Uber and Lyft law
If you are injured by a Uber or Lyft driver in Florida, you need to know your rights.
The Florida House and Senate passed a Bill concerning Uber and Lyft, (HB 221) which was signed by Governor Scott and went into effect on July, 2017.
Uber and Lyft drivers are now subject to state-wide law regarding who controls their right to operate in the state. Before, some local governments, like Miami-Dade County were trying to limit these drivers from operating in their jurisdictions.
The new law is Section 627.748 Florida Statutes (2017).
Uber and Lyft drivers are not common carriers, unlike taxis, buses, ambulances and limousines.
What’s the difference? Common carriers owe a higher duty of care to their customers. Uber and Lyft only owe you an ordinary duty off care, like your neighbor would if they gave you a ride.
Uber and Lyft drivers are “independent contractors” which means you can’t sue the company if the driver injures you. (Some restrictions apply – Uber or Lyft has to have a written agreement with the driver).
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry insurance as follows: (Uber and Lyft provided these coverage amounts before the law went into effect, so this is not a legislative initiative)
- $0 when the driver is not logged in.
- $50,000/$100,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage when the driver is logged in.
- $1,000,000 when the driver is logged in and has accepted a ride request.
The new law requires background checks for drivers, but Uber and Lyft both state they have been doing this for years, so it’s not a legislative initiative. This distinction is important because it shows you who is driving the legislation: Uber and Lyft are calling the shots. If the state lawmakers and governor were seriously concerned about protecting people injured by a Uber or Lyft driver, they would be telling the companies what the law is going to be, not the other way around.
So, what do you do if you get injured by an Uber or Lyft driver, either as a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or if you are in another vehicle?
You need to consult with a lawyer who knows the law.
Call the injury lawyers at Crary, Buchanan where we have been serving the needs of our clients since 1927.