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Atlanta’s Leading Uber/Lyft Accident Legal Team
In the past decade, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become indispensable parts of the Atlanta region’s economy. Many of us now will not think twice before pulling out our smartphones, tapping a couple of controls, and ordering a driver to take us where we need to go. The process is so seamless that you may never stop to think: What happens if I am involved in a serious car accident while in a rideshare vehicle?
The Uber accident attorneys at Ponton Law can represent you in the event something does go wrong during your trip. Attorney James T. Ponton and his team are experienced personal injury lawyers who know how to deal with insurance companies and negligent drivers following an accident. We can advise you on the special rules that apply to rideshare companies in Georgia and how you may be protected by Uber’s own insurance policies.
What Are the Rules Governing Fault for an Uber Accident in Georgia?
Georgia is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents. In other words, if you are injured by a negligent driver, that driver can be held liable for any injuries or financial losses you sustained in the accident. In most cases, this means that the negligent driver’s insurance company is on the hook up to the limits of the policy.
When it comes to an accident involving an Uber driver, however, the insurance situation can be more complicated than normal. Georgia law requires rideshare companies like Uber to provide additional insurance in certain cases. The insurance can offer substantially greater protection than the typical individual auto insurance policy.
Here is a basic rundown of how Georgia’s insurance laws apply to Uber drivers:
- You Are a Passenger in an Uber Vehicle: If you have logged into Uber, called for a ride, and are actually in the vehicle, Uber provides up to $1 million in liability coverage, which protects you should the Uber driver’s negligence lead to an accident. This coverage also protects anyone hit by an Uber driver who is on their way to pick up a passenger.
- You Are Hit by an Uber Driver Who Does Not Have a Ride: Uber drivers must log in to a specific app on their smartphone in order to accept rides. Once a driver is logged in, but before they have accepted a passenger request, they are still covered by Uber insurance in the event of an accident. But the amount of coverage is substantially less–just $50,000 for bodily injury or death to one person, or $100,000 for bodily injury or death to multiple persons.
- You Are Hit by an Uber Driver Who Is Not Logged In: When an Uber driver is not actually logged into the app, Uber itself is not liable for any accident involving that driver. So if that driver hits someone, only their personal auto insurance policy would apply. In Georgia, a driver only needs to carry personal injury coverage of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 for property damage.
Now, these rules address Uber’s liability when its driver causes an accident. But what happens if you are hit by another driver while riding an Uber? Since Georgia is a fault-based state, you can still file a personal injury claim against that driver and their insurance company. Uber also provides up to $1 million in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage if a negligent driver either lacks insurance, lacks sufficient insurance, or is simply never identified (i.e., it was a hit and run).
Comparative Negligence Could Be a Factor (Especially for Non-Passenger Uber Accidents)
Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7), motor vehicle accident claims—including Uber crashes—are subject to a modified comparative fault standard. While ridesharing passengers often do not have to worry about this issue, it can be a big factor in other types of Uber accidents. If you are held partially responsible for your own accident, your recovery can be reduced proportionately to your degree of blame. Every Uber accident in Atlanta should be investigated by a top attorney.
Know the Statute of Limitations for an Uber Accident in Georgia
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for a motor vehicle accident claims is two years from the date of the incident. Uber accidents are no exception. The deadline is crucial for filing a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries or damages. If you wait too long to act, you may not be able to recover financial relief at all. Do not fall behind Uber or its insurance company: Consult with an Atlanta, GA ridesharing lawyer right away after a crash.
What Compensation Can You Seek Following an Uber Accident in Georgia?
Following an Uber accident, you are entitled to seek damages the same as you would following any motor vehicle crash. Georgia law allows victims to seek both economic and non-economic damages, which can be broken down as follows:
- Property Damage: Through an Uber accident claim in Georgia, victims have the right to seek compensation for the full extent of their economic damages, including any property losses. For non-passengers, recovering compensation for vehicle repairs or vehicle replacement is often a key part of a claim.
- Medical Bills: Obviously, if you are injured in an Uber accident you will require medical treatment. Even if you have health insurance it probably will not be enough to pay all of your medical bills. You can therefore seek compensation for your past and estimated future medical bills from the negligent party and their insurer.
- Lost Income: In addition to requiring medical treatment, you may be forced to take time off from work to recover from your Uber accident. If you lose any wages or related income as a result, you can also seek compensation for those earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering,” although this is just one aspect of such an award. Basically, you can seek compensation for the ongoing pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life that you sustained as a result of the accident, even though that can be impossible to measure and does not necessarily have an end date.
- Disability or Disfigurement: Unfortunately, there are some Uber accidents that are so severe that they leave victims with long-term, even permanent impairments. Beyond compensation for necessary ongoing/ medical care, injured victims also have the right to pursue compensation for non-economic losses, including disability or disfigurement.
- Wrongful Death: The loss of a close loved one to a fatal Uber accident is heartbreaking. While nothing could ever truly be enough to set things right, grieving families need justice and the maximum financial support. Through an Uber accident claim, eligible family members can seek compensation for wrongful death damages.
What Steps Should You Take Following an Uber Accident in Georgia?
You should not hesitate to call 911 following an Uber accident. It is critical to get first responders to the accident scene as soon as possible. If you require immediate medical attention, go to the hospital. And if you are able to speak to a police officer at the scene, you should do so. An official police accident report is often a critical first step in establishing driver liability for an accident.
If you are feeling up to it, there are a couple of other steps you can take in the minutes following an Uber accident:
- Take down the names of all the drivers involved.
- Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Use your smartphone to take pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash and anything else that might seem relevant, such as skid marks in the road or a damaged traffic sign.
- Ensure that Uber (or Lyft) is notified of the ridesharing accident—especially if you were a passenger.
- Avoid giving a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster without first speaking to a top-tier Atlanta ridesharing accident lawyer.
- Why Trust Atlanta Uber Accident Attorney James T. Ponton
- Ridesharing accident cases are complicated. Our founder James T. Ponton and attorney Bradford Patterson have the knowledge, skills, and legal experience to handle Uber accident claims and Lyft accident claims. Whether you were hurt as a ridesharing passenger, an occupant of another vehicle or a pedestrian/cyclist, we are ready to help. Our Atlanta Uber accident lawyers are ready to:
- Listen to your story and answer your questions about ridesharing accident’
- Thoroughly investigate the crash, gathering/organizing the evidence;
- Handle legal paperwork and any settlement negotiations with insurers; and
- Develop a comprehensive strategy designed to get the best results.
Get the Legal Assistance You Deserve: Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
At Ponton Law, our Atlanta ridesharing accident attorney has extensive experience handling Uber crashes. After you have had a chance to seek medical attention and gather your thoughts, your next step should be to contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer. Call Ponton Law today at (404) 418-8507 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. With an office in Atlanta, we are well-positioned to handle Uber accident claims throughout the surrounding region.