If you’re in an accident or injured while riding as a passenger or driver of Uber/Lyft in Gastonia, you need an experienced North Carolina lawyer with experience in Gastonia’s traffic rules and regulations. Uber/Lyft are a convenient method of transportation and more affordable than most taxis in North Carolina. However, the potential for suffering an accident is just as prevalent as with any other driver on the roads of North Carolina, especially on the busy roads of Gastonia.
The team of attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt, PA, understand car accidents and have significant legal experience handling Uber/Lyft cases. Our fees are only paid if you receive compensation for your injuries. We work hard and fight aggressively to obtain the maximum value for your losses and pursue justice. To talk about the details of your Uber/Lyft accident in Gastonia, call (704) 377-3737 and schedule an appointment today.
How Do Rideshare Companies Like Uber and Lyft Work?
The business concept of Uber/Lyft is problematic for passengers from a legal standpoint because the rideshare companies brand themselves as “platforms” and drivers as “independent contractors.” With this central business model or concept, the rideshare companies consider themselves to be technologically-based service providers. For many critics, this model serves as an attempt to limit the legal responsibilities Uber/Lyft should assume in the event injuries occurs due to the negligence of their drivers.
While many states accept the concept of Uber/Lyft drivers as independent contractors, North Carolina law provides a thorough legal analysis of various factors in employee/employer relationships in order to determine if Uber/Lyft drivers are truly independent contractors in keeping with the state’s legal standard.
How Uber and Lyft Can Be Dangerous for Passengers
Rideshares are not as safe as everyone thought. For example, some Uber investigators have shockingly heavy caseloads of more than 1,200 weekly complaints. The reason most people don’t learn about safety hazards is that incidents don’t become public, either because they settle or because the victims prefer to safeguard their privacy. In addition, pedestrian accidents indicate that Uber and Lyft drivers can get distracted with the phone apps.
Weak Hiring Standards and Policies
Uber and Lyft’s hiring practices are questionable in that proper background checks are not always conducted before enrolling a driver. The practice is to for the driver to supply his or her name, Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number, insurance policy information, and car type and model. However, verifying this information can be almost impossible in practice.
Inadequate or Insufficient Training and Inspection
North Carolina’s Uber and Lyft drivers are not required to have their vehicles inspected. Moreover, at least some minimal safety training is expected in these large and expanding rideshare companies.
With a legal model built around the legal concept of independent contractors, passengers receive no guarantees of proper and adequate safety. The rising level of criminal incidents due to passengers and/or drivers engaging in assault, battery, and other intentional crimes should raise red flags as to the need for Uber and Lyft to implement stricter safety measures.
Uber / Lyft $1.5 Million Insurance Policies
Uber and Lyft carry supplemental insurance policies that cover passengers and drivers for a pre-determined period that begins the moment your ride is accepted. The link to activity with the ridesharing application can turn into a complicated issue best settled by a skilled Uber/Lyft attorney. Let’s say the accident occurred during the moments you were stepping out of the car and the ride had technically ended. This app status shouldn’t foreclose Uber/Lyft’s liability, especially if the driver was negligent in their actions while the car was stopped.
Uber’s and Lyft’s insurance policy covers incidents that occur between when the driver accepts the passenger and when the ride’s conclusion is processed. However, technology shouldn’t define the extent of your rights. Your attorney can help you in determining the best course of action to pursue and uphold your legal rights.
“At-Fault” Insurance Laws in North Carolina
The legal concept of “at fault” essentially means that anyone responsible for an accident in North Carolina is going to be legally responsible to the victims of the car accident. In some instances, insurance companies issue payments for the injuries and proceed to pursue legal action against the party at fault for the accident. An experienced attorney can help you in determining if filing a civil lawsuit against Uber or Lyft is necessary and if legal action is recommendable.
Statute of Limitations to Sue for Uber / Lyft Injuries in North Carolina
There is a three-year statute of limitations, or time limit, to file a civil lawsuit for your injuries. The timeline for filing begins to run as of the date the injury occurs. An attorney can help you discern how this time limit is calculated in your case. Don’t let your time run out while waiting for an insurance settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for delayed negotiations that can impact your legal rights.
Call Our Dedicated Gastonia Uber / Lyft Accident Lawyers Today
North Carolina has a limited time frame to file a lawsuit for the injuries caused by a negligent Uber/Lyft driver. The attorneys of Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt are fully prepared and committed to your legal representation against North Carolina’s insurance companies as well as Uber or Lyft. They will evaluate the details of your accident in order to help you pursue an effective strategy to recover your losses. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (704) 377-3737.