Ride-sharing has grown tremendously in recent years and now residents and visitors can find both Uber and Lyft on virtually every street in almost any metro area.
Yet despite all its benefits, ride-sharing accidents are on the rise. From pedestrian accidents to serious collisions, these accidents can cause severe injury to everyone involved. If you suffered an injury in an Uber or Lyft accident (as a passenger or pedestrian), it is important to know what you can do to protect your future and improve your chances of recovery.
Steps To Take After An Uber Or Lyft Accident In Atlanta
After an accident in an Uber or Lyft, you may not know where to turn for help. An experienced Uber & Lyft accident attorney can help you understand all your legal options and guide you through the legal process.
While your lawyer can handle the insurance companies and navigate the legal red tape for you, there are some things you can do to help your case and ensure a successful outcome.
- Seek medical help for your injuries
- Follow all doctor’s orders
- Attend all therapy sessions and follow-up visits
- Avoid posting to social media
- Write down accident details quickly before you forget them
- Avoid talking to the “at fault” driver’s insurance company
- Report the accident to your own insurance company
- Obtain a copy of the police report
Is Uber And Lyft Responsible?
Most accident victims want to know if Uber and Lyft are responsible for their accidents and the injuries they suffered. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors pursuant to their agreements with the parent companies of these ride-share organizations.
Companies are typically not legally responsible for the negligence of a person hired as an independent contractor the same way that companies are legally liable for the negligence of an employee. That said, there are good arguments that can be made as to why a ride-sharing company such as Uber and Lyft should be held liable for the negligence of their driver (this is sometimes called vicarious or imputed liability). Additionally, Uber and Lyft require their users to click on a Ride-Sharing Agreement requiring that disputes be resolved in arbitration depriving injured riders of a trial by jury.
The good news is that even if you cannot hold Uber and Lyft legally liable for their drivers’ negligence, they do have $1,000,000.00 in coverage available for their drivers. By comparison, taxi companies typically only have $25,000.00 in coverage available for their drivers. If you happen to be badly hurt in a wreck, you are more likely to receive a better result in an Uber or Lyft vehicle as opposed to a taxi.
Uber / Lyft Driver Not In Driving Mode
If an Uber or Lyft driver does not have their app on, it means that they are not in driving mode. In this situation, the Uber or Lyft driver is solely responsible for their actions and the damages they cause. The Uber or Lyft insurance policy IS NOT applicable in this situation. Your recovery would be from the driver’s personal insurance policy.
Uber Or Lyft Driver Waiting For Passengers
If the Uber or Lyft driver has their app on and has not picked up a passenger yet, the Uber or Lyft insurance policy is typically in play but limits may be less than $1,000,000.00. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out if a driver is “engaged” if not picking up passengers. Sometimes this information is included in a police report but typically it is not. In certain instances, it may be necessary to file suit to discover this information.
Uber Or Lyft Driver Transporting Passengers
If the Uber or Lyft driver is actively transporting a passenger at the time of the accident, then the Uber or Lyft insurance policy, typically $1,000,000.00, is applicable for the accident and damages up to the $1,000,000.00 limit.
Injured Uber or Lyft accident victims shouldn’t bear the responsibility of determining who is to blame after a ride-sharing accident. Instead, their energies are better spent on their recovery. An experienced lawyer will understand how to prove liability and determine if Uber or Lyft is responsible for the crash and injuries suffered.
Uber and Lyft keep GPS and electronic records regarding their drivers. These records can be useful after an Uber or Lyft accident. Uber and Lyft have a responsibility to save those records as evidence after an accident. However, your lawyer will need to send them a letter requesting that this evidence is preserved and turned over for your case. Many times, a lawsuit is necessary to obtain this information.
Discuss Your Matter With An Attorney
The most important thing you can do to help your case if you’ve suffered an injury in an Uber or Lyft accident is to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These accidents are more complex than typical car accidents and require a law firm with specific knowledge of ride-sharing liabilities and laws.