Ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have quickly risen as a staple of transportation in American cities. What was once an idea has now almost eclipsed the taxi industry and is only expected to grow in the coming years. However, Uber and Lyft are not taxi companies and do not have to follow the same regulations. This has begun to create a lot of confusion for customers of these companies, especially regarding what to do when your driver gets into an accident while you are in the car.
Uber and Lyft drivers are covered by insurance provided by the company, but only while they have a ride in progress. As a passenger of one of these cars, this means that the company insurance will be able to cover your injuries and medical expenses up to a certain amount. However, if the medical bills exceed the insurance coverage, things may grow more complicated. This insurance also does not cover the Uber and Lyft drivers while they are driving to pick up a passenger, meaning that the drivers are primarily using their own car insurance. To make things even more complex, most car insurance companies will only cover personal use of a car. So, for the majority of the time that an Uber or Lyft driver is on the road, they are driving in a grey area for insurance law.
Ride sharing companies argue that they merely provide the service of connecting willing drivers to customers in need or a ride. This is how they get around the established laws and regulations for cab companies. As Uber and Lyft are arguing that their drivers are independent contractors rather than employees, it can be very difficult to win a lawsuit against the company due to negligent driving on the part of a driver.
As the very existence of these companies is a relatively new phenomenon, there are not yet any clear answers as to who is liable when an Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident and causes injuries or property damages. As the law is quickly growing to fill the confusing void that ride sharing has created, new regulations and rulings are bound to come. If you have been in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, the best thing to do will be contact an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on. Your attorney will know what the latest laws are, and will help you build the best case you can to make sure that your injuries are paid for, and you are taken care of.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into uber accidents.