Technology is amazing, isn’t it? Self-driving cars will soon be the mainstream. Virtual Reality is becoming a reality. And you can get a ride somewhere simply using an app on your phone. Uber has taken the world by storm by offering an alternative to taxis throughout the world, but Uber comes with its own set of problems. Let’s not forget Lyft. Lyft is similar to Uber but does not cover all the geographies that Uber does..yet.
It really is very easy to use Uber. If you the app you basically just press a button and Uber sends someone to get you and bring you where you want to go. Uber employs drivers all over the world to handle the transportation piece, and will soon use driverless cars in Pittsburgh.
Speaking to an anonymous source recently we discovered becoming an Uber driver is not that difficult. Yes, they run a background check and a driver’s history check, which they send to the potential candidate, but they are not very strict in their hiring drivers. The anonymous Uber driver we spoke with had a number of motor vehicle infractions including driving without insurance and registration, multiple speeding tickets and reckless driving.
Furthermore, Uber started sending this driver on jobs before he submitted a copy of his registration and did not require additional levels of insurance (which most insurance companies require). Essentially you are paying for what you get and potentially put yourself at risk. The question remains, what do you do if you are involved in an accident while a passenger in an Uber vehicle? What do you do if your car is involved in an accident with an Uber driver? Here are some of the laws that help you in achieving your compensation for the losses that occurred to you or the driver while you run into an accident when in one of these cars.
In 2013 the rules of the transportation industry changed dramatically. This was the onset of what is then called ride sharing services; Uber, Lyft, Sidecar. These transportation services differed from taxis, buses, or trains, services that have become quite accustomed to because individuals were driving their own vehicles in exchange for compensation. When someone was in a taxi or a bus, it was clear who was responsible. The law required they have insurance. With the new drivers driving their own vehicles on these application platforms, the law was unclear as to whether there would be any coverage whatsoever for harm or injury caused in an accident?
On New Year’s Eve, 2013: Sophia Liu was killed while crossing the road with her mother. She was hit by an Uber driver who was looking down while making a right-hand turn. The tragic death of Sophia put the issue of responsibility into the forefront. As a result of handling that case, Attorneys designed a plan of action not just to recover from them but to change the entire system for the betterment of everyone in the United States. The attorneys helped to drive a bill AB2293 that went through the State Legislature. It requires that these transportation companies such as Uber provide one million dollars’ worth of insurance to people who are riding in the vehicle or people who are hit by one of these vehicles while transporting a passenger or going to pick a passenger up. It also provided for the first time protection for drivers of the vehicle who may be hit by uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Attorneys also involved themselves in the Ride Sharing Hearings as they wanted to make sure that protections were in place, the vehicles were properly inspected, the drivers would be vetted and the consumers would get the transportation and safety that they deserve. Many Law firms continue to work on legislation that will hold ridesharing or transportation network carriers responsible for their conduct.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in an Accident With Uber, Lyft or Sidecar?
After taking care of the immediate accident steps as outlined in this blog post you will want to speak to a personal injury attorney. The laws are still being shaped for this type of service and your accident may help to shape the future of ridesharing services. Uber and Lyft will be quick to try to settle, as will the insurance companies, so it is important that you speak to an attorney.
It is extremely important when dealing with a new service model, or new technology, that you speak with a personal injury lawyer. Trial attorneys are the best-prepared lawyers when it relates to issues like this. Don’t try to take on Uber and/or the insurance companies on your own. Get help.