Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have changed the way people get rides in Valdosta. While these services are very convenient, drivers are not perfect. Accidents can happen – with serious consequences.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident involving a rideshare driver, talk to John Foy & Associates. Our Valdosta personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation for your costs. You should not have to pay for the damages from an accident you didn’t cause.
Rideshare Drivers Aren’t Always Experienced
Unlike taxi drivers, ridesharing drivers do not need thorough training. The requirements to drive for mos rideshare companies are very basic:
- Minimum driving age for your city
- Having a valid driver’s license
- At least one year of licensed driving experience (or three years if under age 23) in the U.S.
- Having an eligible four-door vehicle
After someone signs up to drive, the rideshare company will do an online screening. The screening looks at the driver’s record and criminal history. As you can see, drivers can work for a rideshare company with very minimum qualifications.
The process is pretty simple, and it doesn’t take much to get approval. While many rideshare drivers are careful and competent, some might be inexperienced. Driver carelessness can easily lead to an accident. And if you suffered injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for the driver’s actions. You might deserve financial compensation for your damages.
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How Insurance Covers Rideshare Accidents
Georgia is a fault state that has a modified comparative negligence rule under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33. In short, that means the responsible person in an accident should pay the costs. All drivers should carry auto insurance that covers them if they cause an accident.
With ridesharing accidents, insurance is more complicated. Uber and Lyft do provide insurance for their drivers, but only in specific situations. Here’s how and when insurance should cover your accident if you weren’t at fault.
Driver’s Personal Coverage
There are three ways insurance might cover a rideshare accident. Ridesharing drivers use their personal vehicles when transporting passengers. So, there will be times when the driver is “off the clock.”
When a driver signed out of their driver app, the driver’s own insurance applies. Drivers must carry the minimum auto insurance requirements for their state. In Georgia, drivers must have at least:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability per accident
If a rideshare driver caused your accident while they were not working, the driver’s insurance applies. You will need to file a claim with that insurance company.
Third-Party Liability Insurance
Sometimes, drivers are signed in to the app but haven’t accepted a ride request yet. During this in-between period, rideshare companies may provide some coverage. However, the driver’s insurance applies first.
Many times, an insurance company won’t cover an accident that happens while working for a rideshare. If the driver’s insurer doesn’t cover the accident, the company will provide:
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability per accident
You might need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance or the ridesharing company’s insurance after your accident. If you’re not sure what’s right, our Valdosta rideshare accident lawyers can help.
Full Coverage from the Rideshare Company
Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber provide full coverage if the driver is picking up or transporting passengers. Both companies provide $1 million in liability for accidents. However, that doesn’t mean getting full compensation will be simple.
Comprehensive insurance policies often mean aggressive insurance agents. The insurer will fight to protect their money. Uber and Lyft might also doubt your injuries or question your damages. It’s best to prepare yourself with strong legal assistance.
Suing a Rideshare Company for Your Accident
You might wonder if you can bring a lawsuit against the company after an accident. Unfortunately, suing a large rideshare company is very difficult. Since drivers are independent contractors instead of employees, the company can avoid liability in most cases.
There are situations where you might have a lawsuit, though. The company could be responsible if it:
- Engaged in illegal hiring practices
- Did not provide adequate insurance policies
- Has an insurance company that refuses to pay legally
Talk to our team if you think the company might be at fault. They may try to deny liability through drivers’ hiring statuses. However, you could still have a valid case. Reach out to our rideshare accident attorneys in Valdosta today to learn the details.
Damages You Might Recover in a Rideshare Accident
If you did not cause your accident, you have legal rights. As the accident victim, you can seek compensation for your damages. Personal injury damages are the losses that result from your accident injuries. Here are some common damages from car accidents.
Car accident injuries can be severe. As you get treatment, you might have expenses like:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Future or ongoing treatment
- Physical therapy
- Assistive medical equipment
Keep track of all your treatment costs. You will need to include each damage in your claim. If you will need ongoing care, we can help account for those future costs in your claim.
Car accidents often impact a victim’s work. Whether temporarily or permanently, your income can take a hit. The insurance company should compensate you for these lost wages.
Sometimes, accident injuries prevent you from working as you could before. For example, you might have to switch to part-time or take on a lower-paying job. If so, you can claim this as lost earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
A car accident can impact your mental and emotional health, too. You can claim non-economic damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
Tragically, many accidents result in death. If you lost a loved one, contact us today. We can determine if you have a wrongful death claim that might help you and your family.
Statute of Limitations for Rideshare Accidents in Georgia
Rideshare accidents have a two-year statute of limitations under OCGA § 9-3-33. Even though two years may seem like a long time to file your claim, don’t take that as a sign to use up the entirety of that time. The best way to get fair compensation is to file your claim as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh.
Many people who wait too long to file their claims have to fight an even harder uphill legal battle to win the compensation they deserve. Don’t find yourself in this situation. After you get medical treatment, always seek help from one of our lawyers and get started with filing your claim today.
Contact Our Valdosta Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyers to Seek Compensation
Rideshare accidents can be complicated. Thankfully, our team at John Foy & Associates is well-versed in these types of cases. Our rideshare accident lawyers in Valdosta can review your situation and determine your best legal options.
With over 20 years of experience, we know what it takes to win cases. Reach out today for a free consultation. There is no charge unless we win you money. Call us or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are available 24/7.