Who Pays If I Am Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Georgia?
For many Atlanta residents, using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft is a more convenient and economical way to get around the area, especially if you are in no condition yourself. Unfortunately, a rideshare vehicle can get into a serious auto accident just like any other vehicle. So if you are injured as an Uber or Lyft passenger, what are your options for seeking compensation for your accident-related damages?
Transportation Network Company Insurance
Uber and Lyft are not like traditional taxicab companies that maintain their own fleet of commercial vehicles. Most rideshare drivers are individuals who log on to an app and then use their personal cars to provide rides to paying customers. Of course, anyone who drives a car must carry personal auto insurance. But the required minimums for personal policies are quite low: Just $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person (or $50,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage.
To cover the gap between the average personal insurance policy and the potential liability of a rideshare driver, Georgia requires all “transportation network companies” (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft to provide coverage of up to $1 million per accident for their drivers. Now, there is an important caveat. This $1 million coverage only applies when a driver is actually providing a ride or has accepted a ride request and is on their way to pick up a customer.
So what about a situation where a driver is logged on to the Uber or Lyft app and simply waiting for a ride request? In that case, the TNC must still provide insurance coverage if their driver causes an accident, but the amount of coverage is significantly less: Just $50,000 in bodily injury per person (or $100,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage.
If someone who regularly works as a rideshare driver is operating their vehicle but not logged onto the rideshare app, then the TNC is not responsible for providing any coverage. The driver’s personal auto insurance policy would cover any accident.
Determining Liability for a Rideshare Accident
Sorting out legal responsibility for a rideshare accident can often be quite complicated. Say you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and injured in a collision with another car. There are a number of legal issues that need to be sorted out, starting with whether the TNC’s policy will cover your injuries. If the other, non-rideshare driver caused the accident, you may also have a viable personal injury claim against them and their insurance company. And if there is doubt as to which driver was at-fault, you may be forced to deal with multiple insurance companies, each pointing the figure at one another.
That is why it is critical to work with an experienced Fulton County personal injury lawyer who can review your accident and advise you on the best course of action. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.