For-hire rideshare services have taken off in San Francisco during the last five years. Rideshare services – such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Wingz – use online platforms to connect passengers with private drivers, typically through a mobile app. Initially, many of these services were banned as unlicensed taxi companies.
California was the first state to legalize rideshare services in 2013. Unlike taxis, which are heavily regulated at the city and county levels, rideshare services fall under the newly created category of “transportation network companies.” They therefore evade much of the strict scrutiny that cab companies receive.
Insurance Liability Concerns: Gaps In Coverage
Transportation network companies do not have the same employment relationship with their drivers as traditional taxi services. The parent companies try to isolate themselves from legal responsibility by claiming they only facilitate fares and thus are not responsible for wrongdoing or dangerous driving. What’s more, individual drivers may rely on their own personal insurance policies, which often do not provide coverage for commercial accidents.
These realities can lead to significant insurance gaps in the event of a car accident. One example is the tragic case of a 6-year-old San Francisco girl who was run over by an Uber driver on New Year’s Eve in 2013. Uber’s insurance company denied coverage, claiming it did not cover drivers between rides.
Such cases illustrate the complexity of the legal issues involved in rideshare accidents. It is critical to seek guidance from an attorney who is familiar with this emerging area of law.
Proven Experience Handling – And Winning – Complicated Car Accident Cases
At the San Francisco law firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of passengers who were injured as a result of dangerous or reckless driving by hired drivers. We understand the unique legal issues involved in rideshare accidents. As the law in this area evolves, we will continue to remain at the forefront of the latest developments.
Our team of award-winning personal injury attorneys has more than 55 years of experience handling car and pedestrian accident cases – including cases against taxi, van, bus and rideshare operators. We possess an extensive understanding of public conveyance and transportation law. Additionally, we work with automobile accident reconstruction experts, engineering experts and professional investigators to ensure that our clients recover maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent ridesharing driver, call our firm at (415) 981-7210 or contact us online to arrange free consultation.