Atlanta Rideshare Accidents Cause Significant Injuries and Damages
Most traffic accidents are minor, with few injuries and limited property damage. However, serious collisions can and do occur. When this happens in Atlanta, adult victims may end up going to the city’s Level I trauma center, Grady Memorial Hospital. First responders often take injured children to the Level I trauma center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston or the Level II facility at Scottish Rite.
Each of these facilities assesses, stabilizes, and treats traumatic injuries daily.
With trauma surgeons available 24/7, their staff knows how to treat and rehabilitate catastrophic injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck, back, or spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Serious burns (generally at the Grady Burn Center)
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Significant lacerations
- Other serious injuries
Initially, most accident victims focus on their injuries and getting the treatment they need. Quickly, however, many begin to worry about how they will pay for their ambulance ride, emergency treatment, surgery, hospital stay, rehabilitation, or other costs. They worry about missing so much work or if they can still do their job. For these reasons and more, financial recovery is essential after a rideshare driver causes a crash.
Recoverable Damages After a Rideshare Accident
By filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, victims can recover compensation for their damages. The recoverable damages in a traffic accident case depend heavily on the facts. The victim’s injuries, necessary medical care, and other factors help determine the case’s value. We need to gather documents to show how much their expenses and losses were before we demand a fair payout.
In many rideshare accidents—whether you were in another car, in the rideshare, or a pedestrian—recoverable damages might include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Income losses for time away from work
- Diminished earning capacity due to long-term injuries
- Property damage
- Miscellaneous related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Other intangible losses
You might recover other damages. Under state law, a court can award punitive damages if they believe the at-fault party acted willfully or with wanton disregard for your safety—however, they are rare in traffic accident cases. Your case must go to trial to have a chance of recovering these damages.
If Your Loved One Died
State law also allows a family whose loved one passed away from their injuries to file a wrongful death action to recover compensation. The types of recoverable damages differ significantly in wrongful death cases. Our attorneys handle these claims and can assess your options with your family today for free.
Building a Case With an Atlanta Rideshare Accidents Lawyer
Under state law, crash victims who can show that another driver acted negligently and caused the crash can hold that party legally responsible for their damages.
There are four elements necessary to show negligence:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
In a collision, traffic laws generally create the duty of care. A breach of duty occurs when a driver violates a traffic law. This causes the crash, and victims suffer physical, psychological, and financial harm.
For example, imagine that you are in a rideshare car, and your driver is looking at the app on their phone. They run a red light and T-bone another vehicle, and you suffer a broken leg.
Under these circumstances, you and your attorney need to prove:
- The driver had a red light
- They ran that red light
- This caused the crash
- Your broken leg harmed you and left you with losses
Investigating Your Atlanta Rideshare Accident
When representing a rideshare accident victim, we investigate their crash and gather evidence to support their claim. Our team knows how to fully document an accident and the injuries that followed and prove negligence.
We take steps that include:
- Obtaining official reports, including the police crash report
- Analyzing relevant medical records
- Surveying the accident scene
- Reviewing available insurance coverage
- Working with accident reconstruction experts
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Searching for photos or videos of the crash
- Talking to medical experts as needed
- Gathering documents related to damages
Once we have the necessary evidence to demand a fair payout, that’s exactly what we do. We often approach the appropriate insurance company and demand they compensate our client fairly for their injuries, expenses, and losses. This typically leads to settlement negotiations and a possible agreement.
Alternatively, we may sue the driver or rideshare company in some cases. Most cases still end up settling before trial, but we’ll be prepared to argue for you in court if needed.
Who Pays for Damages in an Atlanta Uber or Lyft Accident?
Determining who pays for injuries and damages after a rideshare accident is more complex than other types of crashes. When rideshare first began, this employment issue created a significant problem for victims. The driver’s insurance refused to pay because they were using their car for commercial purposes, but the rideshare companies had no legal liability to pay. For these reasons, most states now have laws requiring at least minimum liability coverage.
Rideshare companies also addressed this issue by providing policies based on what the driver was doing when the crash occurred. Both Lyft and Uber break down their insurance coverage like this:
When the Driver Is off the App
When a rideshare driver is not on the app and working, their personal insurance coverage should pay for any injuries or damage up to the policy’s liability limits. State law requires that all drivers carry at least $25,000 per person in injury coverage and $50,000 per accident. The rideshare company is not involved in crashes when the driver is off the app.
When the Driver Is on the App But Looking for a Rider
As soon as the driver signs into the app, the rideshare company has a contingency policy that kicks in.
This policy covers injuries and damages up to policy limits if:
- The driver’s personal policy denies the claim
- The other policy does not fully cover the expenses and losses
When the Driver Matches With a Rider
When the driver matches with a rider and is on the way to pick them up, both rideshare companies provide at least $1 million in liability coverage for any victim hurt in a crash. This policy covers victims in other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, or others hurt in an accident caused by the rideshare driver. This is enough liability coverage for most accidents, although some catastrophic injuries can exceed this limit.
When the Driver Has a Rider in the Car
The $1 million liability policy also applies from the time the driver matches with a rider until they drop off that rider and officially end the ride. Therefore, the policy is always in effect for those using Uber or Lyft to reach their destination.
Proving what the driver was doing “on the app” at the time of your accident is not difficult if you are a rider. However, it can be hard at other times in the cycle. Our attorneys know how to determine this and take steps to recover the money you need and deserve after a collision.
Timeline for Securing Compensation in Your Atlanta Rideshare Crash
Most rideshare accident cases settle without going to trial. Many do not require the victim to file a lawsuit either. Instead, they end with a negotiated settlement between the insurer and the victim, with the victim receiving compensation for their injuries, expenses, and losses. This process could take a few weeks to several months—however, it’s often the fastest route to financial recovery.
Sometimes, insurance companies, the rideshare driver, or the rideshare company will not cooperate for an appropriate payout, or there may be other reasons why we need to sue. When this occurs, our team builds your case and files the necessary paperwork in a local civil court. Suing often forces Uber or Lyft, insurance company representatives, and others to take our client and their claim more seriously.
We Must Stay Within the Statute of Limitations
In general, state law gives us two years from the crash date to decide if we want to sue the driver or rideshare company. We must file the initial complaint within two years of the accident or you risk losing the right to sue.
Missing the statute of limitations deadline would:
- Likely prevent us from suing at all
- Make it more difficult to get a fair payout in the case
- Take away the leverage we had when negotiating with the insurer
Sometimes, we need to sue simply because the deadline is near. Our team can explain when and why this is necessary and what you can expect during the process. Keep in mind that most cases still end in a negotiated settlement—even after filing a lawsuit.
Discuss Your Atlanta Rideshare Accident Claim With Our Team
At Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our team offers free case consultations for rideshare accident victims. During this meeting, we can answer your questions, explain your options, and assess your case based on our knowledge and experience.
Our lawyers help clients hurt by rideshare drivers fight for the compensation they deserve. We’re here to help you get justice and seek financial recovery.
To learn more, contact us today at (404) 890-5631 or (770) GET PAID—someone is available now to take your call.
Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. – Atlanta Office
1995 N Park Pl SE Suite 207,
Atlanta, GA 30339