driving under the influence (DUI), poor weather conditions, mechanical failures, inexperienced drivers, road hazards, other drivers, GPS or navigation errors and passenger disturbances.
Uber Accidents and Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the chief causes of car accidents, and Uber accidents are no exception. Because Uber requires its drivers to actively be on the company’s app for work, it can lead to distraction. A driver might be more closely focused on the Uber app to check for their next passenger while driving and fail to see that they are in a dangerous situation before it’s too late. A pedestrian might be in front of the vehicle, crossing the street, the light could be red or oncoming traffic might have the right of way while the Uber driver is making a turn. These are only a few examples of distracted driving, but many scenarios can be the case.
Uber Accidents and Fatigue
Fatigued driving has been shown to have effects similar to driving under the influence. If an Uber driver works while fatigued, it can lead to a severe accident even if they don’t actually fall asleep behind the wheel. The driver can still experience a decline in judgment, reaction time and control over their driving, which can increase the chances of a crash occurring.
Uber Accidents and Speeding
Speeding is another top cause of collisions, including Uber accidents. If a driver travels too high above the legal speed limit into dangerous territory, it makes it more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. Maintaining control over steering, slowing down and stopping are all compromised. If an Uber driver speeds, it can result in a severe crash, catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.
Uber Accidents and Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Reckless and aggressive driving is a serious danger for anyone on the road. Uber drivers who engage in either can cause car accidents that can leave people severely injured or even killed. Uber drivers have a responsibility to refrain from reckless or aggressive driving to ensure the safety of their passengers, other drivers and passengers, pedestrians and others on the road.
Uber Accidents and Failure to Yield Right of Way
Uber drivers can cause accidents when they fail to yield the right of way. Whether another car has the light or reached a stop sign first or if a pedestrian is already in the crosswalk to proceed, the driver is required to give them the right of way. Failing to do that is one of the most common reasons for Uber accidents.
Uber Accidents and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most dangerous things an Uber driver can do as it can lead to horrific accidents. Anyone involved can be seriously injured or killed if an Uber driver is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel. DUI causes a person to lack clear judgment, cognitive ability and the right level of control to safely maneuver a vehicle. Even a small amount of alcohol consumption can cause an Uber driver to get into a car accident rendering people injured or dead.
Uber Accidents and Poor Weather Conditions
Just like any other driver on the road, Uber drivers are required to take certain precautions while driving in poor weather conditions. Too many people underestimate the dangers of driving in the rain, but more accidents occur in such conditions because they fail to slow down and give extra space between their vehicle and the one ahead of them. These measures should be taken whenever the roads are wet and slick. It’s also important for Uber drivers to be careful about using their high beams in spite of reduced visibility. During heavy rain or fog, high beams should only be used when there aren’t other vehicles nearby as they can cause visual problems for those drivers. Uber drivers should also ensure that their vehicles are kept well-maintained and in the proper condition to accommodate certain weather conditions. Failing to take the right precautions can lead to accidents.
Uber Accidents and Mechanical Failures
Mechanical failures are one of the factors in Uber accidents that may be out of the driver’s control. If there is a defect or problem with the vehicle that the driver is unaware of, it can result in a collision without warning. At the same time, like drivers of any vehicle, Uber drivers are responsible for ensuring that their cars get regular maintenance on, at least, an annual basis. They must also make sure that their vehicles are equipped with the proper tires and that they aren’t worn down, get regular oil changes and ensure that other vehicle fluids are up to date. If an Uber driver is alerted to a potential defect with their vehicle or one of its parts, they must make sure that issue is addressed so they can drive safely and avoid accidents.
Uber Accidents and Inexperienced Drivers
Uber and other rideshare companies are supposed to hire only skilled drivers who know how to properly handle driving and safely maneuver the roads. Unfortunately, sometimes, they cut corners and hire inexperienced drivers as a way to save money and get quick labor. If inexperienced drivers work for Uber, it means that there is a much higher likelihood of accidents happening. This poses serious risks of injury and death to passengers and anyone on the road.
Uber Accidents and Road Hazards
Road hazards are another factor in Uber accidents that are usually beyond a driver’s control. Potholes, worn pieces of tire, gravel, glass and other objects littering the road can cause even the safest Uber driver to lose control of their vehicle and get into an accident. In some cases, the driver might notice the hazard and swerve to avoid it. If they aren’t completely careful and aware of all surroundings, that, too, can cause a collision.
Uber Accidents and Other Drivers
Other drivers are a huge factor in Uber accidents. Sometimes, the Uber driver is doing everything right: paying attention to the road, adhering to the speed limit, not allowing themselves to get distracted and generally driving safely. Of course, they can’t control what other drivers do, so if someone else becomes distracted, is intoxicated, takes risks behind the wheel or just disregards traffic laws, in general, it can cause a car accident with an Uber vehicle.
Uber Accidents and GPS or Navigation Errors
If an Uber driver has GPS or navigation errors, it can cause them to have difficulty getting to the proper destination. This can mean accidentally turning down the wrong road or even traveling against traffic. It can also cause the Uber driver to get distracted while fumbling with their GPS and driving aimlessly. All of these situations can lead to an Uber accident.
Uber Accidents and Passenger Disturbances
Although rare, Uber accidents can even be caused by passengers. If a passenger disturbs the driver by being rowdy, loud or obnoxious, or if two or more passengers get into a fight, it can cause the driver to lose focus on their job. An Uber driver may even feel compelled to take action to stop the issue, even if just verbally, but any of these situations can result in an accident.
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How Does Uber’s Insurance Policy Work?
Like other rideshare companies, Uber has an insurance policy to cover any damages stemming from an accident involving one of its drivers. However, whether the insurance coverage applies depends on the situation with the Uber driver and whether they are using the company’s app at the time of the accident. It does not kick in if the driver does not have the app closed as it means the driver is off duty. In that situation, if the Uber driver gets into an accident, their own auto insurance policy applies.
Uber’s insurance covers accidents that occur if a driver has the app open while waiting for a ride request, known as period 1, while they have the app open and are en route to pick up a passenger, known as period 2 and when they have the app open and the passenger is in the vehicle, which is known as period 3.
During period 1, Uber’s insurance only offers $50,000 in bodily injury per person up to $100,000 in bodily injury and $25,000 in property damage if an accident occurs. This is the liability coverage portion of the insurance.
During period 2, Uber’s insurance offers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if an accident occurs that leaves the driver and passengers or only passengers injured. It applies when the driver is at fault and has no insurance or insufficient coverage.
During period 3, Uber’s insurance offers collision and comprehensive coverage, which covers the costs of damages to another person’s vehicle at full value. However, due to the $2,500 deductible, the person must pay this amount out of their own pocket before the Uber insurance coverage applies.
Understanding Uber’s Recoverable Compensation
Recoverable compensation is available in Uber accidents that leave victims injured, with property damage and unable to work. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and temporary transportation if the victim’s vehicle needs repairs or has been totaled. It’s also possible to recover pain and suffering, future medical costs, loss of earning capacity and wrongful death if someone was killed.
What Is Florida’s Filing Limit for Uber Accidents?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for an Uber accident is two years. It’s important to file within that time frame if you have suffered injuries or you will not be able to recover compensation.
What Are the Damages Recoverable in a Florida Uber Accident?
There are several damages you can claim in a Florida Uber accident. They include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of consortium and punitive damages.
Medical Expenses After an Uber Accident
If a person suffers injuries in an Uber accident, the rideshare company’s insurance bodily injury coverage can pay up to $50,000 per person.
Lost Wages After an Uber Accident
Many who suffer injuries after an Uber accident require time off from work to recover. This gives them the chance to recover lost wages damages from Uber’s insurance coverage.
Pain and Suffering After an Uber Accident
Pain and suffering is another damage you can claim if you’ve suffered injuries after being involved in an Uber accident. The rideshare’s insurance should cover such damages.
Property Damage After an Uber Accident
After an Uber accident results in property damage, Uber’s insurance policy kicks in at $25,000 to cover the costs of such damage. This applies to the vehicle of another person who gets into an accident with an Uber driver and passengers whose property is damaged.
Permanent Disability or Disfigurement After an Uber Accident
If a person is permanently disabled or left disfigured in an Uber accident, Uber’s insurance coverage for bodily injury kicks in to compensate the victim.
Loss of Consortium After an Uber Accident
If an Uber accident leaves a person unable to enjoy things they once took for granted such as enjoying a romantic, intimate relationship with their spouse or partner, they can claim loss of consortium as part of their damages.
Punitive Damages After an Uber Accident
Punitive damages may be awarded to an injured person if they were in an Uber accident in which the driver acted recklessly. For example, if an Uber driver had a passenger in their vehicle and drove recklessly while knowing they were putting the passenger and others in danger and an accident occurred, anyone left injured could be awarded punitive damages for the driver’s behavior. It should be noted that these damages aren’t given to reward a plaintiff; instead, they are meant to punish a defendant for outrageous conduct.
How Responsibility is Established for Florida Uber Accidents
When a Florida Uber accident occurs, different parties may be responsible. Depending on the circumstances, the driver or someone else can be liable. Situations that can determine who is responsible are explained in covered Uber accident scenarios, not-covered Uber accident scenarios and when the other driver is at fault.
Understanding Covered Uber Accident Scenarios
Only certain Uber accidents are covered by the rideshare company’s insurance. The driver must be on duty, either waiting for a ride request or transporting a passenger, In either scenario, they have the Uber app open.
Understanding Not-Covered Uber Accident Scenarios
If an Uber driver gets into an accident when they are not actively on duty and do not have the app open, Uber’s insurance policy doesn’t apply. In this situation, if the Uber driver is at fault for the accident, their own auto insurance would have to be used to cover any damages.
What Happens When the Other Driver Is at Fault?
If the other driver is at fault for an accident involving an Uber vehicle, anyone who suffers injuries or damages must go through that person’s auto insurance policy for compensation.
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What Types of Insurance Coverage Are Available in a Florida Uber Accident?
Different types of insurance coverage are available in a Florida Uber accident. They include personal auto insurance policy, property damage coverage, bodily injury coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
When Personal Auto Insurance Applies
There are two situations where personal auto insurance applies to an Uber accident. One is when the Uber driver is at fault but is off-duty with the app closed. The other is when another driver is at fault for the accident.
Purpose of Property Damage Coverage
Property damage coverage comes into play after an Uber accident results in property damage. It applies when a person’s vehicle or personal property has been damaged and needs repair or replacement.
Purpose of Bodily Injury Coverage
Bodily injury coverage is available to pay for another person’s injuries after an Uber accident. Uber’s policy would cover the medical expenses of a passenger, pedestrian or other driver or their passengers.
Purpose of PIP Coverage
Under Uber’s PIP coverage, injured parties are covered for up to $50,000 per person.
Purpose of UM/UIM Motorist Coverage
Unfortunately, Uber stopped carrying UM/UIM motorist coverage with its insurance policy in 2022. As a result, anyone injured in an Uber accident involving an uninsured or underinsured Uber driver who is off-duty must go through their own insurance coverage. The same applies if the other driver is at fault and they are uninsured or underinsured.
Who’s Covered By Different Insurance Types?
In Florida, different parties may be covered by different types of insurance. Those different options include Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy, Uber vehicle’s insurance policy and passengers’ personal auto insurance policy.
When the Uber Driver’s Personal Auto Insurance Applies
The Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy applies when the driver has an accident while not actively working. The app must be closed and the driver must not be looking for ride requests or passengers.
When the Uber Vehicle’s Insurance Applies
If an Uber driver drives an official Uber vehicle and an accident occurs, Uber’s vehicle insurance policy kicks in to cover the damages.
When Passengers’ Personal Auto Insurance Applies
If a passenger’s actions lead to an Uber accident, their personal auto insurance policy would have to cover the costs of injuries, property damage and other damages.
How Fault Is Determined in Florida Uber Accidents
Fault can be determined in a Florida Uber accident through different sources. They include police reports, eyewitness accounts, driver statements, Uber’s records, photographic evidence, video surveillance, accident reconstruction, cell phone records, traffic violations and comparative negligence laws.
Determining Fault with Police Reports
One of the strongest pieces of evidence for an Uber accident is a police report. If the accident results in injuries and significant property damage, someone involved must call 911 so police can arrive at the scene. A police officer can then make an accident report detailing the events of the incident.
Fault Determination with Eyewitness Accounts
Eyewitness accounts are crucial for determining fault for an Uber accident. Often, the word of those who see an accident as it happens can make or break a case.
Driver Statements in Uber Accidents
A driver involved in an Uber accident can help prove who is liable for the incident. This can include the Uber driver and other drivers in the accident.
Fault Determination with Uber’s Records
Uber’s records can show the movements of the Uber driver involved in an accident. These come from information on the driver’s smartphone through the rideshare company’s RideCheck system.
Fault Determination and Photos
Photographic evidence is among the strongest when determining who’s at fault for an Uber accident. They provide a visual of the damage and factors that may have led to the accident.
Fault Determination and Video Surveillance
Video surveillance is another strong piece of evidence to prove fault for Uber accidents. It provides real-time footage of the events before, during and after the accident.
How Accident Reconstruction Helps
If other evidence is unclear to determine who’s at fault for an Uber accident, an investigative team can reconstruct the accident. Often, this is successful at establishing how the accident occurred and who’s liable.
How Cell Phone Records Help
Cell phone records can show various data regarding an Uber driver’s location and other information at the time of an accident. It may also show whether the driver was actually using their phone at the time.
Determining Fault Through Traffic Violations
Traffic violations at the time of an Uber accident can show that the driver was at fault and exactly what happened that led to the collision.
Fault and Comparative Negligence in Uber Accidents
Florida follows comparative negligence laws, which means that even if someone is partly at fault for an Uber accident, they can still file a claim for damages.
How Does Negligence Occur in Florida Uber Accidents?
Negligence occurs in a Florida Uber accident in a few different ways. Examples include distracted driving, impaired driving, failure to control speed and red light violations.
Uber Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
Some Uber accidents are caused by distracted driving. If the Uber driver concentrates on something other than their driving, it can have devastating consequences with passengers, pedestrians and other drivers and their passengers suffering injuries.
Uber Accidents Caused by Impaired Driving
If an Uber driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, it can compromise their ability to safely drive and lead to a severe accident. Unfortunately, even consuming minute amounts of alcohol or drugs can lead to intoxication.
Uber Accidents and Failure to Control Speed
Speeding can lead to a deadly Uber accident. Uber drivers must abide by the legal speed limit and travel safely to avoid such situations.
Uber Accidents Caused by Red Light Violations
If an Uber driver fails to stop at a red light, it can lead to a devastating accident. All drivers are required to follow traffic signs and signals and stop at red lights.
Steps to Take After a Florida Uber Accident
There are various steps to take after an Uber accident in Florida. They include exchanging information with the other driver and obtaining witness information, taking photos of the accident scene, filing a police report, seeking immediate medical attention and refraining from posting about the accident on social media.
Exchanging or Obtaining Information from Involved Parties and Witnesses
Drivers should exchange information with one another after an Uber accident. This should include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance information and license plate and driver’s license numbers. Getting witnesses’ names and contact information is also essential.
Accident Scene Photos
Snapping photos of the accident scene is crucial because it shows the damage after an Uber accident.
Importance of a Police Report
Any accident warrants filing a police report. It explains the events of the accident and the damage it left. Injured parties can ask how to obtain a copy to serve as evidence.
Get Medical Attention
After an Uber accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine, that can change later and you might begin to feel the effects of the accident hours or days later. When you get medical attention, it shows the status of your injuries and gives you medical records and medical expenses that can be used to prove damages in your case.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Avoid posting about the accident on social media. Anything you post can be seen by anyone, even the wrong parties. It can also work against you if you discuss the situation on social media sites and impact your ability to recover the compensation you deserve.
What Are Common Injuries from Florida Uber Accidents?
Some injuries are common after an Uber accident. They include whiplash, head injuries, fractures, back injuries, cuts and lacerations, soft tissue injuries, internal injuries, emotional and psychological injuries, seatbelt-related injuries and airbag injuries.
Whiplash occurs in an Uber accident when a person’s head and neck violently jerk forward while the rest of the body remains in place. It’s a soft tissue injury that often results in pain, stiffness and limited range of motion.
Understanding Head Injuries
Head injuries can occur after an Uber accident if a person’s head hits an object such as the seat or window or if a projectile hits them.
Victims of Uber accidents can suffer fractures if the impact is harsh enough. A person can suffer this injury to a number of bodily areas, including an arm, leg or even somewhere in the spinal area.
Understanding Back Injuries
Back injuries are common in Uber accidents, especially if a T-bone or rear-end collision occurs. The victim’s body can be twisted upon impact and strain placed on any part of their back.
Understanding Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations are one of the most common Uber accident injuries. They can range from mild to severe; some lacerations may need stitches or even surgery.
Understanding Soft Tissue Injuries
An Uber accident can easily leave victims dealing with soft tissue injuries. These injuries affect muscles, tendons or ligaments and bring about symptoms like pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery might be needed to repair the damage.
Understanding Internal Injuries
Internal injuries are often serious and signify that an organ or organs have suffered damage. These are sometimes life-threatening injuries that require prompt medical attention.
Understanding Emotional and Psychological Injuries
Even if a person escapes an Uber accident with minor physical injuries or none at all, they can be left with emotional and psychological injuries that affect their daily life. Sometimes, such injuries are worse than physical ones because a victim can replay the accident over and over in their mind and have trouble coping and functioning.
Understanding Seatbelt Injuries
Seatbelt injuries can cause scarring, bruising and pain. They can even lead to internal bleeding. The worse the impact of an Uber accident, the worse these injuries.
Understanding Airbag Injuries
An Uber driver or the driver of the other vehicle or anyone else in the front seat can suffer airbag injuries in an accident. These injuries can be serious and affect the face, head, neck, chest or abdominal area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Registered Owner of a Car Liable for an Accident in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault car accident state, so it depends on whether the registered owner of a car is liable for an accident. If they are, their auto insurance is used for an accident claim.
Does Uber Take Responsibility?
Technically, Uber doesn’t take responsibility for an accident caused by an Uber driver. However, it has an insurance policy that covers the damages of Uber accidents in specific situations.
Can Someone Sue You Personally After a Car Accident in Florida?
A person can sue someone personally after a Florida car accident if their injuries are severe enough to be permanent or disabling and insurance isn’t enough to cover the costs of their damages.
Who Pays for a Car Accident in Florida?
In Florida, insurance companies typically pay for car accidents. If the damages go beyond what the insurer can pay, an injured person can file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver.
Is Florida No-Fault or At Fault?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that a car accident requires drivers to go through their own auto insurance policy to cover any damages.
What Is the Responsibility of an Uber Driver?
Like any other driver, Uber drivers are responsible for following the rules of the road, traffic laws and generally driving safely to keep their passengers and everyone else safe.
What Is the 14-Day Accident Law in Florida?
Florida’s 14-day accident law means that anyone injured in a car accident must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident to gain access to PIP benefits.
Uber Insurance Coverage
Uber’s insurance coverage includes $50,000 per person for bodily injuries up to $100,000 per accident, $25,000 in property damage per accident, $1 million in liability coverage and cash value for vehicle damage with a $2,500 deductible in collision and comprehensive coverage.