Since rideshare company Uber launched in 2009, the business has quickly grown to become one of the most popular rideshare services on the globe. Atlanta, being a huge city, has many car accidents on a daily basis. With more car accidents, the chances increase that you will need to seek the services of an Atlanta Uber car accident lawyer.
With its user-friendly app, pocket-friendly prices, and availability in most towns in Georgia, Uber has built up enough of a business to disrupt the cab industry and cause legislative controversy in several states in the U.S. Uber is growing fast! Uber has many excellent drivers, however, the company does not have a spotless record when it comes to accidents. Therefore, when a car wreck occurs involving an Uber driver in Atlanta, you want to be sure to seek the counsel of an Atlanta Uber car accident lawyer.
Fatalities, injuries, and Uber accidents in Georgia occur every year. After an accident, the victims may not fully understand their rights in terms of compensation, which is why a skilled accident attorney with the Law Office of John B. Jackson is crucial to obtaining the compensation you deserve and are entitled to. Call us today for a risk-free consultation and get the process started now!
Uber Accidents on Our Roads
Uber drivers have the potential to make the roads a safer place. For instance, if a person has had too much to drink, he or she should not drive and can enlist the services of an Uber driver. Or, if a driver is unable to operate his or her vehicle safely due to some type of infirmity, an Uber driver is a good solution. Further, a driver who is simply too exhausted to get behind the wheel or who needs to work during a commute can also call upon Uber’s services.
However, a look at the statistics does not correlate with the fact that these ride shares have the potential to be the safest option for passengers. While taking an Uber may indeed be a better idea than driving when one should not be driving, it may not be as safe as a traditional taxi. One reason for this is that while traditional taxi services employ drivers, Uber does not. Instead, they hire their drivers as contractors, meaning their drivers often have another job and are not employed as dedicated drivers like a traditional taxi.
According to one report, Uber cars were involved in more deadly crashes in the second half of 2015 than yellow cabs. Further, cars affiliated with the company have been involved in a number of collisions resulting in injuries. While the accident statistics are not conclusive, it is not yet clear that Uber is living up to its safety potential.
Another risk that experienced Uber accident lawyers in Georgia encounter arises not from negligent drivers, but rather intentional misbehavior by passengers. Sometimes Uber drivers must deal with obnoxious or intoxicated passengers, and the misconduct of such passengers can be severe. Some rideshare drivers have become victims of passengers who deliberately assault the drivers or damage the cars. Furthermore, Uber drivers may act carelessly or even criminally. There have been cases involving reckless driving, sexual misconduct by rideshare drivers, assaults, and even kidnappings.
Who Can Be Sued for Uber Accidents in Georgia?
In the event of a car accident involving an Uber driver on Georgia’s roads, both the drivers and the passengers have special protections. If there is a collision and the Uber driver did not cause the incident, the company offers uninsured and underinsured motor insurance to protect the driver, the passenger, or both parties. If the Uber driver is found to be at fault for the accident, though, the company offers liability insurance for the protection of the Uber passenger as well as the drivers or passengers of any other cars involved in the wreckage.
Below is an overview of who could be held responsible in the event of an Uber accident.
Suing the Driver of the Uber Rideshare Vehicle
There has been a great deal of debate throughout the country as to whether Uber drivers are actually independent contractors or employees of the company. The first state that went up against the company for classification of its drivers as independent contractors was California. However, Georgia has not contested the company’s classification, so in this state, Uber drivers are deemed, independent contractors. This means that in cases of Uber accidents in Georgia, the driver is considered to be self-employed and depending on the circumstances of the crash, the person might be able to file a claim with the company as opposed to the driver, but a dedicated Atlanta Uber car accident lawyer will work through the nuances of the case to determine liability.
The driver him or herself might be liable for the accident if he or she was not working at the time. For instance, if an Uber driver was not on the clock at the time of the accident and he or she struck a pedestrian who was walking across the road, Uber may not cover the damages. Rather, the driver’s personal insurance company will have to handle the claim.
Uber does cover its drivers in cases of at-fault accidents at any time the driver is online with the company, such as when they are en route to pick-up passengers, while they wait for pick up requests, and while riders are in the car. So, the only times that the company will not cover damages is when a driver is using his or her vehicle for personal reasons or when they have not accepted a ride.
If an Uber driver does not have a passenger in the car at the time of an accident, his or her personal insurance company will have to cover any damages suffered. But, Uber offers additional liability coverage of $25,000 in property damage and $50,000 per injury. The cover is only applicable if the Uber driver’s insurance will not fully cover damages. In the event of an accident with a passenger in the car, the company’s policy covers the driver and the passenger, up to one million dollars.
Overall, employers are held responsible for their employee’s actions. Even though the drivers are classified as independent contractors, the ridesharing business will indemnify its drivers in cases of car accidents while passengers are in the vehicle. If the driver is found to be at fault for the crash, Uber’s insurance plan automatically kicks in to cover any injured parties damages.
It should be noted that there have been incidents where the company has denied liability for a case due to the status of the driver at the time of the accident. For instance, in 2014 the company denied responsibility when one of its drivers hit and killed a young girl in San Francisco. The business argued that since the accident occurred when the driver was between rides, Uber could not be held liable for the girl’s death.
However, since the accident, Uber has restructured its insurance coverage to include drivers who are involved in accidents between riders which are online at the time. Liability can still be a gray area in such cases though, and a skilled attorney can help determine who can be sued for Uber accidents in Georgia.
Bringing A Lawsuit Against A Third Party
If the Uber accident is the fault of a third party, it might be possible to bring a claim against that party. This could include another at-fault driver, a member of a roadway maintenance crew, or even the manufacturer of a faulty vehicle part. If the injuries are the result of a third party’s negligence, victims are entitled to file
Uber’s Duties of Care to Passengers
The company and its drivers, regardless of their independent contractor status, owe a standard of care to every passenger to drive responsibly and safely. When an Uber driver breaches this duty of care, causing Uber accidents in Georgia due to carelessness, distraction, or impairment, victims are entitled to pursue rightful compensation. Like any other car accidents, Uber cases will center on negligence on the driver’s, the company’s or a third party’s part.
What Is Uber Doing About the Statistics?
Uber claims to keep a close eye on its employees. To know which drivers are available to take passengers and to keep passengers informed of a driver’s arrival time, Uber acquires and maintains hefty GPS and electronic data. So, in the event of a car accident, a skilled Atlanta Uber accident lawyer will ensure that the company saves the electronic data as it could be rendered important evidence.
It is up to Uber to save its electronic and GPS data voluntarily, without having to be reminded. By doing so, both its customers and drivers may be protected in the event of an incident. However, should it forget to save its data, an attorney can instruct the company to preserve necessary electronic evidence.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an Uber car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, a skilled Uber accident attorney should be sought to determine who can be sued for compensation. Call the Law Office of John B. Jackson today to receive a free consultation and get an experienced attorney on your side; Uber will have lawyers defending their interests and you should too!