Apr 23, 2024 Michael M. Day Law Firm

Does it Matter if an Accident Involves an Uber or Lyft Driver?

Being involved in a car accident is a painful, frustrating, and confusing process even without complicating factors. So if you were injured while riding in a rideshare vehicle or you were hit by a driver working for Uber, Lyft, or another company, it’s important to understand how that complicates your case. The status of the responsible driver can impact your opportunities for recovering compensation and the process necessary to obtain that compensation. You can give yourself the best chance for success by working with an attorney who is familiar with the challenges of an accident case involving a rideshare driver.  

Insurance Issues Get Complicated

When a driver working for Uber or Lyft causes an accident, several different insurance companies could be involved in the claim. Georgia law requires these and other rideshare companies to provide insurance coverage for the drivers providing service, but coverage only applies in specific circumstances and coverage limits can vary. The insurance of the rideshare company is likely to cover accidents that occur while one of their drivers is heading to pick up a passenger or driving someone to their drop-off point. Coverage may be provided to a lesser extent during a period when a driver has signed in but is waiting for a ride request. If a driver has not yet started “official” rideshare activities such as opening their app, then the only coverage may come from the driver’s personal car insurance.

It is important to remember that just because an insurance company is supposed to cover losses resulting from an accident, that does not mean that they will do so cooperatively. Insurance companies operate to earn a profit, and they keep profits up by keeping their payouts low. This is particularly true for bulk commercial policies such as those involving commercial drivers.

That means that in order to recover, you need to understand how to deal with insurance companies and be prepared to present a solid case demonstrating liability. Insurance companies employ teams of highly skilled and experienced attorneys to fight claims regardless of how serious the injuries are. In some cases, insurance companies may offer a quick settlement, but the amount they offer will be far less than the claim is worth and is likely not sufficient to meet the future needs of the victim and their family.

To achieve a fair outcome, an accident victim needs to work with an attorney with equal experience and a dedication to success.

Uber and Lyft Drivers May Be Liable for Injuries to Passengers or Those in Other Vehicles

If you were injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, you may be able to recover compensation through their insurance company if you were:

  • A passenger in the rideshare vehicle
  • A driver or passengerLINK in another vehicle involved in the accident
  • A pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist injured in the accident

Under Georgia law, when someone’s negligence, recklessness or deliberate wrongdoing causes harm to another person, the individual responsible is liable for the losses that result, including intangible losses such as pain and suffering.

Demonstrating Responsibility is Critical

Because Georgia is an at-fault jurisdiction when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, it is important to build a strong legal case to demonstrate why the Uber or Lyft driver is responsible for causing the accident and resulting injuries. This requires having extensive evidence and presenting that evidence persuasively. A skilled attorney can help collect evidence and preserve it so it is available for settlement negotiations and presentation in court, if necessary.

The best time to collect evidence is right after the accident when the evidence is fresh. As time passes, the accident scene will change and evidence such as skid marks will become harder to discern. Footage from traffic cameras or security cameras could be recorded over unless your attorney takes steps to access and preserve it. Witnesses are harder to locate and their memories won’t be as accurate or detailed. If you are not able to get out to photograph the accident scene and gather other critical evidence, it is a good idea to send someone else on your behalf.

To demonstrate that the rideshare driver was negligent, you will need evidence to show that they either did something that violated the duty of safety owed to others or that they failed to fulfill an obligation in some way. For instance, driving over the speed limit or too fast for weather conditions would be an example of an action that violates a duty of responsibility owed to others on the road. If a driver caused an accident because they failed to check for other vehicles before changing lanes, that would be an example of negligence stemming from failure to fulfill an obligation.

The most difficult part of the process is often locating and presenting evidence to link the driver’s irresponsible behavior to the causation of the accident and injuries. An experienced attorney should understand how to demonstrate this link in causation persuasively. In addition, your attorney will need to show how your injuries resulted from the accident and extent to which the injuries impact your life.

Attorneys representing the insurance companies are always finding ways to argue why they should not be required to pay for the claim, so you need to be prepared to stand up to bullying tactics. A seasoned accident attorney will know not only how to demonstrate liability but also how to evaluate the value of losses so that they can determine when an offer from the insurance company finally provides fair compensation.

Michael M. Day Understands How to Win Rideshare Cases

The insurance issues and other factors in a car accident case involving an Uber or Lyft driver make these cases more challenging than other collision cases. However, when your attorney understands the factors that impact the case and knows how to match or exceed the determination of insurance company attorneys, you can succeed in receiving compensation for all your losses, including your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. For a free confidential consultation to find out what your case might be worth and how we can help you pursue justice and fair damages, contact Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC today. Find out why experience matters.