Lyft and Uber are quite popular in and around Chicago, and there are hundreds of taxis across the city. While Chicago has a great public transportation system, hired vehicles are still very popular. Unfortunately, hired vehicles are at-risk for accidents, just like regular passenger cars.
If you were injured while riding in an Uber or taxi, or you were hit by a negligent hired driver, you may have concerns about how to recover the compensation you need. Because hired cars have different insurance requirements than other vehicles, accident cases involving them can quickly become complex. For help with your case, contact a Chicago Uber/taxi accident lawyer.
Common carriers owe their passengers a duty to exercise the highest degree of care consistent with the type of vehicle used in the operation of the business. Common carriers include planes, ships, buses, taxi cabs, limousines, amusement devices, railroads, and to a certain extent even elevators. Like taxi cabs, Ubers and Lyfts are considered common carriers.
Common carrier drivers are held to the highest level of care. A common carrier owes a duty to protect its passengers and is responsible for injury caused by the intentional acts of its employees, regardless of whether the act was within the actual or apparent scope of the employee’s authority. Common carriers also owe a duty to protect their passengers from assault, injury, and abuse by other passengers or third parties and should anticipate the danger of an assault to a passenger by a fellow passenger.
The duties of a taxi driver go beyond operating the taxi in a reasonable and careful manner. For example, if the driver lets someone out in a dangerous place on the roadway, such as the middle of a street, in an intersection, or on a bridge, they could be responsible for any injuries to the passenger. The same is true for picking up a passenger in such a manner. The liability for entering and exiting a common carrier is different than for an individual operating a vehicle.
Due to their status as a common carrier, an Uber/Lyft or taxi driver’s personal insurance does not cover an accident that occurred while transporting a passenger. Almost all personal automobile insurance policies have an exclusion relating to the commercial use of the vehicle. When a rideshare driver is transporting a passenger, the insurance through the rideshare company applies. The insurance company is also responsible for damage to other vehicles and any bodily injury to drivers or passengers of the other vehicle.
To preserve eligibility for compensation, someone injured in a rideshare accident should try to obtain all information about the driver and the car. When pursuing compensation later, the victim and their attorney must show that they were in the car at a particular time due to a rideshare request. When someone is in an accident with a hired driver, they should obtain all information about the driver and the car. They need to show at a later time that they were in the car at a particular time and were in the car following a rideshare request.
Rideshare companies are familiar with handling car accident claims associated with car accidents. A whole team of people has extensive training and experience dealing with accident situations, so unrepresented victims can be at a serious disadvantage. For this reason, many people choose to rely on an experienced Chicago Uber/taxi accident lawyer for help maximizing their compensation. Call today to discuss your case.