For the past few years, if you were a passenger in a Lyft or Uber vehicle in Florida and the vehicle was involved in an accident (regardless of who was at fault) you qualified for up to $1,000,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage. In 2019, Uber and Lyft changed their policy. Now riders are only eligible for up to $250,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage.
How does that affect you?
If you are a rider and you are injured in a Lyft or Uber accident in Florida in 2019 the maximum amount of money you can recover under Uber or Lyft's uninsured motorist coverage is $250,000.00 regardless of the severity of the injury.
Similarly, if you are injured in Florida while driving for Uber or Lyft, your recovery is also maxed out at $250,000.00.
These changes are concerning since I have handled cases in which both drivers and riders of Lyft and Uber vehicles who have been significantly and permanently injured. I have seen riders and drivers injured in Lyft and Uber accidents in Coconut Creek, Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Deerfield Beach.These changes aren't dependent on how long you have been using Uber or Lyft in South Florida. The changes to their insurance coverage apply throughout Florida. Unfortunately, the strongest impact will be for those riders and drivers of Lyft and Uber vehicles who have been injured the worst.
The change in coverage is disappointing in light of the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State University of Chicago Booth School of Business' 2018 Report estimating that Uber and Lyft have increased traffic deaths by up to as much as 3% annually. Based on Florida traffic statistics compiled by the State, it could mean that up to 8 more people are killed in Florida each month due to ridesharing creating more congestion in highly trafficked areas.
Uber and Lyft also put accident reporting features on their apps for both drivers and riders. If you suspect you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident in Florida and were either driving or riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, it is critical that you speak with an experienced and available personal injury attorney before communicating with Uber or Lyft via the app or telephone.
What if you were in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft car near Boca Raton or Deerfield Beach, Florida?
First, seek medical attention if you suspect you may be injured. If you need help finding the best place to find medical care in the Boca Raton or Deerfield Beach area, call me at Tel:(561)-382-6860. Obviously, if you are in critical condition, rely on emergency medical services in your area, either Boca Raton Fire Rescue or Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue. That said, if you suspect you may be injured and are concerned about getting stuck with medical and hospital bills after the accident, I am happy to speak with you for free over the phone to advise you on where to get cost effective treatment for your injuries.
Second, speak with a Boca Raton or Deerfield Beach car accident attorney who has experience representing Uber and Lyft car accident injury victims. Most, if not all personal injury attorneys in the area provide free consultations. If you are concerned about who to hire, consider reading my article titled 5 Tips to Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case.
Third, you may be eligible for additional insurance coverage or through your own insurance or through the person who caused the accident.
Matthew Waring is a Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney with experience representing accident victims before and after the 2019 insurance coverage changes. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in South Florida, get Matthew on the phone for a free consultation by calling or texting Tel:(561)-382-6860.