Ridesharing has seen substantial growth across the country due to its low costs and accessibility. It is a particularly popular choice in many parts of Florida due to an active nightlife and limited parking options. Getting in a car always poses a risk, however, especially when you don’t know the driver, the safety of their car, or their driving habits. Since rideshare companies do not operate under the same laws as taxi companies, figuring out passengers’ rights after an accident can be challenging.
Ridesharing Laws in Florida
Florida, taxi and cab companies have lobbied heavily against rideshare companies, which created a need for stringent laws that protect passengers. In fact, in 2017, Governor Rick Scott passed HB 221, which states that rideshare companies must:
- Run criminal background checks on all prospective drivers
- Remove drivers who operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Check the driving history of each prospective driver
- Ban drivers who are listed on the National Sex Offender website
- Show passengers the driver’s picture and license plate number
These requirements are designed to keep passengers safe from reckless drivers and those who put them at risk for accidents, assaults, or other incidents. Rideshare companies must also maintain internal protocols that provide additional protection, including removing drivers with excessive complaints and enforcing strict vehicle safety requirements.
Insurance Requirements for Drivers
Florida law is one aspect of passengers’ rights. The other factor is vehicle insurance. Under Florida law, all drivers must meet minimum insurance requirements. These standards are higher for ridesharing drivers than personal drivers, a move that protects passengers if they are injured in an accident. While logged into the ridesharing app and not carrying passengers, drivers must have at least $100,000 of coverage for insurance and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Once a driver picks up a passenger, they must have at least $1 million in coverage to include passengers and property involved in ridesharing accidents.
These insurance requirements make it easier for passengers to get their medical expenses covered in the event of an accident. This is one area where a lawyer experienced in vehicle sharing accidents is particularly helpful. They know about insurance requirements, driver liability, and company liability laws, so they can figure out who is responsible for your medical expenses, as well as ensure that you get what you deserve.
Advocates for stricter regulation of ridesharing companies believe that there is more to be done. They claim that rideshare vehicles should be held to the same standards as taxi and cab companies. Taxis and cabs must meet strict maintenance requirements and tests that deem them safe for travel. Since ridesharing vehicles are not held to the same standards, a trip in an ill-maintained car could leave passengers in an unfamiliar location or unsafe situation. It’s up to you as a passenger to decide how much risk you’re willing to assume when you choose a ridesharing service.
Call Us About Your Ridesharing Accident in Florida
While state law does offer protection for passengers injured in rideshare vehicles, it can still be challenging to navigate the process of submitting claims and negotiating with insurance. Let us communicate with drivers and ridesharing companies on your behalf while you focus on recovering. Call Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510 for a free case review.