There are various ways to pursue a personal injury claim if you are injured and have medical bills resulting from a crash with a negligent Uber or Lyft driver. Since Uber and Lyft are relatively new companies, it can be difficult to navigate this process without an attorney experienced in dealing with ride-sharing companies.
Personal Injury Protection through your personal auto insurance
There are currently bills going through Florida Legislature that, if passed and signed by the Governor, may change this answer. As of February 15, 2018, if you are in a crash caused by an Uber/Lyft Driver, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) found on your personal auto insurance policy will be your first line of defense to pay for a portion of your medical bills- if you receive treatment within 14 days of the crash. Your PIP pays for 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. If you do not have auto insurance you can still make a PIP claim through the auto insurance of a relative with whom you live or through the auto insurance of the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the crash.
Unfortunately, the insurance policies that Uber and Lyft operate under do not carry PIP benefits, so you will not be able to make a PIP claim under their policies like you typically could, even if you were the passenger of a negligent Uber/Lyft driver. This is a common issue since a significant number of people do not have vehicles and are therefore not required to have auto insurance. However, there are other paths to recovery.
How do I pay the remaining balances of my bills after PIP has paid or if I cannot make a PIP claim?
The remaining balances of your medical bills could be covered by your health insurance. If your health insurance does not pay and you receive a settlement from the Uber/Lyft driver, you will likely have to reimburse your health insurance company for what they paid towards your medical bills out of the settlement. This is a process called “subrogation.” A seasoned attorney can negotiate with your insurance company and get them to reduce the reimbursement amount they’ll accept from your settlement.
Paying for remaining bills and compensation for your injuries
To pay for any remaining medical bills, reimburse your health insurance, and compensate you for the injuries you sustained, a claim should be made through the insurance policies Uber and Lyft provides to its drivers. It is very important to know that those policies only cover Uber/Lyft drivers if the Uber or Lyft app wasactivated at the time the crash occurs. If the app is not on we will have to look to that driver’s personal insurance policy to see if there is applicable bodily injury coverage.
If the Uber/Lyft app was activated by the driver at the time of the crash, different provisions of their policies may apply depending on the circumstance:
- If the app is activated by the negligent Uber/Lyft driver, but they have yet to pick up a passenger, pursuant to Florida Law, there must be up to $50,000 in available bodily injury coverage to compensate your bills and injuries.
- If the app is activated and the Uber/Lyft driver has picked up a passenger it is mandated that there be $1,000,000 in available bodily injury coverage limits. I’ve also seen Florida Uber insurance policies that provide $1,000,000 in available coverage to persons hit by Uber drivers that are in route to pick up a passenger but don’t have them in their vehicle yet.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, contact the attorneys here at Fasig | Brooks. Our experienced teams are also available on nights and weekends.