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    • Scott Pryor
      Scott Pryor

      Attorney at Law - Scott is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is listed in the top 1% of trial attorneys in the nation by the Litigator Awards. He is also a member of Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association—Champion Level and sits on the Communications Committee of GTLA, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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    • Philip Lorenz
      Philip Lorenz

      Attorney at Law - Philip W. (“Phil”) Lorenz is a seasoned trial attorney, Phil has tried, mediated, or facilitated settlement of tens of millions of dollars in claims and lawsuits over the course of his career.

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    • Angie Hemmings
      Angie Hemmings

      Intake Manager - Angie joined The Scott Pryor Law Group and quickly made her mark on the Firm. Her previous employment on staff at a local church prepared Angie for her current role in client relations and marketing. Meeting prospective clients, checking in regularly with current clients, and staying in touch with former clients are what Angie is passionate about. She wants you to know that you and your family are important to her.

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      Rhonda Anzaldua

      Marketing Manager - Rhonda brings over 20 years of customer service and hospitality experience to the marketing and intake team. She is passionate about providing our clients with an outstanding experience from the very first day, and prides herself in her ability to be straightforward and honest but also able to empathize and offer comfort in the difficult conversations.

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    • Lisa Serio
      Lisa Serio

      Legal Support Manager - Lisa focuses on optimizing the day-to-day business of the firm. With over 8 years of experience in managing Legal Offices, she has a unique set of invaluable skills and experiences to offer The Scott Pryor Law Group.

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Who is Responsible if I am Injured in an Accident While Using a Rideshare like Uber or Lyft?

Car accidents are terrifying experiences. But one aspect of car accidents that many people overlook is how confusing they can be. If you are injured in a car accident, then you need to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a compelling case in order to win a lawsuit and be compensated for what you’ve been put through.

While modern ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have helped to make it easier to get where we need to go, they have also had several detrimental effects. The way that Uber and Lyft have impacted the taxi industry is well-documented, but a less-documented outcome has been to make car accidents even more confusing. After all, who is responsible for an accident involving a ridesharing company, the company or the driver?

Today, we’re going to dive into this topic to learn more about how ridesharing accidents work. We’re going to make the assumption that you are a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, so things may be quite different if you were another driver or a pedestrian on the street. From this angle, we’ll see what happens when a rideshare driver is not at fault for an accident, what happens when they are at fault, and what kind of coverage Uber or Lyft offers to cover your medical bills and damages.

What Happens If the Rideshare Driver Is Not At Fault?

Car accident is a misleading term. Most car accidents aren’t accidents; instead, they are the result of somebody making a reckless, negligent, or careless decision. There are some unique cases wherein an accident is truly the result of nobody’s specific actions, but they are rare.

If you are involved in an accident while traveling in a rideshare vehicle, it is essential to establish which party acted recklessly. If it was the other driver, then the responsibility falls to that individual, and things proceed the same way they would if you were riding in a friend’s car instead of a ridesharing vehicle.

You would seek to recover damages through the responsible party’s insurance. In some cases, this is a rather straightforward process, but many insurance companies make lowball offers and use underhanded tactics to trick people into accepting lower payouts than they deserve. An experienced car accident attorney can help you to deal with a tough insurance company.

In cases where the at-fault driver’s coverage is too low to cover your damages, Uber and Lyft are both required to have UIM liability coverage of up to $1 million. This means that you can file a claim against their policy to cover the costs the at-fault driver failed to pay.

What Happens When the Rideshare Driver Is At Fault?

What happens when the rideshare driver is at fault depends on what stage of the rideshare experience they were engaged with. Since we are working from the assumption that you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, let us start there.

When a rideshare driver is actively transporting a customer, there is no question that they are currently on the job. Being on the job, the driver would not be relying on their own personal insurance coverage; instead, they would have to depend on Uber or Lyft’s commercial insurance policy.

Things get more complicated, however, when there is a gray area around the driver’s relationship with Uber and Lyft. To understand, we have to keep in mind that Uber and Lyft drivers typically use their own vehicles rather than a company car like a taxi driver would. Getting into an accident with that driver when they aren’t working would mean that they aren’t covered by the rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy but their own.

If a driver has logged onto the Uber or Lyft app to make themselves available for ride requests, then some commercial coverage is extended to them. When they have accepted a trip and are picking up or transporting a client, they have the best coverage. But say that an Uber driver turned off the app for a moment between trips. Even though they may be on their way to where they could easily get a customer (and therefore, it could be argued they are working), they wouldn’t be covered by the commercial insurance policy.

The fact that coverage is primarily based on what a driver is doing with an app on their phone makes the whole process much more complicated. If you aren’t sure who is responsible for your ridesharing accident, you should contact an experienced attorney for further assistance.

What Kind of Coverage Does Uber or Lyft Offer?

The level of coverage that Uber or Lyft offers depends on what step of the rideshare experience the driver was involved in at the time of the accident. As mentioned, if the app is closed and there are no customers in the vehicle, then a driver has to rely on their own personal insurance in the case of an accident.

If the driver is logged into the app, then Uber and Lyft offer insurance policies limited to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries, as well as $50,000 for property damage.

In situations where the driver has accepted a trip and is either picking up the customer or is actively transporting a customer, the coverage grows to be up to $1 million in liability and $1 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Remember, if the accident proves to be the fault of the other driver, then it would be up to you to make a claim through their insurance rather than Uber or Lyft’s insurance, though you can still access the uninsured motorist coverage if you need it.

Should I Speak to an Attorney?

An attorney with experience in rideshare accidents could make the whole experience easier. They’ll understand what options are available to you, and if you work with the right attorney, they won’t charge you a dime unless they win the case.

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