Charleston Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
In 2008, ridesharing companies were little more than plans on drawing boards. By 2019, Uber had grown to include more than 110 million users who booked almost seven billion trips. Not surprisingly, companies like Uber and Lyft are experiencing some growing pains. These platforms often have trouble attracting enough drivers to meet demand. As a result, much like many truck drivers, many ridesharing operators have little experience working with passengers and are not very familiar with the routes they travel.
At the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, our experienced Charleston Uber & Lyft accident lawyers have successfully handled these matters for many years. Frequently, the same issues that arise in taxi driver claims also arise in ridesharing claims. So, we have developed proven methods over the years. As a result, we are usually able to obtain results which exceed our clients’ expectations.
First Party Liability
As mentioned, ridesharing operators sometimes have little experience working with people and/or they over-rely on GPS navigation aids. Problems in either area could cause passenger injuries.
Generally, since they are commercial operators, Uber and Lyft drivers have a duty of utmost care to prevent passenger injuries. They must bring all their skill and experience to bear in order to deliver passengers safely from Point A to Point B.
Pickup and drop-off issues are rather common. Ridesharing operators must pick up passengers at safe locations. Dark parking lots and busy street corners might be convenient locations for drivers and/or passengers. But these locations are not particularly safe. That’s especially true if it is raining or conditions are otherwise less than ideal.
This responsibility continues when the vehicle is in motion. For example, if passengers get ill, drivers must attend to them. Or, if passengers quarrel, drivers must intervene before the altercation becomes violent.
Vehicle collisions might be even more of a risk. All Lyft and Uber drivers use GPS navigation devices. Driving while using such a device, even if the driver uses a hands-free mount, is as bad as driving drunk. Many observers believe that the increase in distracted driving accidents is directly related to the rise of ridesharing companies.
Third Party Liability
Generally, ridesharing companies are financially responsible for ridesharing injuries. Respondeat superior (let the master answer) liability applies if the tortfeasor was an employee who was negligent during the course and scope of employment.
South Carolina law defines all these key phrases and terms in broad, victim-friendly ways. For example, ridesharing operators are independent contractors for most purposes. But these drivers are employees for negligence purposes. That’s because the ridesharing companies control the drivers, in terms of things like passengers picked up.
Respondeat superior usually applies to crashes and unintentional passenger injuries. This legal theory could also apply to driver assaults in a few cases. Other potential vicarious liability theories include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
Vicarious liability is especially important in ridesharing claims. Usually, personal insurance policies do not cover commercial losses. Therefore, many Uber and Lyft drivers are essentially uninsured, from a car crash and passenger injury standpoint.
Contact a Dedicated Charleston County Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
All injury victims are entitled to fair compensation for their serious wounds. For a free consultation with an experienced Charleston Uber and Lyft accident lawyer, contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.