Taxis and ride-sharing companies like Uber make it easier to get around towns like St. Petersburg. Sometimes, however, drivers providing transportation may lack proper training or fail to exercise proper care while driving passengers. All too often, a serious accident occurs as a result.

If you suffered an injury in a car crash caused by a taxi or Uber driver, whether as a passenger or while in another vehicle struck by such a driver, it is important to protect your legal rights. While your first priority should be to seek the best medical care available, you should also consider your future.

The expenses of medical bills and time missed from work can add up quickly, so it is advisable to consult an experienced St. Petersburg Uber/taxi accident lawyer as soon as possible. A seasoned car accident attorney could advise you of your options and help you work to obtain the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled following your accident.

Parties That May Be Held Responsible for an Uber Accident

If the negligent actions of a taxi driver or a driver working for a transportation networking company such as Uber or Lyft cause an accident, it may seem obvious that the driver should bear at least some liability for the harm that results. Depending on the circumstances, however, a St. Petersburg Uber/Taxi accident lawyer could work to ensure other parties also share in the responsibility.

The taxi company or ride-sharing company may be held liable, but typically only if the driver is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor. In addition, passengers agree in many situations to contractual terms of use that require them to submit any personal injury case to arbitration rather than file a lawsuit in court.

If a dangerous condition on the road contributed to the accident, the party responsible for causing the condition may also be held liable. For instance, if a truck carrying a load that was not properly secured drops something onto the road, the owner or operator of the truck may bear some responsibility for accidents that result as drivers take evasive action to avoid the hazard. In addition, the actions of the drivers of other vehicles or even pedestrians may contribute to the cause of an accident.

Taxi Cab Regulations Impose Duties on Taxi Owners and Operators

Florida law requires taxi operators to either maintain adequate liability insurance or prove that they have sufficient assets to be self-insured. In addition, St. Peterburg ordinances require vehicles used for public transportation, which specifically includes taxi cabs, to have a public vehicle certificate. It should be noted, though, that drivers with Uber and other state-licensed transportation networks do not need to have this certificate.

To obtain a certificate, in accordance with St. Petersburg Code of Ordinances §28.15, the operator must certify that:

  • The vehicle will be kept in operating condition
  • Each person driving the vehicle has completed a background check
  • The taxi will provide service to all areas of the City of St. Petersburg
  • The operator will comply with the provisions of Chapter 28 of the city code, which governs vehicles for hire
  • The operator will carry liability insurance as required by both city and state laws

Since the operator is required to attest to the above requirements, it could be argued that a failure to meet one or more of those requirements should provide grounds for liability. An Uber/Taxi accident lawyer in St. Petersburg could provide further clarification on an individual plaintiff’s options for recovery.

Contacting a St. Petersburg Uber/Taxi Accident Attorney

Because accidents involving taxis and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft can raise complicated questions concerning liability, it is often wise to seek advice from an attorney familiar with these types of cases. If you are suffering injuries from an accident involving a vehicle for hire, a knowledgeable St. Petersburg Uber/taxi accident lawyer could evaluate your case and advise you of your options.

Beyond just giving legal guidance, an attorney could advocate on your behalf in informal negotiations as well as official proceedings. Call today to learn what may be possible in your situation.

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