Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way Georgians travel. Instead of taxis or crowded public transportation, you can use an app on your phone to get a ride. These programs offer efficient options at reasonable prices, but what happens when passengers get hurt? Understanding rideshare liability as well as your legal options can help you travel in peace.
Companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on everyday residents in your area to provide rides using their vehicles. Users download an app to their phones and use it to find a nearby driver. They can even track how close the driver is using the GPS on their phones. But remember, these drivers are just ordinary people with no special licensing or skills beyond a driver’s license. The potential injuries associated with rideshare programs are therefore the same as with any other passenger car, including:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries such as whiplash, muscle strains, disc damage, and paralysis
- Brain damage, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and other head injuries
- Back problems
- Bone fractures
- Organ damage
Passengers who have been injured should seek immediate medical attention, even for apparently minor pain and discomfort. This is because some injuries may not reveal themselves until later. If you refuse medical attention after an accident, you could jeopardize your ability to collect damages later.
Also, be sure to document the accident with as many parties as you can. This includes, especially, law enforcement, the driver’s insurance company, and the rideshare. Get as many details about the accident as you can from other passengers, all drivers involved, and witnesses. You may also want to contact an auto accident attorney.
Depending on the severity of the crash, you could be faced with substantial medical bills. You hope that your driver is insured, but not everyone follows the law when it comes to automobile insurance. If your driver lacks insurance, but wasn’t at fault for the crash, you could claim under the responsible driver’s policy.
Fortunately, another option comes from the rideshare companies themselves. Many of the major ones, including Uber and Lyft, provide their drivers with liability insurance. Rideshare liability insurance may also cover accidents involving at-fault uninsured motorists.
One question that will need to be answered after an accident is how much insurance coverage is available. This typically depends on whether the driver was transporting passengers (or en route to them) or waiting to be called. Another question is whether the accident occurred while the driver was on duty for the rideshare company. If it happened while the driver wasn’t on duty, typically his or her insurance will have to cover the accident.
Even if Uber, Lyft, or whatever program you use provides insurance, that doesn’t necessarily mean recovering damages will be easy. Like any company, rideshares want to limit liability, minimize costs, and maximize profits. In the event of an accident, it’s possible the company will dispute your claims. They could try to argue with the extent of your injuries or pin all responsibility on the driver. Recovering from a rideshare company’s insurance could be just as difficult as with any other automobile accident.
The insurance company may also offer you a rock bottom settlement that doesn’t cover your medical costs. You may have lost time from work or have lost the ability to earn at the same level as before. The insurance company’s offer may not be enough to cover these losses.
CONTACT A GEORGIA RIDESHARE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Any time you’ve been in an accident, thinking clearly can be difficult. Insurance companies know this, and want you to settle for as little as they can get away with. This is no less true for Uber and other rideshare companies’ insurance policies. Considering the expenses you may face after an accident, you can’t trust the rideshare to do the right thing. Turn to the accident attorneys of Schneider Hammers to fight for the compensation you deserve.