Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Uber/ Lyft accident attorney Walter Gabriel is well aware that if you are injured by the negligence of someone who was driving for either Uber or Lyft, depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to sue on account of your Uber/ Lyft accidents and recover damages from their employer pursuant to various theories of liability, as these accidents often occur when the driver is acting within the course and scope of their employment.
There is no doubt that the rideshare industry has left an impact on society. Studies have shown that DUI arrests have decreased since the popularity of these companies has grown. However, an increasing number of Uber/ Lyft accidents are occurring where drivers were either transporting passengers via Uber or Lyft. Or where drivers were delivering food via Uber Eats or other modern food delivery services.
According to a 2018 study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, the increased use of ride-sharing services has contributed to an additional 1,100 traffic fatalities a year since 2011.
The national study reviewed statistics on fatal traffic accident rates in several U.S. cities from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and compared them with the dates Uber or Lyft launched in each specific city. The use of Uber and Lyft amounted to an average increase in traffic deaths by 2% to 3%.
The increasing Use of Uber and Lyft
If fatalities have increased over this time, it stands to reason that nonfatal crashes have also increased. This trend only appears to continue upward, as Americans are using Uber and Lyft in higher numbers each year.
Business insider reported that in early March 2020, Lyft set records for customer journeys and sales, even as coronavirus fears sparked the fastest stock-market correction in more than 80 years. “Last week, it was marketed in free fall, fear, paranoia about coronavirus in the United States.” Brian Roberts, the ride-hailing startup’s finance chief, said at a technology conference on Tuesday. “Last week was the single biggest week in the history in terms of both revenue and rides. On the positive side, people would be more likely to use ride-share than a crowded bus or subway,” he wrote. “On the negative side, less travel could lead to fewer high-value airport rides and there could just be less business activity overall.”
Uber Eats, the company’s food-delivery arm, might actually benefit from the prospect that more people remain home. Uber shares were up 4% in one day in early March of 2020.
What this means for the general public is that more cars, especially from Uber and Lyft, will be on the road for the foreseeable future.
Uber and Lyft Explained by Atlanta Uber/ Lyft Accident Attorney Walter Gabriel
Uber and Lyft, the top two ride-hailing services in the US, together essentially comprise a duopoly.
Referred to publicly as Uber, Uber Technologies, Inc., is an American-based billion rideshare company. Services include ridesharing, food delivery via Uber Eats, and even a micro-mobility system with electric bikes and scooters. The company is based in San Francisco and has operations in nearly 800 metro areas worldwide.
As of 2019, Uber is estimated to have over 110 million worldwide users. In the United States, Uber has a 67% market share for ride-sharing in early 2019 and a 24% market share for food delivery in 2018. As of this date, Uber may have a value as high as $100 billion.
Lyft, Inc. is a ridesharing company that is also based in San Francisco, California, and provides ridesharing in more than 600 metro areas in the United State and 12 metros in Canada. The company also provides car rides, scooters, food delivery, and even a bicycle-sharing service. Lyft is the second-largest ridesharing company in the United States with an increasing market share behind Uber, according to Second Measure. Uber is the dominant market leader in the rideshare industry. Lyft is second with a company valuation of approximately $15 billion.
Other Transportation Companies / Agencies
Some taxicab companies are independently owned small businesses with only one taxicab and driver. But many cab companies have fleets of 100 or more taxicabs. Drivers are rarely employees of the company, and usually, lease the taxicab on a day-to-day basis. However, in some cases, cabs can also be owned by separately-incorporated small businesses. Such businesses subscribe to a dispatch service. The owner/driver will pay a monthly fee to the taxicab company; purchase and maintain his own vehicle, and may in turn lease shifts to other drivers.
This distinction can be important, as independent operators do not have the deep pockets and insurance coverage that corporations have. If a direct employer-employee relationship can be established, this means that you may be entitled to substantially more money to pay you for your medical bills, pain and suffering, future medical bills, and other consequential damages caused by an accident you may have sustained in a car accident involving an Uber/Lyft vehicle.
Fulton County School Bus
The Fulton County School Bus system is just one of the many Georgia county public bus systems that are tasked with the responsibility to deliver students safely to their destinations on time and in a frame of mind ready to learn. The Fulton County Bus system drives over 786 school buses a total of over 1 million route miles monthly. The system transports more than 78,000 students twice a day
If your child is injured on a school bus, Lyft/Uber, or anywhere else, you have the right to sue. You are entitled to recover your child’s medical bills and pain and suffering. And for any other category of damages for which any adult would have the right to make a claim for.
Furthermore, O.C.G.A. § 33-24-51 provides that government entities waive immunity to the extent that the government agency purchases insurance coverage. Although exceptions sometimes apply, most governmental agencies secure insurance coverage for drivers of city and county vehicles. This coverage also applies to passengers inside the vehicle in which travel occurs. Contact us if you need assistance against a city, county, or state agency in the State of Georgia.
It is also important to note that under O.C.G.A.§ 9-3-90, A minor’s claim for pain, suffering, and future medical expense, and income loss after reaching the age of majority is subject to a two-year limitation period starting on the 18th birthday. So the deadline to file that suit is often the 20th birthday. So for example, if your child was thirteen years old at the time she was injured in a motor vehicle collision involving any type of vehicle, you have until your child’s 20th birthday before your child’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
Hold the Responsible Party AccountableGET STARTED
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the principal public transportation operator for the metro Atlanta area. MARTA operates a network of bus routes that are connected to a rapid transit system that is comprised of 38 train stations. It ranks #8 in terms of largest rapid transit systems in the United States by ridership.
MARTA operates almost exclusively in Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties, and maintains a bus service to Cobb County and the Cumberland Transfer Center. MARTA also operates Mobility, a separate transit service for disabled customers. As of 2014, the average total daily ridership for the system (bus and rail) was 432,900 passengers.
Company Liability and Access to Uber/ Lyft Insurance Coverage Explained from An Atlanta Uber/ Lyft Accident Attorney
In many cases involving a Georgia Uber accident, people who are injured in car accidents as an Uber passenger have access to $1 million in liability insurance coverage, or alternatively, $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage. Likewise, people involved in a Georgia Lyft accident as a passenger in many cases have access to $1 million in liability insurance coverage and $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage. This does not mean that anyone injured in Uber/ Lyft accidents will get $1 million simply because of injury in a car accident, as your injuries need to warrant such a settlement, and you need a skilled advocate on your behalf who has experience obtaining settlements of over $1 million.
However, It is important that an attorney know when the at-fault driver was driving for either Uber or Lyft, because potentially far more insurance coverage is available when the driver has insurance coverage from either ride-share company.
In the rideshare industry, it is increasingly popular for Uber/ Lyft drivers to transport passengers and deliver food as a way to make additional money after their work has ended from their primary employer. As such, rideshare drivers often have challenging schedules that include driving while tired and sleep-deprived. These factors can expose others in their car as passengers and others on the road to an unreasonable risk of harm.
Uber/ Lyft are also liable in a case where the driver was driving for either company under legal theories of vicarious liability and/ or negligent hiring. The theory of vicarious liability states that a company is liable for the negligent acts of its employee. The theory of negligent hiring applies when the company could have decided not to hire the driver if it had taken reasonable steps in screening the ride-share driver’s past driving record. For instance, if the driver had a history of driving while intoxicated or an extensive history of causing motor vehicle collisions, then the company may be held liable for negligently hiring a driver with a history of driving infractions.
Is My Uber/ Lyft Accidents Case Any Different from A “normal” Car Accident Case?
In many ways, the claim handling process is the same as it would be for any car accident case. However, litigation is when the process is different when dealing with rideshare companies. Certain immunities and defenses are always raised by these rideshare companies. For example, the dispute with both companies is whether the company is an employer of the at-fault driver.
If Uber/Lyft are able to convince a court that their drivers are independent contractors, then their policies would not apply to your case. So when filing a lawsuit against either rideshare company, a lot is at stake. So you need an experienced attorney to help you out when it’s time to file a lawsuit against either rideshare company to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is My Case Worth?
There is no doubt that the addition of a corporate rideshare defendant adds to your claim’s value. Notwithstanding, the value of Uber/Lyft accidents always depends on a number of factors. This is because no two cases are exactly the same. The most common factors affecting the value of a case include the amount of medical bills, type of medical treatment needed, duration of medical treatment, extent of time missed from work, whether permanent bodily impairment exists, whether surgery has occurred or is recommended, the potential venue for the lawsuit.
While keeping all of these factors in mind, it is important to note that there is no set formula for figuring out the claims value of a motor vehicle accident claim. The subjectivity applies when considering what a jury might do when determining the extent of your pain and suffering and other damages that do not have a fixed dollar amount.
I Was a Passenger in An Uber/Lyft Accident. Who Do I Make a Claim Against?
The good news about Uber/ Lyft accidents claims is that as a passenger, you’re never at fault. Sometimes the car accident will be due to the fault of your own Uber/Lyft driver. But that doesn’t reduce the amount of money that you’re able to recover from your Uber/Lyft claim. That’s between the insurance company for the Uber/Lyft driver and the insurance company for the other driver to sort out.
Can an Atlanta Uber/ Lyft Accident Attorney Help Me if Neither Driver Received a Ticket?
As long as one driver is truly at fault for your car accident, you should receive compensation. This should cover your medical bills and injuries. In some cases the responding officer believes the other driver to be at fault. But via officer discretion decides not to issue a ticket. While the responding officer is vital to creating a neutral account of the causes of the motor vehicle collision, the officer is almost never an eyewitness to the collision.
What if Both Drivers Received a Ticket?
If both drivers are at fault, then you have two liability insurance policies that you are able to pursue. In some ways, this may make your case more complicated. This is because both parties may attempt to deflect fault from one another. However, you should eventually have your claim covered from one, if not both policies.
Do I Have a Case if My Uber/ Lyft Driver Was Partly at Fault?
If your rideshare driver was at fault, then you have a claim against your rideshare driver. When in doubt about whether you have a car accident case, you should always consult with an attorney. The attorney-client consultations are free. So there is no harm in speaking with an attorney to determine whether you still have a case. This is despite what you may think about your role in contributing to the car accident. In some cases, even if you are partly at-fault for your car accident, you may still be able to recover.
What Should I Do Right After My Uber/ Lyft Accident?
Check for the condition of your rideshare driver and other passengers in the car with you. And if you’re in a safe position, make sure the other driver is also physically in a stable condition. If the cars are in a safe place, then call the police. If for whatever reason both drivers decide not to call the police, you can call the police as a passenger.
Do NOT provide a recorded statement at the scene of the accident. Seek medical attention after the responding officer concludes their investigation of the collision scene and provides you a report number.
Do Not Leave the Scene of Your Uber/ Lyft Accidents
The rideshare industry has gained popularity for its ability to get people to destinations quickly. You may not have a property damage claim, but you need to stay at the accident scene to have your name documented on the police report as having been part of the motor vehicle collision.
What If the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Calls Me?
Regardless of whether you have your own attorney, you are under no obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. And you have nothing to benefit from speaking to the other driver’s insurance representative. If an attorney does not represent you by the time the other driver’s insurance company calls, that’s okay. Simply tell the insurance rep that you do not wish to discuss the accident. If an attorney represents you, simply inform the insurance adjuster that counsel represents you. And the adjuster should cease questioning you about the car wreck.
Are My Bills Covered if My Uber/ Lyft Driver Caused the Collision?
More good news about Uber/ Lyft accidents is that insurance coverage is often not limited when an insurance policy for either of these rideshare companies are involved. Both carry substantial amounts of liability and uninsured motorist coverage for passengers.
Statute of Limitations in Uber/ Lyft Lawsuits – Georgia
Statutes of limitations are statutes that provide for the deadline to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within the time period required for your case, you lose the right to recover. This means you lose payment for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other category of recovery.
In most cases, Georgia drivers have two years to settle their claim or file a lawsuit. In cases where the minor is the claimant, Georgia law tolls the deadline until the minor reaches the age of 18. When the underlying tort is prosecuted as a crime, tolling provisions also apply. Tolling also applies when either the claimant or at-fault driver has died.
In Louisiana, claims against Uber/ Lyft need to be filed within one year of the date of the incident.
Contact an Atlanta Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney for A Free and Confidential Consultation
The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC is an Atlanta Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney with experience handling Uber/ Lyft cases, as well as cases involving school buses and other commercial vehicles. Successfully resolving cases such as these requires a deep understanding of the law. The hierarchies of responsibility that contributed to or otherwise influenced the collision is often complicated.
Attorney Gabriel closely collaborates with his clients and take the time to learn about their goals and concerns. This informational advantage enables him to act swiftly and decisively when opportunities arise in personal injury litigation.
Find out if you have a case. Call or submit a case evaluation form online to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Atlanta Uber/ Lyft accident attorney at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC today.