Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are popular in Atlanta. With more people driving for these companies and staying on the road longer, the odds are increasing that you will become involved in a car accident with a rideshare driver, as a rideshare passenger, or as a rideshare driver yourself. Are auto accidents involving rideshare drivers handled any differently than other car accident claims? It turns out there are some significant differences. Learn more about these differences below, and make sure you hire an experienced and successful Atlanta rideshare accident attorney to help you with your claim or lawsuit. Call Durham Law Group at 404-845-3434 for a free initial consultation.
Why Are Rideshare Services so Popular in Atlanta?
Uber and Lyft have taken off in Atlanta. Studies and surveys have revealed some of the main uses of rideshare companies in Atlanta:
- People don’t have a car or don’t want to drive
- Rideshare is more convenient and cheaper than a cab
- Rideshare is more comfortable and convenient than public transportation
- Atlantans hail rideshare when public transit is not available
- Atlantans use a rideshare to get to or from public transit
- Atlantans hail rideshare to or from the airport
- Atlantans count on rideshare for late-night rides on the weekend
If you’ve been involved in any of the listed incidents, call a rideshare accident lawyer at Durham Law Group today.
What if I Get Hit by a Rideshare Driver?
If you get in an accident that is the fault of the rideshare driver, you might have a claim either against the driver, the rideshare company, or both. It can be difficult to know how to file a claim when you get hit by a rideshare driver, which is why it’s important to call on an experienced Atlanta rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible.
The main question you will be asking is, whose insurance is responsible to pay my damages? At present, rideshare drivers in Atlanta are independent contractors and not employees, so even if the person makes his or her living by driving for Uber or Lyft, that does not make the company responsible every time they get into an accident.
If the person is not logged into the app when the crash occurs, the driver’s personal liability policy will apply. Georgia requires all drivers to carry 25/50/25 liability insurance at a minimum, meaning a negligent driver’s insurance will pay for up to $25,000 in personal injury damages to one person, up to $50,000 in personal injury damages if multiple people are hurt, and up to $25,000 in property damages. Drivers might carry significantly more coverage than the minimum required by law. If they don’t have any insurance, your own Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage will kick in to pay for your damages. You have UM coverage if you have a liability insurance policy and did not specifically decline UM coverage in writing. Your UM coverage is at least the 25/50/25 minimum, although it might be greater if you have higher liability coverage and chose higher UM limits as well.
If the driver who hit you was logged into their rideshare app at the time of the crash but had not yet matched with a passenger, Uber or Lyft will cover your damages with a 50/100/25 insurance policy ($50,000 for injury to one person, $100,000 for injuries to multiple people, $25,000 for property damage). As you can see, the personal injury coverage in this instance is double the Georgia minimum liability coverage for a rideshare driver who is not logged in to the app and using their personal liability insurance.
If the driver at the time of the crash has matched a fare or is currently transporting a passenger, then Uber or Lyft provides a one million dollar liability policy to cover personal injury and property damage.
Whether you are pursuing a claim against the other driver’s insurance, an Uber or Lyft policy, or the UM coverage with your own insurance policy, remember that your interests and the insurance company’s are adverse. If they can limit their payout to you, they will. Don’t accept any settlement without first talking to an experienced Atlanta auto accident attorney. Odds are that if they are offering you a settlement, it is much lower than what your claim is actually worth. We can let you know if you are being dealt with fairly and intervene on your behalf to make sure you get the care and compensation you need and deserve.
What if I am Injured as a Rideshare Passenger?
If the accident is the other driver’s fault, you would pursue a claim against them as you would any other driver. If your rideshare driver is at fault, you are covered under the rideshare company’s million-dollar policy and would proceed with a claim directly against them. Our Atlanta rideshare accident lawyers can represent you in this process.
What if I Am Injured as a Rideshare Driver in Atlanta?
Rideshare drivers might be particularly conscientious drivers knowing they are making a living and transporting precious human cargo, but they can still get hit by other negligent drivers. Rideshare drivers are out on the street more, often for long hours at a stretch if they are deadheading to pick up fares. Rideshare drivers are also particularly busy on nights and weekends when more drunk drivers are on the road. Also, if you do get in a crash, the fact that you are covered by a hefty insurance policy by Uber or Lyft makes you a target for the other driver to claim you were at fault, even when you weren’t.
If you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, we can help you pursue a claim against the negligent driver and keep you from being unfairly saddled with blame for causing the accident. If you were involved in an accident during a trip or after being matched with a ride, your rideshare app covers you with contingent collision and comprehensive insurance with either a $1,000 deductible (Uber) or a $2,500 deductible (Lyft), as well as Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Contingent coverage means it only applies if you already have similar coverage on your personal auto policy.
Call an Atlanta Rideshare Accident Attorney Today
Getting hit in any car accident is a traumatic experience, and negotiating or litigating the settlement of your claim can be a confusing and difficult process. When rideshare is involved, the situation only gets more complicated, not less. If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare car accident in Atlanta, call Durham Law Group at 404-845-3434 for a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced and successful Atlanta rideshare accident attorney.