Rideshare services are only becoming more popular nowadays as an increasing number of people turn to Uber, Lyft, or assorted other services to get them to and from destinations, and ridesharing is now becoming an even more popular way to get around than many forms of public transportation. While these services are convenient, people will be very confused if they happen to be involved in a motor vehicle accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
Passengers within Uber and Lyft vehicles usually have clear cases for financial compensation, but matters will become much more complicated when they involve other drivers in collisions with Uber and Lyft vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or other parties. If you suffered injuries in an Uber or Lyft crash, you want to quickly seek the help of an experienced Marietta rideshare accident lawyer so you can have the right assistance in determining how to file a legal claim.
Responsibility for Uber and Lyft Accidents
Many people involved in Uber and Lyft accidents prefer to believe that both being large companies means they have deep pockets to pay compensation in these cases, but Uber and Lyft both have specific rules about how much compensation they will ultimately pay. There are also state laws dictating when the companies share liability. Every case is going to depend on the status of an Uber or Lyft driver at the time of an accident.
Uber and Lyft both use the following policies:
- When an Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into the app — Rideshare drivers not carrying passengers and not available to pick up passengers must be logged out of the app. If rideshare drivers are not logged in to the app when they cause an accident, injury victims will have to go through a rideshare driver’s own personal insurance.
- When an Uber or Lyft driver is logged in but has no passengers — Uber and Lyft drivers that are logged into the app but do not have any passengers are considered on duty and a rideshare company’s insurance coverage will provide compensation for an accident victim’s injuries. Uber and Lyft both offer $50,000 per person for bodily injury and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury.
- When an Uber or Lyft driver is carrying a passenger — When Uber or Lyft drivers have passengers, Uber and Lyft both provide compensation of up to $1 million for accident victims.
Although these rules seem clear-cut, people should know that many rideshare companies do not play fair in their handling of these claims. A rideshare company could claim a driver was not logged in when they actually were, so a person will want to be sure they have an experienced lawyer who can get to the truth in these cases.
Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents
Uber and Lyft vehicles may get into accidents for similar reasons that others cause car accidents. Some common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
- Inclement weather
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Failure to abide by traffic lights or signs
- Improper merging
- Improper passing
What You Should Do After an Uber and Lyft Accident
Anyone involved in an Uber or Lyft accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of whether they think they were hurt. Always visit a hospital to have a medical professional review your condition and determine the appropriate level of care.
You should also call 911 to report any accident. It is also recommended that people take photographs or videos of their crash scenes.
It can also be beneficial to seek contact information for any witnesses to a crash. The last step will be to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Compensation for Uber and Lyft Accidents
Georgia is known as a modified comparative fault state, which means that a negligent party needs to be 51 percent or more responsible for an accident. People involved in Uber and Lyft accidents can be entitled to multiple kinds of compensatory damages.
Special damages or economic damages will be actual financial losses or expenses that are easier to calculate. Examples of special damages include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Funeral costs
General damages or noneconomic damages are losses for concerns without financial value. Examples of these damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
Under comparative fault in Georgia, a person’s award can be reduced by their share of negligence in connection with an accident as well. This means a person who receives $100,000 for an Uber or Lyft accident in which they were 35 percent at fault would have their award reduced by $35,000 and ultimately receive $65,000.
Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1 further provides that punitive damages, vindictive damages, or exemplary damages can be awarded in tort actions where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences. Such awards are not intended to be compensation but punishments for defendants, and Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1(g) limits punitive damages to a maximum of $250,000.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH OUR MARIETTA ACCIDENT LAWYERS
If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in an Uber or Lyft accident in Georgia, do not wait to seek legal help so you can recover everything you are entitled to. Spaulding Injury Law has an extensive background in motor vehicle accident claims, so we are prepared to help people recover as much as possible in these cases.
Our firm will be able to conduct our own independent investigation into your crash to determine fault and will be able to prove your case in court. You can call (770) 744-0890 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Marietta Law Office
1000 Parkwood Circle Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our attorneys.
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