Real-time ridesharing is a type of service that began being offered only
a few short years ago. It’s a service that arranges one-time shared
rides on short notice. Typically, this carpooling uses devices such as
smartphones and GPS devices to find and take rides. Two of the most popular
services include Uber and Lyft, which have both been growing in popularity.
While the process seems simple enough—picking a destination, ordering
a ride, paying through the app, waiting for the driver—using a business
like Uber and Lyft to find a ride presents its own complications. For
example, if you were driving your own car, you would know that you are
either insured or uninsured and know how much your policy limit is in
case an accident occurs. However, when getting into the car of a complete
stranger, you trust that they meet all of the following criteria:
- They can drive well
- They can drive safely
- They have insurance to cover damages
Large companies such as Uber and Lyft come with their own personal injury
coverage in case passengers do sustain injuries during the ride. Theoretically,
both of these businesses have a $1 million limit on their liability, which
covers passenger injuries even if the crash was caused by the other driver.
However, Uber will fight you in court if you try and sue them for any
deficits in treatment not covered by the policy. For example, let us say
a passenger was so severely injured he sustained
spinal cord injury and could no longer move any limbs. This quadriplegic condition will last
him for life and will prevent him from holding a typical job to sustain
himself. His overall costs will include lost wages as well as extensive
medical treatments to help him live with this condition. Over the course
of his lifetime, the cost of his injury could easily reach more than $1
million, if not more.
Additionally, the outcome of any personal injury claim will depend on the
classification of drivers using the ridesharing service. All Uber and
Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, meaning they need
to provide their own insurance unless they’re driving a passenger.
The behavior of the driver, therefore, would be dependent on the driver
alone. If a driver is drunk when he gets into an accident, a passenger
injured in the collision is unlikely to get much from damages in the incident.
Likewise, passengers are not covered by the policy. If an Uber or Lyft
crashes into a pedestrian, the policy would only cover their injury if
the driver was on duty. If not, the passenger would need to sue the driver.
For more information about ridesharing liability, or to begin a case of
your own, don’t hesitate to call us. If you were injured as the
result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated.
At Ivey Barnum & O’Mara, LLC, our
Greenwich personal injury attorneys help people and their families obtain justice in personal injury claims and
wrongful death cases. Those who suffer at the hands of someone else’s negligence
shouldn’t have to pay the price for a mistake they didn’t
make. Medical bills and lost wages could cost you into the thousands,
while some catastrophic injury victims require millions in rehabilitation
costs and loss of a lifetime of income. Attorney John Q. Kelly and the
rest of the team ensure that every case we take on is well-staffed and
prepared with painstaking care. We measure the success of our cases by
quality, rather than quantity. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (203) 718-4002 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case
consultation today. We look forward to helping you with your situation.