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Florida Lyft Accident Attorney

Though Uber has maintained control of the rideshare market in Florida, Lyft has presented a significant challenge to the giant. More drivers are leaving Uber to go to Lyft because they simply treat their contractors better. Lyft takes a smaller portion of drivers’ pay, and allows riders to give a tip as part of their payment. However, Lyft presents many of the same dangers as Uber.

Though all of this may sound beneficial, the bottom line is that Lyft, like other “transportation network companies” (TNCs), allow people to drive people around in their own cars as independent contractors, not employees. That can present a sizeable challenge for riders and drivers alike in the event of an accident.

If you are ever in a wreck while using this TNC, it is crucial you contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner’s Florida Lyft accident attorneys at (800) 560-5059 for a free consultation.

Background Check Requirements for Lyft in Florida

In an attempt to make ridesharing safer for passengers and drivers alike, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed CS/HB 221 into law on May 9, 2017. This bill, also known as the Uber/Lyft Law, negates local municipalities’ power to regulate TNCs and instead creates uniform requirements throughout the state for background checks and insurance.

Under the new law, Lyft must conduct background checks that include driving and criminal records. Drivers are excluded from being able to work for a TNC if they have been convicted of any of the following in the past five years:

  • Any felony
  • A crime of lewdness or indecent exposure
  • A misdemeanor for sexual battery or any other violent offense
  • A misdemeanor for reckless driving, fleeing/eluding a police officer, reckless driving or DUI (alcohol or drugs)

In addition, if an applicant has been convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license in the past three years, they may not drive for Lyft. TNCs must also impose a zero-tolerance policy for using drugs or alcohol while being paid to drive. Background checks must be conducted at least once every three years.

The Uber/Lyft Law also creates new requirements for insurance policies. Drivers themselves must have, at minimum:

  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and death per person
  • $100,000 for bodily injury and death per accident

Though these requirements seem strict, they are more lax than the legislation covering taxi and limo companies. Those industries are required to have more intensive background checks, as well as state-mandated vehicle checks and safety/license checks. As such, many limo and taxi companies say this legislation provides yet another advantage for TNCs.

While the more lax requirements make it easier for people to drive for Lyft, it inadvertently creates another level of risk for riders as well.

How Lyft Handles Accidents

Like Uber, Lyft states it has a maximum $1 million policy for drivers and riders. And on paper, it seems like an easier policy to take part of. Lyft’s insurance policy is broken down like this:

  • Drivers who are using the app but don’t have a passenger yet, Lyft provides a maximum $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage if the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the accident.
  • If you have a passenger at the time of the accident, Lyft provides a maximum $50,000 for damage to the car. There is a similar policy if your car is damaged in a non-collision event. However, in either case, this only applies if you have collision coverage on your own personal insurance policy.
  • If an uninsured/underinsured motorist causes the accident while you have a passenger, Lyft will pay up to $1 million for bodily injury caused in the wreck.

Though these policies seem friendly and beneficial for both drivers and passengers, Lyft and their insurance provider aren’t in the business of giving out money unless they absolutely have to. They will likely fight tooth and nail to find any loophole that gets them out of paying out on these policies. If you claim has been denied by your insurance company and/or Lyft, you still have legal options.

Get Help from a Florida Lyft Accident Attorney

If your claim is denied, the next step to get the compensation you deserve is to file a lawsuit. Chances are, you have never fought an insurance company in court. The good news is, you are not on your own. The Florida Lyft accident lawyers at Steinger, Greene & Feiner have recovered over $1 billion for our clients, and we can help you too.

Contact us online or call us today at (800) 560-5059 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can meet you in your home, in your hospital room or at any of our South Florida offices, including:

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