The face of public transportation is changing. Now you don’t have to wait for the bus, hail a cab, drive your own vehicle or beg a friend for a ride. All you need is a smartphone and live in a city serviced by one of today’s popular ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft or Sidecar.
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260 Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
What is ride-sharing?
Unlike standing on a street corner trying to get a cabbie’s attention as he speeds by, when you use Uber, Lyft or Sidecar you simply download their app to your smartphone. With a finger swipe a driver is on the way to take you to your destination. Plus you can both track your driver through your phone’s GPS and also pay for your ride using the app. But unfortunately this modern technology isn’t problem-free. Many cities across America are struggling with legal issues brought about by these ride-sharing services. Taxi companies are demanding Uber and their counterparts be held to the same regulations in terms of licensing and background checks. Airports are dealing with Uber vehicles circumventing pick-up regulations. There are currently lawsuits in California and Texas against Uber and Lyft charging discrimination against disabled passengers, and a major concern is whether or not these companies and their drivers have adequate insurance.
Uber accidents and auto accident laws in Atlanta, Georgia
Traditional taxi companies supply the vehicles and are financially responsible for the registration, license tag, property tax and auto insurance. Uber contracts with individuals who as independent contractors drive their own personal cars to transport passengers. The drivers are responsible for all their expenses and are required to show proof of current license, registration and insurance. Uber does provide commercial liability automobile insurance but also requires the driver to have their own personal policy in place while driving. While on the surface it seems as though a ride-sharing passenger is adequately covered, things aren’t always as they seem.
All personal auto insurance policies cover passengers in the event of an accident. But the majority of these policies also contain a “driving for profit” exclusion clause. If a claim is filed and the insurance provider can prove their client, your driver, was paid to drive you from point A to point B, then your claim may be denied.
In the event of an accident, when the at-fault party’s insurance reaches its maximum coverage, your automobile insurance company may step in and take over your remaining expenses. But what happens when you have exhausted your policy’s benefits and still require financial assistance? We’ll work to make sure you are adequately compensated for your pain, suffering and unpaid medical bills.
In 2013 the family of a child killed by an Uber driver sued both the company and the driver. The child and her family were in a marked crosswalk when the Uber driver was distracted by his smart phone. He did not have a passenger in his vehicle but was on his phone searching the Uber app for a potential customer. In court Uber claimed no responsibility since there was not an Uber passenger involved and therefore the driver was technically “not in service” at the time of the accident. Because of this lawsuit Uber changed their driver policy and now passenger-free drivers with an active app are covered under Uber’s liability umbrella. Unfortunately, Uber is the only ride-share company at this time to make this change. To the pedestrian population this means chances are pretty good if accidentally hit by a ride-sharing driver, you may not be protected unless there is a passenger in the car.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Atlanta and sustain serious injuries, consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. Some of the major hospitals and medical centers in Atlanta are:
- Atlanta Medical Center – 303 Parkway Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30312-1212 / (404) 265-4000
- East Point Medical Center – 1203 Cleveland Avenue, Suite 1A, Atlanta, GA 30344 / (404) 209-1408
- Emory University Hospital Midtown – 550 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 / (404) 778-2000
- North Dekalb Health Center – 3807 Clairmont Road, Atlanta GA 30341 / (404) 616-0700
- Saint Joseph’s Hospital – 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 / (678) 843-7001
- South Fulton Medical Center – 1170 Cleveland Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30344 / (404) 466-1170
If you need to speak with a lawyer after an accident with Uber, Lyft or Sidecar, contact Ted A. Greve & Associates today. Our compassionate and caring attorneys will fight for your rights and work hard to ensure you get maximum compensation. You can easily schedule your FREE case evaluation online or by calling (404) 531-1545.