Car Accidents Involving Rideshare Vehicles
Thanks to the convenience and relatively low cost, the number of people using ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft continues to climb, especially in cities and urban areas. Both Uber and Lyft use app-based technology that a potential passenger can download and use to request a ride.
One of ridesharing’s top issues is determining liability if something goes wrong and a passenger becomes injured in a car accident. There is an ongoing debate about whether the driver or the ride sharing company is responsible for compensating a passenger injured in transit.
Maryland Uber and Lyft Regulations
In response to safety concerns associated with rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, legislation was passed in Maryland in 2015 that requires Uber and Lyft drivers to observe the same regulations as taxi drivers and limousine services.
This means that, while these companies are allowed to operate in Maryland, the Maryland Public Service Commission (MPSC) can regulate the companies. Most other states allow the ridesharing companies to self-regulate. As part of this legislation, the MPSC issues licenses to the drivers after they have passed comprehensive background checks. In addition, they must meet certain insurance requirements that will protect passengers.
Insurance Requirement for Uber and Lyft Drivers
All licensed drivers must meet the minimum insurance requirement for the state of Maryland. In most cases, commercial drivers are covered under their employer’s company insurance policy. Uber and Lyft drivers are in a unique position because they fall somewhere in between. For example, if they get into an accident when they are off the clock, their personal auto insurance would cover the damages.
However, if the driver gets into a wreck from the time a passenger accepts a ride until he or she is dropped off, the rideshare company’s insurance will likely cover the damage.
Ridesharing Accident Risks
Car accidents happen all the time. However, due to the nature of their job, Uber and Lyft drivers may be more likely to be involved in a car accident for a couple of reasons, including:
- Drivers may be distracted by incoming ride requests on their smartphone.
- When picking up passengers, they often look around for their passenger rather than keeping their attention on the road and other vehicles around them.
- If driving in an unfamiliar area, drivers may not be aware of unfamiliar surroundings, including one-way streets, blind intersections, and poorly marked traffic signals.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Ridesharing Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident while you were a passenger in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, contact our Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve, ensuring that your legal rights are protected at all times. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.