Georgia Law Governing UBER/LYFT and Ride Share Cars

If you have been injured as a result of an Uber/Lyft drivers, the law in Georgia that governs your accident claim is OCGA 33-1-24. If you are on a ride with a ride share driver, or the driver has accepted a ride request on the company’s digital network, and an accident occurs, then there must be at least $1,000,000 liability coverage for all injuries, death and property damage, and $1,000,000 underinsured/ uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage starts when the driver accepts a ride request on the company network until the driver completes the transaction or ride, whichever is later.

So, what this means is that there should be a single limit insurance policy of $1,000,000 for any one accident as defined above. While this seems like a lot of coverage, in a very serious accident, where more than one person is hurt, this is not a lot of money to cover all the property damage and damages of the injured. One person’s serious injuries can result in medical bills ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 or higher. In the case where someone has died, a wrongful death claim of one person easily exceeds $1,000,000. The heirs of the deceased would not get the full coverage of $1,000,000 as property damage would be taken out also.

If you are injured by a ride share driver (UBER) who does not have a passenger in the car, and who is logged onto the company digital network, available to accept a ride, then the coverage for the accident is $50,000/$100,000, meaning no more than $50,000 per person per accident and $100,000 per accident for all injured as a result of the driver’s negligence. This type of coverage would come into effect if the driver was driving around waiting on a person to contact the driver via their phone to request a ride, and then got into a wreck, causing a collision and others, not in the rideshare car were hurt/killed. There will also be $25,000 per accident for property damage. There may also be other coverages if you are in a state which requires PIP (like Florida).

It is important to note that UBER BLACK (limousine carriers) is EXEMPT from the requirements above for the above stated coverage. So, there are other coverages that must be in place. That will be discussed below – (See Limousine section below.)

Regarding LYFT, their coverage starts when the driver mode is on, but no ride has been accepted. Lyft provides liability coverage when the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the wreck, then the Lyft coverage is $50,000/$100,000 limit per accident, and a $25,000 maximum per accident for property damage. The Lyft policy is excess over the driver’s coverage. Once a ride has been accepted until the ride has ended in the LYFT app, then there is a liability policy of $1,000,000 in place, which will be primary, or will be excess if the driver already has a commercial or personal policy in place which covers ride share vehicles. A driver’s personal policy will NOT cover a ride share vehicle unless he/she has specifically purchased coverage or an endorsement for a ride share vehicle, either commercial or personal.

Regarding LYFT UM/UIM, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, when a driver has accepted a ride or has a passenger in the car, the passenger is hurt by another driver who is uninsured or underinsured, there is $1,000,000 in coverage in place in Georgia. Other states may have different requirements. Look here for coverages.

Limousine service (Uber Black). Also, OCGA 40-1-166 sets coverages at a minimum of $100,000/$300,000 for 12 passengers or less for a limousine carrier, and $100,000/$500,000 and $50,000 for property damage for a vehicle containing over 12 passengers for cars operating within the State of Georgia. However, a limousine is considered a commercial vehicle for seating of a total of 8, including the driver; see OCGA 40-1-1. This means that the Code of Federal Regulations would apply to a limousine with capacity for 8 people in the car as specified in this paragraph. Title 49 CFR Section 387.33 defines the minimum levels of financial responsibility for various vehicles, depending on the number of people they hold, but see 49 CFR Section27(b) for exceptions.

See for examples of what type
of insurance must be maintained for an Uber Black car, as here:

Black – The original Uber.¹
We are currently not accepting applications for Black partners.

Additional requirements:
•  Keep a star rating of 4.85 or higher
•  5-year-old vehicle or newer
•  Commercial insurance
•  Exterior color: Black only
•  Interior: Black leather only

Regarding handling claims against rideshare companies, the companies are required under OCGA 33-1-24 (i) to notify the driver and the driver’s personal insurer of any dispute concerning primary coverage within 25 business days of receiving notice of the accident . Also, if the rideshare company is providing primary coverage for an accident, and the driver is sued or the driver’s personal insurance is named as a defendant in a civil suit, and the driver was available to provide transportation service for the rideshare company, then the rideshare company shall have a duty to defend the lawsuit.

The bottom line is that a claim against a rideshare company can be technical and confusing. Call Friedman & Martin today if you have been hurt in a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle. 912-232-8500.