Any time you choose to ride in a vehicle operated by another driver, you are putting your safety in that individual’s hands. You expect the driver to operate the vehicle in a safe manner and to make wise driving decisions. You are also subjecting yourself to the whims of other drivers on the roads as well, without leaving yourself an opportunity to respond to any poor driving decisions they may make.
In most cases, when you choose to take a taxi or a bus, you are dealing with a professional driver who has a great deal of training and experience. With the rise of Uber and other ridesharing services, you may be using the services of a driver without the same level of professionalism and skill. Uber is a ridesharing program in which drivers are matched with passengers, typically at fares that are less than those charged by taxis. Uber uses smartphones to connect available drivers with passengers in their area who need rides. Uber takes a portion of the fee, and the driver is paid for his or her services. In many cases, drivers are awarded according to how many rides they can deliver, which could lead to speeding.
Unfortunately, many passengers using ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft are injured every year in automobile accidents. The driver may be distracted by his or her phone or could be engaging in other unsafe behaviors. Many ridesharing programs do not provide passengers with proper insurance coverage. In fact, there have been several highly-publicized cases over the past few years in which someone was seriously injured or killed by a car operated by a ridesharing company, and the ridesharing company tried to deny liability for a host of reasons. If the ridesharing company refuses to pay the damages, typically liability will then be the responsibility of the individual driver’s policy. Most drivers carry minimal policies, and the insurance companies may refuse to pay since the driver was engaged in a commercial driving activity, and the insurance policies carried by individual drivers are normally personal policies only.
Insurance companies do not make money by being overly generous and paying all the damages to which injured parties are entitled after an accident. Instead, a common tactic of insurance companies is to deny coverage and to only fairly compensate injured parties when they are threatened with a personal injury lawsuit. In cases involving Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services, the insurance policy provided by the ridesharing company may cover the accident, but in many cases that insurance is not sufficient to truly compensate the injured party for his or her damages. In that situation, the injured party may be required to seek compensation from the company itself in order to get truly fair compensation.
Attempting to recover damages from an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle can be complex and may involve several different parties and insurance policies. You may run into issues with the company claiming the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee and therefore denying liability. The best thing to do is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can work hard on your behalf to ensure that you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
If you are in the Atlanta area and have been injured in an accident with a vehicle from Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing company, call the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Holston & Huntley at (404) 620-3337. We will provide you with a free consultation on your case, and you pay us nothing in attorney’s fees until we obtain compensation for you. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. We serve Metro Atlanta Georgia as well as Birmingham Alabama including surrounding areas.