Every time you get into a Lyft or Uber, you’re putting your life in a stranger’s hands.
There’s no way to vet your driver before stepping into the car. You have no idea if they’re a capable driver or if they’re under the influence.
The potential danger you’re in is a scary thought. But, using a rideshare app has become a normal, often necessary, part of life. In fact, in 2017 alone, 23 million people took a Lyft ride.
Unfortunately, there’s no solution to this problem. The only thing you can do is hope you don’t get into an accident.
If that does happen, you do have legal recourse. When rideshare drivers accept this job, they are also taking responsibility for other people’s wellbeing. If they don’t take that seriously, they should be held accountable.
Have you been in an Uber accident in Atlanta or want to be prepared if that happens in the future? Then read on to learn about your options and what to do next.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft?
After getting into an accident at the hands of a rideshare driver, your first thought would be to sue the company directly. They have plenty of money to spare after all.
Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft have covered their bases, making it next to impossible to sue them.
These companies hire their drivers as independent contractors. This doesn’t do any favors for their drivers or their customers. But, it works out well for them!
Because their drivers are contractors, they aren’t directly liable for them causing an accident.
The only responsibility that’s on Uber and Lyft is to hire qualified people. If you can prove that there was negligence in the hiring of your driver, you might have a case.
For example, if it turns out that the driver had a history of DUI’s and they hired him anyway. This is a longshot though.
All is not lost, though. If you do get into an accident with a driver, it’s not just between you and the contractor.
Uber’s Insurance Policy
Though they are independent contractors, you won’t be compensated through the driver’s personal insurance.
You would still have to sue the driver instead of the company. However, the driver is covered for up to one million dollars through Uber’s insurance.
In the event that the accident is the fault of another driver, not the Lyft or Uber driver, you’re also covered. Uber also has a one million dollar insurance plan to cover underinsured motorists.
What if you’re injured by an Uber driver when you’re not a passenger? You still might have some legal recourse.
Legal Recourse if You Weren’t a Passenger
Uber’s insurance policy doesn’t cover their drivers for up to a million dollars whenever they’re behind the wheel. Sometimes they don’t even cover them for that much when they’re on the clock!
If you’re hit in your car or as a pedestrian by an Uber driver, the amount they will cover depends on the situation.
Lyft and Uber’s Insurance Tiers
When a driver is in “drive mode” on their Uber or Lyft app, they’re on company time. If they’ve turned off the app, you’ll be dealing with their personal insurance. That’s true even if they hit you driving away from dropping off a passenger.
But just because they’re on the clock, doesn’t mean you’ll be covered for a million dollars. If the accident occurs and they don’t have a passenger in the car, you’d still be going through the driver’s personal insurance.
However, Uber will add $50,000 per person for bodily injury. The catch is that they will only cover up to two people. Uber will also add an additional $25,000 in property damage.
The last possibility is the driver doesn’t have a passenger, but they have accepted a ride and they’re on the way to pick them up. In that case, the coverage will be up to a million dollars.
What to Do Directly After a Crash
Whether you’re a passenger, a pedestrian or in another car, your next steps should be the same as any other crash.
Take pictures of any damage. Try to commit to memory details of the crash.
After that, keep a close record of any medical bills and take pictures of visible injuries. These materials can help you in court later. You should also hire a personal injury lawyer.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Whether you’re in a car crash with a rideshare driver or not, insurance companies will try to give you the smallest payout possible. If you try to file this claim on your own, they’ll take advantage of you.
If you’ve been in an accident with a driver who was on the clock but without a passenger, you’ll be dealing with two insurance companies. Both their personal insurance and the rideshare’s insurance. That’s a lot to juggle for someone who isn’t a lawyer.
Plus, despite all the money they have, Uber and Lyft won’t just pay you what you’re owed so they can be done with it. They’re very litigious, and if they can weasel their way out of ponying up, they will. You need someone who knows what they’re doing to have your back.
Finally, if there is a possibility that you might have a case for suing the company for negligence, you’ll definitely want a lawyer. They can tell you if there’s something there.
If there is, they can immediately start mounting a team to take on these titans. There will be a long road ahead, but someone should hold them accountable.
Uber Accidents in Atlanta
Even the most competent rideshare driver can get into an accident. They are called accidents, after all! But if you’ve been injured, you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
Have you been in an Uber accident in Atlanta and need representation? Then contact our team today to discuss your options.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.