We can see ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft in cities like Johns Creek these days. With a few clicks on an app, you can call for a driver from just about anywhere. While this is a convenient new way to travel, auto accidents can happen. If you or someone you love was injured in this way, a Johns Creek personal injury attorney can help.
You may be eligible for financial recovery after your accident. At John Foy & Associates, we can look at the details of your accident and let you know your options with our free case consultation. We also will not charge you unless you receive money in your case.
Why Rideshare Accidents Happen in Johns Creek
Uber and Lyft accidents can occur for many of the same reasons other car accidents happen, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Traffic violations
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving
Rideshare drivers may be more prone to distracted driving since they have to check their app when accepting and managing rides. The driver could also be tempted to check other apps on their phone, adjust the music in the vehicle, or get distracted during conversations with old or new passengers.
Yet not all rideshare accidents are the fault of the rideshare driver. Sometimes, another driver might be at fault for the accident. Some accidents will have multiple parties who are partially to blame for what occurred. No matter how the accident happened, if you were not at fault, you are likely entitled to compensation.
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How Fault Works in a Johns Creek Rideshare Accident
When an accident happens between two “regular” drivers, the insurance claim process depends upon which driver is at fault. For example:
- Driver A side-swipes Driver B and causes a rollover accident.
- Under Georgia law, Driver A is liable for the damages because they caused the accident.
- Driver B can file a personal injury claim with Driver A’s insurance company seeking recovery for their medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and more.
When an accident involves a ridesharing driver, the insurance process is a little more complicated. How a claim is handled will depend on the driver’s working status during the accident. This is less a question of fault and more about whose insurance we need to use.
When the Lyft or Uber Driver Is at Fault
The most common at-fault parties in a rideshare accident include the Lyft or Uber driver or another driver on the road. If the rideshare driver caused the accident, you may need to file a claim against the driver, the company they work for, or a combination of both.
When Another Driver Is at Fault
Sometimes, the rideshare driver was simply a victim of another driver’s actions. If the other driver was at-fault, you would pursue compensation from that driver’s insurance company.
Passengers are rarely ever at fault in car accidents, although there may be rare exceptions. If you were injured as a passenger in any vehicle during the accident, you could typically file a claim against the at-fault driver(s).
When the Rideshare Company Is at Fault
The rideshare company that hired the driver can also be at fault if they were negligent in the hiring or monitoring of one of their drivers. Under Georgia Code § 40-1-193, any rideshare service operating in Georgia must:
- Ensure that each of their contracted drivers has (and maintains) all required licenses or permits;
- Make sure each driver has a current private background check or for-hire license endorsement;
- Never tolerate the use of alcohol or drugs while performing ridesharing duties; and
- Provide state insurance coverage for personal injury liability, property damage liability, and personal injury protection liability benefits for drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and others.
If Lyft, Uber, or another ridesharing company fails to fulfill the requirements listed above and it contributes to an accident, we may hold them liable for the damages.
A Johns Creek rideshare accident lawyer can determine where the fault lies and how it applies to your legal rights. John Foy & Associates has been helping accident victims for over 25 years, and we know what it takes to win.
What to Do After a Ridesharing Accident in Johns Creek
If you are injured as another driver or a passenger in a ridesharing accident, it’s important to protect your legal rights from the beginning. The best course of action is to contact an experienced attorney, but there are other things you can do to build your case.
Call the Police
You should report any accident in Georgia if there are injuries, deaths, or $500 or more in property damage to at least one person (Georgia Code § 40-9-2). When you contact the police, officers should create an accident report detailing the crash.
This is important initial evidence for your case. It also helps prevent the other driver from making incorrect claims about the accident or fleeing the scene. So, call 911 and let authorities know you were injured in an accident.
Get Information from the Driver
If you were a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, ask for the following information from the driver:
- Full name
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance policy number
- Contact information
If you were another driver in the accident, exchange the above information with the ridesharing driver. It can also help to write the make, model, color, and license plate number of the at-fault driver’s vehicle.
To preserve the scene as well as possible, use your phone or a camera to take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage. This may act as vital evidence in your case.
Do Not Talk to the Driver’s Insurance Company
After the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might try to reach out to you. This could be either the driver’s personal insurance company or the ridesharing company’s insurer. Either way, be very wary of any communication with them.
The insurance adjuster will look for ways to offer you much less than you deserve, intimidate you, or trick you into saying something that might be used against you. To protect yourself, we recommend working with a lawyer as soon as possible. It’s especially important to avoid communicating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company before talking to a lawyer.
Where to File Your Rideshare Accident Claim
If the rideshare driver was responsible for your accident, you may need to file your insurance claim with the ridesharing company’s insurer, the driver’s personal auto insurer, or both. For example, Uber insurance coverage depends on how and when an accident happened.
Uber and Lyft have policies that are quite similar, so the following applies to both as of this writing. If you were in an accident and another rideshare company was involved, a rideshare accident lawyer in Johns Creek can investigate the specifics of coverage.
An “Off the Clock” Accident
If the rideshare driver is using their car for personal reasons and not currently using the app to pick up passengers, their own insurance would apply to an accident. The driver’s insurance coverage should meet at least the minimum in Georgia, which is:
- Bodily injury liability coverage for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage for $25,000 per accident
App Turned On, But No Ride Accepted
If the driver has their status set to available but they have not yet accepted a ride request, Uber and Lyft provide a low level of liability insurance. The driver’s insurance company would be responsible for the rest.
Ride Has Been Accepted
Once the driver accepts a ride through the app, Uber and Lyft provide a higher level of insurance coverage for the full time the passenger is in the vehicle.
Ridesharing companies are required to carry a $1 million liability policy in some states, including Georgia, but these policies handle liability claims that the driver’s insurer won’t cover.
They also don’t cover the rideshare driver’s vehicle, so the driver’s own insurance would be responsible for that.
When Both Insurance Policies Apply
In some situations, such as when a ridesharing driver is on the clock but has not yet accepted a passenger, a combination of insurance coverage might
apply after the driver causes an accident. Typically, the driver’s insurance will apply and the ridesharing company’s coverage will cover what the driver’s insurance can’t.
The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side
No matter where you file your claim after a rideshare accident in Johns Creek, keep in mind that the insurance company is not your friend.
Insurance adjusters (the people who investigate claims and determine how much the insurance company should pay for damages) are skilled at looking for ways
to reduce the company’s costs. They know that most accident victims are not fully aware of their rights or how to handle a claim.
Thankfully, having an experienced lawyer on your side levels the playing field and protects your legal rights. Your lawyer can handle the insurance company for you so that you can focus on healing and recovering.
Talk to a Johns Creek Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Don’t get stuck paying for the costs of an accident that was not your fault. Contact John Foy & Associates today to discuss your options during a FREE consultation. We have more than 25 years of experience working on personal injury cases, and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case for you.
To schedule your no-risk consultation today with a Johns Creek rideshare accident attorney, call us or contact us online. Remember, you do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case, and you’re under no obligation to use our services after your consultation.