Ridesharing Still Causes Confusion in Austin
After the legal battles in recent years over issues like background checks and employee classifications, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become regular parts of Austin life. However, there still remains quite a bit of misinformation floating around about them, especially about what can happen if you are unlucky enough to be in an accident in a rideshare car. The law surrounding these questions is not nearly as ambiguous as the average person might think, and if you are ever injured in an Uber or Lyft car, you have some fairly specific options to move forward.
Statistics regarding the impact of rideshare cars on traffic and fatality statistics are difficult to come by, given the relative novelty of the method of transportation. However, it is possible to examine traffic information and draw conclusions, especially about the number of non-fatal crashes. Texas, in particular, has seen a slight uptick in urban crashes in recent years, reaching 45.01 percent in 2018, and it is not unreasonable to see a potential link between the proliferation of Uber and Lyft and increased accidents, even if it cannot be borne out specifically.
Initially, ridesharing companies resisted putting down permanent roots in cities like Austin because of the insurance requirements and, eventually, the background check requirements instituted under state law. A compromise was worked out, and at this point, rideshare companies operate fairly freely in the city. However, it is critical for riders to know that they do not operate in the same manner as a taxi company or other hire-car service, and react accordingly if they are in an accident. Knowing your rights is never a bad idea.
If You Are Injured
If you are ever involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft car - whether you are a passenger or merely a pedestrian - you do have ways to potentially seek compensation for any injuries you suffer. The major issue that you will face in trying to hold a rideshare driver accountable is determining whether or not they were actively engaged in work for the rideshare company. Texas law holds that when the app is off, the driver’s private insurance policy must be used to cover any injury claims.
That said - if your accident happens while the driver’s app is on and they are going to pick up a ride (or are transporting a ride), Texas law requires that the company ensure each driver has $1 million in insurance coverage for death, bodily injury, and property damage. As one might imagine, it is not unheard of for a rideshare company to try and argue that their driver was ‘off the clock’ when your accident occurred; You need a dedicated attorney who understands this area of law and is unwilling to let the company talk its way out of liability.
Contact Our New Braunfels Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Any car accident can be a life-changing ordeal, and if you are struck by a rideshare car, it is always good to have a dedicated New Braunfels rideshare accident attorney on your side to help guide you through the process of seeking compensation. The Bettersworth Law Firm is ready and willing to work hard to ensure your financial security after an accident. Contact us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.