Seminole Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney
In 2021, Uber drivers completed over 6.3 billion trips. That’s just short of the company’s pre-pandemic 2019 numbers. A few of these operators are full-time ridesharing drivers. For most of them, however, ridesharing is a side gig. Since they have full-time obligations elsewhere, many Lyft and Uber operators are dangerously fatigued before they get behind the wheel. Distraction is a serious problem as well. Many ridesharing operators over-rely on GPS navigation devices. Furthermore, contrary to popular myth, hands-free devices might be more distracting than hand-held gadgets.
These claims often involve respondeat superior, a vicarious liability theory in Florida. According to this legal doctrine, employers are financially responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of their employment. This theory is particularly important in ridesharing accident claims. Usually, personal auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial losses. So, respondeat superior gives these victims an additional source of recovery.
Many ridesharing operators don’t have much experience in this area. In contrast, an experienced Seminole Uber & Lyft accident attorney at The Reep Law Firm routinely handles these matters in Pinellas County and throughout the Tampa Bay area. So, we know how local courts work, and we know how to make the law work for victims. As a result, we are usually able to settle injury claims out of court, and on victim-friendly terms.
What Causes Ridesharing Injuries?
We touched on some of the major causes of ridesharing vehicle collisions above. Respondeat superior usually applies in all such collisions, whether or not the ridesharing operator had a fare in the car or not. If the driver was deadheading (driving aimlessly waiting for a fare), the employer benefited from having a driver in the area and from the free advertising. So, the respondeat superior rule applies.
Ridesharing operators are commercial drivers. Therefore, they have a higher duty of care in Florida, and it’s easier for a Seminole Uber & Lyft accident lawyer to prove driver negligence, or a lack of care.
These operators have double duty, legally speaking. They must drive safely and they must ensure their passengers are reasonably safe. This duty includes a responsibility to pick up and drop off passengers at the safest possible location. Furthermore, ridesharing operators must break up arguments between passengers before they become violent and otherwise actively intervene to keep them safe.
Your Claim for Damages
If all the legal and other issues in the claim are crystal clear, the insurance company usually has a duty to settle the claim before the matter goes to court. However, as outlined above, the legal and injury issues in these accidents are quite complex.
So, to jumpstart settlement negotiations and preserve the victim’s legal rights, attorneys usually file legal paperwork. At this point, the defendant usually files procedural motions. These procedural motions almost always fail.
Later, if the case remains unresolved as the trial date approaches, most Pinellas County judges appoint professional mediators to oversee negotiations. A mediator ensures that both sides negotiate in good faith. As a result, civil mediation is about 90 percent successful in Florida.
Count on a Diligent Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Seminole Uber & Lyft accident attorney, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.