Uber and Lyft Accidents
Ever since Uber was introduced in 2009, ride-sharing has become an inexpensive and popular option for transportation. Lyft joined the party in 2015 and operates in 65 cities. Georgia has over 5,000 Uber drivers, with Atlanta ranking in the top five for cities with the best ride sharing environment.
I’ve Been in an Accident with an Uber or Lyft Driver
With this new form of ride-sharing, comes new laws and ways of understanding what to do after an accident. If you have been in an accident that involves an Uber or Lyft driver, contact the police immediately. The formal report is important because some people’s versions of what happened may change over time. You should also take as many notes and photos as possible for additional documentation.
The Uber or Lyft driver will need to contact their company immediately. You should not talk to a company representative or insurance company until you have an attorney present. You’ll need to talk to an insurance representative eventually, but it’s important to have an attorney’s guidance as you might have more rights than you think.
How is an accident with Uber or Lyft different from other types of accidents?
Ride-sharing accidents involve multiple insurance policies- driver’s insurance, company insurance, your insurance, etc.
These accidents are similar in that injuries may not always be immediately apparent. A company of this magnitude will want to settle quickly, but once you settle, you no longer have the right to receive any further compensation. Do not be wooed or flustered into settling for less than you deserve by the company.
Who is the responsible party?
The responsible party will always be the at-fault party in any accident situation. However, proving fault can be tricky. If you were the passenger in an accident, you are not at fault and should be able to recover your damages. Uber and Lyft clearly state their insurance policies on their websites and each driver should have personal insurance and be covered by company insurance policies.
Lyft clearly states their insurance policies on their website, with amounts that differ based on if a ride was in session or if the driver was in between rides. Uber carries insurance on a ride from the minute the driver accepts the ride to the minute they conclude the trip. If a driver is driving an UberBlack, UberSUV or UberTaxi, they are covered by the commercial partner’s insurance policy.
I was driving and hit by an Uber or Lyft driver
If you were driving and hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, that party is responsible. However, in Georgia, you must be able to prove that the party was more than half responsible for the accident. This is a complicated process and it’s important to have a lawyer’s assistance.
According to Georgia law, if the company driver had no passengers at the time of the accident, but had accepted a fare, the company will still have to cover the damages.
How does someone become an Uber or Lyft driver?
Unlike commercial truck and bus drivers, drivers for Uber and Lyft are not required to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. A driver must be at least 21 years old and have a car that meets specific standards. They are not required to have fingerprints, physical exams or extra training in order to become a driver for either company.
Recovering Damages from an Uber or Lyft Accident
These types of accidents do not differ from any other personal injury accident in that you are entitled to recovery for any necessary and reasonable damages. These damages can include medical costs, lost wages or pain and suffering. If the driver is criminally at fault (example- he was driving drunk), you will also be allowed to ask for punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the driver for breaking the law and go above and beyond your costs of the accident.
Seeking Legal Help
Accidents that involve a ride-sharing service are complicated and frustrating. Let us take on that burden so that you can focus on healing. With over 90 years of experience to bring to the case, the attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill are ready to help you earn what you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation.