A few years ago the transportation-for-hire business was turned upside down with the advent and widespread use of new smartphone technology for sharing rides. What started out as an application on the phone to share rides with people traveling from one place to another has become the number one choice for paying for rides and getting from point A to point B. This is true across the country, from big cities like Atlanta to small towns. With this increased presence has come increased exposure to liability for the ridesharing companies. In the past, when a taxi driver took passengers from place to place, the driver and his company faced the liability possible when an accident occurred. Now that those drivers have been largely supplanted by rideshare drivers, the liability has been shifted to those drivers and to the ridesharing companies, as well. If you have been involved in a accident involving a driver for a rideshare company, contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer right away.
Despite this clear reality, there are conflicting reports about whether ridesharing companies should be held liable when their drivers get into accidents. One recent report from Time.com included an account of the author, who was actually hit by an Uber driver when running down the street. She was fine from the accident, but it caused her to wonder whether, if she had bee seriously injured, she could have sued the rideshare company.
The advice she received and reported was that there would be no case against the ridesharing companies because their drivers are independent contractors. There are a number of problems with this conclusion and analysis, however. In the first place, even independent contractors can transfer liability to the company they are working for when they are on a company errand. Of course, this is a legal question best answered by an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Another big problem with this analysis is designating ridesharing drivers as independent contractors in the first place. That they are contractors can be easily concluded, but they are for the most part not independent. When a driver is out on a route, he or she can accept or deny a ride request, but is told where to go, and what to do with his or her time. There is not a lot of independence involved when working with a smartphone to pick up riders and get paid for it.
What to do After an Accident
If you are involved in an accident with a driver working for a ridesharing company, there are important steps you need to take to ensure that the right people are held accountable for their negligence. First and foremost, you need to contact the correct emergency personnel and get the right medical attention to take care of your injuries. It is also important to get the driver’s name, insurance, and other details so that you can follow up with your claim and give the information to a qualified car accident attorney serving Atlanta.
As more and more ridesharing drivers are on the road, there are greater and greater chances that you will be involved in an accident with one of those drivers. If you are, then you need to contact a qualified car accident attorney in Atlanta. At The Angell Law Firm we are the car accident attorneys that your case deserves. Contact us today.
(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)