Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular over the past ten years. It’s likely that you or someone you know have ridden in one and will do so again, due to convenience. After all, they are a beneficial service with many advantages. However, there are some disadvantages as well. One of the main disadvantages is the growing number of accidents involving rideshare services.
According to a Chicago and Rice University study, the use of ride-sharing services has increased traffic deaths by 2-3% in the U.S. since 2011, the equivalent of as many as 1,100 deaths each year.
The truth is, rideshare drivers are just as likely to get into an accident as the rest of us. However, the increased number of rideshare drivers on roadways contributes to road congestion, as they spend 40-60% of their time driving around searching for passengers. Basically, the more rideshare drivers are on the road, the most the likelihood of an accident involving one increases.
If you’re ever injured in an ride share accident, here’s what you need to know and steps you should take immediately following the accident:
Unlike traditional taxi services, companies like Uber and Lyft approach auto accident responsibility differently. In Georgia, if an Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an auto accident the company can choose to deny liability for the incident by classifying their drivers as independent contractors.
If you’re the victim of an accident caused by a ride share driver, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sue the company for your injuries. Uber and Lyft insurance policies and accident deniability make it incredibly difficult to make a claim agains them. Enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney will be especially important if you’re injured by a ride share driver.
Georgia legislation governing rideshare companies is still forming, thus the issue regarding whether or not rideshare drivers are employees or independent contractors in the event of an accident. Often, Uber and Lyft drivers and their passengers are not covered by the companies’ insurance if an accident occurs. However, there are still legal actions you can take with the help of an attorney.
How to Report a Ride share Accident
Your first action should always be to call 911. Obtain a police report and seek medical attention right away. Both Uber and Lyft also have an in-app feature that allows you to report an accident directly to the provider. Once the accident is reported, the customer care team will begin the claims process. You should also contact the law office of Jones & Swanson. We will help protect your rights and guide you through the next steps as your trusted legal team.
Injured Rideshare Drivers
If you’re injured in an accident while driving for a ride share service, you must be on the clock at the time of the accident to make a claim with the company. In other words, your app has to be in “Drive Mode” when the accident occurs or you will end up handling the claim with your personal auto insurance. This may also be the case if you have just dropped a passenger off and are driving away.
Uber drivers have access to the company’s coverage, but just because you’re on the clock does not mean you will receive the full million-dollar policy that covers you if the accident is the fault of another driver (under certain circumstances). If you don’t have a passenger you will be going through your own insurance.
What To Do After Any Rideshare Accident
Whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, or in another car, if you’ve been involved in a ride share accident, please take the following actions:
- Call 911 and obtain a police report
- Take pictures of your vehicle
- Seek medical attention
- Take pictures of your injuries
- Commit the details of the accident to memory (even better, write them down)
- Keep a detailed record of any/all medical expenses
- Call Jones & Swanson