How Georgia Uber, Lyft Accidents Differ From Other Car Accidents

How Georgia Uber, Lyft Accidents Differ From Other Car Accidents

Car accidents involving rideshare vehicles, such as Lyft and Uber, are on the rise in Georgia. Uber opened in Atlanta in 2012. Lyft arrived two years later, in 2014. We often hear about the many benefits of the rideshare industry. They provide efficient and affordable transportation. While these rideshare services are generally safe, they have increased the number of accidents, including fatalities, on Georgia roadways.

Georgia accidents involving the two primary rideshare services, Uber and Lyft, raise unique legal questions. These questions generally concern who is financially responsible when accidents do occur. With the possibility of multiple parties being at fault and overlapping insurance companies, the answer to these questions depends on the unique circumstances of each accident.

This article will review the current legal landscape and answer many of your questions concerning a Georgia Uber or Lyft accident. If you have any additional questions, contact Dozier Law for a free consultation.

Georgia Uber, Lyft Driver Requirements

When the two rideshare companies burst onto the scene in Georgia, there was some initial doubt about the safety of these companies. Those concerns centered mainly on whether the drivers themselves were trustworthy. Or, at least, as reliable as the more traditional taxi and car services.

The requirements to become a rideshare driver with either Uber or Lyft are much like those to qualify to drive for other similar services. In Georgia, Uber and Lyft drivers must meet the following minimal requirements:

  • Must be 21 years of age, or older
  • Must have a clean driving record
  • Must have a clean criminal history
  • Must own a four-door automobile
  • Must maintain collision, liability, and comprehensive insurance

In addition, once hired, the drivers are constantly subject to a review and rating process that is entirely transparent to anyone using either app.

Georgia Uber, Lyft Accidents Are Rising

The arrival of Uber and Lyft on the Georgia roads in the early part of the last decade has stressed the state’s roadways and public transportation networks, and accidents are on the rise.

There are several reasons for the stress. The relatively low cost of rideshare options is causing fewer and fewer people to rely on public transportation. Similarly, because rideshare drivers not only drive passengers from one location to another but drive between locations to pick up those passengers, more miles are being driven on the city’s roads. Finally, Uber and Lyft drivers remain on the streets while waiting for passengers, which means not only are more drivers on the road, but they are on the road for more extended periods.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University, Uber and Lyft have increased fatalities in automobile accidents across the nation by 2-3% per year. Before the emergence of Uber and Lyft in 2010, the number of roadway fatalities had steadily decreased since 1985. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed these statistics.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the increase in automobile accidents and roadway fatalities coincides with the arrival of Uber and Lyft in the heavily populated metropolitan areas of the state. In the previous two years, fatalities have increased nearly twenty percent. In fact, last year, Georgia experienced the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2007.

Both the NHTSA and GDOT agree that there are steps passengers should take to protect themselves. Specifically, do not drive with a distracted driver, and always wear your seatbelt.

Financial Responsibility For Georgia Uber, Lyft Accidents

Both Uber and Lyft maintain additional insurance for their drivers, with specific limitations. The frequently cited numbers indicate that both rideshare companies provide their drivers with a one-million-dollar policy. If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft-related accident in Georgia, it is essential to understand the fine print for how and when that policy applies.

If You Are An Uber Or Lyft Driver In An Accident

Your coverage will depend on several factors. Uber and Lyft will only cover you with their insurance policy when you are on duty. To be considered on-duty, drivers must be logged into the app and waiting for a ride, en route to pick up a passenger, or in the process of completing a ride. If none of the above apply, you are considered off-duty, and the company’s insurance policy will not cover you.

Even if you are on duty, the policies provide different levels of coverage depending on your activity at the time of the incident. If you are waiting for a booking, then you will be covered to the following limits:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

If you are either en route to pick up a passenger or in the process of transporting a passenger to their destination, then you will be covered to the following limits:

  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision (Uber $1,000 deductible; Lyft $2,500 deductible)

If You Are A Passenger In An Uber Or Lyft Accident

As a passenger, you are covered by both the driver’s policy and the policy held by Uber or Lyft. Your coverage begins the minute you get into the vehicle and does not terminate until you have exited the car.

Both companies provide a $1,000,000 policy. Importantly, Uber and Lyft provide uninsured and underinsured coverage. Uninsured and underinsured coverage means that if your Uber or Lyft is involved in an accident that is the fault of another driver who is not adequately insured, either Uber’s or Lyft’s policy will provide coverage for you.

As a result of the additional coverage provided by the rideshare companies, passengers in an Uber or Lyft receive the best available coverage of anyone.

If An Uber Or Lyft Driver Hits You

Whether you are a pedestrian or operating another vehicle, the coverage carried by an Uber or Lyft driver will depend on whether they were on or off duty, whether they were waiting to book a ride, or whether they were in the process of a ride.

If the accident occurs while an Uber or Lyft driver is off duty, you will only be able to pursue a lawsuit against the driver and will be limited by the insurance the driver has. If the driver is on duty, the rideshare company’s insurance will also apply to the following amounts:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Georgia Uber and Lyft accidents are on the rise. If you or a loved one have experienced an Uber or Lyft-related accident, you should contact an experienced Georgia rideshare accident lawyer.

Georgia Uber Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft ridesharing incident, then speak with a skilled Georgia rideshare accident attorney for guidance and direction. Dozier Law’s experienced accident attorneys know how to hold bad drivers and their ridesharing companies accountable and make them compensate you for your injuries and losses. Our consultation is free. We will take the time to understand your case and your needs and will work hard to help get you a meaningful financial recovery. Contact Dozier Law by calling (888) 239-2129 or contacting us online.

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