It may seem like rideshare drivers have enough driving experience and expertise to avoid accidents, but this is often not the case. In fact, most rideshare drivers are much like any other motorist. They are prone to the same distractions and poor decisions that may cause non-professional drivers to cause accidents.
When trying to recover compensation for your damages following a rideshare accident, your main concern should be identifying who was at fault and what your total damages are. An experienced Augusta car accident lawyer will be equipped with the background knowledge needed to help you gather evidence that sheds light on this information. If you are in search of an attorney to handle your claim, look no further. Barrios Virgüez is ready to assist you.
Identify Who Is Liable in Augusta Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents have an additional layer of complexity compared to typical car accidents. This is because liability may go beyond the rideshare driver themselves. Because you must file against the liable party’s insurance, you may be in a position where you need to sue the rideshare company’s insurer rather than the driver’s.
However, there is one complication here: rideshare companies are not typically responsible for the actions of their drivers because the drivers are technically independent contractors rather than employees. While it is still possible to file a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance, it is normally only possible to do so after filing a claim with the driver’s personal insurance. This process has several steps, so seek advice from an experienced Augusta personal injury lawyer to get the help you need.
For a free legal consultation with a rideshare accidents lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Potential At-Fault Parties
There are several parties that could be at fault when you suffer a personal injury involving a rideshare vehicle driver. Your lawyer’s job is to find out who is responsible so you can directly seek compensation from them. Some parties that could be at fault in your rideshare accident include:
- The drivers of other vehicles
- The rideshare company
- Negligent maintenance providers
- Car manufacturers
- The rideshare driver
Keep in mind that claiming that one or more parties were at fault does not mean the same thing as proving that they were at fault. In order to justify your claim to compensation against the party you have deemed liable, you must provide evidence proving that they should be responsible for your damages. In doing so, you give their insurance company a valid reason to offer you a settlement.
If you are not offered a settlement, it might be necessary to go to court. While an Augusta rideshare accident attorney should be capable of negotiating a fair deal outside of court, it is somewhat common for rideshare accidents to enter the next phase. Fortunately, having a lawyer on your side will always make the process of going to trial far easier to manage.
Augusta Rideshare Accident Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Augusta Rideshare Passengers Have Rights
Rideshare drivers and their employers have a legal duty of care that requires them to uphold your rights when you ride in their vehicles. That is why rideshare companies are required to enforce a mandatory minimum liability insurance requirement for their drivers. The rideshare companies themselves also tend to have their own insurance, which offers additional protection for their passengers and the occupants of other vehicles.
For example, when you get into an Uber, your driver is covered by a large liability policy that offers up to $1 million in coverage. Therefore, if the driver gets into an accident that causes you severe bodily injury, you can seek compensation from that insurance policy. Yet, the level of coverage an Uber driver has depends on which phase of the rideshare process they are engaged in.
If a rideshare driver hits another vehicle while they have the app turned off, Uber’s policy does not provide any protection. Though, in instances where the app is turned on and they are looking for rides, a moderate level of liability coverage becomes active. Having a rideshare accident attorney in Augusta, GA at Barrios Virgüez review the details of your claim will help you identify whether your accident was covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy.
Damages that Can Be Recovered Through Augusta Rideshare Accident Claims
If you can prove that another party was at fault for the accident that injured you, there is a significant chance that you will recover compensation. This compensation comes in a variety of forms, depending on your overall losses. Usually, personal injury cases like rideshare accident claims result in plaintiffs recovering both economic and non-economic damages.
How much is recovered in each category depends on the severity of the accident and the suffering caused by the injuries you sustained. The two main types of losses you can recover include economic and non-economic damages.
When someone suffers a physical injury in a rideshare accident, they usually require some form of medical treatment. Healthcare in the US is more expensive every year, so your medical bills are likely to be substantial. In addition to those expenses, individuals with certain injuries may be unable to attend work or pursue certain business opportunities.
From a legal perspective, all of these factors are considered economic damages. In short, your economic damages include any tangible losses that are easily tied to an actual bill or expense. Your economic damages are also not limited to past and current losses. You can claim compensation for future monetary damages that you are likely to incur as well.
The best way to define non-economic damages is “damages that are not tied to a monetary loss.” These are intangible damages that likely will not be easily documented through receipts or bills. Instead, non-economic losses include experiences like:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life, hobbies, and activities
- Emotional trauma or distress
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Laws Impacting Your Rideshare Accident Claim in Augusta
Multiple laws could have an impact on the outcome of your Augusta rideshare accident claim. Most notably, these include accusations of shared liability, the statute of limitations, and other relevant deadlines.
Georgia Shared Liability Laws
According to the Georgia law for shared liability, Georgia operates under a modified comparative negligence system. When the liable party accuses you of sharing fault for your injuries, and they likely will, you do not necessarily need to worry.
Since the state follows a modified shared fault system, when you are partially at fault for your injuries, your settlement can be reduced in proportion to your percentage of the blame. However, you can generally still recover compensation for your losses as long as your portion of culpability is not greater than 49%. You can reasonably expect your rideshare accident injury settlement to reflect your shared liability deduction. It will correlate with your portion of responsibility for what happened.
For example, if you were not wearing your passenger belt when you were struck by a driver who was speeding, you may be found 17% liable for your resulting injuries. When this happens, your settlement will be reduced by 17% to hold you accountable for your contribution to the accident. Your rideshare accident attorney will take steps to protect you from being taken advantage of so you can maximize the financial compensation you recover in your claim.
The Statute of Limitations and Other Essential Deadlines
If your rideshare accident lawsuit is not filed before the statute of limitations passes, you could lose your right to try your case in court. Georgia law provides a maximum of two years for a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is not only the statute of limitations you need to consider.
Insurance companies also often require claims to be filed within 30 days of the accident. If you hope to protect your settlement at all costs, make sure you have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney working on your case so you know exactly how long you have to take action.
Get the Augusta Rideshare Accident Compensation You Are Due
Rideshare drivers are held to the same standards as any other driver. Yet, the insurance policies held by rideshare companies are often unwilling to provide total compensation to individuals who are injured by accidents involving their drivers.
To fight for your right to compensation, enlist the aid of an esteemed Augusta rideshare accident lawyer from Barrios Virgüez. You can reach out today using the contact form on this page.