Who is Liable for a Ridesharing Accident?

The way that Americans travel has undergone a revolution with the entry of ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. Whether this change has been beneficial or not is a highly debated matter, but one thing is certain; transportation has changed radically since the arrival of Uber and Lyft.

What happens if you are involved in a collision with a Lyft or Uber driver? What if you are a passenger involved in an Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle when a crash happens, who will compensate you for your damages?

Georgia Uber and Lyft Accident Laws

The primary difference between being involved in a wreck with a regular person and an Uber or Lyft driver is the type of insurance that Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing company must carry on their vehicles. Under Georgia law, ridesharing companies must meet a very different standard. In the state, ridesharing accidents have three different categorizations:

Crashes that Happen While the Ridesharing App is Off

In this situation, the incident will fall under the personal insurance of the driver as the driver is not working at the time of the accident. For all practical purposes, you would handle the crash in the same manner as you would approach any other automobile accident.

Accidents that Happen While the Ridesharing App is on without Passenger

If a ridesharing company is logged into the app but not executing a fare, the ride-sharing company must have an insurance plan with the following limits:

  • Personal Insurance Liability Insurance: $50,000 per individual and $100,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Insurance: $50,000 per accident

Wrecks that Occur While the Diver is Executing a Fare

When a Lyft or Uber driver is transporting a customer, the insurance policy of the ridesharing company must meet the following requirements:

  • Liability policy covering injury, death, or property damage: $1,000,000 per accident
  • Underinsured or Uninsured: $1,000,000 per accident

Ride-Sharing Accidents as a Passenger

If, as a ridesharing passenger, you were involved in a crash either caused by the ride-sharing driver or another party, you are eligible to receive up to $1,000,000 in insurance coverage to pay for medical bills and to compensate you for your damages.

Ridesharing Crashes Caused by a Lyft or Uber Driver

If you are involved in a collision caused by a Lyft or Uber driver, you may have to put your claim through the personal insurance of the driver. Sadly, Lyft and Uber classify their drivers as independent contractors. Thus, these ridesharing companies are not typically responsible for accidents caused by these drivers.

Why is Timing Important?

Lyft and Uber divide their driver’s time into “periods.” In the event of an accident, these criteria determine the different liability coverage amounts. Both Lyft and Uber bifurcate a driver’s time into four classifications, which are as follows:

Period 0: Offline (Not logged into App)

Period 0 pertains to drivers who are registered rideshare drivers but are not actively using the app. In this period, the rideshare company does not provide any liability coverage.

Period 1: Pending Ride Request

Period 1 is the time duration when a driver has turned the app on and is actively seeking passengers. Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage at this stage, which means that the rideshare companies will cover losses and damages to individuals injured by the driver but will not cover the driver themselves.

Period 2: Matched with Passenger

After drivers are matched with a passenger, they enter period 2. Until the passenger occupies the vehicle, both major rideshare service providers offer another million dollars in third-party liability coverage.

Period 3: Passenger seated in Vehicle

The moment the passenger is seated in the vehicle, period 3 commences. When actively transporting passengers, drivers receive extra coverage, such as underinsured motorist liability. At this stage, both major rideshare companies include collision protection as well, but only if the driver already has collision protection on their personal insurance policy.

Modified Comparative Negligence Law in Georgia

The rule of modified comparative negligence will be applicable in Georgia when the court is deciding on the amount of the damages to award. The degree to which you are responsible will impact the amount of compensation that you collect. For instance, if you were 25 percent liable for the accident, the courts would slash your award by 25 percent. Most importantly, you will be unable to receive any damages from the defendant if you are deemed to be more than 50 percent at fault for the crash.

Experienced Georgia Attorneys for Ridesharing Accident Victims

Like any vehicle accident, a rideshare crash can leave those involved with substantial injuries through no fault of their own. You might suffer damages that exceed the ostensibly generous policies provided by major rideshare companies. It is best to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer if you sustain injuries in such an accident.

At the law offices of Stein & Fox, we have extensive experience representing clients for all types of auto accidents, and we work tirelessly to make sure that our clients get fair compensation. Our lawyers are not intimidated by large insurance companies and their vast resources. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a Lyft or Uber driver, call today at (770) 961-1700 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Coping with The Physical and Emotional Impact of a Personal Injury

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately eight million traffic accidents take place in the US annually. In most cases, the primary concern is related to any physical injuries for the people involved and getting medical care immediately. After the initial shock of the accident subsides, many victims fail to understand how these incidents impact their mental and emotional well-being.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

After an accident, victims may experience emotional distress. During the recovery process, you may start noticing signs of increased stress, such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), reoccurring nightmares about the accident, anguish, and fearfulness, among others.

Such intense emotions can lead to avoidance. Due to the fear of getting into another crash, some victims may avoid driving again by avoiding going to events, work, school, and appointments. It is time to act when these symptoms start impacting your day-to-day life.

There are some suggested techniques to work through and overcome such traumatic incidents. Firstly, it is crucial to enhance self-care. It is easy to neglect our basic needs, such as eating healthy food, getting adequate sleep, exercising, etc., when feeling anxious or in distress.

When that is not enough, you must seek professional help. A mental health professional can help your process the incident and reduce the anxiety and stress while simultaneously getting you back into your daily routine and helping you remain engaged. It is possible to be able to drive again with help from family, friends, a mental health care provider, and a little exposure.

Coping with the Injury’s Physical Facets

Identify a physician you trust

To find a doctor you can confide in takes a lot. The doctor-patient relationship is a two-way street. You should be able to speak to them about how you truly feel. Do not hesitate to describe your symptoms to their fullest extent, regardless of what your medical condition is like. You need treatment, and you deserve to be treated. Always remember that.

Reduce your stressors as much as possible

Stress is certainly a part of life. But for patients of chronic pain, stress exponentially increases the pain. It can lead to “flare days” and an increase in pain. If you feel that your work or home life is creating stress, try to identify measures to limit those stressors.

Devise an exercise plan that works

Speak to your physician to devise a workout plan that will not worsen your injury. Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins, which are important for your health. Further, it ensures that your muscles will not decondition and atrophy. Even if you take a 15-minute walk a few times weekly, it can prevent you from becoming a complete sloth.

Be forthright and honest

If you lie to your doctor about how you are feeling, you are doing yourself a disservice. Do not be a martyr and hold back. Tell your doctor exactly how you are feeling to allow them to prescribe the right medication and treatment.

Meditate

It is alright if you cannot meditate for more than a few seconds at a time. Think of it as flexing a muscle. If you can concentrate for a little bit at a time, you are on track. Meditation has been shown to be helpful for chronic pain patients as it helps the muscles relax.

Reassess your diet

Have you been consuming a diet that is high in sugar, carbs, alcohol, and caffeine? If yes, then you might want to make changes to your dietary intake. Include more fresh vegetables and fruits in your meals, reduce grains and dairy, and avoid red meat.

Join a support group

Identifying like-minded individuals who are undergoing the same thing as you can be immensely meaningful. As much as your family and friends care about you, they just do not comprehend what you are going through. Find a support group and make some new friends!

Why Consult an Attorney Even for Seemingly Minor Injuries

Injuries may become Worse

If you accept a settlement offer and your injuries turn out to be worse than you and your doctor anticipated, you cannot do anything about it. A skilled and committed attorney will advise you to wait until you understand the complete impact of your injuries and would help you decide on the right time to accept a settlement offer.

“Pain and Suffering” Damages Award

In case your case goes to trial, pain and suffering and distress damages would be considered. Your attorney can help you understand all the damages you may be entitled to, even for injuries that seem insignificant. An established and prudent lawyer will advocate on your behalf to ensure that you collect your rightful settlement.

Hire a Skilled and Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured or worse due to another person’s negligence, carelessness, or malpractice, you may be entitled to compensatory damages under personal injury law. Consult our client-focused personal injury lawyers at Stein & Fox Accident Attorneys for a no-charge consultation and case review to understand whether you have a valid claim. Call us today at (770) 961-1700.