Ever since Uber began in 2009, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become a popular method of transportation offering more convenience, transparency, and affordability over traditional taxi cabs. Lyft launched in 2015, and is growing very quickly, with the Atlanta area ranking 5th in the list of best cities for ridesharing – and that means accidents, and a greater need for Uber accident lawyers. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, there are over 5,000 Uber drivers in Georgia today, and more Uber and Lyft drivers on the roads mean more accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers. If you have been involved in an accident involving a ride sharing service, you will find that cases like these are not as straightforward as a simple car accident between two citizens, or even an accident with a taxi cab. The laws governing ride-sharing services are new, and the cases are complicated. For these reasons, you need to contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer right away to help you navigate the difficult and complicated legal landscape of Lyft and Uber accidents in Georgia. The attorneys at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb are here to help you.
First, if you are in any kind of vehicle accident, the first thing you should do is call the police right away, and, if anyone is injured and needs medical attention, an ambulance should be called as a precaution. The police will investigate the accident scene, interview those involved and witnesses, and will draw up a formal report of the accident that will serve as the official record. In any accident, accounts will vary based on the point of view of those involved, and as time passes. While you are there, write down the make and model of the vehicles in the accident, and the license number and name of the other driver. Since nearly everyone carries a camera with them now on their smartphones, we encourage you to take plenty of photos of the scene while you are there. Make sure to note the condition of the Uber or Lyft driver, whether you were the passenger or in another vehicle. If he or she was driving recklessly, this could have an impact on the liable parties in your Uber or Lyft accident case.
Drivers for Uber or Lyft who have had an accident while on duty should contact the company they drive for right away. However, no matter what your situation, if you are involved in a ride sharing accident, do not speak directly to any insurance companies or representatives without first consulting an experienced Uber accident lawyer. This is for your own protection, because you may have more rights than you realize. Uber and Lyft hold one million dollar insurance policies on their drivers while they are on active duty, so don’t let insurance companies fool you into thinking they are anything rather than multi-billion dollar companies looking to protect their own interests, and they are willing to exploit anyone who isn’t well versed in the law to do so. Anything that you say to the insurance company will be either recorded or taken down in a memo, so it is best to not even talk to them before consulting a Lyft accident lawyer like one of the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb.
In any kind of accident, the responsible party is always the one proven to be at fault in the auto accident. However, as in any kind of accident, proving fault can be difficult. If you were a passenger in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, then clearly you are not at fault for anything, and you should be entitled to damages from the accident – the question, then, becomes ‘whose insurance will pay for it?’
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry their own personal insurance policies, and they are also covered by corporate insurance while they are on duty. While the Uber or Lyft driver is driving alone, not on their way to pick up a fare, their own personal insurance is the coverage which should be responsible. Uber and Lyft provide some liability coverage for drivers who are on duty and on their way to pick up a passenger, and while the passenger is in the vehicle, $1 million in liability coverage is provided by both Uber and Lyft.
Unfortunately, in the case that the Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance is either partially or wholly responsible for damage payments, sometimes the company will refuse to pay, as operating the vehicle as a commercial service invalidates the policy. This isn’t clear to the driver when they purchase the insurance and has become a concern in recent Uber and Lyft accident cases. In fact, as a result of these difficulties, some insurance companies like Geico are now offering insurance policies specifically intended for Uber or Lyft drivers – a trend we are likely to see more of as ride sharing accident cases become more common. Since the insurance landscape is actively evolving and the laws around ride sharing accidents are still being interpreted by judges, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible if you find yourself involved in such an accident.
If an Uber or Lyft vehicle strikes your car and is at fault in the accident, then that driver is responsible. As mentioned, Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry personal insurance policies in addition to the corporate insurance provided by the ride sharing companies while the drivers are actively transporting passengers.
In Georgia, however, it is necessary to prove that the responsible party is greater than 50% responsible for the accident – and this can sometimes be difficult, especially when dealing with insurance companies of the caliber of those used by Uber and Lyft. Don’t try to manage your accident case on your own – contact an Uber accident lawyer today like those at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb.
Uber and Lyft drivers use the same standard driver’s license as any other commuter on the roads – they are not required to have a commercial license. The only requirements are that the driver is over the age of 21, having a vehicle that meets certain standards, at least a minimum level of liability insurance coverage on the vehicle they drive. They are not required to pass any kind of examination and are not given any additional training. In Georgia, all ride-sharing drivers are subject to a background examination, and a history of moving violations or other driving-related offenses can preclude a driver from qualifying.
Unless you retain the services of an Uber accident lawyer like those at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb, you will find yourself at the mercy of a very large, and very sophisticated multi-billion dollar insurance company that cares far more about its bottom line than your own well-being. They will work to delay payments, offer smaller settlements, and will often lull you into believing that their offer is the best you are capable of getting given your situation. Many people who are involved in an accident are eager to take the quick settlement simply in order to put the accident behind them – and understandably so. However, if an insurance company knows that you have retained a lawyer, they will look at these cases very differently. That is one of the best reason to retain an experienced fighter like Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb after any kind of accident – but particularly those involving ride-sharing companies like Lyft or Uber – to consult a Lyft accident lawyer before speaking to any insurance representatives. Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb will fight the companies, so you don’t have to after being injured in an accident.
Uber, Lyft, and their drivers owe to their passengers a standard of care. This includes a reasonable expectation on the passenger’s part that their Uber driver will drive safely and responsibly. When an Uber or Lyft driver neglects this responsibility due to impairment, distraction, or mere carelessness, and causes an accident, as a passenger, you have the right to pursue compensation. As in any other kind of vehicle accident, Uber accidents are focused on negligence, whether the fault lies in driver error, a manufacturer or technician error in a vehicle part, or negligence on the part of the ride-sharing company itself.
Uber’s drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees, in a structure that is similar to taxi companies. This means that if an Uber or Lyft driver is the cause of an accident, it seems that the victims are only able to hold the driver responsible, rather than the company itself. However, recent cases in this regard have found that for legal purposes, depending upon the level of control that Uber or Lyft has over its drivers, they can be legally interpreted as employees rather than independent contractors – meaning that the company itself is responsible for their actions.
The hiring practices at Uber and Lyft are, as mentioned, rather lax, particularly when compared to more traditional taxi drivers. Uber checks into the last seven years of a driver’s history, largely for driving-related offenses, and does not meet its drivers before allowing them to become drivers. Due to these practices, there have been cases where an Uber or Lyft driver was not a responsible citizen, and should never have been allowed to drive a commercial ride-sharing vehicle. For example, if you are in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver who was impaired by drugs or alcohol, it is possible that the company itself could be held responsible due to their lax hiring processes.
No matter what your situation, if you were in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, we urge you to consult one of our Uber accident lawyers at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb. Our lawyers are ready to fight for your rights today. We won’t back away from the fight no matter who you are facing!
As in any kind of vehicle accident, victims who are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident may be entitled to recover damages including medical costs, lost wages, and others. If you are able to bring a successful claim against Lyft, Uber, or the driver for the accident, a judge may award you damages to cover your losses. Moreover, in the case that the driver was impaired or otherwise criminally negligent, you may be able to recover punitive damages as well.
The best course of action in getting compensation after a Lyft or Uber accident is with the service of an experienced and knowledgeable Uber accident lawyer. With the help of the Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb, you will have a much higher probability of seeking and recovering damages including awards to cover:
The Uber accident lawyers at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb are ready to help you fight Uber, Lyft, and their respective insurance companies. If you have been in an accident involving a ride-sharing vehicle, whether you were a passenger or a driver or passenger in another vehicle, contact us right away. Our experienced legal team is well versed in legal precedent involving Uber and Lyft cases, and are ready to help you get the damages that you deserve. Don’t speak to any insurance company representative until you consult with one of our Uber accident lawyers – you’ve already been taken for one ride, don’t let the insurance company take you for another. Get the aggressive team at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb to defend you.