Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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While you enjoy the insurance company commercials on television, you should also keep in mind that insurance companies do more than just advertise. They invest significant amounts of money in studying you and your behavior, actions and tendencies. One area that the insurance industry is most curious about is why people hire personal injury lawyers after car accidents.

The standard belief within insurance companies is that personal injury lawyers increase the cost of claims. Insurance companies measure the average cost per paid claim. This category is referred to as claim severity. Other measurements that every insurance company relies on include frequency and loss costs. Insurance industry executives are convinced that car accident attorneys negatively and significantly impact all claims costs and that results in higher premiums.

So, it is natural that insurance companies would spend some of their research and development money on trying to figure out why so many people hire lawyers after a car crash. Veterans in the industry believed for years that delays in processing claims often led people to hire attorneys. But a recent study brings that belief into question.

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UberEATS is everywhere in South Florida now. There was a recent announcement that UberEATS will even deliver food from McDonalds. But what happens if you have an accident with an UberEATS driver? Will Uber insurance cover the UberEATS driver?

Our Miami UberEATS accident lawyers assure us that the same coverage that exists for Uber accidents should apply for any accident involving UberEATS.

Uber Insurance Coverage

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Until now, Uber, Lyft and the transportation network companies (TNC) have dealt with local governments on a county by county basis. However, in January 2017 proposed legislation was filed in the Florida Legislature which is widely viewed as favorable to the TNC companies like Uber and Lyft. This is potentially good news for Florida consumers as well as Uber car accident lawyers and Lyft injury attorneys.

Uber, as the market leader in Florida, has taken the lead in the battles against local governments. Lyft typically waited for the dust to settle and fell in line with the results obtained by Uber. These battles were on display in South Florida over the past few years with Broward County taking the lead in fighting against Uber.

Broward County banned Uber and Lyft for more than 4 months after negotiations broke down with Uber. Unfortunately for Broward County commissioners, the public outcry and backlash was overwhelming. In the end, Broward County essentially complied and gave in to the terms that Uber demanded. Not long after a deal was reached between Uber and Broward County both Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County fell in line.

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In today’s world, many teenagers are choosing Uber over driver’s licenses. Not surprisingly, many parents are in agreement with this choice. In homes all over Miami and in South Florida, families are discussing the safety and economics of using Uber instead of owning, maintaining, insuring another vehicle in the household.

Miami Uber accident attorneys have also had this discussion with clients. In the course of helping accident victims in South Florida, our personal injury lawyers in Miami meet with the parents of teenagers who are coming of driving age. Our Uber car accident attorneys in Miami usually discuss the legal responsibilities and obligations of Uber or Lyft after an accident no matter whether it is a driver or passenger. But increasingly, parents are curious about our Miami personal injury lawyers’ opinion on the issue of using Uber as a primary transportation choice for their children.

As for the legal perspective, Uber and other companies like it are required to maintain $1 million of insurance that may be available to Uber drivers and passengers. But because this is a new area of the law, many issues remain to be decided by the courts. Our Uber injury lawyers anticipate considerable litigation on issues involving insurance coverage for bodily injury, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection benefits. Uber insurance coverage issues will not only involve the insurance provided by Uber, but also the insurance of other drivers and passengers.

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Let’s face it, most Uber and Lyft drivers are not out there driving for the life experience. They are not hobbyists. They are driving to make money. Some drivers do it part time while others try to make a full time living from driving for Uber or Lyft. Our Miami Uber accident lawyers hear the stories from our clients who drive and were injured in a car accident. One thing is absolutely clear, driving for Uber or Lyft is not an easy way to make a living.

Let’s consider the economics of driving for Uber and Lyft. The first thing to know is that these companies take money off the top of every ride in terms of fees and percentages of the total ride. Lyft provides the option of giving a tip while Uber does not. In general, drivers can expect to lose 20-25% of every ride fee to the company. Many drivers will only look at their weekly take home and subtract the amount of gas money they spent to figure out if they had a good week. But if we dig a little deeper, that profit margin shrinks even further.

A proper analysis of an Uber driver’s profitability should include the cost of wear and tear on the vehicle; depreciation of the vehicle’s value; and the cost of insurance. The issue of insurance is even more complex than it might initially appear.

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According to a recent study, Uber drivers do in fact discriminate against black and female passengers. Researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford and MIT conducted a two-year study of Flywheel, Lyft, and Uber passengers in Seattle and Boston. The study reviewed almost 1500 rides in both cities.

The researchers found that black riders using UberX ended up waiting anywhere between 29 and 35% longer than others similarly situated white passengers. The study also found that females were regularly taken on rides that were longer than necessary and ended up being frequently overcharged. The study also discovered that people requesting rides with “African-American sounding” names were canceled disproportionately by drivers when compared to riders requesting with” white sounding” names.

As background, Uber drivers have some control over what rights to accept and what areas to drive in. The drivers can cancel any ride request. An Uber driver can effectively take themselves out of any area by simply logging off the Uber app. For example, if an Uber driver picks up a ride on South Beach and takes that passenger to Miami Gardens and the Uber driver does not want to accept any rides from Miami Gardens then he/she can simply turn off the Uber app. Then they drive to an area and when they want to accept new rides they turn the Uber app back on.

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Miami Car accident lawyers deal with people who were injured by aggressive driving or even road rage every day. Road rage is the more extreme form of aggressive driving such as people who get out of their car to confront or assault other drivers. It also includes drivers who intentionally run into other cars or people. Aggressive driving can take many forms and often plays a role in numerous Miami car accident injury cases. In our analysis, it’s getting worse every day. Now there is a study on aggressive driving that backs up our opinion.

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost 80% of drivers in the past year had expressed road rage, aggression or extreme anger on at least once occasion. The information was collected in a national survey of 2,705 drivers who were at least 16 years old and had driven in the past thirty days. In 2014, it is estimated that there were over 213 million licensed drivers in the U.S. according to the Federal Highway Administration.

This AAA study suggests that about 8 million drivers in the United States had engaged in significant road rage including getting out of their vehicle to confront other drivers or intentionally ramming other cars. The perception of almost two thirds of drivers believe that aggressive and angry driving has increased over the past three years. Ninety percent of us believe that road rage and aggressive driving is a serious and significant threat to our personal safety.

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Uber launched its new app called UberEATS in South Florida today. It opens the market for Uber drivers to deliver food from over 100 participating restaurants in the eastern corridor of South Florida from Brickell to Hollywood. Participating eating establishments include  The Salty Donut,  SoCalTaco, Salsa Fiesta, The Rice House of Kabob, Morgan’s Restaurant DIRT, Jar + Fork, Ms. Cheezious, Sushi Maki, the Daily Creative, Sliders, Roasters N Toasters  and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Miami is the 19th city in the United States to launch UberEATS.

Miami Uber accident injury lawyers know that this means more Uber drivers on the road in Miami and Broward County. As miles and hours increase, so does the possibility of car accidents. The question is whether Uber will provide insurance coverage for its drivers and if so, when will that coverage apply. Presently, Uber is supposed to provide its drivers and passengers with insurance coverage of 1 million dollars. This insurance coverage is supposed to apply when the driver is engaged in the pick-up and delivery of passengers. But many questions remain for Uber car accident injury lawyers.

We expect there to be issues that will be litigated in the courts over the coming years. These questions will involve exclusions, coverage and limitations of liability. It is generally expected that Uber’s insurance coverage will apply when the driver accepts a ride request through the delivery of that passenger. But will there be coverage when the Uber driver has his app on and is available to accept rides but has no customers at that moment. What happens when a driver refuses a ride request and is involved in an accident? Will Uber’s 1 million dollar insurance cover that Uber driver?

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Miami police arrested an Uber driver in Coconut Grove for selling narcotics based on a tip. The law enforcement officers were engaged in an anti-gun violence operation. They received a tip and arrested the Uber driver at a convenience store on Grand Avenue. The driver was also in possession of a gun.

One question Miami personal injury lawyers face is whether Uber drivers and riders are legally allowed to carry a handgun when using the Uber app. The official Uber policy states: “Uber Firearms Prohibition Policy – Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and reliable ride. That’s why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app. Anyone who violates this policy may lose access to Uber.”

Since Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing transportation networks are privately held companies, they can uphold their Firearms Prohibition Policies. But in reality such prohibitions are unenforced until after something tragic or horrific happens.

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rear_end_collisionIf you are driving a car and you rear end another vehicle, is it automatically your fault? The short answer is no. There are certain facts that may help you prove that the rear end car accident is not your fault.

Our Miami car accident lawyers meet with personal injury clients who were involved in rear end collisions. The question is always the same – who is at fault? So what does the law say?

When one vehicle rear ends another vehicle, the rear ending vehicle is presumed to be at fault. But that presumption is rebuttable. What does that mean? It means that even if your vehicle rear ends another vehicle, it may not be your fault.