Rideshares are becoming more a part of everyone’s life. Whether going out for a night on the town or to the airport, taking an Uber or Lyft is likely. The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin wants to ensure you’re as safe as possible. To prepare yourself for the possibility of an accident with an Uber or Lyft, read on to understand rideshare insurance claims in Georgia. 

Charlotte was in Dunwoody for a conference. She was staying at Hampton Inn & Suites by Perimeter Center. One night, she decided to grab a bite to eat at Novo Cucina because she heard their Tagliatelle Alfredo was to die for. She hadn’t rented a car, so she dialed the Uber app on her phone and tailed it out there.

Charlotte’s Rideshare Experience

On the way back to the hotel, she was checking some emails in the back seat of an Uber. All of a sudden, the car was rocked off its axis. After a scary few seconds, she unbuckled her seatbelt and got out. Everyone generally seemed okay, but her Uber was in a multi-car wreck.

She was tossed around in the back seat, resulting in cuts, bruises, and a stiff neck.

  • What was she going to do?
  • Did she need to go to the urgent care to get checked out?
  • If so, whose insurance would she need to contact to make sure it was taken care of?
  • Would Uber be willing to cover her if she was injured?
  • Even worse, did the driver have the appropriate level of insurance?
  • Should she contact a lawyer who specializes in rideshare accidents?

When you’re in a rideshare accident, your problems can’t help but multiply.

Uber, Lyft, and Rideshare Insurance Claims in Georgia

Rideshares are becoming more a part of everyone’s life. As of 2019, 36% of American adults told Pew Research they had used a rideshare app, with about 25% of Americans using them once a month.

In many cities without access to taxi services or public transportation, rideshares have been a boon for people trying to get from points A to B. But this also makes for a huge influx of “professional” drivers on the road that don’t have to do much more to drive for Uber than pass a background check and have a four-door vehicle.

Whether you’re a passenger, a driver, or even just in the wrong place at the wrong time, accidents happen, no matter how much experience you have behind the wheel.

When you’re in a car wreck, you don’t want to have to start worrying about the minutiae of Georgia insurance law immediately.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are approximately four million rideshare drivers on the road with you.

The Law Offices of Nicholas P. Martin want to ensure you’re as safe as possible. Here are tips to prepare yourself for the possibility of an accident with a rideshare.

Uber and Lyft: The Rideshare Big Dogs

If you’re taking a rideshare in Georgia, chances are you’re in an Uber or a Lyft.

Uber accounts for around fifteen million rides per day. Lyft lags, but they’re a solid number two in America. Between them, their 2021 revenue breaks twenty billion dollars.

These two companies are responsible for most rideshare drivers in America. But saying “responsible for” is a misnomer. In most cases, Uber and Lyft do not claim responsibility for their drivers.

Drivers for Uber and Lyft are hired as “independent contractors,” not employees, limiting the options of someone in an accident with one of their drivers.

That said, Uber and Lyft provide additional coverage for when their drivers are in an accident when they’re on the clock, but the amount they’re offering may not be enough if it’s a severe accident.

At the end of the day, most rideshare drivers are just gig workers trying to make ends meet. Uber and Lyft, on the other hand, are billion-dollar companies looking to maximize their investments.

Whatever the case and whichever rideshare company you choose, you shouldn’t have to be on the hook for an accident you didn’t have any hand in causing.

The Law Offices of Nicholas P. Martin realize these situations can be confusing, but with us on your side, you’ll know exactly where you stand.

What Do You Do When You’re in a Rideshare Accident?

Most of the steps you would take after a rideshare accident are the same ones you would take after any automobile accident.

Before you start your checklist, take a moment to assess the situation.

It doesn’t matter if you were in a wreck with someone who drives a rideshare or if you’re a passenger in the rideshare. You’ll still need to keep your head about you to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of in the end.

First and foremost, do you need immediate medical attention? Does anyone else? This is a car wreck, and your health is the ultimate priority. Damage to vehicles can take a back seat, so if you need to call 911 or seek immediate medical care, do so.

Injuries in a rideshare can be even more serious because some riders think being in an Uber means they don’t need to wear their seatbelt. Common injuries in rideshares range from abrasions and contusions, to much more severe, like neck and spine injuries.

Don’t relax just because someone else is driving. Keep that seatbelt securely fastened.

Second, report the accident. If you were just a passenger in the vehicle, you might not be the one who is calling the police, but both Uber and Lyft have in-app processes you’ll need to go through. After all, you still have to get to your destination.

If you were the other driver, having a police presence on the scene may be helpful to you later.

After all, you must get a police report to ensure you’re taken care of.

Third, you will want to start putting together the story of the accident. Ask yourself why you think it happened. Not so you can repeat it to an insurance adjuster, but so you can spot what you think is important.

So, the accident just happened. Here are some things to consider:

  • What are you noticing?
  • Is the road slick?
  • Who hit who?
  • Is there debris on the road?

You’ve probably used your smartphone to call the rideshare, so pull it out and start taking some photos of the environment and the vehicles involved.

  • Was there anyone else around that might be a witness?
  • Are there businesses that have security cameras that might have caught something you missed?

Any of this information could be crucial to ensuring you aren’t on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages.

Fourth, get as much information as you can. From the other drivers, from the police, from anyone! If you’re a driver in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you’ll naturally want their insurance information.

If you’re a passenger, you’ll likely be covered by your driver, but the more info you get, the more prepared you’ll be for the unexpected to happen.

Getting a police report will probably be necessary, but if you retain a lawyer, they’ll be able to handle that for you. Just one more reason you may want to reach out to a local Atlanta area Personal Injury attorney.

Fifth, make sure you get checked out as soon as possible after the accident. You may not think you need immediate medical attention, but that’s the effect of adrenaline.

Aches and pains that could show up days after the accident indicate much more severe problems.

We know that finding time to get to a primary care physician or an urgent care center can be a pain, but that’s nothing compared to having to pay for issues you could have had covered by insurance if only you had gotten a doctor to clear you.

Sixth, invest in a filing cabinet. We’re kidding, but not really.

You’ll have accumulated a ton of paperwork as you go through all this, such as insurance cards, photos, medical bills, police cards, repair expenses, and on and on and on.

It’s going to be a lot, and you might need all of it, so make sure you’ve got a filing system that works for you, whether that’s in your home office or in the office of the personal injury attorney you hired to take care of it for you.

How to Deal With a Rideshare Insurance Claim

Uber and Lyft drivers have three different levels of liability, depending on their work situation. If they’re driving without their app on, their personal car insurance covers them. Whether it’s Liberty Mutual, Progressive, or State Farm, you can be sure The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin knows exactly how to deal with those.

The second the drivers connect to the app, the Uber or Lyft policy applies with $100,000 in liability and uninsured motorist coverage.

In Georgia, Uber is covered by Farmer’s Insurance, and Lyft uses Progressive.

Once the driver connects to their potential passenger, the liability jumps to $1,000,000, which applies to both the driver and the passenger.

No matter which insurance company you’re reaching out to, ensure you do it as soon as possible. A lengthy delay might allow them to deny you your right to compensation.

Remember, these insurance companies are billion-dollar enterprises trying to serve billion-dollar rideshare services. Their priority isn’t your health and well-being; it’s their bottom line. Don’t give them an inch.

You can file your claim a few different ways.

If you were in an accident with an Uber, here’s what to do:

  • Call 1-800-435-7764 (1-877-732-5266 en Espanol).
  • Download and utilize the Farmers Insurance mobile app.
  • Going to the Farmers Insurance website at https://www.farmers.com/claims/
  • Text the words REPORTCLAIM to 29141, and you’ll receive a link to begin the claims process.

If you were in an accident with a Lyft, here’s what to do:

  • Call 1-800-776-4737.
  • Using their mobile app.
  • Going to the Progressive website at https://www.progressive.com/claims/

No matter your choice, you’ll get a claim number and be in touch with an insurance adjuster. They may seem nice, but they want to keep you far away from the amount of money you deserve. Don’t give them any more information than is absolutely necessary.

When speaking to an insurance adjuster, it’s essential to prepare yourself. If you’ve retained an attorney, they’ll have some pointers to go over with you, but if you’re going at it alone, here are some steps to consider when you’re speaking with one to ensure you’re ready.

  • Don’t admit fault – especially if you’re just a passenger. You didn’t do anything wrong.
  • Tell the truth, and don’t speculate. Stick to verifiable facts that you won’t have to go back on. You didn’t do anything wrong.
  • When possible, keep your answers simple – You don’t need to explain more than they asked. After all, you didn’t do anything wrong.
  • Don’t sign their first offer. You might be leaving money on the table. Take the time to speak with a professional and see if it’s actually a good deal.

Remember, every moment you deal with the insurance company is a negotiation. Don’t give away anything you don’t have to.

And if you ever get stuck in a conversation, remember you can always turn to the magic words: “I’ll need to speak to my lawyer.”

What Could My Rideshare Injuries be Worth?

Every case is different. We couldn’t even begin to tell you how much your case is worth without you sitting down for a free consultation.

Generally speaking, though, we’d be trying to get you anything we would in any normal personal injury case, including car repairs or replacement, lost wages, past and future medical bills, and pain and suffering.

A skilled personal injury attorney specializing in rideshare accidents by your side maximizes the possibility for you to get the financial settlement you deserve.

Do You Need a Lawyer For Your Rideshare Accident?

We’re not going to lie – getting an Atlanta personal injury attorney specializing in rideshare accidents can be a huge benefit. Not only does it take a ton of pressure off your plate, but you turn the process over to an expert who is used to negotiating with insurance companies. And that’s before mentioning the additional complication of working with rideshare companies.

When you retain a personal injury attorney like The Law Offices of Nicholas P. Martin, you’re banking on our experience. We know rideshare wrecks are completely different from your typical automobile accident. We’re prepared to fight and know how to get you the best possible outcome.

Charlotte’s Outcome

Remember Charlotte and her wreck? She was even stiffer the day after. She made an appointment at local urgent care to get checked. While in the waiting room, she Googled “rideshare car accident personal injury attorney.” She knew she wanted someone local who knew the Georgia rideshare laws. The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin came up. She signed up for a free consultation, liked the conversation she had with Nick, and turned the case over to him.

While Charlotte was focusing on getting healthy, Nick was on the case. He procured dashcam footage that proved her Uber driver, moonlighting at Uber after a full day at his desk job, accidentally ran a red light.

Meanwhile, Charlotte had to miss some work due to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. Who ended up paying out?

In this case, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance would provide coverage first, followed by any uninsured motorist insurance you carry on your own vehicle (if available), followed by the $1,000,000 rideshare policy.

Uber and Lyft provide very good coverage to their passengers. Compare that to taxi cabs in Atlanta, which only have $25,000 in insurance.

Nick negotiated with Uber and got all of Charlotte’s bills paid for, leaving her a satisfied client.

Nick Martin: Rideshare Accident Attorney

Getting in a car wreck is an anxious occasion in the best of circumstances, but a rideshare makes things so much more stressful. If you’re a passenger, the control has been completely taken out of your hands, and your vehicle might be entirely out of commission if an Uber or Lyft has hit you.

In times like these, you need support. Someone who has your back and, rest assured, you can’t count on that from Uber or Lyft.

Nick Martin represents clients who have been in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft.

He’s got the necessary experience to dodge all the curveballs any insurance company might throw. He’s here and ready to be your advocate when you need it most and helps with rideshare insurance claims in Georgia.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident while in an Uber or Lyft, don’t wait. Time is of the essence. Contact The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin at (404) 382-5424 or sign up for a free consultation on this website. You can also email us (nickmartinlaw@newtoatlanta.com). Nick Martin is the rideshare accident attorney who won’t let you get less than you deserve.