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What Insurance Covers Rideshare Accidents?

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A dissapointed man sits in his rideshare vehicle.This depends on several factors, including:

  • Who caused the accident?
  • Was the rideshare driver connected to the rideshare company app?
  • Was the rideshare driver carrying a passenger?

Many different situations fall under “rideshare accidents.” You could be a passenger in a rideshare when it gets in an accident, or you could be a driver or passenger of another car involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle. Additionally, a pedestrian or bicyclist could be hit by a rideshare driver. Let’s take a closer look at these possibilities:

You’re a Rideshare Customer, and the Driver Has an Accident

If the rideshare driver is at fault for the accident, you should be covered by a $1,000,000 liability policy from Lyft or Uber. In most rideshare cases, this is enough to cover an injured person’s damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, etc. However, there are some potential pitfalls in collecting your damages:

  • The rideshare driver and/or the company’s insurance carrier don’t think the rideshare driver was at fault, and therefore the other driver/their insurance carrier should pay any damages. The other driver also claims no responsibility for the accident, and their insurer agrees. (Insurance companies love an excuse to deny a claim.) Meanwhile, your bills are piling up.
  • The rideshare’s insurance company makes you an offer. Most people think this is great news because they will get their claim paid without issue. Unfortunately, an insurance carrier’s initial offer is frequently lower than what you would need to cover all your expenses. To complicate matters, it’s very difficult to calculate your own damages if you don’t happen to be an expert on insurance or the legal system. Most people underestimate what their claim is worth because they overlook some losses or forget to consider future costs (which may be difficult to estimate on your own, even if you remember).

If you were in a rideshare accident as a passenger, we recommend contacting a Georgia rideshare accident lawyer immediately. We can investigate the accident and help establish fault, then negotiate with the appropriate insurance carrier to ensure you’re fully compensated for your injuries. We’ll also help you estimate your damages and review any offer you receive so you know if it’s a reasonable amount or not.

If the other driver is responsible, rather than the Uber or Lyft driver, we would help you file a claim with their insurance. In this case, you’d probably be dealing with personal insurance (unless the other driver was also in a commercial vehicle). The state of Georgia requires a minimum of $25,000 in coverage per person for bodily injury liability or $50,000 per accident. If you have more damages or the other driver was uninsured, the rideshare company’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may pay the balance.

You’re a Driver, Bicyclist, or Pedestrian Struck by a Rideshare Driver

The rideshare company’s insurance should still apply in some of these situations, but you may have the added complication of the driver and/or their insurance carrier trying to blame you for the accident. A driver with too many accidents on their record – especially ones where they were at fault – may be at risk of being “deactivated” by the company. They might also remember the details of the accident differently than you do. The rideshare company’s insurance adjuster will likely accept any explanation that relieves them of responsibility.

Why is the Rideshare Insurance Not Applicable in Some Accidents?

When you ride in an Uber or Lyft, you are covered by $1,000,000 in liability insurance because the driver has connected with a customer. If they have simply logged onto the app and are driving around waiting for a fare when the crash happens, their coverage is only $100,000 but should still be available if they cause you damages. However, if a person is driving in their Lyft or Uber vehicle for personal reasons, and has not logged into the system, then the rideshare insurance has no obligation to cover an accident and you will need to make a claim on the driver’s personal insurance. Sometimes this is confusing because if a car has a rideshare sticker or light, you might assume the motorist was driving for the company at the time of the crash. Records will show if this is the case or not.

The Role of Modified Comparative Negligence in Georgia

It’s also helpful to know that in Georgia, fault in a car accident is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don’t have to prove the other driver is 100 percent at fault to collect damages, and they don’t have to prove you’re 100 percent at fault to reduce or even eliminate their liability. The way it works in a court case is that a jury assigns each party a percentage of responsibility for the accident. A party that is mostly at fault (50 percent or more) cannot collect damages from a party with less responsibility (less than 50 percent to blame). The driver with less than 50 percent liability can collect damages from the other driver, but their award will be reduced by their own percentage of fault.

This means that the insurance company can lower its liability by making a case that you contributed to the accident in some way, even if the rideshare driver was primarily at fault. For instance, if they can convince a jury that you were even 20 percent at fault, they can pay less of your damages.

However, you should also know that most car accident cases aren’t settled in court. Most are worked out in negotiations between the injured party’s lawyer and the insurance company, but any perceived fault you might have can still affect what the insurance carrier is willing to agree to. For this reason, we advise you to do the following:

  • After the accident, answer the responding officer’s questions honestly, but don’t volunteer information or give your opinion on whose fault the accident was.
  • Don’t say that you believe the crash was your fault. Many people think they were at fault when they weren’t! It’s also not your responsibility to determine who caused the accident.
  • Call a lawyer as soon as possible. We will go to the accident scene, interview potential witnesses, look for nearby doorbell or surveillance cameras that might have captured the crash, subpoena phone records and vehicle black box data from the rideshare driver, and more. Often this helps us find evidence to show you were not at fault. However, much of this evidence will disappear over time, so the sooner you call us, the better we can do this job.

How Do You File Uber/Lyft Insurance Claims?

You can visit the Progressive Insurance (Lyft) or Farmers Insurance (Uber) websites, or you can call or use their respective mobile apps. Once you’ve started the claims process, you’ll receive a claim number that you’ll need to hold onto, and an insurance adjuster will contact you soon after.

There is one essential thing that you need to understand about the claims adjuster: They are not your friend, and it’s not their job to help you. It’s their job to save the company money by finding reasons to deny a claim or use modified comparative negligence to lower the insurer’s exposure.

At first, the adjuster might be nice, friendly, and personable. They may tell you that they just have a few questions so they can process your claim and get your damages paid, but you should be very careful about what you say to them. Insurance adjusters almost always record their calls with claimants – you may hear a brief message about recording calls for “quality control.” After the conversation, the adjuster will listen to it again and pick apart everything you say, looking for anything that can be misconstrued to indicate you were at fault. We’ve met more than one client who made a seemingly innocent comment or tried to explain why the other driver was to blame, and the adjuster took it as evidence of the victim’s culpability. This is another reason we recommend talking with a lawyer before you speak to the claims adjuster.

Do You Need to Pay a Retainer for the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm to Help with Your Rideshare Accident?

No. Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm to help injured people get the compensation they deserve. We understand that a car accident with a negligent driver can leave you with growing medical debt and other financial difficulties, and the last thing we want to do is add to your problems. Your initial consultation with us is always free, and there is no obligation so that you can learn about your options at no charge. If we take your case, we work on a contingency basis, and you don’t pay anything until we secure a settlement. Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm at 833-254-2923 today.

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