In our fast-paced modern lives, we’ve all grown accustomed to a simpler and quicker way of getting what we want and that includes getting where we want to go much faster. Hailing a cab has become as easy as opening an app on our phone and hitting ‘find me a ride’, instantly pinging a driver. But what happens when this goes wrong?
If you were using an Uber or Lyft ride and your driver was involved in an accident- where should you even start with your legal rights as a passenger and can you file a legal case against someone who is self-employed? Our blog covers what commercial vehicle accidents mean and why they have increased in America recently with the introduction of Uber, Lyft, and many others.
Commercial vehicle accidents
While many people use Uber and Lyft and enjoy the convenience they offer, studies suggest that since instant ride or rideshare companies have emerged and become popular there are more accidents on roadways. This is largely down to the length of time, inexperience, and consistency these drivers spend on the roads, leaving them much more likely to have an accident. It’s also very easy to become an Uber driver- in fact, in many states you just need a car! It sadly also means they can use a car that may not be regularly maintained or serviced, using a vehicle that may not even be road-worthy.
Licensed taxis and private drivers have certain criteria to fit before they become licensed to become a commercial vehicle. This means if they have an accident when you’re a passenger, they will be protected both by their employer and their insurance company which will be specifically designed to cover accidents. However, Uber and Lyft as well as other ride app companies hire their staff on a ‘self-employed’ basis, meaning the drivers will have to have their own insurance and legal protection in place should an accident happen whilst they’re working.
Your legal rights using rideshares and commercial vehicles
The issue with the introduction of companies like Uber and even ride-share companies like Lyft is the regulation of commercial vehicles as the law can protect passengers as well as drivers if they’re not technically employed by anyone. This doesn’t mean however you have no legal rights if you’re involved in an accident when using one of these services. Being involved in any kind of accident is traumatic enough but when you’ve trusted in a driver to transport you safely, it can feel much worse.
Our team here in Chandler, Arizona, often see auto accidents involving drivers from Uber and other lift-share companies and can offer clear, concise legal advice about what to do next. It’s important you are aware of your rights from a legal perspective when you’re involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
If you’ve been involved in an accident using a taxi or lift service, why not call us at (480) 634-7480 today and find out how our attorneys could help you.