If you were injured while using Uber or another ridesharing service, you might have questions beyond your injury. For example, who is legally at fault? And how do you make sure they pay? Let us put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you.
Our attorneys will give you a free consultation to answer your questions, determine who is liable for your accident, and help you decide on the next steps. So, call us or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation from our Atlanta Uber accident attorneys today.
Is an Uber Passenger Accident Different From Other Accidents?
Over the past several years, ridesharing services have become popular in Atlanta. Ridesharing is like taking a taxi, but you use an app to request and pay for a ride instead of hailing a cab on a street corner.
Uber drivers use their own vehicles to transport passengers. Most of them are careful drivers who do their best to get passengers safely to their destinations. But like anyone else, they can be involved in accidents, and they can be held liable.
If you become injured as a passenger after getting in an accident in an Uber, you may have a claim just as you would in any other type of car accident, but seeking compensation for your accident is a little trickier when your rideshare driver is the one at fault.
Who Is at Fault in an Atlanta Uber Accident?
Most car accidents happen because one driver wasn’t as careful as they should have been. Legally, this is called “negligence.” A negligent driver is legally at fault and must pay the financial cost of an accident, including injuries and property damage.
The fault could lie with the Uber driver or a driver in another car:
- If another driver caused the accident, their insurance must pay for the damage.
- If the Uber driver is at fault, insurance plays out a little differently. The Uber driver must have a personal auto insurance policy; however, your accident will usually be covered by the ridesharing company’s insurance instead.
Uber carries a $1 million insurance policy to cover accidents involving passengers. This is good news because the Uber policy is much larger than a typical driver’s insurance coverage.
Our Uber accident lawyers in Atlanta can investigate the circumstances of your case to determine the at-fault party.
Why doesn’t My Driver’s Insurance Cover the Accident?
Standard auto insurance policies don’t allow drivers to use their policy for business reasons. There are separate commercial policies, often more expensive, meant for this because the liability amount could be much higher.
As independent contractors, Uber and other rideshare drivers violate this policy. Thus, we may have to go to the policy used by the rideshare company. There may be some legal red tape to get the two insurance companies to agree which one needs to cover you.
This can slow down your case. But if you have an Atlanta Uber accident attorney, it’s not as much of a concern. They will know how to push the matter to quickly get the insurers to pay you what you deserve instead of dragging your case out.
What if I Am Partially to Blame for the Accident?
A passenger of a ridesharing service is rarely at fault for an accident. This is because it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to keep their vehicle under control. However, you may share part of the blame for your injuries if you:
- Physically prevented the driver from operating the vehicle safely by, for example, obstructing their vision
- Took control of the vehicle by grabbing the wheel or pressing the accelerator
- Knowingly accepted a ride from someone who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Neglected to wear your seat belt
Under Georgia Code § 51-12-33, the compensation you receive for your losses will be reduced in proportion to your degree of blame. This is known as contributory negligence.
If the court determines that you are 25% at fault, for example, they will only award you 75% of your potential compensation. However, if you are over 50% responsible for your injuries, you will not be granted any damages under this system.
What Injuries Are Involved in Uber Accidents?
Car accident injuries can range from minor bruises to life-changing spinal cord injuries or even fatalities. Uber accidents are no exception, and the type of injuries you might suffer will depend on the type of vehicle you were in, where you were sitting, and how the accident happened.
Passengers in an Uber vehicle might experience these injuries:
- Head injuries: As a backseat passenger, you could sustain a concussion or other damage when you strike your head against the seat in front of you or another hard surface on the inside of the car.
- Whiplash: A whiplash injury is a painful condition caused by tearing of neck muscles when your head is suddenly propelled forward during the impact.
- Broken bones: You may withstand bone fractures or breaks from hitting your face, hands, or arms on the inside of the car.
- Cuts and bruises: You may receive lacerations and other wounds from broken glass and impacts during the collision.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The extreme nature of many car accidents can lead to emotional trauma and PTSD. You may be unable to drive due to anxiety after a car accident, or nightmares may keep you awake at night.
- Internal bleeding: Delicate internal organs can be damaged more than you’d expect in a car accident. Internal bleeding is a hidden and potentially dangerous injury that needs to be addressed right away.
Don’t assume a car accident injury is just a minor annoyance that will heal on its own. Always get it checked out by a doctor. Some wounds, like whiplash and internal bleeding, aren’t immediately apparent, but they can grow more severe and painful if they aren’t treated promptly.
How Much Money Will I Receive in an Uber Accident Claim?
As an accident victim in Georgia, you are entitled to recover all reasonable costs of your accident, no matter whose car you were riding in. The exact amount you will recover will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Many accident victims can recover the following costs:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription medication costs
- The cost of physical therapy
- Lost wages if you missed time from work because of the accident
If your injuries were more severe, you might be eligible for more significant financial awards for your pain and suffering or disability. In addition, if the at-fault party was driving under the influence (DUI), you may be able to recover punitive damages.
Money can never truly make up for the effects of a severe car accident. Still, it can help you maintain financial stability and support your family while you continue your recovery. And an Uber accident attorney in Atlanta can help.
Will I Always Get Non-Economic Damages?
Not necessarily. It depends on the severity of your injuries and the evidence we can gather about your experiences of things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Loss of income potential
A common way to settle these is to multiply your economic losses by a multiplier, usually between one and five. When we speak with the insurance company about these, the negotiations can get quite fierce!
If your case ends up going to trial, your accident lawyer will push hard to get the most they can. Once in front of a judge, the potential for a larger payout is much higher. However, it will also take much longer to resolve your case.
What if Uber Offers Me a Settlement?
After an accident caused by an on-the-clock rideshare driver, the insurance company may contact you directly to offer you money. Unfortunately, insurance companies are motivated to increase their profits by paying as little as possible in claims. This means their settlement offer is probably for less than your claim is worth.
Your claim will be considered “settled” if you accept the insurance company’s offer, and you won’t be able to sue to cover additional damages. That’s why it is essential to protect your rights by hiring an Uber accident lawyer in Atlanta.
How Can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
You want to have an attorney experienced in rideshare passenger cases on your team after an accident that involves an Uber driver. They will represent you, guide you throughout the process, and help in the following ways:
Getting an Accurate Estimate of Losses
A personal injury lawyer can help you by getting you to a doctor who can fully diagnose your injuries and give you an accurate estimate of their cost. This ensures that the insurance company won’t take advantage of you.
Your Uber accident attorney in Atlanta can also help compile an accurate accounting of your total losses. They understand which damages you can ask for, and they will ensure you get every penny you deserve.
A lawyer can also make sure the responsible party is held accountable. Occasionally the ridesharing company may try to wriggle out of paying, saying the driver was negligent and their personal policy should pay.
There may be a dispute over whether the Uber driver or someone else was to blame, or the other driver may lack insurance. A good lawyer will investigate the accident, reviewing police reports and witness accounts to build a case showing who must pay.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
The third way a lawyer can help is by taking the insurance claim off your plate, relieving stress, and freeing you to focus on getting better.
A lawyer will handle negotiations with insurance companies and will usually be able to get you far more than the insurance company would have offered on its own. If necessary, a lawyer can also file an Atlanta car accident lawsuit and handle it every step of the way.
Talk to an Atlanta Uber Passenger Accident Lawyer for Free
The Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer legal firm has only one mission: to help people who have been injured in accidents. We won’t charge you a dime unless we can get money for you. We’d like to give you a free, no-obligation consultation to show you what we can do for you.
Call us or fill out our online contact form to get your free consultation today with an Uber accident lawyer in Atlanta.