WTVM Legal Break – Ride Sharing
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
Gary Bruce discusses liability in different ride share situations, including taxi cabs and Uber. When injured by a taxi driver, a suit is usually not against the taxi company because the law has determined that the drivers are independent contractors. This can a confusing situation and may not be true in all cases – but the taxi industry has been successful in pushing the liability off to their drivers who carry very little coverage as a rule. Uber appears to be a bit different. In those cases, the driver
Uber appears to be a bit different. In those cases, the driver is driving people in their personal vehicles, which potentially means their own insurance. Uber may also offer it’s own coverage for wrecks that occur while a personal vehicle is being used on the job. This is a developing area of the law.
If you have been injured in a wreck using a ride share vehicle or involved in a wreck caused by a taxi or ride sharing company, or if you have any questions about damages and injury and the insurance available to cover those damages, please feel free to call our office for a free consultation.
Maureen: Hello there and welcome to Legal break I’m Maureen Akers, and with me today, Gary Bruce as always. Thank you so much for joining us again, Gary.
Gary: Good to be here again thank you.
Maureen: We’re here talking about some questions that are out there in the public. One of them is ride sharing, so tell us a little bit about the liability, I guess, if you if you hire Uber or Lyft ride-sharing or taxi type of business, what’s the liability there?
Gary: Liability, I don’t know, you don’t have any sitting in the back seat. But it will be the driver, who are we dealing with? With taxis, surprisingly, you’re not dealing with the company. They claim that the driver is actually an independent contractor who does his own thing. I think that’s a legal fiction, I’m not sure it’s true, I don’t always buy it.
But that’s the argument, and they have insurance through a kind of group collective here in Columbus that is a little different than your normal state form, Allstate kind of stuff. So, that’s what you’re dealing with a taxi. Uber is a little different; you’re dealing with people’s personal vehicles, obviously. And you’re dealing with potentially their own personal insurance if they should cause a crash that you’re in. But here’s what I think happens, and I haven’t dealt with an Uber crash yet, but here’s the deal. Once they put you on the clock, then Uber is picking up the insurance, they provide a coverage for you while you’re in the vehicle in case their driver has a mishap, or something happens.
So there’s questions about really what insurance would apply. At this point, I haven’t dealt with that; but I think it’s going to be more and more of an issue for us, and you’ll see who steps up. Georgia has some good laws about liability coverage, and that is you can exclude a driver, you can exclude a certain activity, like if you’re driving the car for your business you might be excluded, but ultimately there has to be at least minimum coverage to cover somebody’s negligence. So, hopefully that’s there. I also encourage people to have uninsured motorist coverage, that sometimes stacks on top or provides additional coverage if you’re these situations.
Maureen: So, if you’re in that Uber or Lyft car or whatever.
Gary: But, I think Uber is a little different than a Taxi. And I think we’ll see that play out as the business grows in our area anyway.
Maureen: So, on high-risk do you would you have any recommendations for the Uber drivers out there?
Gary: They need to make sure their coverage covers them, they need to make sure Uber is covering them while they’re transporting passengers. That’s really just good advice for all of us. So, check your policy, make sure you know what’s covered, and go from there.
Maureen: Thanks so much for joining us today, Gary. We look forward to seeing you on the very next Legal Break.