Rideshare vehicles are especially important in Athens, where many residents are students. The drivers perform an important role in the region’s transportation, but it is not without its own drawbacks and costs. The rideshare system can be dangerous for both passengers and other drivers on the road.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in an Uber or Lyft accident, The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney can help. Our Athens Uber accident lawyer can offer you a free consultation — contact us at 770-626-7895 or online to start your case review.
Why Uber and Lyft Vehicles Can Be Dangerous
There are many things that are unsafe about the rideshare accident system:
- Many Uber and Lyft drivers are transporting passengers as a side hustle, meaning that they can be tired while working a second job.
- Uber and Lyft will put a driver out on the road too quickly with minimal checks and training. Private drivers may not have the necessary safety training.
- Rideshare drivers make very little, meaning that they can be tempted to speed and cut corners to give more rides. They may even forgo necessary maintenance on their car to keep it on the road.
- Uber and Lyft drivers can have their eyes glued to the app, both to accept ride requests and to guide them in where they are going.
All of these factors have resulted in an uptick in car accidents and traffic fatalities. For every rideshare car accident fatality, countless more people suffered an injury. Uber and Lyft earn profits and commissions while they impose risk on passengers and motorists in accidents.
Insurance Coverage in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are filing a claim against the rideshare driver’s insurance because they were at fault, the rules can be complicated. There are three potential levels of insurance coverage:
- There is the most coverage when the driver has a passenger in the car or has accepted a ride request over the app. Then, there is $1 million of coverage per accident (not per plaintiff).
- If the driver has the app on, but they have no passenger or accepted ride request, there is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- If the app is off, the driver will rely on their own personal auto insurance coverage to pay a claim.
You will need an attorney to help get to the bottom of both the cause of the accident and which insurance coverage applies to your claim.
Unfortunately, you cannot file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft for the accident. They have devised a system where they largely get to avoid responsibility for what their drivers do, even though they collect a guaranteed commission on every ride. By calling their drivers “independent contractors,” they escape the possibility of lawsuits after an accident.
Who May File a Claim After a Rideshare Accident?
Those who have suffered an injury in a rideshare accident may be entitled to financial compensation. There are several potential plaintiffs in an Uber or Lyft accident case:
- The passenger of the rideshare vehicle can file a claim against the policy of whichever driver was responsible for the crash.
- The driver of the other can file a claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurance when the rideshare driver was at fault for the crash.
You Will Need to Fight to Maximize Your Financial Compensation
Just because the insurance coverage is available does not mean that the insurance company will gladly pay you the full damages that you have suffered in the accident. There is a mutually beneficial relationship between rideshare and insurance companies that help both of them to profit at your expense. The rideshare companies offload their risk, and the insurance providers try to underpay claims to pad their own profits.
You will need to fight for every dollar that you deserve in a rideshare accident claim. Your accident settlement should include the following:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of life
- loss of consortium damages for a partner
- emotional distress
You may need to go through a lengthy negotiation process once you file a claim. The insurance company will almost certainly make you a low settlement offer at first. It is up to you to know how much your claim is worth and reject an offer that does not pay you enough. Your rideshare accident attorney knows both the value of your claim and how to stand up to the insurance company.
Contact an Athens Uber Accident Lawyer Today
At The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys, we are deeply familiar with rideshare, Lyft and Uber accident claims and can guide you through this complex system to financial compensation. If you have suffered an injury in a rideshare accident, you should contact an experienced Athens Uber accident lawyer today to begin the legal process.
Rideshare Accident Case FAQs
Can I ever sue Uber or Lyft?
You cannot sue for a car accident, but you can file a lawsuit for failing to properly check the driver’s background when you have been harmed.
How do I know which driver was responsible for the crash?
Your lawyer will investigate the accident and build the necessary proof to show who was liable.
What if I was driving and the policy was enough to pay my damages?
You can then file a claim against your own car insurance policy and your underinsured motorist coverage. Your own insurance company may also be difficult and try to underpay the claim.