Rideshares allow individuals to maneuver bustling Georgia cities without the struggles often accompanying these thriving districts, like parking and time limits. They also provide safe travel home after an evening dinner with clients or friends. Unfortunately, rideshare services are not exempt from trouble.
Being injured in a car accident while using Uber or Lyft rideshare services in Georgia can leave an already injured individual unsure of where to turn to receive help to cover their medical bills and other damages caused by an accident involving a rideshare service. Answering these questions and the dedicated work that goes into recovering compensation for your injuries are taken care of when you contact Joel Thrift Law, the Atlanta personal injury attorney diligent in supporting you through the process of securing compensation for the injuries sustained in a rideshare accident in Georgia. Experience and passion for our clients’ needs are what we bring to every individual in search of resolution.
The Challenges Facing Uber and Lyft Accident Victims
Rideshare accidents are unique situations in that the drivers are self-employed or considered independent contractors. It is then up to the injured individual to determine who is responsible for the excessive costs accompanying recovery from a personal injury. Multiple avenues must be explored to get the help you need, which is often time-consuming and mired in confusion.
- Uber and Lyft are not employers of their drivers, meaning it is rare that rideshare companies bear responsibility under liability laws.
- A driver for a rideshare company may be determined to be the party responsible for the accident and accountable for a passenger’s injuries.
- Other drivers involved in an accident and determined to be at fault may be held liable for injuries in an Uber or Lyft accident.
- While rideshare companies carry a specific amount of insurance in the event of an accident involving a contracted driver, whether or not a driver appropriately logged into the app during transport will make a difference if a passenger is covered or not by the rideshare’s insurance.
- Drivers are also required to carry personal insurance.
- New laws in Georgia have reduced minimum insurance requirements for rideshare companies pertaining to bodily injuries from $1 million to $300,000.
It is not uncommon for injured passengers, already overwhelmed with treatment and recovery, to give up or settle in the process of determining who is liable in an accident. Our experienced team and Uber accident attorney in Georgia will navigate the confusion for you, removing the burdensome legal process and allowing you to focus on recovery and what matters most in your life. Insurance companies recognize the disorienting nature of filing insurance claims in an accident and count on this complicated process as a deterrent to accident victims.
How Our Georgia Rideshare Attorney Can Help You
The Joel Thrift Law team views its role as a compass pointing the way for clients through the maze of the insurance industry. Not only are we committed to our role as Uber and Lyft accident lawyers, but our focus is on the well-being of our clients, delivering honest answers to tough questions. We strive to be the calm in the storm when your world has been turned upside down by accomplishing the following goals:
- Determining who is liable in a rideshare accident
- Collecting supporting documents and evidence
- Mediating between clients and insurance adjusters
- Securing eyewitness testimony and expert witness testimony when necessary
- Striving to reach a settlement that meets each client’s needs
- Preparing for court when insurance companies fail to provide fair settlement options
Minimizing compensation for personal injuries is vital to insurance companies because they are aware that fair compensation does not promote profitability. A Georgia Uber accident lawyer understands the insurance industry is a giant, prepared to aggressively work at discrediting the claims of accident victims by minimizing the impact of injuries, downplaying the responsibility of their driver, and settling as quickly as possible before an individual becomes aware of the extent of their injuries and need for medical treatment. We are here to calmly approach the process of securing compensation for you in a manner that focuses on your needs without the pressure many individuals feel during the claims process.
Vital Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
Documentation is critical in any car accident claim when personal injuries occur. As a passenger, the fault lies with the drivers involved in the accident. Capturing as much evidence as possible at the incident scene is crucial to beginning the claim process. These actions allow individuals to advocate for themselves while starting the building process to ensure a solid, evidence-based claim.
- Get the appropriate medical care as soon as possible. If your injuries require emergency medical treatment, then this is the priority, or schedule an appointment with a physician as quickly as possible for a post-accident examination.
- Document the name of your driver, the rideshare company they work for, and phone numbers of any contacts, including their insurance provider, who can answer questions about insurance coverage.
- Both Uber and Lyft have accident reporting steps in their app or online. Report the accident immediately to the rideshare company while limiting details about the accident.
- Get the contact information for other drivers involved in the accident and their insurance information if possible.
- Take a photo of the license plates of any vehicles involved, the scene of the accident, any factors that may have contributed to the accident, and photo documentation of your immediate injuries.
- Retain a copy of the accident report if available, or take down the officer’s name, badge number, station of duty, contact information, and the report number. Ask if online accident reports will be available.
- Ask for the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Their outside, unbiased perspective can be critical in proving fault and contribute to the documentation a rideshare accident attorney will use to prepare for your claim or case.
Working with Lyft and Uber accident attorneys in Georgia makes it evident to insurance companies that you take your health and recovery seriously. Immediately contacting our team following an accident allows us to begin the critical work for you. Over time, vital evidence can be lost, affecting the outcome of your claim that is essential to recovery.
Additional Factors That May Influence the Outcome of a Claim
The insurance industry often scrutinizes the actions of an injury victim after a rideshare accident as well as other attorneys who may be involved, and even the jurors if a case is filed and taken to trial. Our Georgia rideshare accident attorney will advise on other critical factors that impact the outcome of a claim, such as:
- Honoring all doctors’ orders for therapies, follow-up appointments, testing, or any treatments recommended, which documents your intent on recovery
- Limiting social media posts after an accident, particularly those that suggest the damages sustained in the accident had minimal impact on the injured party’s health and wellness
- Giving recorded statements to insurance adjusters
Seemingly harmless actions can tremendously impact a claim or case if a court trial becomes necessary. We want clients to have every possibility available for a full recovery, even when insurance companies work tirelessly to limit compensation. Healthcare is costly, and getting needed help should never be compromised.
Passengers are not the Only Individuals Impacted by Rideshare Accidents
Other drivers who have sustained injuries or damage from the negligence of a rideshare driver should follow the same steps for documentation and reporting an accident as with any other accident. Contact your insurance company immediately following an Atlanta car accident in Georgia to share the contact and insurance information of the rideshare driver and make them aware of the other driver’s status as a rideshare contractor. Varying insurance policies can apply depending on whether or not the driver was on duty and transporting a passenger.
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Injuries Resulting from Rideshare Accidents
Time is money for Uber and Lyft drivers. The rush to get from one location to the next can lead to negligent driving practices. If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist injured by a rideshare driver, contact a Georgia rideshare accident lawyer immediately to receive the help you need.
Recent statistics provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) state that pedestrian deaths are continually rising in Georgia. Nine out of ten pedestrians struck by a car traveling 40 mph or faster die, making pedestrians some of the most vulnerable individuals on the highways. Our Uber and Lyft attorneys and team will work diligently to protect clients whose health has been impacted by a rideshare driver’s negligence.
Bicyclists in Georgia are also more vulnerable than ever to accidents resulting from rideshare automobiles. Since the first documented year on Georgia’s online crash database, bicycle accidents have continued to rise annually, with current annual data relaying that 830 bicycle riders were involved in crashes with a motor vehicle. Every traveler has the right to maneuver on the highways free from heightened concerns of bicycle accidents in Georgia.
Available Compensation for Georgia Passengers in Uber and Lyft Accidents
Medical debt can accumulate quickly, which alone produces some of the most stressful situations following a rideshare accident. In addition to these bills, the costs of everyday life continue to mount, particularly when time away from work is necessary for recovery. Attorney Joel Thrift understands the devastation of medical debt resulting from a personal injury and relentlessly works to remove the heaviness of debt by ensuring fair compensation for the following damages.
The economic damages a Georgia Uber accident lawyer may be able to secure for clients include those that have a definitive price tag and are more straightforward to define, such as:
- The costs of all necessary medical treatment resulting from the accident
- Medication costs
- Therapies and diagnostic testing
- Transportation costs to appointments
- Essential medical devices that increase mobility
- Any expenses associated with home care, such as lawn mowing or cleaning services, while incapacitated
This list does not include all possible economic damage recoveries that can benefit a rideshare accident victim. We take a personal approach to understanding how an accident impacts each person individually.
Insurance companies can heavily debate the non-economic damages resulting from a Georgia rideshare accident because these damages are based more on the personal experiences of each individual in an accident and less on a set dollar amount like those from economic damages. We understand the toll these injuries have on individuals and approach them compassionately but head-on when insurance companies fail to recognize the suffering of our clients from the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship
- Disfigurement or scarring
Accident victims suffering extensive damage are often left feeling alone, isolated, and uncertain in the weeks and months following a rideshare accident in Georgia. We take into account every need of our client, including those needs that may arise from future or ongoing medical treatment and mental health therapies, to help prepare for a future that encourages complete healing.
The Impact of New Rideshare Insurance Requirement Laws
Reducing required insurance coverage can make it more challenging for individuals injured by the negligence of a rideshare driver to receive appropriate compensation through the insurance claims process. If insurance limits are exhausted due to extensive treatment costs for severe injuries, a lawsuit may be the resulting action to help individuals recover compensation for damages.
While most claims are settled out of court, these recent impactful changes should be considered. Working with an Uber and Lyft attorney in Georgia who is willing to go the distance for clients is necessary when insurance coverage is inadequate. Negotiation is a vital skill we bring to any interaction, but ultimately, we arm clients with the knowledge to choose the best path moving forward, including filing a lawsuit when alternatives fail.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare drivers are often performing many jobs at once. Utilizing rideshare services in Georgia has become more popular than ever, removing the pressures of driving, parking, and getting home safely after a drink with dinner. However, the increased potential of an accident involving an Uber or Lyft service comes with the increased use of these services.
Unfamiliarity is a Challenge
Unfamiliar routes can prove challenging distractions for rideshare drivers, forcing them to take their eyes off the road in search of address numbers on buildings and houses, resulting in sudden stops, sporadic maneuvers, or other unsafe driving practices.
Distracted Driving Impacts Everyone
In addition to unfamiliarity, rideshare drivers have a lot happening around them all at once, which leads to distraction. A driver is responsible for locating their client through the rideshare app, which continually sends them information about where to go for pick-up and drop-off locations. Conversations between a driver and passenger can also detract attention from the road to the inside of the car.
Speeding can Result in a Late Arrival Time
Passengers expect prompt service, which can be reflected in a driver’s ratings online. Speeds may be ignored or go unnoticed, creating unsafe conditions for passengers and others traveling the highways while struggling to ensure service stays on time. However, an accident will ensure a late arrival every time.
Driving While Fatigued
Whether driving for rideshare is a primary job or a secondary income, long driving hours can lead to profound fatigue. According to Uber, some of the most stressful driving times are often the busiest, including rush hours, weekends, and evenings. Driving while fatigued can lead to poor judgment calls, increasing the risk of accidents.
Improper Passenger Pick-up and Dispatch
Hopping into a rideshare vehicle can require passengers to board and unload in areas with moving traffic close by, stopped partially in roadways, or at other busy locations. While drivers are often not looking for or expected to find a parking space, stopping outside safe loading zones can pose a tremendous threat to passengers and other vehicles.
A Lack of Vehicle Maintenance
With the time rideshare automobiles spend on the road, maintenance must be performed more frequently. While initial requirements are in place which specify vehicle maintenance requirements, continuing to follow these guidelines is not guaranteed. Worn tires and improperly maintained braking and steering systems can each contribute to accidents.
If necessary, a Georgia rideshare lawyer will investigate all of these factors to determine what elements contribute to safety hazards threatening passengers, other drivers, and highway users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Our responsibility to each client is to prove that a driver had a duty of care, and failing to meet that duty resulted in negligence. Joel Thrift Law takes these responsibilities to each client seriously and will work diligently to provide vital proof to secure compensation.
Trusted Georgia Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
Joel Thrift Law, LLC strives to ensure your confidence in the partnership that is formed when you work with our team following an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident. Knowing the steps to take can be challenging. We gladly offer a free consultation and begin removing the barriers to financial recovery for our clients when you contact us by filling out our online form or calling (404) 341-1063.