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Helping Duluth Residents Pursue and Recover Monetary Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Ride Sharing Accident
If you or a person you care about sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that involved a ride sharing vehicle, it is important to know that you have legal options available to you. It is also essential that you have a lawyer representing you who is skilled at settling and litigating motor vehicle accidents that specifically involve ride sharing vehicles. Contact our Duluth Ride Sharing Lawyers for more information.
Ride sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, have been giving traditional taxicab companies a run for their money over the past decade. This competition is especially evident in metropolitan areas like downtown Duluth. Residents and tourists alike frequently rely upon these ride sharing vehicles to get to and from their jobs, sporting events, as well as local attractions, such as bars and restaurants. However, the increased number of ride sharing vehicles on Duluth roadways creates an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions that involve these vehicles.
Ride sharing vehicle passengers can suffer injuries in accidents caused by their own drivers. At other times, the ride sharing driver operates the vehicle carefully and safely, but a collision results because some other motor vehicle operator is negligent. Passengers injured in these collisions are innocent victims. They can suffer debilitating injuries and may have to undergo certain medical procedures, treatment, and therapy, all the while incurring significant medical bills and losing time from work in the process.
Motor vehicle collisions that involve ride sharing accidents can be complicated. Most of the complications have to do with insurance coverage—specifically, which insurance coverage is primary. Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft require their drivers to carry their own personal motor vehicle insurance coverage policy.
However, depending upon the company, there are certain times when the corporate insurance policy steps in and provides the necessary coverage for an accident. Another complication with accidents involving ride sharing vehicles is the fact that the drivers are most likely independent contractors, as opposed to employees, of the ride sharing company.
An experienced Duluth ride sharing lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will review all of your legal options and help you pursue the strategy that is likely to garner the best possible result in your Duluth ride sharing case. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can assist you with pursuing monetary compensation for the injuries that you suffered in your Duluth ride sharing accident.
Passenger injuries that occur in car accidents involving ride sharing vehicles are much the same as injuries suffered in any other type of motor vehicle collision. The type of injury that an accident victim suffers depends upon a variety of circumstances, including the force of the crash and how the accident victim’s body moved in the ride sharing vehicle as a result of the impact. For example, the accident victim may snap forward and backward in the collision, or from side to side.
Some of the most common injuries suffered by victims of Duluth ride sharing accidents include soft tissue injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain and head injuries. Whenever a ridesharing vehicle passenger suffers one or more of these injuries in a motor vehicle collision, they may file the appropriate claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver (including a driver of the ride sharing vehicle) and, in some cases, the ride sharing company.
Individuals who drive for ride sharing companies are independent contractors, as opposed to employees. These drivers are required to meet certain requirements before entering into an independent contractor relationship. For example, to drive for Uber, a prospective driver must be at least 21 years old at the time, own an Uber-approved motor vehicle, and pass an Uber background check successfully.
Just like any other motor vehicle operator, when the driver of a ride sharing vehicle gets behind the wheel, they are expected to follow all of the highway safety laws for Georgia and must operate their vehicle carefully and safely all the time.
Although Uber drivers have their own motor vehicle policy of insurance, the Uber corporate policy may also come into play in some cases.
Uber uses a single-limit policy of liability insurance of $1 million, which applies to property damage, personal injuries, and deaths that may occur in an accident. In addition, the policy has a limit of $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits. An uninsured motorist policy of insurance might come into effect, for example, if there was a phantom vehicle involved in the accident.
This Uber corporate insurance policy begins to take effect the moment an Uber driver decides to accept a fair by way of the downloadable Uber app for a smartphone. The coverage then remains in effect until the Uber rider reaches its final destination and exits the ride sharing vehicle.
The Uber corporate insurance policy also takes effect in between the time that an Uber driver decides to accept a fare and the time that the driver picks up the Uber passenger. For example, if the driver logs into Uber’s system, is available and prepared to accept a ride, but has not yet picked up a fare, the Uber corporate insurance policy of 50/100/25 applies. This policy provides insurance coverage of $50,000 per injured person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
The experienced Duluth Uber accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you determine which insurance policy takes precedence in your accident case and can help you make a monetary claim for damages.
Like Uber drivers, Lyft drivers are independent contractors and must satisfy specific requirements before working for Lyft. Specifically, they must have their own motor vehicle policy of insurance in effect when they drive for Lyft. They also have a duty to operate their Lyft-approved vehicle safely while they are on the road. If they operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner or disregard the Georgia rules of the road, they can bear liability for their negligence.
In some Lyft accident cases, the driver’s personal policy of automobile insurance coverage serves as the primary coverage. Therefore, when the Lyft app on the driver’s phone is off, the Lyft corporate insurance policy coverage does not come into play. If an accident occurs during this period of time, the Lyft driver’s own personal policy of insurance will provide the necessary coverage.
In accident cases when the driver has turned on the Lyft app for their cell phone and the driver is waiting for someone to make a ride request, the Lyft corporate policy provides third-party liability insurance. The limits of coverage available under the Lyft policy at this point are 50/100/25. In other words, Lyft’s liability policy is $50,000 per individual, $100,000 per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage per occurrence.
If the driver has turned on their Lyft app and is either in the middle of a ride or picking up a passenger, the Lyft corporate coverage is $1,000,000 (third-party liability) contingent, comprehensive, and collision coverage that extends up to the maximum value of the Lyft vehicle (with a $2,500 deductible), along with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage usually comes into play when the driver of the at-fault vehicle is completely uninsured, or when that driver flees the accident scene, such as in a phantom vehicle accident case.
Underinsured motorist insurance coverage is available when the at-fault motor vehicle operator does not have sufficient insurance coverage in place to satisfy the accident victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In those instances, the uninsured and underinsured motorist carrier steps in to supply the necessary coverage.
If you were in a motor vehicle collision that involved a Lyft vehicle, the experienced Duluth ride sharing accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm could help you determine which of these policies came into play, based upon the circumstances of your case. We can then make an insurance claim on your behalf against one or more of the applicable insurance policies.
In some motor vehicle accident cases that involve a ride sharing vehicle, the operator of the ride sharing vehicle is operating their vehicle in a perfectly safe and careful manner under the circumstances. However, the driver of another motor vehicle may not be driving so carefully and cause their vehicle to collide with the ride sharing vehicle in which you are a passenger.
Perhaps the at-fault driver was not paying attention to the road and or distracted in some other way. Alternatively, the at-fault driver may have violated some traffic law on the books or may have been drinking and driving. In any case, as the injured accident victim, you may bring a legal claim or file a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault for your accident.
The experienced Duluth ride sharing accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you bring your claim or lawsuit against all of the potentially responsible individuals or entities.
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that involved a ride sharing vehicle, it is essential to file your lawsuit against the at-fault person or entity promptly. In almost all cases, the court must receive the submitted lawsuit within two years of the accident date, under Georgia’s statute of limitations applicable to Duluth ride sharing cases. If you file your lawsuit too late, the court will dismiss the case, and you will not be eligible to file a claim for monetary compensation and damages for the injuries that you suffered.
By retaining an experienced Duluth ridesharing lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm to represent you throughout the legal process, you can rest assured that we will file your suit promptly and name in the suit all parties who are potentially responsible for the accident. Our legal team can then continue negotiating a favorable settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
Ride sharing accidents, just like other motor vehicle accidents, can lead to injuries that may leave you out of work and in a doctor’s office for weeks, months, or years. If you can prove the liability aspect of your accident case (or if liability is conceded by another party), you may pursue damages for your injuries. To recover compensation, the ride sharing accident must be a cause of your injuries and damages.
Potential damages you could recover in Duluth ride sharing accident cases include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Inability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of family or spousal support
- Wrongful death
Ridesharing is a relatively new concept that has exponentially grown in popularity in the last decade. While ridesharing has changed the face of how many Americans get around, it isn’t perfect. In fact, the increase in ridesharing services has caused traffic deaths to rise from two percent to three percent in the U.S. in the past decade, a new study from the University of Chicago and Rice University reveals.
Accidents still happen, and when they do, liability and insurance coverage can become a tangled mess. The experienced Duluth ridesharing attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are here to help if you suffer injuries in such an accident. We get many questions about ridesharing and related crashes, and here our lawyers share their legal knowledge with you.
Who is liable in Duluth rideshare accidents?
People who suffer injuries while using public transportation, such as a bus or a taxi in Atlanta or Savannah, benefit from those vehicles having full insurance coverage by companies. Those drivers and entities must comply with strict transportation insurance regulations. Their drivers are full employees and work for the company or city; they aren’t contractors or gig workers.
On the other hand, ridesharing companies act like matchmakers between drivers and riders. More often than not, they attempt to dodge the accountability and liability that goes along with accidents involving their drivers. This practice is so commonplace that they frequently lobby the government to ensure they get treated as the middleman when an accident occurs. This frees them from the responsibilities of having employees, including many liabilities regarding rideshare passenger safety.
A few years ago, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation that regulates rideshare companies in Georgia. It mandates that drivers keep insurance coverage of $1,000,000 from the moment a driver accepts a ride request to the moment the ride ends. In addition, it requires a minimum of $300,000 in insurance coverage for bodily injury or death and $50,000 for property damage anytime a rideshare driver is logged into the company’s app but not transporting any passengers.
This legislation was highly necessary. In the infancy of rideshare services, Lyft and Uber’s policies concerning insurance weren’t clear. If there were a collision during a ride, the companies would attempt to deflect liability to their driver by taking advantage of loopholes and refuting injury cases in the courtroom. Unfortunately, if you suffer injury as a rideshare passenger, you could still have difficulty obtaining compensation for your damages. This is where experienced Duluth car accident attorneys can help.
Is the rideshare app that my driver used considered a driving distraction?
Absolutely, rideshare apps can distract drivers.
Distracted driving is a severe issue for both non-rideshare drivers and rideshare drivers alike. In just one year, Georgia saw over 127,000 convictions for distracted driving, most related to wireless devices.
There are three categories of distractions while driving:
- Visual distractions require a driver to take their eyes away from the road
- Manual distractions require a driver to take their hands from the wheel
- Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mental focus away from the mental work of driving
Using a mobile device for any app while behind the wheel involves all three categories of distractions. It has been reasoned in litigation numerous times that rideshare apps cause distractions to drivers who use them.
Lawsuits regarding these issues abound, including one in late 2018 in Detroit. In that case, the injured rideshare passenger alleged that her rideshare driver used apps for both Uber and Lyft rideshare services immediately before crashing his car into a parked semi-truck, resulting in permanent injury to his passenger.
The Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm legal team will use all available resources to determine what led to your rideshare accident. Once we determine what caused your crash, we will build your case and use evidence to back up your claim. Whether it was distracted driving or some other reason, we will fight to obtain fair compensation on your behalf.
Is it true that Duluth rideshare drivers must carry their own insurance coverage?
Yes. Georgia law requires all rideshare drivers to carry insurance. It varies in what it provides depending on whether the driver is actively driving for a rideshare service.
Here’s how it works for times when:
- The rideshare driver isn’t on the app and isn’t transporting a passenger; the driver’s personal car insurance policy covers them like any other driver.
- The rideshare driver is on the app but isn’t transporting a passenger; the driver must have property damage liability coverage of $25,000 per accident; and $50,000 bodily injury or death liability per passenger, or $100,000 per crash.
- The rideshare driver was on the app and was also transporting a passenger; they must have bodily injury, death, or property damage liability of at least $1,000,000.
Under Georgia statute, if you ride with a rideshare driver, or the driver has accepted a ride request on the rideshare company’s app, and an accident occurs, a minimum of $1 million liability coverage applies for all injuries, death, and property damage. Additionally, $1,000,000 underinsured/ uninsured motorist coverage is also required. The coverage must start when the driver accepts a ride request on the company app and runs until the driver completes the transaction or ride, whichever is later.
There should be a single limit insurance policy of $1,000,000 for anyone accident per the parameters above. It might seem like a lot of coverage. However, in a severe car crash, with more than one injured party, this isn’t much money to compensate for all the property damage and special and general damages of the injured.
Keep in mind that one individual’s serious injuries can result in medical bills ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 or even higher. If someone dies, a wrongful death claim can easily exceed $1,000,000. Each claim is different, however, and the best way to get an idea of the possible value of your claim is to consult a Duluth ridesharing accident lawyer.
What damages can I receive for my Duluth rideshare accident?
Damages are the financial and other losses or inconveniences that accident victims suffer in light of their injuries. When someone files an insurance claim or takes their case to court, they seek money to compensate them for their damages. Damages can be economic, also known as special damages, or non-economic, sometimes called general damages.
Economic damages are objective. They are the hard costs incurred by an accident victim.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are less concrete and subjective. It’s much harder to place a value on these damages as they don’t come with price tags.
Non-economic damages might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society
- Scarring and disfigurement
To find out what damages might apply to your claim and how much they might be worth, meet with a skilled rideshare accident lawyer. They can review your case and help you as you navigate what to do next.
I was in an accident with a Duluth rideshare driver. Can I file a claim?
If you are injured or your vehicle suffered damage from the accident, you can file a claim against the rideshare driver just as you would in any other vehicle accident. You don’t have to be a rideshare passenger to hold a driver accountable for their actions.
Rideshare app drivers are technically independent contractors instead of Uber or Lyft employees. This classification legally separates the companies from the actions of their drivers. You can file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft if you discover that the company was negligent in hiring the driver or allowing them to continue to drive. Hire an experienced Duluth car accident lawyer to review your claim right away if you sustained injuries in an accident with a rideshare driver.
How do I know if a Duluth rideshare driver is liable?
Call us. It’s not your job or responsibility to determine if the rideshare driver was liable. Your job is to focus on your physical healing and your mental and emotional well-being. Our job is to determine exactly how your accident happened and who might be to blame for it. Once we determine this, we can pursue fair compensation on your behalf. Sometimes the rideshare driver is liable. Other times, another driver or entity is, such as the municipality in charge of certain roads or intersections. Still, there are circumstances when both the rideshare driver and another party could be liable.
How long do I have to file my Duluth rideshare accident claim?
According to the statute of limitations in Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit after being injured in any car accident. This includes rideshare accidents, no matter if you were a rideshare passenger or involved in an accident with a driver working for a rideshare company.
However, it’s best not to wait the full year to get in touch with an attorney or file a lawsuit. Resolving your claim can take some time, especially in a rideshare accident with the possibility of multiple parties pointing fingers at each other. The sooner you reach out to a rideshare lawyer in Duluth, the sooner they can get to work advocating for you and collecting valuable evidence.
If you miss the two-year deadline, you’ll no longer have legal standing to assert your claim. The statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and even the best lawyers can’t change that fact.
What can I do to maximize my Duluth rideshare injury compensation?
Many passengers who suffer injuries in an auto accident don’t realize that they can take steps to help maximize their compensation. The first and probably most critical step is to hire a reputable rideshare accident attorney in Duluth. Legal representation has many benefits during this difficult and stressful time.
You can also take these steps to help your lawyer boost your financial recovery:
- Get medical care so a professional documents your injuries and treatment
- Continue to follow your physician’s treatment advice
- Keep an accident journal to detail how your injuries are impacting your everyday life and any significant events you are missing out on due to your limitations
- Follow all advice and instructions given to you by your legal team
- Keep track of your out of pocket expenses, medical bills, and lost wages
- Refrain from speaking to any insurance companies- if they call, inform them that you have legal representation
- Don’t consider any settlements before talking to an attorney
- Be honest about your injuries and damages
- Have patience—a fair settlement can take some time to negotiate
Do I really need a Duluth rideshare accident attorney?
Yes. Even the simplest of car accident claims can get complicated quickly. Rideshare claims are inherently more complex because there are so many variables and several parties involved. To ensure that you receive the best outcome possible, you need a lawyer who has experience representing rideshare accident clients. Such an attorney will get to the bottom of who caused your accident, who is liable, and what steps you need to take next.
While no laws require you to hire legal counsel, there are many benefits to doing so. Studies from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) show that car accident victims represented by an attorney receive approximately 3.5 times more compensation than those who represent themselves.
Additionally, serving as your own attorney can cause enormous stress. Depending on the complexity of your complaint, it might be very time-consuming. Trying to heal from your injuries and settle your claim can be quite taxing, especially if you return to work and are still trying to settle. Experienced attorneys also have perfected their negotiation skills, which help them obtain more compensation on your behalf.
You can meet with a lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm at no cost. We offer free case reviews, and we only work on contingency fees. You don’t owe us any money until we collect compensation for your damages. You have nothing to lose by reaching out and scheduling your case review today.
Speak to a Duluth Ride Sharing Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
The skilled Duluth personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will help you pursue the economic recovery you need to recover from injuries you suffered in your ride sharing accident. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Duluth ride sharing attorney, please call us at (404) 418-8244, or contact us online.
Brauns Law, P.C.
3175 Satellite Boulevard, Bldg 600
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: (404) 205-8614
“So, I had a car accident last July this year. Im asian, I thought its gonna be hard. But nope!Called this law office, Ms Erica accommodated me well. From start to finished and Mr. David Braun called me himself, and make sure i have all the info I needed. He is very friendly as well as all the staff! Like they will make easy for you.. they help me out for my rides too. I highly recommend this lawyer! They fast and they negotiate great to the insurance to make sure you will satisfy for your compensation. They refer me to the best spine specialist and other doctors. All in all the whole experience is 5 stars! So make sure you call them!”
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