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November 14, 2023

Navigating the aftermath of a ridesharing accident can be as confusing as it is stressful. At Heintz Law, we understand that determining liability is a critical component of your case. In Florida, where ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become integral to our transportation system, understanding how liability is determined is essential for anyone involved in such an accident.

What Constitutes a Rideshare Accident?

In the context of Florida law, a rideshare accident encompasses any collision or vehicle-related incident that involves a ridesharing vehicle, such as those operated by Uber or Lyft, under the following circumstances:

  1. While Logged into the Rideshare App: The moment a rideshare driver logs into the app, they are considered to be operating under the rideshare company's umbrella. Any accident that occurs from this point, even if there is no passenger in the car, may be considered a rideshare accident.
  2. During a Trip Request: From the time a driver accepts a trip request until the passenger is dropped off, any accident is considered a rideshare accident. This includes the journey to pick up a passenger and the time the passenger is in the vehicle.
  3. Involving Third Parties: If a rideshare vehicle causes an accident that involves pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, or other vehicles, this is also classified as a rideshare accident. Liability may extend to the rideshare company if the driver was engaged in a rideshare activity.
  4. Passenger Injuries: If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and sustain injuries, no matter who is at fault for the accident, it is considered a rideshare accident.
  5. Driver Injuries: Rideshare drivers are also at risk and may be considered victims in rideshare accidents, especially if another party is at fault.

Understanding what constitutes a rideshare accident is crucial for legal proceedings, as it can affect the insurance claims process and the potential compensation available to injured parties. Our firm specializes in navigating the complexities of rideshare accident claims in Florida, ensuring that our clients' rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System

Florida operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means that after an accident, your own insurance company will typically cover your medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. However, this does not preclude you from seeking further compensation, especially if the accident results in serious injury or significant loss.

Ridesharing and Liability: The Three Periods

Ridesharing drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees of the ridesharing company. This distinction is crucial when determining liability. Liability in ridesharing accidents is often contingent upon what the driver was doing at the time of the accident, which is categorized into three periods:

Period 1

The driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request. If an accident occurs during this time, the ridesharing company’s limited liability coverage may apply, in addition to the driver’s personal insurance.

Period 2

The driver has accepted a ride request and is en route to pick up the passenger. During this period, the ridesharing company’s insurance coverage is more substantial.

Period 3

The passenger is in the rideshare vehicle. The ridesharing company’s $1 million liability policy is in full effect until the passenger is safely at their destination.

Determining Fault in a Ridesharing Accident

In Florida, determining fault involves establishing negligence. A driver – whether a rideshare operator or another motorist – is negligent if they fail to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. In a ridesharing context, several parties could be liable:

  • The rideshare driver
  • Another involved driver
  • The ridesharing company, under certain circumstances
  • Manufacturers, if vehicle defects contributed to the accident

Evidence and Investigation

At Heintz Law Firm, we conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine liability. This includes:

  • Reviewing police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Vehicle damage
  • Road conditions
  • and, crucially, the rideshare driver’s app status during the accident.

Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule

It’s also important to note that Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that if you are partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Common Injuries from a Rideshare Accident

Rideshare accidents, much like any vehicular accidents, can result in a range of injuries to passengers, drivers, and other involved parties. At Heintz Law, we have seen firsthand the impact these injuries can have on the lives of individuals. Some of the most common injuries we encounter include:

  1. Whiplash and Neck Injuries: These are often caused by the sudden jolt of a collision, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
  2. Head Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and other head traumas can occur from hitting a window, the seat in front, or from flying debris.
  3. Broken Bones: The force of an impact can lead to fractures, which may be simple, requiring a cast, or more severe, necessitating surgical intervention.
  4. Lacerations and Bruises: Sharp objects, broken glass, or blunt force can cause cuts and bruising, which may lead to significant blood loss or require stitches.
  5. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spine can have serious consequences, including chronic pain or even paralysis.
  6. Internal Injuries: The impact of a collision can cause internal bleeding and organ damage, which might not be immediately apparent after the accident.
  7. Psychological Trauma: Accidents can lead to emotional distress, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
  8. Soft Tissue Injuries: Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be stretched or torn in an accident, leading to long-term pain and disability.
  9. Burns: Fires, explosions, or contact with hot surfaces or chemicals can cause burns, which may require extensive treatment.
  10. Loss of Limbs: In severe cases, an accident may result in the amputation of limbs either during the incident or as a necessary medical intervention afterward.

If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these injuries as a result of a rideshare accident, it is crucial to seek both medical attention and legal counsel. At Heintz Law, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these injuries can take. Our experienced team is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

How a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Can Help

At Heintz Law, our rideshare accident lawyers specialize in helping victims navigate the aftermath of an accident with clarity and ease. Here's how we can help you:

  1. Case Evaluation: We'll analyze the details of your accident to identify the responsible parties and determine the best course of action.
  2. Insurance Negotiations: Our team will handle all communications with insurance companies to ensure you receive the full compensation you're entitled to.
  3. Legal Representation: If your case goes to court, we'll provide robust legal representation, advocating for your rights every step of the way.
  4. Contingency Fee Basis: You won't pay any legal fees unless we win your case, allowing you to seek justice without financial worry.
  5. Personalized Service: We give each case the personalized attention it deserves, tailoring our approach to meet your specific needs.

If you've been involved in a rideshare accident, contact Heintz Law for a free consultation. Let us take care of the legal details while you focus on your recovery.

Injured in a Rideshare Accident? Take Action Now with Heintz Law Firm

If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident, the path to recovery can be fraught with legal complexities and insurance challenges. But you don't have to navigate it alone. At Heintz Law Firm, we are committed to standing by your side, offering expert legal guidance and robust advocacy to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

Don’t wait for the insurance companies to dictate the outcome of your situation. Take control by reaching out to our experienced legal team today. We’ll evaluate your case with the attention to detail it deserves, strategize the best course of action, and fight tirelessly for your rights.

Contact Heintz Law Firm now for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help you move forward from this unexpected event with confidence and peace of mind.


What should I do immediately after a rideshare accident?

Ensure your safety first, then seek medical attention, even if injuries are not apparent. Document the scene with photos and gather information from all parties involved. Report the accident to the rideshare company and contact Heintz Law as soon as possible.

How long do I have to file a claim after a rideshare accident in Florida?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Florida is generally four years from the date of the accident. However, it's best to act quickly to ensure the best outcome for your case.

Can I still file a claim if I'm partially at fault for the accident?

Yes, Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, which means you can potentially recover damages even if you're partially at fault, though your recovery may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Will I have to go to court for my rideshare accident claim?

Many cases are settled out of court. However, if necessary, Heintz Law is prepared to represent you in court to ensure you receive fair compensation.

How much does it cost to hire Heintz Law for a rideshare accident case?

We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront fees. Our payment is contingent upon winning your case.

What compensation can I recover in a rideshare accident claim?

You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.

How can Heintz Law help me with my rideshare accident claim?

We provide comprehensive legal support, from case evaluation and insurance negotiations to courtroom representation if needed, all tailored to your unique situation.

How do I start the process with Heintz Law if I've been in a rideshare accident?

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case. We'll guide you through the next steps and how we can assist you.


No Fees Or Costs Unless We Get Results

905 6th Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205

Phone: 941-748-2916
Fax: 941-746-4281
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2033 Main St, Ste 406
Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: 941-238-0093
Fax: 941-746-4281
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