Despite their somewhat controversial business model, Uber/Lyft ridesharing services are much more affordable than taxis in North Carolina. The business model is considered controversial from a legal standpoint because the rideshare companies brand themselves as “platforms” and drivers as “independent contractors.” These technologically-based types of services constitute an attempt to limit the legal responsibilities Uber/ Lyft should assume in the event an injury occurs due to the negligence of an Uber/Lyft driver.
However, this does not mean Uber/Lyft cannot be held legally responsible when a driver is negligent. With the right legal representation, Uber/Lyft can be held liable for the injuries caused by their drivers. While many states accept the concept of independent contractors at face value, North Carolina courts look at various other factors in the relationship to determine if the employee truly meets North Carolina’s legal standard.
If you or someone you know suffered injuries in an Uber/Lyft accident, contact the offices of Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt in North Carolina. Our team of attorneys is committed to high-quality legal representation and is fully prepared to fight for your rights. A confidential and free legal consultation is available. Call us at (704) 377-3737 to set up an appointment.
Suing Uber or Lyft for an Accident in Concord, North Carolina
Concord is a popular city for rideshare companies in North Carolina. Many people will take Uber and/or Lyft into Concord for fun or to visit historical sites. Whether travelers are going to the Carrabus Arena to attend a concert or trade show or to the NASCAR track, rideshare services offer a practical alternative to enjoy recreational activities without the hassle of traffic, parking, and worrying about drinking and driving. Because it is the second-largest city in the Charlotte metropolitan area, driving into and through Concord can be an ordeal to anyone who doesn’t like to deal with traffic or who has a medical condition that makes driving difficult.
There are recent reports that Uber rides are not as safe as claimed. A CNN report revealed that Uber investigators have heavy caseloads of over 1,200 complaints every week. Lyft has also been publicly exposed for injured drivers and discrimination against disabled business passengers. Uber recently settled a lawsuit related to claims that its drivers raped, kidnapped, assaulted or harassed nine women. Some drivers hit pedestrians on crosswalks and can get distracted responding to requests with the Uber and Lyft apps.
Negligent Training of Drivers
One of the safety challenges these rideshare services face is providing strong safety training and screening drivers at a time when their services are expanding into new and different locations all over the world. With this rate of expansion in a model built around independent contractors, it’s unclear whether passengers will be guaranteed proper and adequate safety. There is no requirement in North Carolina for the vehicles to be inspected.
Lax Hiring Standards
There are reports that Uber and Lyft have weak hiring practices. There are questions as to whether the two companies conduct proper background checks. Typically, these companies only ask for the driver’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, insurance details, and vehicle information. While there are some indications that Uber is in the process of revamping the criminal background check system, there no sign these companies do their due diligence in testing the fitness of drivers to carry passengers responsibly.
Uber / Lyft Insurance Policies for Passengers and Drivers
Uber and Lyft carry supplemental insurance policies that cover passengers and drivers for a limited, pre-determined period directly linked to activity with the rideshare app.
Uber’s Insurance Policy
Uber drivers carry a $1.5 million insurance policy that covers incidents that can occur between the time the Uber driver accepts the passenger and the moment the passenger reaches his or her destination. If an accident occurs at any other point, the driver who is at fault will be held responsible in North Carolina.
Lyft’s Insurance Policy
Lyft drivers carries an insurance policy of $1.5 million in North Carolina. Like Uber, Lyft’s insurance coverage depends on whether there is a passenger in the car.
“At Fault” Insurance Laws in North Carolina
The driver or entity at fault for car accidents in North Carolina are usually held responsible. Your attorney can explain the legal concept of “at fault.” There are times when your insurance company will cover your injuries and pursue legal action against the party who caused the accident. It would be best if you weighed your options about what is the best course of action with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
North Carolina law allows you to file a civil suit against the driver at fault or their insurance company. With the guidance of a skilled attorney, you can make educated decisions regarding the best of course of action, whether it would be negotiating with the insurance company for an adequate settlement or filing a lawsuit to be compensated for your injuries.
Time Limit to Sue for Rideshare Accident Injuries in Concord
There is a three-year deadline that begins on the date of the injury. If you are contemplating going to civil court for your injuries, you should talk to an attorney about the time limit to file a lawsuit and how it’s calculated. If you are waiting for a settlement, keep in mind the time limitation will bar you from filing a lawsuit after the three years are over.
Call Your Concord, NC Uber / Lyft Driver
There is a narrow window of time available to file lawsuits in North Carolina for the injuries caused by a negligent driver. Whether you were injured while driving for Uber or Lyft or while traveling in a rideshare vehicle, the attorneys of Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt are committed to aggressive legal representation against the insurance companies and Uber or Lyft. They will look at the details of your accident to help you pursue all causes of action available to recover your losses. Call (704) 377-3737 to schedule a consultation today.