As an alternative to taxis, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become very popular in Florida because of their lower cost and flexibility. They are based on a smartphone app for both the customer and the driver, and it is possible for customers to request a ride at any time of the day or year. The benefits and variety are great, but rideshare drivers are not extensively trained or certified.
Lyft and Uber drivers are essentially freelancers who do not hold taxi licenses and are not trained beyond a basic driver’s license and a vehicle inspection. Drivers can come from almost any background and may not be the absolute best drivers. The customer can become a victim, most often in a crash.
Finding Lyft or Uber Accident Lawyer
It is a bit harder to gain compensation from a rideshare app than a local taxi company, and the driver is technically an independent. This does not mean that an injured person should not seek compensation from what is essentially an incorporated business that has the responsibility to see to the safety of its customers. Find an attorney that is prepared to take on tough cases, including distant companies that seem to be always out of touch.
It takes real expertise to go after corporations that seem expert at externalizing their liability. This is where professional law services become indispensable. Individual drivers often do not have much cash to dole out in a lawsuit, but it is ultimately the rideshare service that arranged the business transaction and should be largely liable for their services.
Distracted Drivers Might Be the Culprit
Many crashes are the fault of a driver doing something that takes their eyes off the road. This might range from changing the radio to texting on their cellphone while driving. This is dangerous for normal drivers, but it is devastating for an independent who accepts passengers. They drive unfamiliar routes, work odd hours, and might be drowsy when they do get work. The risk for drivers translates into risk for passengers.
Often rideshare drivers are distracted by the apps on their smartphones. They must constantly stay alert for new business opportunities and might have to check their apps while driving. This is dangerous to passengers, but drivers feel the need to do it in order to maximize their earnings. Stress, distraction, and eventual disorientation make rideshare apps a somewhat dangerous model.
Speeding as a Driver Problem
Another reason why rideshare drivers get into trouble is how they sometimes speed to get to customers and sometimes speed with a passenger in the car in order to get to the next customer. Job offers are not exclusive but are selected by individual drivers and sometimes first come gets the customer. While these are independents trying to make money, their speed reduces their reaction time. Rideshare drivers sometimes crash.
Driver Fatigue is a Major Problem
Rideshare drivers often sign up for different gigs such as both ridesharing and delivering ordered groceries. While maximizing their downtime is about making money, often they must wait on assignments, and this limits the amount of money they can make. They might work very long shifts because they are not hourly workers. Since fatigue can be as bad as intoxication, drivers with fatigue tend to make mistakes.
Since a fatigued person wants to concentrate less on the environment in order to indirectly rest the brain, they are more likely to miss stop signs or run red lights. Tired people can be more irritable, and road rage and risky behavior such as tailgating can be a problem for a rideshare driver. This does not legally excuse them or the company from liability.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Accident Attorney
It is hard to gain compensation from rideshare companies. The independent worker is to blame, but rideshare companies somewhat encourage risky practices because they do not pay hourly wages. The rideshare companies themselves try to limit their own liability and shield drivers from liability. Like insurance companies, they see lawsuits as money out and try to limit compensation to maintain profitability. When tackling a sophisticated adversary, it is necessary to have another professional in your corner.