Uber and Lyft are both known as ridesharing services. They are designed to be an affordable alternative to taxis. They can be particularly convenient in areas where taxis are tough to hail and you need a cab in a hurry. Both services are run via an app on your mobile phone. You simply request a ride from your phone, and when you get to your destination your driver will be paid for his or her services without money exchanging hands.
If You Have an Accident with an Uber or Lyft Rideshare Driver
Unlike traditional taxi firms, Lyft and Uber employ amateur drivers, who use their own vehicles to transport passengers. Also unlike professional taxi companies the cars are not marked. (Lyft does use a pink mustache on the front of all of its vehicles.) But what happens if you are involved in an accident with a rideshare driver? For traditional taxi companies, liability and compensation are matters for the legal system; this is relatively straight forward as both drivers are registered through their state. There are also mandatory insurance requirements for drivers and taxi owners which provide regulation for car accident fault and compensation. This is not the case for Uber and Lyft. What this means is that in these cases, there are some grey areas. For example, Uber and Lyft drivers do not carry any secondary insurance that applies to using their vehicle for business or carrying passengers in that capacity, there are also issues surrounding insurance and compensation in circumstances when a Lyft or Uber driver is working but not carrying a passenger.
What to Expect
If you’re involved in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle, you must remember that it differs from an accident with a normal domestic car. One of the reasons is that ridesharing companies do not consider their drivers to be employees, but rather independent contractors. Because of this, they may be quicker to deny personal injury claims. Furthermore, ridesharing drivers use mobile applications that may distract their concentration from driving, putting them at an increased risk of causing accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft rideshare driver, you may be feeling confused about liability and compensation issues. The Birmingham rideshare accident lawyers at Guster Law Firm, LLC are here to clear up your confusion and explain your rights. Contact us today at (205) 386-6844 for a free consultation.