Understanding a Lyft or Uber Accident in Georgia
An experienced Lyft or Uber lawyer knows that passengers and drivers of rideshare services have special protections in the event of an accident. First, the company involved—whether it is Uber or Lyft—should preserve all of their GPS, cellular, and electronic data. Second, the injured person—whether a passenger or driver—is protected by special auto insurance policies
Who are Uber and Lyft?
Since getting started in 2009, Uber has become a popular way to get around. It was successful enough that competitors started to emerge, such as Lyft in 2012. As ridesharing companies, both Uber and Lyft should provide a safe environment both for the drivers who work for them and the passengers who pay them.
The companies are big, as a Lyft and Uber lawyer who takes them on must recognize. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Uber alone had 5,000 drivers in Georgia as of 2015. Since then, Uber and Lyft have only grown. Uber remains the dominant company. Recent estimates have placed the value of Lyft at $2.5 billion, and Uber at $50 billion. That means they can afford to hire big-name defense lawyers. Both companies are big in Georgia, especially in Atlanta. One news source ranked Atlanta the fifth-most hospitable city for ridesharing in the United States.
What if I am in a Lyft or Uber Accident?
What should you do if you’re involved in a Lyft or Uber accident? Here are some tips:
- Take care of your body! If you are hurt and need medical attention, call 911 and get it.
- Call the police. Which party ultimately bears responsibility for any injuries will depend on who is at fault for the collision. Most Georgia police officers are experienced at determining fault, so call an officer to the scene of the accident.
- Save the evidence.
- If you can, write down the names and contact information for any witnesses. The witnesses may leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive, or the police may be too busy to get the witnesses’ contact information, so copy it down as soon as possible.
- Take pictures of both vehicles and any roadway evidence, like skid marks.
- Make notes about the names of the Uber or Lyft driver, the names of other drivers, and the details of the trip you were on at the time of the collision. Screenshots are great!
- Seek help. Call an experienced Lyft or Uber lawyer.
Evidence: What Uber or Lyft Should Preserve
As a part of their businesses, Uber and Lyft keep GPS and electronic records about what their drivers are doing and where they are going while they are working. That evidence is important, and the rideshare company has a duty to save that evidence for the protection of its drivers and passengers.
The companies should save the evidence voluntarily, on their own, as soon as the Uber or Lyft driver or passenger reports the collision. At Butler Tobin, we take it one step further. Just in case the company doesn’t do what it should, we send official notice to the rideshare company that it should save the evidence. National and local legal news sources have written about Butler Tobin’s methods for making sure this evidence gets preserved.
This is one reason that you should not delay in contacting a Lyft or Uber lawyer who specializes in these cases—the faster we learn about your case, the faster we can remind the rideshare company to save the evidence.
Insurance: What a Lyft and Uber Lawyer Knows
Working drivers and paying passengers of Uber and Lyft have certain protections, above and beyond what regular cars have. Uber and Lyft both provide additional insurance in an effort to earn your business by keeping you protected. Making that insurance available to drivers and passengers is a responsible choice, and we commend Uber and Lyft for doing it.
With Uber, the types of insurance available depend on several factors that an Uber lawyer knows to investigate. For instance, if the driver of the Uber is not at fault, the insurance company of the driver who is at fault usually provides the first layer of coverage. After that, Uber’s coverage may kick in. If the Uber driver is ‘under dispatch’—that is, is either carrying a passenger or going to pick one up—and the Uber driver is at fault, Uber’s liability insurance policy provides protection for the passenger. If the Uber driver is not at fault, then Uber’s uninsured/undersinsured (“UM”) coverage kicks in to protect both the Uber driver and the Uber passenger. If the Uber vehicle is an UberBLACK, UberSUV, or uberTAXI, there may be commercial insurance available for the protection of driver and passenger.
Lyft is similar. As with Uber, if the Lyft driver is not at fault, the insurance company of the driver who is at fault is normally the first insurer on the hook. But a good Lyft lawyer knows that after that first insurance company, there are additional layers of insurance coverage. Like Uber, Lyft provides additional insurance to protect passengers if the Lyft driver is at fault. Further, if the Lyft driver is not at fault and the driver who is at fault did not carry enough insurance—which happens all too often—Lyft provides additional UM coverage to protect both the driver and passenger.
Talking with a Lyft and Uber Lawyer
A Lyft or Uber accident is different than a normal car accident case. If you or a loved one is involved in a collision while driving or riding with a rideshare company, contact a Lyft or Uber lawyer for a free, no-obligation review of the case.
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