Fault refers to the cause of a traffic accident. A driver whose carelessness causes the accident is at fault.
Sometimes fault is shared. Two drivers might both be at fault when the carelessness of each driver contributed to the accident.
In Georgia, an injury victim who was partially at fault for an accident will generally recover compensation that is reduced in proportion to his or her fault. Passengers, on the other hand, are rarely at fault for traffic accidents. They are almost always entitled to full compensation.
Rideshare passengers might wonder whether they will recover compensation from the driver of vehicle in which they were riding or from the driver of the second vehicle that was involved in the collision. An Uber lawyer in Atlanta, GA can help injured passengers pursue a claim against the correct parties.
The good news is that a rideshare passenger will likely receive full compensation for injuries, regardless of the relative fault of the drivers.
Accident Claims When the Uber or Lyft Driver Is at Fault
Vehicles almost never crash in the absence of a driver’s negligence. Unavoidable collisions are rare. For a rideshare passenger, the question is whether to bring the claim against the rideshare driver, the other driver, or both.
When the accident is the fault of the rideshare driver, the claim is usually made against the insurance provided by the rideshare company. Passengers do not need to worry about the adequacy of the driver’s personal insurance, because Georgia law requires the rideshare company to insure passengers from the moment the driver picks them up until the moment they depart from the vehicle.
Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in coverage. Those policy limits are sufficient to provide full compensation for all but the most catastrophic injuries. In some cases, the driver’s own insurance company might provide additional coverage if $1 million is not sufficient, although the driver’s personal coverage will not usually cover the accident unless the driver elected to purchase “ride-for-hire” coverage.
Accident Claims When the Other Driver Is at Fault for an Uber or Lyft Accident
When the accident is the fault of the other driver, that driver’s insurance is considered to be “primary.” That driver’s insurance company will have the initial responsibility for paying compensation to the injured rideshare passenger.
Unfortunately, some drivers have inadequate insurance coverage. Georgia law only requires drivers to carry bodily injury coverage of $25,000. When a driver purchases only the minimum required insurance — or if the driver is uninsured — the injury victim may need to look elsewhere for insurance coverage.
Fortunately for ride-share passengers, Georgia law requires Uber and Lyft to provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. That coverage has the same $1 million limit that covers accident caused by rideshare drivers. If the other driver’s primary insurance is insufficient, the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will assure that the injured passenger receives additional compensation.
Accident Claims When Both Drivers Are at Fault for an Uber or Lyft Accident
When fault is shared between an Uber/Lyft driver and the other driver involved in a collision, a lawyer may decide to bring the claim against one or both drivers. Since the rideshare driver in Georgia will have substantial insurance coverage, a personal injury lawyer might look to the insurance provided by Uber or Lyft first.
In the end, a passenger will be covered no matter which driver caused the accident. In many cases, the insurance companies for both drivers will fight with each other to allocate their payment responsibility. Regardless of how that battle ends, the injury victim can usually be assured of receiving full compensation.
Thanks to Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and accidents involving Lyft or Uber drivers.