A death from any car accident is a tragedy that no one ever wishes to experience. However, it, unfortunately, can happen—and when it does, the victim’s family has a right to financial recovery. In Georgia, the person who caused the accident would be responsible for all costs, including those related to a wrongful death. But what if the crash involved an Uber driver? Who is responsible for damages now faced by all victims—including the deceased’s close family members?
In this article, we’ll explore what sets a fatal Uber accident apart from a “normal” car accident when it comes to who’s at fault.
How Does Fault Work When Someone Is Killed in an Accident?
Under Georgia law, anyone injured in a car accident, including an accident with an Uber driver, is legally entitled to seek financial recovery from the person who caused the accident (also known as being “at fault). Because Georgia is a fault state, the at-fault person is liable for all costs from the accident. If the at-fault person has auto insurance, their insurance company will be responsible for covering those costs.
Costs a victim can make an insurance claim for include:
- Medical costs like hospital and doctor bills and prescription medications
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault person is suspected of willfully acting recklessly, such as with a drunk driving accident
If the victim is killed in a car accident, it becomes a wrongful death case, which means someone has lost their life because of someone else’s fault, recklessness, or negligence. Certain family members can make a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person. If the victim was married, that person would be their spouse. Otherwise, typically the victim’s children can make the claim.
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Who Is At Fault in an Uber Accident Where Someone Dies?
Just like with any car accident, in an Uber-related accident, the person who caused the accident is considered to be at fault. Most of the time, this person is either the Uber driver or the other driver.
Many times, it’s clear who caused a fatal accident, while other times it’s not as straightforward. But when an accident is serious enough to be fatal, typically one driver was acting extremely negligent. Negligence means the accident may not have happened if the driver was more careful or cautious.
Many factors are considered when determining fault in a fatal collision with an Uber vehicle including the police report of the accident and medical records. Since insurance companies are usually responsible for covering the costs of the deceased, the victim’s family will need to collect evidence and submit a claim to the at-fault person’s insurance company. (A personal injury lawyer can help with this.)
In the case of an Uber accident, this depends on who was at fault and the location of the victim when the collision happened.
When the Uber Driver Is at Fault and ON the Clock
The insurance process for Uber drivers depends on whether the Uber driver was “on” or “off” the clock. If the Uber driver has their app turned “on” to accept rides and is carrying a passenger, they are fully covered by Uber’s insurance policy, which covers:
- $1 million in liability insurance
- $1 million in property damage
If the Uber driver is at fault, this would apply whether the victim was a passenger in the Uber’s car or in the other car.
When the Uber Driver is At Fault and Between Fares
If the Uber driver has their app “on” for receiving rides but is not carrying a passenger when an accident occurs, the driver’s own insurance policy would likely apply plus contingency insurance provided by Uber.
In Georgia, Uber drivers are required to carry:
- $25,000 liability insurance per person
- $50,000 liability insurance per accident
- $25,000 property damage insurance
If the Uber Driver Is At Fault and OFF the Clock
In this situation, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance would be fully responsible for the wrongful death claim.
If the Uber Driver Is NOT At Fault
The above is assuming the Uber driver is found to be at fault, but what if the other driver is at fault instead? Whether the deceased person was in the Uber or the other driver’s vehicle, as a driver or a passenger, the at-fault other driver’s insurance would be responsible for paying damages.
It’s also important to note that Uber’s insurance company is no different than other insurers. Even when death is involved, they will still try to limit their payout on an insurance claim. If you experience pushback for the at-fault driver’s insurance company, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you compile evidence and pursue a claim that fully accounts for what was lost.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping accident victims and their families seek a fair financial recovery for more than two decades. Uber is a fairly new development on the roads, but their liability and insurance process is the same. Don’t get taken advantage of if you lost a loved one in an Uber accident. Contact us today to discuss your situation and how we can help. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right for a completely free and confidential consultation.