Rideshare Accident Attorney in Miami703 Waterford Way, Suite 1000
Miami, FL 33126
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Rideshare Lawyers in Miami
Rideshare companies in Miami, like Uber and Lyft, rake in millions of dollars every year. In fact, a recent study revealed that Uber contributes at least $706 million to Miami’s economy annually. These numbers are impressive from an economic standpoint; there is no doubt about that. However, let’s look at it from a different perspective.
When such companies make these astronomical figures, you would expect them to make their client’s safety a priority. But, unfortunately, they do not. In fact, when it is time to do the right thing, most of these companies distance themselves from their workers. The same workers bring them millions of dollars as profits every year.
You may need the services of rideshare lawyers in Miami for many different reasons. At Morgan and Morgan, we have handled several cases involving injuries caused by the negligence of rideshare companies. So if you or your loved one is a victim, we hope this article answers some of the most commonly asked questions about rideshare companies.
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What Are Some Common Reasons Rideshare Companies Get Sued?
In the recent past, plaintiffs have sued rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft for many different reasons. Here are examples of situations that could warrant legal action against these companies.
Sexual Assault and Harassment
Sexual harassment cases involving rideshare drivers are not uncommon. Unfortunately, when these incidents happen, these companies are always quick to distance themselves from their driver’s conduct. As a result, many sexual assault victims are unsure how to proceed with their cases. The good news is that you may be able to hold rideshare companies accountable if you are a victim of sexual harassment or assault by a rideshare driver. More on that shortly.
Some rideshare companies take advantage of drivers who work for them. Although these companies are always quick to defend themselves by claiming that their drivers are independent contractors but not employees, there are many different situations where you may be able to sue the rideshare company. For example, as an independent contractor, your duties and responsibilities should not be similar to an employee. But since these companies use a lot of legal jargon to confuse their workers, some get away with misclassifying their employees to avoid liability.
A recent misclassification lawsuit against Uber in California ended in an $8.4 million settlement in favor of the plaintiff. The lawsuit alleged that the rideshare company had misclassified their workers as independent contractors between February 2019 and December 2019.
If Uber drivers in California are getting compensated, you should as well.
Since most rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors, rideshare companies tend to distance themselves from car accident cases involving these drivers. However, whether or not a rideshare company is financially responsible for compensating you for your injuries will depend on the specifics of your case. Therefore, these companies are not completely blameless for their driver’s actions, including those leading to car accidents.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft After a Car Accident?
It is difficult but not impossible to sue Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare company in Miami after a car accident. As mentioned earlier, these companies claim that their drivers are independent contractors when such accidents occur. Therefore, under Florida traffic laws, you will first need to file a claim with your own insurer to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Then, you should contact an experienced rideshare lawyer in Miami for further legal guidance if you suffered serious injuries.
When Is a Rideshare Company Liable?
You might be able to file a successful lawsuit against a rideshare company for various reasons. Here is an example:
Although rideshare companies might claim that they are mere applications that connect drivers and passengers, that is not always the case. Because these companies profit from the transactions between passengers and drivers, you would expect them to be more responsible when hiring their drivers.
The truth is that some drivers are not fit to drive due to certain records under their names. As a rideshare user, it is not your job to screen these drivers. Instead, you are only concerned about arriving at your destination safely. Unfortunately, many passengers have been assaulted by rideshare drivers. The saddest thing is that some of these cases can be avoided through proper screening, something these companies sometimes fail to do.
What Happens When the Other Driver Was at Fault for a Rideshare Accident?
This will depend on whether you were a passenger or driver when the accident occurred.
If you were the driver, the issue of liability could become even more complicated. Generally, all rideshare drivers in Florida must carry Personal Injury Protection insurance. Therefore, you must first file a claim with your insurance provider.
What if My Insurance Coverage Is Not Enough to Settle My Medical Bills?
If your PIP insurance is insufficient to settle your medical bills and other eligible damages, you will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. This option would apply if you were not carrying a passenger.
What if I Was Driving a Passenger or on My Way to Pick Up a Passenger?
In that case, your personal injury protection insurance will settle your medical bills and other covered damages. However, the rideshare company’s insurance policy will kick in if the coverage is insufficient. To put things into perspective, Uber and Lyft carry a million dollars worth of coverage for accidents caused by their drivers. This amount might also cover passengers involved in the accident.
What if the Accident Occurred Due to a Vehicle Defect?
When an accident occurs due to a vehicle defect, you may be able to hold the manufacturer, mechanic, supplier, designer, or even the dealer responsible. Of course, this will depend on the exact cause of the defect and whether it could have been avoided. If the defect occurred due to negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible.
For example, you could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the brakes if the vehicle’s brakes failed, causing the accident. However, for this to work, you will need a product liability attorney to prove the defective conditions of the brakes and that the manufacturer, or someone along the production line, is responsible.
What Are Some Major Concerns About Rideshare Companies?
There have been major concerns about the rideshare industry over the past few years. Here’s an overview of some of these concerns:
Lack of Proper Regulations
The rideshare industry is still widely unregulated. Since this industry is slightly over a decade old, there are not many regulations governing how rideshare companies operate. In other words, the rideshare business is a gold mine from the economic perspective but a gray area from the legal standpoint.
Lack of Professionalism
There is also the issue of professionalism. Unfortunately, some rideshare drivers are not professional or experienced. In fact, all you need to become a rideshare driver is a valid driver’s license and meet the minimum age to drive in your state.
As a result, many of these drivers are involved in car accidents in Miami, Florida, and throughout the country. Despite that, rideshare companies do not claim responsibility for the accidents. In fact, the only thing they can comfortably claim is the millions of dollars they make yearly as profits.
The Risks of Ridesharing
Then there is the issue of ridesharing, the main business model of these companies. Since this business is widely unregulated, passengers often share rides with people they do not know about. For example, you could share a ride with a serial killer, sex offender, robber, or kidnapper; you name it. This raises the question of whether rideshare companies have a broader responsibility for their drivers and passengers than they claim.
Distracted Driving Concerns
Lastly, remember that rideshare companies use their phones to track their passengers during pickups. As a result, many of these drivers may become distracted while driving. From picking up calls and messaging passengers to following GPS coordinates, rideshare drivers spend a lot of time on their phones, putting their lives, including their passengers, at risk.
The above are just examples of the numerous loopholes and concerns in this industry. As a result, seeking justice is usually difficult but not impossible if you are a victim. Contacting an experienced rideshare lawyer is usually the best thing to do if you find yourself in such a situation. The attorney will review the unique circumstances of your case and help devise the right legal strategy to fight for your rights.
How Much Is My Rideshare Lawsuit Worth?
It is impossible to tell the actual value of your rideshare case, especially without a case evaluation. That said, you may be able to recover the following damages if you have a valid claim;
- Current and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Bear in mind that the above damages mostly apply in cases involving violence, such as assault and car accidents. If you file an employment-related lawsuit, the damages may be different.
The bottom line is that the exact damages and their value will depend on the specifics of your case.
How Morgan and Morgan Rideshare Lawyers Can Help
The bottom line is that rideshare lawsuits are complicated. This is partly because this industry is widely unregulated. While many regulations have emerged in Florida over the years concerning these companies and how they conduct their businesses, a lot still needs to be done.
The issue of liability is usually one of the most contested topics regarding injuries in this field. To free themselves from the financial responsibility of compensating injured individuals, rideshare companies often claim that their drivers are independent contractors.
But this excuse is never good enough. These companies cannot choose to profit from their driver’s efforts and avoid responsibility when someone gets injured. However, because rideshare companies make millions of dollars, they can easily afford attorneys to represent them against such cases. Sadly, some victims do not even attempt to fight for their rights either because they do not know where to start or are afraid of facing such giant companies in court.
But that fear ends today; you need Morgan and Morgan to even the playing field and fight for your rights. Because we are the largest personal injury law firm in Miami and the entire country, you can count on us to take on the biggest bullies in the fight for justice and compensation. We have done it before and will continue to do it because these companies are not above the law.
If you are ready to fight back and claim the compensation you deserve, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Other Uber drivers and passengers are getting compensated, and so should you.