Johns Creek Uber Accident Attorneys
Uber Accident Attorneys Serving Johns Creek, GA
Who hasn’t heard of Uber and Lyft, the major rideshare companies using technology that allows its drivers to use their own vehicles as a taxi service? Rideshare services are distinguished from taxis as Uber drivers are permitted to only pick up passengers through a ride request generated by the app. But just as with any other vehicle on the road, whether private or commercial, accidents happen. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident while a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, or suffered injuries or damages to your vehicle in an accident with a rideshare driver on the road, you may have many questions. Reach out to a Johns Creek Uber Accident Attorneys to get answers. We can guide you in your personal injury claim.
How Rideshare Works
Uber drivers have an app on their smartphones that detects ride requests through passenger apps on their phone.
The app advises the passenger beforehand how much the ride will cost as well as the make, model, and plate number of the driver’s vehicle to make sure the passengers get into the correct vehicle. The driver is given the passenger’s address and uses Waze or Google Maps to locate the passenger. The passenger uses their app to track the driver’s progress as the car approaches them
Because the passenger’s credit card information is loaded onto the app when the ride is initially called, no credit card nor any funds are exchanged when passengers reach their destination, as the fee has already been taken.
Why Has Ridesharing Becoming So Popular
The short answer why Uber and Lyft are so popular is Uber and Lyft provide almost instant service. In addition, ridesharing is extremely popular with city dwellers who prefer the service over traditional cabs or taxis. Common complaints about taxi service were the lack of enough cabs on the streets, the slowness in picking them up from when they were called, unkempt vehicles, and surly drivers.
Many cities and towns limited the number of taxi medallions so that cab owners had less competition. As rideshare became more popular, taxi drivers experienced fewer fares and the value of taxi medallions plummeted, placing many owners in financial distress since they often still owed substantial sums for the medallions that were once valued up to over $1 million in New York City and $250,000 in San Francisco and other large cities.
Uber and Lyft have succeeded in doing permanent damage to traditional taxi services and severely curtailed the income to towns and cities who sold the medallions by encouraging people with eligible vehicles to drive for them. The more drivers on the road, the more profit for Uber. In most cases, the rideshare ride is cheaper than a taxi would charge for the same trip.
Advantages of Ridesharing
Restaurants and bars welcome the rideshare service. Restaurants and bars have a duty not to serve alcohol to customers who they know or should know, may drive drunk. “Dram shop liability” is when a restaurant or bar is liable for injuries that one of its customers caused after the customer left the bar and drove drunk. Uber and Lyft are also good for the customers of restaurants and bars who no longer have to worry about driving home after a few drinks.
Disadvantages of Ridesharing
Riding in a Lyft or Uber is not necessarily safer than if you were in a taxi. Rideshare drivers do not undergo any kind of driver training so do not expect your driver to be more competent than any other driver. Also, many drivers in larger cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles come from communities that are hundreds of miles away since they can earn far more money there, but they are not familiar with the city streets or routes. Their unfamiliarity has posed safety risks. And the number of Lyft and Uber drivers rises each day, creating increased congestion in many cities. This phenomenon may be causing some to forego even owning a car, but it has not necessarily cut down on the number of accidents. If you were in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft accident, be sure to consult with a Johns Creek personal injury attorney who has successfully handled such claims. In March 2019 a young University of South Carolina student, Samantha Rowland, got into what she thought was an Uber. The driver of the car killed Samantha. It is exceptionally important that every person who gets into an Uber remains aware and vigilant.
How Does Insurance Coverage Work in an Accident?
Although there has been and continues to be controversy over whether Lyft or Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors, all drivers are required to be insured through their own automobile policies. Beyond the driver’s own insurance, Uber and Lyft also provide liability coverage.
The accident caused by Uber driver who had not yet logged onto the app:
If a rideshare driver negligently causes your accident but had not activated or logged onto the app at the time, you can only seek compensation for your damages through the driver’s personal auto liability carrier. In Georgia, all drivers must be insured with a minimum coverage of $25,000/50,000. (Underinsured motorist coverage can provide you with more insurance if you have that insurance under your policy.)
The accident caused by Uber driver who was logged onto the system but had not yet accepted a ride:
If the rideshare driver was logged onto the system but had not accepted a ride request when the accident occurred, Uber or Lyft will provide coverage of $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury if the driver’s negligence injured a pedestrian, passenger or another motorist.
The accident caused by Uber driver who was logged onto the system and had accepted a ride:
If the rideshare driver has activated the app and has passengers in the vehicle when his/her negligence caused an injury accident, then Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million for bodily injury and property damage and $1 million in uninsured and underinsured coverage. The coverage applies from the time passengers are picked up to the moment they are dropped off. This requirement has been in effect since 2015 when Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation to this effect.
If You Were in An Accident
If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and suffered injuries by the negligence of another motorist, you would pursue a claim against that driver’s car policy. If that driver was uninsured, then the rideshare company’s $1 million uninsured policy comes into play. For serious injuries that exhaust the other driver’s policy limits, then Lyft or Uber’s $1 million in underinsured coverage can be tapped. Contact an experienced Johns Creek Uber accident lawyer about any insurance issues.
In the rare instance where a driver agrees to transport a passenger without the driver having logged in, such as where the passenger offered to independently pay the driver, then Uber or Lyft will not cover any damages for an accident. It is also unlikely that the driver’s own policy would cover the accident since many policies exclude coverage under these circumstances. The passenger or other person injured by the rideshare driver could use their uninsured motorist coverage if this occurred.
Why You Should Seek Immediate Legal Advice
Uber and Lyft maintain data on each ride, showing the name of the passenger, pickup spot and destination. The route taken by the driver can be found as well. If there is an accident, it is vital that this information is preserved and produced. Like many large corporate entities, Uber and Lyft retain highly aggressive lawyers who will cite privacy, attorney work product, or other excuses for not providing certain information. This can include the names and contact information of an Uber or Lyft passenger who can give testimony on the facts of the accident, or any other data. This is just one reason why you need to promptly retain a highly experienced Johns Creek Uber accident lawyer who can take all immediate and necessary steps to contact Uber or Lyft and ensure valuable data is preserved and produced.
Assaults by Rideshare Drivers
There have been a number of high profile cases in which Uber or Lyft passengers were assaulted or molested by their driver, or were taken to remote locations and threatened. In 2016, there were a number of disturbing incidents involving Uber drivers. In Kalamazoo Michigan, an Uber driver shot and killed 6 people. In London, England, a woman was assaulted by a driver who demanded her cash and her phone. In Atlanta, a gay man claimed an Uber driver threatened him with a gun. In another Atlanta incident, passengers claimed their Uber driver deliberately struck them with his car. Other drivers in the past few years have been arrested or convicted of incidents involving the slashing of a passenger, pulling weapons on passengers, attempting to shoot police officers, and sexually molesting female passengers.
Because there have been conflicting court rulings around the country on whether rideshare drivers are independent contractors or employees, Uber and Lyft will generally deny insurance coverage or assume any responsibility for the actions of its drivers.
In a number of these cases, the driver had a history of assault or sexual misconduct. Our Johns Creek Uber Accident Attorneys can uncover a driver’s history in such cases and determine if a viable case for negligent hiring can be made. Although Uber or Lyft claim they conduct extensive background checks before it hires a driver, this is often not the case since a diligent check of the driver’s driving and a criminal record would have revealed DUIs, reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, or convictions for assault, robbery, or other violent behavior. A claim against Uber could allege that it knowingly failed to conduct adequate background checks or screening and exposed passengers to unreasonable harm and threats to their safety and well-being.
Damages in an Uber or Lyft Accident
Like any other personal injury accident claim, you can demand damages in a Lyft or Uber accident for your medical expenses, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be available in cases where you were assaulted by a rideshare driver and Uber or Lyft failed to properly screen the driver.
Call Tobin Injury Law – Your Johns Creek Uber Accident Attorneys
Always consult with and retain a knowledgeable Johns Creek Uber accident lawyer who can properly advise you about liability, insurance coverage disputes, damages, and any other issues affecting your claim or you risk not obtaining the compensation that your claim deserves. We are knowledgeable and skilled personal injury litigators. We understand the local and state laws that govern filing requirements and timelines. At Tobin Injury Law, Darren Tobin and his team of legal professionals are not afraid to take on big insurance or the large rideshare companies. Contact us to find out what your options are for recovering economic and non-economic damages. Call (678) 566-4006 today, email us, or fill out our convenient online form below. We offer free, confidential consultations.