Traditional taxi cab companies are required by law to carry all sorts of insurance, covering both the cars and drivers. In addition, the drivers and their vehicles must have special licenses and meet certain regulations before they ever leave the garage. States and local municipalities also have very specific laws and ordinances to protect cab drivers and their passengers. However, ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, conveniently operate in something of a legal limbo.
Ridesharing companies have taken a lot of heat from taxi companies since their conception, but have continued to grow exponentially. Other car services criticize the app companies for operating without the same rules and regulations they are forced to adhere to. Uber and Lyft have gotten away with avoiding a lot of employment law and car service regulations by arguing that they simply connect people that need a ride with willing drivers.
What Happens in a Car Accident with an Uber Driver?
Both Uber and Lyft carry insurance for accidents, but unlike taxi companies, those policies are often secondary to the individual driver’s insurance, and typically only apply when a driver actually has a passenger in the car.
Past cases have raised some very serious concerns about who is actually liable in a ridesharing accident. An Uber driver was charged with manslaughter after hitting and killing a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco. Uber have vehemently denied any responsibility, because even though the driver was “on the clock,” he had not been carrying a passenger at the time of the accident.
Until more regulations are placed on ridesharing companies, victims and their families will continue to have great difficulty getting compensation for injuries suffered in ridesharing car accidents.