Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the passenger transportation industry, and they are very popular methods for getting around large urban areas, such as Atlanta.
Ordering rideshare transportation allows people to hand over the wheel to someone else and avoid confronting Atlanta's notorious traffic themselves. However, with this added convenience comes risk.
An Uber or Lyft driver may drive negligently or recklessly and cause an accident, or another driver can collide with a rideshare vehicle, causing serious injuries to the driver and their rideshare passengers.
Car accidents involving Lyft or Uber can be tricky to handle. An Atlanta Uber and Lyft accident lawyer with Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group can help you handle it all.
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can work to recover the compensation you are entitled to while helping you navigate the legal process.
Call us today at 404-476-8400 or complete our contact form to request a free legal consultation. Our Atlanta Uber and Lyft accident attorneys will review your personal injury claim and help you pursue compensation to cover your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
Areas in Atlanta That Are at Higher Risk for Uber and Lyft Accidents
Areas with a higher population and more traffic are more likely to have car accidents overall. As such, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that car accidents are an increasingly serious problem in Fulton County.
According to their data, 154 fatal accidents happened within Fulton County in 2021 compared with 145 fatal accidents in 2020.
Atlanta’s Transportation Plan also reveals that injury crashes happen more often in certain parts of the city.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in Atlanta include:
- Marietta Street and Northside Drive
- Ponce De Leon Avenue and Clifton Road
- Cleveland Avenue and Metropolitan Parkway
- University Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue
- Barge Road and Campbellton
- Peachtree Road and Piedmont Avenue
- Joseph E. Boone Boulevard and Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
- Macon Drive and Cleveland Avenue
Of course, a serious car accident can happen anywhere in the city. You shouldn't have to pay your substantial medical costs if the accident was not your fault, and you deserve a full and fair settlement to help cover all your losses.
Uber and Lyft Crash Data
According to data from Uber, about 90 percent of all Uber accidents occur in urban areas, which include developed areas with dense populations, such as Atlanta.
Uber also notes that around 100 fatal crashes involving their rideshare app occur each year. Third parties account for 58% of Uber accident victims, and Uber drivers and their passengers each account for around 21%.
In a recent year, Lyft reported 49 car accident fatalities, but the company did not provide percentage breakdowns of accident victims.
How Do Uber and Lyft Vet Their Drivers?
Both Uber and Lyft vet potential drivers by conducting background checks that include criminal records and sex offender searches.
Each company also looks into a driver's driving record to ensure the driver is not a risk, and they conduct annual reviews of their drivers to make sure they still comply with the company's standards.
Both companies continually monitor their drivers as well. If a driver gets arrested or conducts a major traffic violation, for instance, Uber or Lyft will learn of the issue quickly and can determine if the driver can continue working for them.
Although proper vetting and safeguards are important, issues can still arise with rideshare drivers. Aside from causing accidents, Uber or Lyft drivers have been arrested and convicted of physically or sexually assaulting a passenger.
Risks of Assault and Other Crimes
Most of the time when you request an Uber or Lyft ride, you will not know the driver, and unfortunately, you can't always rely on the company's vetting practices to keep you safe.
Both Uber and Lyft have received thousands of reports from riders who allege their driver physically or sexually assaulted them. Other cases have involved rideshare drivers robbing their passengers, abducting them, or murdering them.
Likewise, many Uber and Lyft drivers have reported their passengers assaulting or robbing them. As a driver, you have no idea who you are picking up, and they may have weapons to threaten or injure you. A passenger may also try to sexually assault you.
Even though each company publishes its vetting procedures and safety measures, neither falls under the jurisdiction of federal and state commercial carrier laws.
They are not transportation network companies like taxi companies, and they are not held to the same standards as other motor carriers. Uber and Lyft can establish their own rules without much oversight.
Both companies claim they are committed to driver and passenger safety, and each has safety features included in their apps. Unfortunately, assaults and other violent acts happen all too regularly.
If an Uber or Lyft driver assaulted you, or if you are a driver who suffered assault from your passenger, you should contact 911 immediately and report the incident. You should also carefully document the facts and circumstances of your case and ensure you get the other party's name and rideshare information.
You should then contact the personal injury lawyers at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group for free advice regarding your options for obtaining compensation from the liable party.
Can I Sue Lyft or Uber for an Accident?
Because Lyft and Uber drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees, Uber or Lyft are less likely to be held legally responsible for the actions of their drivers. If a driver's negligence caused the crash, you could bring a lawsuit against the driver—but probably not Uber or Lyft.
However, Uber and Lyft drivers can sue other drivers for their injuries and vice versa.
While you generally cannot file a lawsuit against Lyft and Uber, these companies carry large liability policies, which often provide an adequate recovery option.
Lyft and Uber accidents can produce significant insurance settlement amounts, but you will need an attorney to help you navigate the process.
If you were injured in a ridesharing accident, an accident lawyer in Atlanta can evaluate your case and provide you with counsel to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
What Damages Can I Recover After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
People injured by someone else's negligence in a rideshare accident have the legal right to seek compensation under Georgia state law.
Victims may receive money to help with:
- Emergency room care, hospital bills, necessary surgery, medications, and more
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy for the injury
- Related medical expenses for the injury
- Loss of income
- A diminished earning ability
- Disabilities resulting from your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death (if you lost a close family member in a crash)
You should go to a doctor right away following an accident. If you ignore your injuries, this can hurt your case. You will need evidence that you were injured, and a doctor can provide that, as well as a prognosis for how your injury will affect your life going forward.
A prognosis is important because you want to obtain compensation not only for your past and current medical expenses but other expenses you will incur in the future.
For example, if your injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities, you will require lifelong care and accommodations that can easily run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Along with compensatory damages such as those listed above, you may also be eligible for other compensation, depending on your losses and the circumstances of your case.
For instance, sometimes courts award punitive damages in personal injury lawsuits. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to others.
A court will usually only award punitive damages in cases of egregious misconduct, unlawfulness, or intentional harm, such as assault or DUI. Therefore, you will need an attorney to convince the court the defendant acted in wanton disregard for your safety and advocate for you at trial.
What Is the Process of Recovering Damages after an Uber Accident?
Pursuing compensation after any car accident can be challenging. However, with rideshare accidents, the process is even more complex. For one, you will probably have to deal with two or more insurance companies.
You may also have to deal with two or more drivers or affected parties. Additionally, you may have to file injury claims with the Uber driver's personal insurance, Uber or Lyft's liability insurance, and maybe even your own insurance company.
Dealing with any one of these scenarios is tough enough without the skills and knowledge of an experienced Uber accident attorney. So, you should reach out to an Atlanta Uber accident lawyer today for help getting started.
Your attorney will have to establish the other driver's liability to have a valid claim. They can show liability through police reports and other evidence of the accident.
When they file your claim with the insurance company, your attorney will detail your injuries and their costs and assert how the policy is supposed to cover your injuries. They will also send a demand letter that provides an amount the insurance company can pay to settle the claim to avoid going to court.
The insurance company can accept your claim and agree to pay you the amount you ask for. In most cases, however, they will respond with a lower settlement amount, and your attorney can negotiate to get more.
Once you reach a settlement amount, you will have to sign an agreement promising not to pursue compensation in the future, and the insurance company will initiate the process of sending your attorney a check.
If the insurance company denies your claim or acts in bad faith regarding the insurance policy or paying your settlement, you can have your attorney file a lawsuit against them in court.
How Do I Prove Negligence for a Lyft or Uber Accident?
If your case goes to court, your attorney must show the defendant failed to provide proper care or precaution while performing their duties by establishing:
- The driver had a legal responsibility to protect you.
- The driver breached a legal obligation to reasonably protect their passengers and other drivers from harm.
- The negligence of the driver led to the accident.
- This led to your injuries and other losses, such as financial loss for medical bills, your inability to work, and your pain and suffering.
To prove negligence, your attorney will need to gather a lot of evidence and information to support it, and they will obtain and review the official police report, accident reconstruction reports, witness information, and more.
Your attorney will also have to gather evidence of your damages and losses to accurately calculate the amount of compensation you need.
Building a strong Uber accident case can take time, so you need to get started as soon as possible. If you wait, you may jeopardize any chance you have of recovering compensation.
How Long After an Accident Can I Sue?
In Georgia, you have two years after the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. While that may seem like enough time, it's not.
Gathering evidence, investigating the accident, and fully calculating your compensation takes time, and settlement negotiations with the insurance company can drag on for weeks or months.
If you wait too long to file, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will have no other legal options to pursue compensation. Therefore, if you suffered injuries or lost a close family member in an Uber accident, you should contact an Atlanta Uber accident lawyer immediately for help.
Whose Insurance Applies in An Uber or Lyft Accident?
Rideshare apps require their drivers to carry liability auto insurance, which can be applied to cover injuries and other damages for both the driver and passenger.
Depending on when and how the accident occurred, either the driver or the rideshare company’s insurance coverage will kick in and cover your losses.
An accident claim could involve multiple parties, such as:
- Lyft or Uber’s insurance company
- The third-party driver’s insurance company
- The insurance of any other person who collided with the rideshare vehicle
Recovering damages from a rideshare car accident is tricky but possible. An Atlanta Uber or Lyft accident lawyer from our team can help you handle the entire process.
How Does Lyft and Uber Insurance Work?
Uber and Lyft drivers receive supplemental insurance coverage, but this only applies when the app is on. A driver's own car insurance covers them when the app is off. If the app is on, and they are waiting to accept a ride request and get into a crash, then Uber or Lyft will cover the accident only if the driver's personal insurance policy does not.
When a driver accepts a request from a passenger, full coverage from Uber's and Lyft's liability insurance policy begins until they drop that passenger off at their destination and the passenger exits the vehicle.
Lyft and Uber provide the following liability insurance coverage:
- $1 million third-party liability coverage when the rideshare driver is at fault
- Bodily injury coverage if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits them and the Uber driver is not at fault
- Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance that will cover the car's actual cash value with a $2,500 deductible.
If you drive for Uber or Lyft and you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), you need to contact your commercial partner's insurance company to find out your options for filing a claim and recovering damages.
What Are My Insurance Options if I Am Injured as a Lyft or Uber Passenger?
When the Lyft or Uber driver is at fault for the accident, a passenger may have a right to recover compensation through Lyft or Uber’s liability policy.
However, if you were a driver in a crash with a Lyft or Uber driver and they had not signed on to the app, you may have to seek compensation from the driver's personal insurance policy. You may also file a lawsuit against the driver.
What Five Steps Should You Take After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
You need a diligent lawyer after a car accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver, as recovering damages after these accidents can involve complicated laws.
If you are in a Lyft or Uber accident:
- Seek medical attention. If you suffered injuries in a rideshare accident in Atlanta, you should get a prompt medical evaluation, if you haven't already. Sometimes a serious injury is not readily apparent and will take time before showing symptoms. A doctor can determine if you need treatment for hard-to-spot injuries or those with delayed symptoms, like whiplash or concussions.
- Call 9-1-1. Georgia law requires reporting auto accidents to the local or state police if the crash results in bodily injuries or death or the total value of property damage exceeds $500. To seek compensation, you need an official police report.
- Document the scene. In addition to contacting the authorities, you should collect photos of the crash, any injuries sustained, and other pertinent information regarding the crash. This can also include writing the details of the accident down while the incident is still fresh in your mind.
- Inform Uber or Lyft of the accident. Accidents can be reported through Uber or Lyft's apps via the Safety Center for Lyft or Help for Uber. Keep a record of your initial report and the company's responses (or lack thereof) following the report. Drivers involved in an Uber or Lyft accident can also report the accident via Uber or Lyft's websites.
- Contact an accident attorney. Uber and Lyft are major companies backed by corporate attorneys and insurance representatives. We advise anyone involved in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Atlanta to contact our team. We have the experience to help with your case.
Also, consider these tips below that are unique to drivers or passengers involved in rideshare accidents.
What Should Lyft or Uber Drivers Do After an Accident?
As with any accident, your first step should be to make sure everyone involved is safe. If nobody is seriously injured and if you can do so, move the car to the road's shoulder to help prevent more accidents. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights to warn oncoming traffic of the hazard.
Get the other driver's information and the contact details of your passenger. Contact Uber or Lyft immediately to report the accident.
What Should Passengers Do After a Lyft or Uber Accident?
If you are injured as a passenger in a Lyft or Uber accident, you may want to take your case to a lawyer from our team. Dealing with Uber or Lyft on your own can be challenging, and we know how to seek the best possible compensation available in your case.
If you are able at the accident scene, you should collect the following:
- The driver's rideshare insurance information
- The Uber driver's personal policy information
- The contact information of any other drivers involved
If you sustained injuries in the crash, get immediate medical attention and call an Atlanta Uber accident lawyer at our law firm for help.
What Should I Do if I Am Another Driver Involved in an Accident with a Rideshare Vehicle?
Depending on who is at fault in an accident, Uber or Lyft’s insurance policies may cover your bodily injuries and property damage. In addition to following the five general steps above, you should collect contact information for the driver, including the driver’s rideshare insurance and personal policy information.
Additionally, if Uber or Lyft contacts you to make a recorded statement about the crash, decline to do so. Be sure to avoid admitting fault for the crash in any comments you make. This call may be an attempt to lower your potential settlement or award. You can tell any insurance representatives to speak with your lawyer.
Injured in a Lyft or Uber Accident and Need Help Seeking a Settlement in Atlanta?
If you were in a collision involving a Lyft or Uber vehicle and need further assistance, an attorney at the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group is here to help.
We believe that accident victims deserve proper compensation for their injuries so they can get back to living their lives.
We understand that insurance companies are hard to work with, and they may not always help you get what you need to take care of your injuries. We will fight to help you get the financial compensation you deserve.