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Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity since the invention of the concept in 2009 and with good reason. Rideshares made a name offering a balance between the services of a taxi and the convenience – and often, the comfort – of a private vehicle.
But as with any widely available service, the more something is used, the more likely people using it will run into mishaps. And, being vehicles on the road, a single mishap can have grievous consequences for anyone involved, be it the driver, a passenger, or someone else.
In Fulton County, it gets even more complicated when you consider that rideshare drivers are not legally recognized as employees but rather independent contractors under rideshare companies.
For example, where traditional taxi companies are legally responsible for damages caused by accidents involving their drivers, there is no guarantee that an independent contractor’s employer will do the same. This is because of multiple sources of liability.
Granted, rideshare companies do have insurance policies, but these only cover damage their drivers cause under specific circumstances, adding an extra step for claimants to go through.
These conditions for pursuing a claim are often dependent on whether or not the driver was transporting (or on the way to) a passenger, but proving whether or not they were can be difficult, especially for victims who might have been outside the vehicle.
Different factors in rideshare accidents come into play that can make it difficult to get the compensation you need out of a personal injury claim. When your attempts at compensation fall through, it might be time to hire a professional rideshare lawyer.
The short answer to this question would be yes. The long answer would be yes, provided your case has some specific circumstances we’re going to go through.
Hiring a lawyer is not a technical requirement in order to make a claim or to negotiate a settlement. In fact, there are many cases where you can settle a claim on your own, usually if you are eligible for the entire value of your policy up to its limits.
This is why good lawyers offer free consultations before agreeing to work with you. They want to ensure that you get something out of having to pay legal fees in the first place, so they will take a look at your case and recommend a course of action before you commit to working together.
Now, practically speaking, however, there are plenty of times when having a lawyer is a requirement in a sense. This is because – especially for claims of five or six figures – insurance companies often try to argue to pay out as little as possible.
As an example, as long as the policy has room to spare, an insurance agent might evaluate any medical treatment you need based on the cheapest services and goods available. Alternatively, they might try to argue that some injuries were not caused by the accident, devaluing the claim.
The issue here is people who work alone rather than with a lawyer are more likely to accept the insurance adjuster’s findings rather than contest them. As a result, nearly half of claimants who choose to file claims on their own do not get compensation.
Compared to this, claimants who work with lawyers have been shown to get some form of payout roughly nine out of ten times. These same people also, on average, claim three to four times the amount of compensation that they would if they worked alone.
Of course, not just any lawyer can handle a rideshare accident case.
Rideshares fall in a place between private vehicles and taxis, and the laws surrounding their operational use are relatively new. Knowing the ins and outs of these laws, in addition to general traffic laws, is essential in determining fault in a rideshare accident.
And in an at-fault state like Georgia, these details can make or break cases. This sensitive nature of rideshare accident cases reinforces our statement about expert rideshare lawyers: not technically, but practically required.
There are generally two avenues through which you might be able to receive compensation after a rideshare accident: the driver’s insurance company or that of the rideshare company itself. Which one will actually give you a payout will depend on the circumstances of the event.
In the event of an accident involving a rideshare driver, your lawyer will usually opt to file a claim against both insurance providers in order to save time. They will later pursue compensation from whoever the insurance adjusters determine who covers the payout for the accident.
All that said, there are instances where a third option is available, and you must pursue coverage from another party altogether. For example, if a rideshare driver swerved and hit you because they were avoiding a drunk driver, you might pursue a claim against them instead.
There are two scenarios where you would have to pursue a damage claim from the rideshare driver’s own liability insurance policy. The first is if they are driving but not logged on to the rideshare app, and the second is if they are logged on but are not serving a passenger.
In the first scenario, you will file a claim against the driver and collect compensation as if you were in a regular car accident. In the second, you will still file a claim with the driver’s insurance policy, but the rideshare company’s insurer will shoulder some of the burden for the driver.
The second scenario usually occurs when the driver has just dropped off a passenger or when they are waiting for a ride request. The company, in this situation, will typically grant an additional $50,000 in coverage per person up to a maximum of $100,000 per accident.
Note that there are times when a claim against the driver doesn’t automatically mean their insurance company will cover damages. For example, if you were hurt because of an intentional or criminal act such as assault by the driver, the insurance provider will not pay damages.
In such an event, your lawyer will likely recommend pursuing a lawsuit against the driver themselves. This will offer you the opportunity to pursue both recompense and justice with court-mandated awards and disciplinary actions against the perpetrator.
In the event you are involved in an accident with a rideshare driver and they are serving a passenger, you can file a claim against the rideshare company itself. This also holds if you are the passenger being transported and you are injured in the accident.
Both Lyft and Uber maintain a minimum of $1,000,000 in third-party auto liability for their drivers. Keep in mind we use the word “serving” and not “transporting” because, contrary to what many believe, the rideshare company covers injuries even while the driver is still en route.
Filing a claim against someone other than the rideshare driver isn’t especially common, but it can happen. This is because, in Georgia, drivers follow a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to accidents.
Comparative negligence essentially means that the party that is most at fault for an accident will cover the damages of those involved through their policy. However, the “modified” part of it all is that all parties can share fault, the degree of which will be deducted from their total claim.
If we assume, for instance, that you as a passenger were injured in a rideshare vehicle but that the driver only performed the swerve that led to your injuries in order to avoid a potentially more dangerous accident with a drunk driver.
In such circumstances, the drunk driver can and will likely be held at fault for the accident rather than the rideshare driver. This means both you and the rideshare driver can file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.
If you’re in Fulton County and need help after being harmed in or by a rideshare service vehicle, the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm is standing by to offer aid. Our expert attorneys cover all aspects of personal injury law, including rideshare accidents.
Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer in 2016 and, over the years, has honed it into an efficient legal machine that recovers millions of dollars in personal injury claims for clients each year. And we look forward to doing the same for you.
We are one of the fastest-growing firms in the country, serving clients in Georgia and Tennessee in both English and Spanish. We offer free consultations and do not charge until we have settled your claim or won your case.
Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm today at (833) 254-2923.
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After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.