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How Will Car Sharing Affect Personal Injury Claims?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Wednesday June 2, 2021.

If the person who caused your car accident was renting the vehicle through a peer-to-peer car sharing app, the car sharing platform usually assumes liability for injuries caused to people injured in accidents caused by the shared car.

TV commercials for personal injury law firms assure you that a car accident lawyer can help you get money to pay the medical bills associated with the injuries you sustained in the accident, but it is only when you meet with a lawyer that you find out that determining whom to ask for the money is not as simple as it seems. For example, personal injury lawyers often help injured car accident victims get their medical bills covered by negotiating for a satisfactory settlement from the car accident company. It is not as glamorous as arguing your case before a judge and getting a ruling that makes the person who caused your accident pay up, but doing that is often impractical; when the driver who caused your accident does not have enough money to cover your medical expenses, suing them is a waste of your time and money. A new Oklahoma law aims to bring clarity to liability issues involving the newly popular practice of car sharing. If you have been injured in an accident involving a car sharing vehicle, contact the Tulsa car accident lawyers at BDIW Law.

Oklahoma’s Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Law

Last month, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 355, which establishes a regulatory framework for the peer-to-peer car sharing industry, which has burgeoned in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In peer-to-peer car sharing car owners offer their vehicles for other drivers to rent by the hour or by the day, similarly to how websites like Airbnb enable the owners of houses and condominiums to rent out their properties on a short-term basis. Peer-to-peer car sharing services provided a much-needed source of income for Oklahomans furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic, while offering an affordable option for those who wanted to avoid public transportation but could not afford to own cars.

Car Accident Lawsuits Involving Car Sharing

SB 355, which goes into effect on November 1, 2021, establishes regulations for the peer-to-peer car sharing industry. Specifically, it requires the car sharing platform (the business that operates the car sharing website or app) to assume liability for injuries resulting from accidents caused by cars rented through the platform. For example, if Arthur lists his car on Turo, and Belkys rents it and then causes an accident when she collides with Cassandra’s car (and in which Cassandra gets injured but Belkys does not), Turo is responsible for Cassandra’s accident-related financial losses. Of course, if Arthur lied to Turo about the roadworthiness of the car, then Cassandra has grounds for a lawsuit against Arthur.

Contact BDIW Law About Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Accidents

A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal issues surrounding accidents involving cars rented on peer-to-peer car sharing platforms. Contact BDIW Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma about your workers’ compensation case.