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Rideshare Accidents in Georgia: Who is At Fault?Mac
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services are becoming more popular in Georgia each year. But when an accident occurs, who is ultimately responsible? Unlike traditional taxi services, with their own fleet of vehicles and unions protecting them, rideshare drivers are independent contractors who must use their own vehicles. This leads to some confusion about how liability for traffic collisions is determined.
What Makes Rideshare Services Different From Taxi Services?
Because each rideshare driver is an independent contractor, they need to meet certain requirements to be available on the platform. In order to become a driver for Uber or Lyft, you must:
- Have an eligible 4-door vehicle with proof of insurance
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass a driving record check
- Meet the minimum age requirements to drive (at least 21 years old for Lyft)
Rideshare drivers are also rated based on their performance. In order to continue driving on the platform, drivers must achieve a perfect rating of 5 stars. Passengers are also rated by the drivers; if you have below 5 stars as a passenger, you may be prohibited from using the app until Uber or Lyft reviews your profile.
Also unlike taxi cabs, pricing for rideshare vehicles is adjusted based on the time of day, the number of drivers available, and customer demand. Traditional taxi cabs typically have flat-rate pricing that does not take demand, driver availability, or any external factors into account.
Who is Liable if You Are Hit by a Rideshare Vehicle Driver in Georgia?
As with any car accident case, in order to file an injury claim you must prove two things: damages (how badly someone was injured) and liability (who was at fault). Uber and Lyft drivers need to provide their own personal car insurance. But, Uber and Lyft have their own insurance policies for their drivers too. Their rules are as follows:
- If an Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into their app during an accident, Uber or Lyft will provide no coverage
- When the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request, Uber or Lyft will provide liability coverage for an accident caused by the driver up to $50k per person injured (up to $100k total per accident) and $25k in property damage
- When the driver accepts a ride request, Uber or Lyft will provide liability coverage up to $1 million
In most cases, the legal liability of a car accident in Georgia is with the rideshare driver who caused it. But depending on the status of their ride, Uber or Lyft may be the ones financially responsible for the injuries and damages sustained in an accident.
In cases where these facts are unclear, it may be best to consult with a Gwinnett County personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney will examine the details of your claim and determine who is at fault.