Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are the fastest growing method of transportation in Texas. While these services are obviously convenient for their users, the companies behind these services must properly hire, train, and supervise drivers. Their failure to do so has produced a startling number of accidents in Texas.
As a result, the Texas legislature passed new legislation that took effect on January 1, 2016. Among many other provisions, including a section requiring drivers to disclose their cellphone use, the Texas Legislature saw fit to include a requirement that ridesharing companies carry up to one million dollars in insurance.
As with any new service and any new law, ridesharing and ridesharing laws have created a great deal of confusion in the legal community. Most Texas attorneys don’t even know what ridesharing is, let alone how to properly handle a case against Uber or Lyft. Alford & Clark PLLC, on the other hand, is at the forefront in tracking the case law as it develops.
If you have been in an accident involving an Uber of Lyft driver, even if you were a passenger, here is what you need to know:
You may have been injured by an Uber or Lyft driver and not even know it!
If you are injured as a passenger of a ridesharing service, you will obviously know which ridesharing company and driver are to blame. On the other hand, what if another driver causes an accident while you are operating your own car or motorcycle? How will you know whether or not that other driver was logged into a ridesharing app or was giving a passenger a ride?
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident in the recent past, the other driver may have been a ridesharing driver and you didn’t even know it. The attorneys at Alford & Clark will investigate your accident to determine whether or not ridesharing is a factor, as the negligence of these companies may provide you with a substantial source of funds for your recovery.
The amount of insurance coverage drastically differs based on whether the ridesharing driver was logged in or “on the clock.”
The key question to answer in any ridesharing case concerns the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Was the driver logged in to the ridesharing app and looking for a ride, giving a customer a ride, or logged out of the app and “off the clock”?
Texas law provides that when the driver is logged on to the ridesharing app and is available to receive ride requests, the driver and the ridesharing company are responsible to provide insurance coverage of at least $50,000 for bodily injury to or death for each person in an incident, $100,000 total for bodily injury or death per incident; and $25,000 for damage to or destruction of property. This rule, which applies when the ridesharing driver does not have a paying passenger at the time of the accident, only provides for a slight increase over the mandatory minimum $30,000/$60,000/$25,000 policy in Texas.
If the driver is engaged in giving a customer a ride, however, Texas law requires the driver and ridesharing company to provide at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage for each accident. This large increase may incentivize the ridesharing company and their insurance carrier to try to hide evidence that their driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, since then they will only be on the hook for $50,000 rather than $1 million. Alford & Clark has the know-how to find and dig through the records to make this critical determination in your ridesharing case.
Visit Alford & Clark PLLC at InjuredTexan.com for more information on how you can protect yourself and your rights after a serious Uber or Lyft wreck.
Visit http://www.injuredtexan.com/uberlyft-accidents.html to learn more about how Alford & Clark can help you recover after a serious ridesharing accident. Or call 210-951-9467 now for a free, confidential consultation with an injury attorney.