James D. Payer | October 11, 2023 | Florida Law
Uber and Lyft are popular rideshare companies. Rideshare services have become one of the most common ways to get around Orlando, Florida if you do not have a vehicle of your own. Tourists often use rideshare services instead of using public buses or taxis.
Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. They use their personal vehicles to transport paying customers. The rides are scheduled through the company’s app.
Unfortunately, because the drivers are independent contractors, the company does not have complete control over the driver’s work. However, Uber and Lyft have specific vehicle and driver requirements for people who join the app as drivers. Florida also has several requirements for rideshare drivers in general.
What Are the Vehicle and Driver Requirements for Uber and Lyft in Florida?
The Florida Uber/Lyft Bill set specific requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers. The law requires:
- Uber and Lyft must institute a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving and promptly suspend drivers suspected of driving under the influence pending an investigation.
- Rideshare companies must perform background checks for new drivers and routine background checks on all drivers every three years.
- A driver cannot be authorized to act as a rideshare driver if they have been convicted of DUI, hit-and-run, reckless driving, and other traffic offenses within the past five years.
- A person cannot be a rideshare driver in Florida if they are on the federal sex offender registry, have no valid driver’s license/vehicle registration, or have been convicted of driving with a revoked or suspended license in the past three years.
The Florida rideshare law also requires drivers to have insurance coverage above the minimum insurance requirements for other drivers. A rideshare driver must have the following insurance coverage when logged into the rideshare app but not providing a ride:
- Liability insurance of at least $50,000 for bodily injury/death to one person
- Liability insurance of at least $100,000 for bodily injury/death per accident
- Property damage liability insurance of at least $25,000
- PIP and uninsured/underinsured coverage as required by existing law
The insurance requirements change when the rideshare driver has a passenger. When providing a ride, Uber and Lyft drivers must have a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance for bodily injury/death, and property damage. Note that the above coverages are provided by the rideshare company itself.
Rideshare drivers must also have the minimum personal coverage required by law for PIP and UIM coverage, in addition to being covered by Uber/Lyft’s policies..
Lyft and Uber Have Vehicle and Driver Requirements That Might Differ From Florida Rideshare Laws
Uber and Lyft drivers must comply with state laws to operate in Florida. The Florida law is the minimum requirements for rideshare drivers. The drivers might have additional requirements from Uber and Lyft.
The minimum requirements for Uber drivers in the United States are:
- Meet the minimum age to drive in the state/city
- Have a valid in-state driver’s license
- At least one year of licensed driving experience (three years if you are under 25 years old)
- Have an eligible four-door vehicle
Uber vehicle requirements include no commercial branding, good condition, and no cosmetic damage. The vehicle must be a 4-door vehicle that is no more than 16 years old.
Lyft requirements for drivers and vehicles are similar. Vehicles must:
- Have four doors with five to eight seats, including the driver’s seat
- 2011 model or newer
- Not titled as rebuilt, salvage, or non-repairable
- Not a stretch limo, taxi, or non-Express Drive rental vehicle
Lyft driver requirements include passing a driver screen test and being at least 25 years old or older. You must have a valid driver’s license, Social Security number, and smartphone that can download the Lyft Driver app.
Who Is Responsible for Damages for an Uber or Lyft Accident in Orlando, FL?
When rideshare companies first began, they denied liability for car accidents. They claimed that the drivers were independent contractors, so the driver was liable for any accident they caused.
However, auto insurance companies generally have clauses in liability insurance policies that exclude coverage if the vehicle is used for business purposes or to provide paid rides. Therefore, rideshare accident victims were left with no source of compensation for their damages, unless they sued the rideshare driver and were fortunate enough to collect a judgment.
Many states and cities enacted laws related to rideshare insurance coverage. Uber and Lyft now maintain insurance coverage when a driver is actively working as a rideshare driver, as discussed above.
Therefore, if a rideshare driver causes an accident, the rideshare driver could be personally liable for economic and non-economic damages. The driver’s personal insurance policy might cover the damages. Additionally, the victim may be able to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurer.
Determining liability for a rideshare accident is challenging. The insurance companies might deny coverage and point to other insurance coverage. Therefore, seeking legal advice from an experienced Orlando rideshare accident lawyer is crucial. An attorney investigates the rideshare accident to determine who caused the crash and identify all insurance policies that might cover the accident.
What Should I Do if I am Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Orlando, FL?
If the drivers in the accident do not want to report the crash, call 911 to report the crash. An official accident report is essential when filing a rideshare accident claim for a Lyft accident or Uber accident.
Uber and Lyft provide easy ways to report accidents to their company through the rideshare app. As a passenger, driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, or other party involved in the crash, you can report the crash directly through the app. You can also contact Uber or Lyft directly to report the crash.
If you are a driver, report the crash to your insurance company. Your personal insurance company could be liable for damages, depending on the facts of the case.
Seek immediate medical treatment to document your injuries. If the rideshare or insurance company asks for a statement or wants you to answer questions, you may want to put that off until you meet with a lawyer. An Orlando Uber/Lyft accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process to ensure you pursue all claims and avoid making mistakes that could hurt your case.
Contact Our Orlando Uber & Lyft Accident Law Firm For Help Today
We proudly serve Orange County and its surrounding areas: