Ridesharing has made life more convenient, but is it safe? When it is not safe, who is liable for injuries?
Ponca City is by no means a large city, with roughly 25,000 residents. However, despite its small size, rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have established a presence here. Now, Ponca City residents can find affordable add convenient public transportation just as easily as they could if they lived in a bigger city such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York. While rideshare services certainly make life easier for residents, they do create several new issues, many of which arise when an accident occurs. Our Ponca City Uber/Lyft ridesharing accident lawyers at BDIW Law are familiar with these challenges and can help you navigate them should you or a loved one sustain injuries in a ridesharing accident.
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Uber and Lyft are Thought to be the Cause of the Sharp Incline in Traffic Deaths
According to one study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Rice University, the rise of ridesharing services has increased the number of U.S. traffic deaths by as much as 2 to 3% percent since 2011 . Though the percentage may seem small to you, two to three percent accounts for 1,100 mortalities each year. Though the methodology behind the study is complex, the study notes that traffic deaths fell to their lowest number just before Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010. In 2010, there were just 32,885 traffic fatalities, the lowest number in over 60 years. However, after 2010, the decline halted and then reversed. San Francisco’s traffic fatality rates were the first to shoot up, a phenomenon that was replicated in other cities after the introduction of Uber.
Researchers attribute the increased number of traffic fatalities to increased congestion. Before Uber and other ridesharing services, individuals who did not own vehicles of their own, or who preferred public transportation, relied on buses, railways, and other forms of multi-person transportation. However, since the introduction of rideshare services, many of which come with fees far lower than standard taxi fees, the number of people using traditional modes of public transportation has decreased by 3% nationwide. To put that in perspective, the number of bus trips decreased by almost one billion since the introduction of rideshare services.
Liability in Uber/Lyft Accidents
The problem with rideshare services is that the drivers are not technically employees of the companies for which they work. They are essentially contractors. Because of this fact, Uber and Lyft both fought to NOT have to cover drivers under their insurance policies. However, because of the increasing number of accidents involving rideshare drivers, major companies were forced to compromise. Now, they must cover drivers with their corporate policies from the moment a driver picks up a passenger until the moment he or she drops that passenger off. If an accident occurs during a paid ride, the company should be liable for damages.
However, when an Uber driver is off the clock, so to speak, his or her own insurance policy should kick in. Per rideshare companies’ policies, drivers are required to carry minimum coverage amounts, which may or may not differ from state minimums.
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Why You Should Hire a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Because there are so many different insurance policies involved in a ridesharing accident, you may have a hard time determining with which company you should file your claim. Moreover, you may file a claim with the right party but be convinced that said party is not actually responsible. Unfortunately, this sort of game is all too common with insurance companies. You can avoid being toyed with by hiring a knowledgeable Ponca City Uber/Lyft ridesharing accident attorney from the start. With a lawyer on your side, insurance companies are less likely to toy with you and more likely to handle your case with the care and attention it deserves. Toensure the best possible outcome to your claim, contact BDIW Law now.
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