Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become an increasingly popular alternative to taxi cabs. They offer people a safe and convenient way to get from place to place without spending a lot of money. People will often take such a service because they have been drinking alcohol and want to avoid getting into an accident.
If you are a driver who is involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, or if you are injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you may end up in a knot of red tape.
Insurance Laws in Georgia
A driver in Georgia must carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. They must have $25,000 worth of insurance for damage to property. They are also required to carry an equal amount of uninsured driver insurance.
Services such as Lyft and Uber are required to carry insurance for a driver who is working. They must insure the driver for $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident when the driver is awaiting passengers. The service must provide $1,000,000 liability for injuries and property damaged and $1,000,000 underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage when the driver is on an active ride. The app must be working perfectly to determine exactly when a ride starts.
If you are driving and you are hit by a driver for Lyft or Uber, you should do just what you would do at the scene of any other accident. You should call the police, wait for them to arrive, exchange information with the other driver and take pictures if you can. You should then report the accident to your insurance company, the ridesharing services insurance company, and the ridesharing service.
To be on the safe side, you should ask for the driver’s personal insurance information as well as the rideshare services insurance information. Rideshare services change insurance carriers often.
If you collide with a rideshare driver who is just awaiting passenger or on their way to pick up passengers, they will have far less insurance than they would if they had passengers in their car.
If You Are a Lyft Passenger
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and your driver causes the accident, you should be able to recover money from the ride-sharing service’s insurance company. When you do get into a car, always remember to buckle up. If your seatbelt was not buckled, an insurance company may try to get out of paying you. You should never agree to pay a rideshare driver under the table. The ridesharing service’s insurance will not cover you in an accident if the driver is not officially on a ride.
Both Uber and Lyft have options on their app to report an accident. They will ask you for detailed information the same way that an insurance company would. If someone from the company calls you on the phone, they may ask to tape-record the conversation, but most attorneys would advise you not to let them.
How Rideshare Services Work
When a person drives for a rideshare service, they are considered to be an independent contractor. However, rideshare services do require those people who are signed up as drivers to undergo a criminal background check. This background check will reveal both traffic violations and felonies. Drivers for Lyft and Uber may not have had more than three moving violations in the last three years. They cannot have had any major traffic violations in the last three years and they cannot have had any serious driving convictions or drug-related driving convictions in the last 7 years. Both Lyft and Uber use a third party for performing background checks.
If a rideshare service failed to do a background check, or if that background check was inaccurate, you may want to talk to an attorney about suing the rideshare service for damages.
If you have been injured as a rideshare passenger or if you have been hit by a rideshare driver, you can find out more here.
Lyft and Uber have been around for less than a decade and laws pertaining to them can be vague. You will need the assistance of a trained personal injury attorney to get the money you deserve.