If you or a loved one was in a crash while riding in an Uber or taxi, you may be wondering what to do next. This is also true if you were involved in a car wreck with an Uber or taxi driver. If possible, it is crucial to gather as much information as you can. This includes the driver’s name and registration as well as pictures, contact information from witnesses, and police records. In accidents resulting in serious injuries, it is critical to seek necessary medical attention as soon as possible.
It is also important to contact an Atlanta Uber/taxi accident lawyer. The claims process for this type of accident can be complex, but a practiced car accident attorney could serve as a guide to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you need and deserve.
Legal Classification of Taxis and Ubers
As defined by Atlanta law, Ubers and taxis are considered common carriers. Common carriers are any for-hire vehicle that carries another person’s goods or other people for compensation as well as any entity subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. This includes any limousine or taxi company, bus company, tractor-trailer carriers that pick up goods and transports them for hire, as well as any vehicle over 10,000 pounds.
If someone is hit by a common carrier, Georgia has the direct action statute, which allows the injured party to not only file suit against the driver and the driver’s employer, but also against the insurance carrier for that company. An Atlanta Uber/taxi accident lawyer could further explain the legal classifications of common carriers and what that means for a claim.
Recovering Compensation for an Atlanta Crash
From a legal perspective, a car accident with a taxi or Uber driver differs from a car collision with someone driving their personal car. If a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle such as an Uber or Lyft is injured, the passenger is almost always an innocent victim which would establish liability. It would just be a question of whether the driver of the car they are riding in is liable, whether another car is liable, or whether it is a combination of both.
Drivers could work to recover damages caused by a car accident with an Uber driver in the same way they would in any other case. If the Uber driver is at fault, they would need to investigate the case, preserve evidence, gather their medical records, and make a settlement offer to the Uber driver’s insurance carrier. If they are unable to resolve the claim in a settlement, they proceed to a jury trial.
Determining Who Provides Compensation
The party responsible for paying damages in Atlanta Uber accidents depends on who is at fault. Typically, if an Uber driver is found to be at fault by a judge or jury, the driver’s insurance carrier would be responsible for paying the damages. If another party was found guilty and they have insurance, their carrier would be responsible for their damages up to their proportion of fault and their insurance limit.
What if the Driver’s Behavior Was Egregious?
The punitive damages involved in Uber accidents depends on the circumstances of the wreck. If the Uber driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, punitive damages could be warranted. Also, if the Uber driver knowingly drove with defective equipment, such as defective brakes or bad tires or had an unusually bad driving record, it is possible that punitive damages could be sought and recovered.
Reach Out to an Atlanta Uber/Taxi Accident Attorney
An Atlanta Uber/taxi accident attorney could help you determine who is at fault. Once you have identified the appropriate party or parties, a lawyer could work with you to gather evidence and could represent you to get you the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more about the role an attorney can play in your claim, call today.