Many people are turning to ridesharing services to save money on taxis and travel expenses. For many consumers, this convenience comes at a considerable price to physical safety. As these services grow and expand throughout the state, it is a good bet that the number of reported accidents and injuries caused by ridesharing services will rise.
Dangers of Ridesharing
Uber, Lyft, and Vugo have minimal requirements for their drivers. They are not required to go through advanced drivers safety training or demonstrate that they can safely operate a motor vehicle. Drivers may operate their vehicle while intoxicated, they may have a habit of aggressive driving, or they may have complete disregard for the “rules of the road.”
All of these factors can lead to automobile accidents and personal injuries. Drivers may even exert physical violence towards passengers. When a rideshare passenger is injured because of the actions of a driver, a personal injury lawyer can help pursue damage claims on their behalf.
Rules on Ridesharing
The City of Chicago regulates ridesharing services in order to protect the general public from dangerous operators. The city requires individuals working for these services to obtain a chauffer’s license that must be renewed annually. Drivers are not allowed to use vehicles that are more than six years old unless the vehicle is tested on a semi-annual basis.
Furthermore, drivers are required to display a tag in their vehicle that lets them know to dial “311” to report complaints about the driver. However, the rules do not require drivers to undergo drug or alcohol testing, or submit to any physical exam.
There are a number of people and entities that can be held responsible for personal injuries that occur because of an automobile accident or the behavior of a rideshare or taxi driver. The driver may be held accountable for actions that caused the injury. For example, if the accident was caused by running red lights, speeding, or driving aggressively.
The company may also be held liable as the driver is working as an agent of the entity. Whether it is Vugo, Lyft, or Uber, ridesharing companies have a duty of care that includes ensuring that drivers representing the brand obey traffic safety laws and don’t put passengers at undue risk for personal injury or death.
Claims may also be filed against the individual’s insurance company even if the individual has not reported that they are using their personal vehicle to work on behalf of a ridesharing service.
If you or a family member or friend has been injured riding in a ridesharing vehicle, please call personal injury attorney Robert Smoler at 312-332-9800.