Uber and Lyft control 99% of the ridesharing market in America – one of the highest duopolies of any industry nationwide. The two combined market values are projected to grow from $84.30 billion in 2021 to $242.73 billion in 2028.
As ridesharing’s value grows exponentially, Uber and Lyft vehicles flock to Georgia roads – naturally, an increased number of accidents follow. Typically, automobile accident victims must go through the at-fault person insurance to claim compensation. With all the money Uber and Lyft have, you’d think filing a claim against them would be a walk in the park. But when an Uber or Lyft driver is the cause of a crash, things get very complicated because determining whose insurance company is liable can be tricky.
In 2015, Georgia passed the Rideshare Insurance Law to ensure insurance is available when Uber and Lyft accidents occur. But coverage and liability will still depend on the circumstances at the time of the accident.
If the Uber or Lyft driver’s ridesharing app is not activated to accept riders, the driver’s regular personal car insurance shall be liable. Like all drivers in Georgia, rideshare drivers must have minimum insurance coverage of $25,000 for one person’s bodily injury or death, $50,000 per accident if more than one person sustained bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for each person’s property damage coverage.
If a driver’s ridesharing app is activated to accept riders but has not yet connected with a rider, there is coverage under Uber or Lyft’s $100,000 liability insurance policy.
But suppose an Uber or Lyft driver is already connected with a rider when he figures into an accident. In that case, the insurance policy increases to $1,000,000 in liability insurance and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uber Black has slightly different insurance requirements under O.C.G.A. §40-1-166. Because of its premium nature, its policy mandate is a minimum coverage of at least $300,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, $100,000 per accident if more than one person sustained bodily injury or death, and $50,000 for property damage coverage.
These qualifications may sound simple, yet they’re all but that. The preliminary and indispensable steps you need to take are:
Document the accident as detailed as you can
Take pictures of the accident scene, document your injuries thoroughly, and collect personal and contact information of the Uber or Lyft driver and other passengers and eyewitnesses. The more details you collect about the accident, the better.
File a police report
Immediately notify the police, who will come to document the necessary details, give an unbiased account of what happened at the accident scene, and, if you sustain injuries from the accident, they can help you prove the accident caused them.
Under O.C.G.A. 40-6-273 of 2010, a formal police report must be filed by anyone involved in the incident if 1) There was a fatality, 2) There were injuries, and 3) The property damage has an aggregate amount of more than $500.
Failure to file a police report may cause forfeiture of your right to claim compensation from the accident because you will not be able to prove the injuries and damages you sustained were from your accident with Uber or Lyft.
The more time passes by before you let yourself get checked, the harder you will be able to prove to Uber that your accident with them was what caused your injuries. Your medical report will be your most substantial evidence when filing your injury claim against Uber’s insurance.
Report the incident to Uber or Lyft.
To report an accident to Uber, log in to https://help.uber.com/login and narrate the details of your accident. According to Uber’s website, you will have to wait for a team member to confirm everyone’s safety and gather any required information.
To report an accident to Lyft, go to
https://help.lyft.com/hc/e/articles/360018628473-Report-an-accident-or-collision. According to Lyft’s help page, their team is available for support 24/7 and will guide you through what to do next.
The next crucial step is to secure the services of a competent personal injuries attorney. Insurance companies will do everything to reduce or deny your claim, but having an attorney by your side will shield you from their tricks.
If a claim cannot be settled out of court, the case will go to trial. If the case goes to trial, a jury will decide the amount of compensation to be awarded, called a “verdict.”
Georgia law recognizes several types of damages to be paid through settlements or verdicts:
Past and Future Medical Expenses – Uber or Lyft will need to pay for all medical expenses directly resulting from your accident with them. Including actual bills up to the time of the settlement or verdict. You are also entitled to compensation for any future medical expenses expected from your injuries. An excellent personal injury lawyer has access to an expert who could forecast those future costs.
Moral Damages – Injuries cause pain, and pain causes suffering. And suffering is compensable. If suffering persists after the lawsuit is over, you can be compensated for future pain and suffering, whether by settlement or verdict.
Lost Earning Capacity – Lost earning capacity is the loss or reduction in a person’s ability to earn an income due to a personal injury. Georgia law allows compensation for such damage.
Lost Wages – When a person gets injured in an accident, it is expected that they will lose time from work, which directly translates to lost wages, and this is compensable under Georgia Law.
Interference with Daily Living – Under Georgia’s Pattern Jury Instructions, a person should be compensated when an injury changes a person’s life. For example, if an injury caused by an Uber or Lyft accident permanently puts you in a wheelchair, you lose the ability to walk and do things you love doing with your two feet. This is compensable, but it will be tough to argue successfully without a good personal injury attorney.
If you had an accident with Uber or Lyft, you need an attorney with prolific experience handling personal injury cases to make sure you get maximum compensation. Call us.