Jackson Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
Since 2015, ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber have mushroomed from almost nothing into global corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue. For many people, these companies offer a convenient way to get around. But this convenience comes at a price. The number of serious injuries in vehicle collisions has also inched up since 2015, and many experts believe that these two events are connected.
Ridesharing is almost a completely new area of personal injury law. Fortunately for victims, the innovative Jackson Uber & Lyft accident lawyer at Keith B. French Law keeps up with these changes. I stay on top of recent developments in the law. I also embrace technological advances, such as vehicle Event Data Recorders, which have changed the way lawyers collect evidence in these matters. I do these things so we may continue to obtain maximum compensation for my valued clients.
Common Ridesharing Injuries
Largely because of the increased demand, ridesharing companies need more drivers than ever. That might be good news for customer convenience and corporate profits, but it’s not good news for customer safety.
In terms of negligence, or unintentional injuries, fatigue and distraction are two of the most serious issues in this area.
Most ridesharing operators have significant time commitments elsewhere. So, they are often drowsy when they get behind the wheel. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in Mississippi. Making matters worse, many ridesharing operators are on the road early in the morning or late at night, when most people are naturally drowsy.
Furthermore, many ridesharing operators depend almost entirely on GPS navigation devices to get around. Even if the driver uses a hands-free mounting device, it’s very unsafe to drive with one eye on the road and one eye on a screen. These drivers are often unable to react to the fast-changing environment that everyone drives in.
The relentless quest for drivers also means that these companies often lower their standards, in terms of personal profile and insurance requirements.
Sometimes, customer interactions go bad. That’s especially true since many ridesharing passengers have been drinking. However, when a ridesharing operator commits a verbal, physical, or other assault, the operator is entirely at fault, at least in most cases.
Vehicle insurance is often an issue as well. Most personal auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial losses, and most ridesharing companies don’t ask a lot of insurance-related questions. Fortunately, our Jackson rideshare/Uber/Lyft accident lawyers can hold the company financially responsible for damages.
Usually, the respondeat superior doctrine applies to distracted driving and other vehicle collision injuries. Ridesharing companies and other employers are financially responsible for damages if:
- Employee: Most ridesharing operators are independent contractors for tax purposes. But they are usually employees for negligence purposes. That’s because the employers control the drivers, in terms of things like passengers picked up.
- Scope of Employment: Somewhat similarly, any act which benefits the employer in any way is usually within the scope of employment. In this context, rider deadheading (waiting for fares) benefits the employer. The company gets free advertising and the drivers are close to passengers.
In terms of intentional torts, available employer liability theories normally include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
Procedurally, most of these claims settle out of court. These negotiations usually begin in earnest once medical treatment is at least substantially complete. If a case settles too early, the settlement amount might not accurately reflect all future medical expenses. If that happens, the victim could be financially responsible for such charges.
Contact a Compassionate Hinds County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced ridesharing/Uber/Lyft accident lawyer in Jackson, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.