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.