Broward County recently drafted and threatened to file a lawsuit against ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft if they continued to operate in an illegal manner in the county. In a warning letter disbursed to Uber and Lyft, the County warned against drivers picking up passengers at the airport, port, or anywhere else in Broward County. Uber and its competitor Lyft have announced that they will withdraw from the Broward County market and no longer accept passengers in this area. However, in the warning letter issued by the county, Uber and Lyft drivers were warned not to even drop off passengers in Broward who were picked up in other counties. This, the county attorney claims, is still a violation of Broward County regulations.
The county has stated that it hopes Uber and Lyft will move forward with filing applications that would allow them to operate legally in the county. As of now, the county is concerned with both company’s lack of substantial background checks and insufficient insurance that does not meet state requirements.
Broward County had previously legalized transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, making it one of the first counties in Florida to do so, but the county withdrew its support recently, citing to the insufficient insurance and background check concerns.
Uber, Lyft Face Criticism for Insurance Gaps and Unsafe Drivers
Broward County is not the first place to express concerns about rideshare programs like Uber. There have been several accidents linked to ridesharing drivers, including two deaths and multiple instances of assault upon passengers. There have also been insurance coverage issues. Uber and like companies consider their drivers to be independent contractors. They require that drivers carry their own insurance policies and compensate accident victims in the event of a crash. However, most standard insurance policies will not cover accidents that arise from drivers using their vehicles in a commercial manner. As such, accident victims and Uber drivers who are injured while transporting passengers may find themselves without coverage in the event of a collision.
Uber requires that passengers waive any rights to file claims against the company before riding in an Uber vehicle. This could potentially leave injured passengers with no sure right of recovery when the driver’s insurance company denies the claim. Broward County is of the opinion that drivers need to carry commercial policies, and many safety experts agree. However, drivers may need to purchase an additional personal policy because the commercial policy would not likely cover personal vehicle use. This could create tremendous costs for drivers seeking to join a ridesharing company.
Further, concerns have been raised about the maintenance of Uber and other ridesharing company vehicles. These vehicles could be inspected by only other drivers, with no mechanical experience. This could result in serious accidents while drivers carry unsuspecting passengers. All of these issues will need to be addressed before the company can continue to grow in South Florida.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting Injured Car Accident Victims Across South Florida
If you have been involved in a ride sharing related accident, contact the Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano For over 130 collective years, we have assisted accident victims in bringing personal injury and wrongful death claims across South Florida. Our skilled representation and dedication to our injured clients has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.