Largo Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney
In 2011, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft were little more than pipe dreams. A mere ten years later, these ridesharing services transport thousands of Floridians every day. Frequently, ridesharing operators have no qualifications, other than a valid drivers’ license. As is often the case, the law hasn’t kept up with technological changes. So, unlike taxi drivers or other drivers that haul people for profit, ridesharing operators usually must meet no special licensing or other requirements.
However, general negligence principles go back a lot further than 2012, so they’re applicable. A prominent judge decided one of the earliest negligence cases, Donoghue v. Stevenson, in 1932. A woman filed suit against a beer bottler after she found a dead snail in the bottom of a beer bottler. The court made the ten-novel ruling that the beer bottler had a duty of care to sell safe products. A long line of similar court cases came thereafter.
The seasoned Largo Uber & Lyft accident attorneys at Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff have decades of combined experience, mostly in the area of personal injury. So, we know the law, and more importantly, we know how to make the law work for personal injury victims. Because of this knowledge and experience, we are well-positioned to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
First Party Liability
As mentioned, unlike bus and other commercial operators, ridesharing operators don’t have special license requirements. However, the same duty of utmost care applies to all common carriers, including ridesharing drivers. Common breaches of this duty include:
- Aggressive Driving: Excessive speed, the most common form of aggressive driving, increases the risk of a wreck and the force in a collision. Speeding drivers have less time to react to changing situations. Furthermore, according to Newton’s Second Law, speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects. Other kinds of aggressive driving include changing lanes without signaling and tailgating.
- Impaired Driving: Distraction and fatigue are the two biggest impaired driving issues among ridesharing drivers. These motorists often over-rely on GPS navigation devices. It’s impossible to safely operate a vehicle with one eye on a hand-held or hands-free device. Furthermore, many of these drivers have full time commitments elsewhere. So, when they get behind the wheel, they’re dangerously fatigued.
Some forms of aggressive driving and impaired driving violate safety laws. According to the negligence per se rule, if tortfeasors violate safety laws and cause crashes, they could be responsible for damages as a matter of law.
Third Party Liability
Individuals are legally and morally responsible for the wrecks they cause. Third parties are often financially responsible for the damages these wrecks cause.
The respondeat superior rule usually applies in ridesharing crash claims. Employers are financially responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of employment.
Florida law defines all these key phrases in broad, victim-friendly ways. For example, ridesharing operators are employees for negligence purposes, even if they are independent contractors or other non-employees for tax purposes. Additionally, any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That category includes acts like deadheading (driving without a passenger waiting for a fare).
Other employer liability rules, which often apply in rider assault and other intentional tort claims, include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
Contact an Experienced Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Largo Uber & Lyft accident attorney, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. You have a limited amount of time to act.