You may have heard a good deal of discussion regarding services like Uber and Lyft, but you may not be aware what these services offer to the public.
What are Uber and Lyft?
Unlike a taxi, the Uber and Lyft services are ride-sharing services that are operated by individuals who do not have any other license or qualifications other than their state driver’s license and a vehicle. Neither service is regulated by local, state, or federal agencies. The ride-sharing service is an alternative to taxis. From an app on your electronic device, you request a ride from one of the independent drivers. A vehicle arrives, you tell the person where you want to go, and the person takes you to that location.
Uber began operating in 2009 and Lyft launched in 2012. Unlike a licensed taxi cab, the drivers are ordinary individuals who want to make extra money by offering their services as a “taxi driver” without the need to be licensed or employed by a licensed taxi company. The company receives a portion of the fee for using their app to request a ride. There are many pros to using a ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Lyft. For instance, you can easily locate a ride by using the app on your phone and the fees are typically less than a taxi ride; however, the rates vary greatly by city and can be very expensive during times of high demand. You pay for the ride directly through the app on your mobile device.
Are there dangers associated with using Uber and Lyft services?
As with a taxi, you are getting into the car with a stranger; therefore, that is an inherent risk of using any service. A driver killed a young girl in San Francisco and a driver attacked a passenger with a hammer in San Francisco. While each company may use a variety of screening processes, you do not know how thorough they are and even the best screening process may miss something. With taxi drivers, you would hope that government regulations might make it a little bit safer; however, government regulations fail as well.
One of the most serious risks of riding with an Uber or Lyft driver is getting into a car accident. Both services have come under fire after car accidents caused by Uber and Lyft drivers. Because drivers are “independent contractors,” the company alleges it is not responsible for any damages arising out of a car accident caused by a driver. On the other side of the argument, automobile insurance carriers are denying coverage because drivers are insured for “personal use,” not commercial use.
Even in cases where the automobile insurance carrier agrees to pay a personal injury claim, the driver may carry minimum insurance coverage; therefore, the coverage may not compensate the accident victim fully for his or her damages. When an accident victim is suffering physical pain, emotional suffering, and financial burdens from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, the last thing this person needs is to be caught between a company, its “independent contractor/employee,” and an automobile insurance carrier.
In this case, the accident victim needs to contact an experienced car accident attorney to handle the matter. An attorney can cut through some of the legal issues to help the accident victim receive the compensation he or she deserves. A fair and just settlement would include compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship, support, and guidance
- Other out-of-pocket expenses such as personal care, over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, and travel expenses
- Disfigurement, scarring, or permanent disability
The damages you may be entitled to receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances and facts of your case. Contact our office to discuss your Uber or Lyft accident in detail.
Do you need a personal injury attorney in Denver, Colorado?
If you have been injured in an Uber accident, Lyft accident, or a taxi accident, contact The Law Offices of Dianne L. Sawaya LLC immediately. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, but you must act quickly to protect your legal rights. Lawsuits against Uber, Lyft, and taxi companies are complex and involve complicated laws. You need an attorney with the knowledge, experience, and skill to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available under the law for your damages.
Call our office at 303-758-4777 or visit us online to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. Let our personal injury attorneys handle the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on what is important—your recovery and your health.