Experienced Savannah Uber and Lyft Attorneys
Georgia car crash attorneys fighting for the compensation of ridesharing injury clients
The method of transportation used by millions of people to travel to and fro is changing rapidly. Popular ridesharing services in Georgia such as Uber and Lyft have eliminated the need for many people to rely on more inconvenient public transportation options. In addition, many rideshare apps make the process of getting a ride easier and less expensive. In many locations, ride hailing services such as Lyft and Uber are present where traditional taxis and public transportation is not available.
The answer to the question of who is liable in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle is not necessarily clear-cut in each case. As a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, what are your rights when you step into the vehicle? Who pays for your lost income or medical bills if you are hurt in such an accident?
At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, our experienced Savannah Uber accident attorneys can answer these and other important questions pertaining to your crash injuries, and help you secure the compensation you deserve. We provide intelligent and comprehensive advocacy on your behalf to hold Uber, Lyft, and any other ridesharing company accountable if they have acted negligently, or attempted to avoid responsibility for your injuries.
How Uber and Lyft work
Ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber connect those in need of a ride with drivers through the use of a smartphone app. These ride hailing services use freelance drivers who use their own vehicles to pick up passengers, and transport them to their desired destinations.
The user simply downloads the desired app, sets up an electronic payment arrangement, and requests a ride. Notification is sent to the Uber or Lyft driver, who agrees to accept the fare. The user agrees with and confirms the price of the ride. While the passenger waits for the driver to arrive, he or she can view a photo and the name of the driver, the type of vehicle, and tracking information on the driver’s progress. These features help passengers avoid the mistake of getting into the wrong vehicle with the wrong driver.
Drivers also use their own version of the app that gives them advance information of their passengers’ desired destinations. Passengers do not need to pay in cash for the service since payment is already taken care of via the app. The passenger can tip the driver through the app at the end of the ride. The app also provides a rating system for both the driver and passenger, giving future passengers and drivers an indication of what to expect.
Screening process of a ridesharing service driver
All potential drivers must pass through a screening process in order to qualify as a driver for Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies. The screening process is designed to prevent individuals with a criminal background or unsafe driving record from obtaining a driving position at these companies. Prospective drivers are required to provide information such as:
- Social Security number
- Name and birth date
- Driver’s license number and copy of driver’s license
- Vehicle insurance and registration
- Proof of inspection
These companies may also use outside third-party vendors to perform background checks on driver candidates. A Savannah Uber crash attorney from our team can verify if the driver involved in your accident was properly screened by the ridesharing service.
Georgia has specific rules about insurance policies for Lyft and Uber drivers
Public transportation vehicles like taxis and buses are required to comply with state regulations and have full insurance coverage. Ridesharing companies are set up to operate as middlemen. They match up passengers with drivers, and provide the technology and applications to facilitate the match. By functioning as middlemen, these companies attempt to avoid the responsibilities and potential liabilities that go along with having workers for which it might be held responsible.
In 2016, Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal signed into law new regulations on ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft in the state. Under the new law, drivers are required to have $1 million of insurance coverage from the moment a driver confirms a ride request to the time the driver delivers the passenger to his or her destination. In addition, when the driver is not transporting passengers but is still logged into the company system, the law mandates the driver to have at least $300,000 coverage for bodily injury or death and $50,000 for property damage.
How Uber and Lyft Insurance coverage works in general
Drivers must have their own auto insurance in order to drive vehicles for many of the major transportation network companies. Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, however, have insurance coverage in addition to this requirement, which helps ensure passengers and drivers are protected in the event of a car crash.
The insurance policies held by Lyft and Uber are similar, with each providing three levels of coverage. (This coverage does not include the required personal insurance policy of the driver.)
The driver has the ridesharing app turned off and is not officially on duty when the accident occurs. In this scenario, the passenger is only covered by his or her personal auto insurance policy.
The driver has the ridesharing app turned on and in driver mode – however, the driver has not yet accepted your ride request in the app when the accident occurs. In this scenario, the driver is covered by the ridesharing company’s liability insurance policy according to the following limits:
- $100,000 total per accident for bodily injury
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $25,000 total per accident for property damage
The accident occurs after the driver accepts your ride request up until the driver delivers you to your destination. In this scenario, the driver is covered by the ridesharing company’s auto liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for:
- Injuries – maximum of $1 million per accident
- Property damage – the lesser of the cash value of the vehicle or repair cost with contingent collision and comprehensive coverage
As a potential passenger of a ridesharing service, it is important to only take a ride from the specific driver you requested and also make sure that driver has officially accepted your request in the app. If this has not occurred, the insurance coverage mentioned above may not be available if you are injured in a crash.
As with all cases involving insurance coverage, you cannot automatically assume the insurer will pay out properly according to the stated policy. As well, in some cases, the company’s liability insurance limits may fall below the actual financial costs of your injuries and treatment. In order to secure the compensation you deserve, you may have to fight through the bureaucracy and resistance of the insurer. For these reasons, it is vital to have a seasoned and highly skilled Savannah car accident lawyer assisting you in the process of your claim.
Experienced Savannah ridesharing accident attorneys ready to help
Our Savannah Uber accident lawyers at Harris Lowry Manton LLP have deep compassion and sympathy for victims of ridesharing service accidents – both the injured and their families. We have a strong track record of securing excellent results for our clients. With intelligent and vigorous legal advocacy we fight for injured car crash victims in Georgia, helping them obtain the financial recovery they are owed in the aftermath of their losses.
Whether your losses involve serious personal injuries or the loss of a loved one caused by a negligent Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing service driver, we can help. To get started with a free case evaluation, complete our contact form, or call our Atlanta law office at 404.998.8847, or our Savannah law office at 912.417.3774.