Many people in Smyrna use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. When you get into one of these vehicles, you expect the driver to keep you safe. But if you’ve been in a rideshare accident, you might wonder where to turn. Thankfully, a Smyrna personal injury lawyer can help.
If you suffered injuries in a rideshare accident, you have rights. You might be entitled to financial recovery. To learn more, speak with an experienced lawyer at John Foy & Associates.
We have been helping accident victims for 20-plus years. Our attorneys know what it takes to win. Plus, we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Call our number today or contact us online to schedule a FREE consultation.
Common Types of Rideshare Accidents in Smyrna
Rideshare accidents can happen like other car accidents. You could have injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening, no matter the type. Some of the most common rideshare crashes we see include:
- Rear-end accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Distracted driving accidents
- Texting while driving crashes
- Speeding accidents
To work for Uber or Lyft, drivers must use an app. The app makes the service convenient, but it can be a hazard. If the driver becomes too distracted by their phone, they can crash.
When you get into a rideshare vehicle, you expect a safe ride. However, accidents sometimes happen. If a rideshare accident left you injured, you shouldn’t have to pay.
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Why Uber and Lyft Accidents Happen
Car accidents happen because of negligence. Another word for negligence is carelessness. Here’s a legal explanation:
- All drivers in Smyrna owe a “duty of care.“ They must drive carefully to avoid harming others.
- When a driver fails in their duty, the law calls it negligence. Georgia Code Section 51-1-2 covers the definition of negligence.
- Negligence is a critical factor in a car accident. The at-fault party has been negligent.
- When someone’s negligence causes a crash, that person is responsible for the damages. As an accident victim, you can seek financial recovery.
You will need to prove who was negligent in your accident. Most of the time, it’s the Uber or Lyft driver. But the at-fault party can also be:
- The Lyft or Uber companies
- Another driver
- Vehicle manufacturers
Sometimes, an accident happens because of car defects. If a defective part caused your accident, the manufacturer could be at fault. A maintenance person could also be responsible.
If the at-fault party is not the rideshare driver, it’s likely another driver. In rare circumstances, Lyft or Uber could be responsible. However, bringing a case against one of these companies is difficult.
Rideshare Accident Cases Are Complicated
Uber and Lyft accidents are more complex than regular car accidents. Your legal options will depend on the rideshare driver’s status at the crash.
- If the driver caused the accident while they were “on the clock,” Uber or Lyft might cover it. However, the company’s insurance might only apply if the driver’s insurance doesn’t.
- If the driver caused the crash before accepting a ride, the above applies but with less company coverage.
- If the driver was “off the clock” and caused an accident, the driver’s insurance applies.
If another driver was at fault, that driver’s insurance applies. You will need to know how these details affect your accident. You might need to file a claim with more than one insurer.
Suing for Your Accident Damages
Insurance companies often offer a lowball settlement on an accident claim. If this happens to you, contact a lawyer immediately. Do not accept the first offer. The first settlement offer won’t cover your total damages.
Most of the time, an experienced rideshare accident lawyer in Smyrna will be able to negotiate a fair settlement. In rare cases, you might need to sue. If this happens, you’ll get paid what you need.
You typically can’t sue Lyft or Uber as companies. That’s because their drivers work as independent contractors. However, you can probably sue the Lyft or Uber driver.
The Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
If you file an injury claim, the insurance company will try to pay you less. It might use tactics like:
- Downplaying your injuries
- Blaming you for the accident
- Doubting your injuries
- Using something you say against you
- Trying to offer you a lowball settlement
Be very careful about any communication with the insurance company. Also, do not accept a settlement or sign anything without a lawyer. The good news is that your lawyer can handle it for you.
Your lawyer can handle the legal details while you focus on healing. Smyrna rideshare accident attorneys know how to communicate with insurance companies. They can also negotiate to try and get a fair settlement.
Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Injuries
Rideshare accident injuries can range from minor to extreme. Unfortunately, some accidents even cause death. Examples of injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Cuts and lacerations
- Strains and sprains
- Internal organ damage
Common Injuries from Rideshare Accidents
Anyone is susceptible to rideshare accidents and injuries. Pedestrians and bicyclists are especially vulnerable, though. If a rideshare driver hits them, riders, other drivers, and passengers in the other vehicle have more protection than pedestrians and bicyclists.
Severe accidents at high speeds can lead to lifelong complications and even disability. The most common examples of rideshare accident injuries include head and brain, fractures, neck and back, and more.
Head and Brain Injuries
These generally occur when an object hits or strikes an accident victim’s head upon impact. Furthermore, the force of the effects can lead to a brain injury when a sudden jolt to the head moves the brain around inside the skull. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, are concussions that typically lead to lifelong cognitive function and motor skills struggles.
Some brain injury victims experience personality changes and have trouble with their vision, hearing, and other senses.
Serious rideshare accidents can lead to numerous fractures, especially if the rider is underneath the seat. Broken bones are not always serious injuries; they can be severe depending on the accident. Accident victims who sustain many broken bones will often need reconstructive surgery.
Surgery may fix the worst part of it, but there are still some lingering effects. Victims may experience pain and arthritis for decades after the accident.
Neck and Back Injuries
Anyone who suffers from these injuries- will say that it is some of the most painful and costly. Fractured vertebrae and slipped or herniated discs in the spine cause debilitating pain for others. In worst-case scenarios, pieces of bone from broken vertebrae can lodge into the spinal cord.
This can cause permanent damage or even partial or complete paralysis. The extent of the injuries depends on the location. Minor sprains and strains will heal on their own but be careful with severe injuries because they might need surgery, and the victims often require a strict pain management regimen for life.
Amputations and Crushed Limbs
These injuries are most likely to occur to drivers or backseat passengers during a rideshare accident. Be mindful that rideshare accidents can result in the loss of an arm or leg because those body parts have a higher chance of crushing under the steering column or seat. If doctors cannot restore lost blood flow to the crushed limbs by chance, amputation is forthcoming. Amputees must then learn to cope with their loss on a physical and emotional level for the remainder of their life.
Who Pays for Medical Bills?
If you are a registered driver in Georgia, you must carry a minimum amount of insurance. The idea behind this is not only to protect you and your assets but other drivers on the road. A failure to provide proof of insurance can have severe consequences for anyone.
While Georgia does not require drivers to have personal injury protection, it isn’t a bad idea to consider it. However, to remain legal on the road, drivers must have the following types of insurance:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance: $25,000 per accident
Lacking any of these limits can result in some hefty penalties. Suppose the police report or other investigation reveals that the rideshare driver is not at fault. The rideshare company does carry insurance, though, usually a high liability coverage of up to $1 million through a third-party liability insurance company.
The coverage serves to reimburse the injured person for damages if there is an accident. In that case, the injured party will likely be looking to recover damages, compensation, or reimbursement for medical bills from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Can the Injured Party Sue a Rideshare Company After One of Their Drivers Causes an Accident?
It isn’t always easy to choose who to name in a lawsuit after a rideshare accident. Many parties make it difficult to determine liability and the driver’s status also determines the extent to which the rideshare company may be liable for injuries. In addition, rideshare drivers are not employees; they are relatively independent contractors.
The labor agreement offers protection to rideshare companies from lawsuits concerning the accident their drivers may or may not cause. Consider the following situations where the rideshare company may be partially or fully at fault for an accident:
- The rideshare company did perform a comprehensive criminal background check and driver history.
- The rideshare company ignores negative information from a background check.
- The rideshare company does not take the appropriate course of action to suspend or fire the driver who has previous accidents or traffic violations on their record.
If Another Driver Causes a Rideshare Accident, Can the Injured Party Still Sue the Rideshare Driver or Company?
It is always best to consult with one of our quality attorneys about who is to blame for an accident. The facts of the case can influence whoever ends up being responsible. Once a rideshare accident victim files a claim, they go after the party who caused the accident, even if it is a driver in another vehicle.
What Is the Limit on How Long You Have to Take Legal Action after a Rideshare Accident?
Depending on the individual’s state, the time frame can vary. For the most part, it is anywhere from two to four years. Additionally, family members can bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit if they lose a loved one in a rideshare accident. Generally, that type of lawsuit has a time limit of two years.
However, keep in mind that courts strictly comply with the statute of limitations, so it is best to contact one of us immediately. It would be awful to miss out on the opportunity to recover damages for injuries or losses.
Injured clients have nothing to worry about other than healing. We take on the heavy lifting of the case. Our rideshare accident lawyers are up for the task, help you through the legal process and stop at nothing until we meet the standards of justice. Clients can rest easy knowing that we put our best foot forward.
You will need to prove these injuries in your claim. You’ll also need to determine what they’ve cost you. Keep track of all medical records and bills. If you have questions, contact your lawyer.
No matter what injuries you have, you could have a case. Talk to a lawyer today about getting the recovery you deserve.
Talk to a Rideshare Accident Attorney in Smyrna for Free Today
If a Lyft or Uber accident injured you, John Foy & Associates could help. During your FREE consultation, we’ll discuss your accident and legal options. We’ll listen carefully to your concerns and answer your questions.
Working with us is risk-free for you. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. You don’t have to worry about upfront costs to get started. Call us to schedule your FREE consultation today or contact us online.