Within the last few years a recent trend for ride-sharing has begun in many parts of the United States. Uber and Lyft are two of the most common businesses to establish ride-sharing forms of transportation. It is unique in that people do not always share rides, making the companies feel more like
a taxi cab. The shared-ride experience offers many pros including affordability and convenience. However, there are some potential consequences you may not be aware of. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident involving a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft, contact an attorney at Colombo Law for an initial consultation.
Ride-sharing Permissible in West Virginia
While ride-sharing companies have expanded rapidly throughout many parts of the United States, West Virginia had not realized any of the benefits of the shared-ride experience until recently. Earlier this year, the West Virginia legislature made it permissible for ride-sharing companies to conduct business in the state. It received overwhelming support and was thought to be a great way to avoid individuals who may attempt to drive while buzzed or drunk. In addition, it was praised for its ability for providing an upfront determination of fees based on the distance and allowing competition within the state, giving customers more choices when it comes to public transportation.
Determining Liability in Shared Ride Accidents
While many users are happy with the affordability and convenience, the legal ramifications that may result in the event of an accident are not clear at this point. Although West Virginia required these ride-sharing companies to maintain $1 million in insurance, it is not exactly clear when insurance companies will be held liable for the actions of drivers who are independent contractors. It is likely these companies will be held responsible when passengers are in the vehicle. This is because there is no question that they are acting on behalf of the company. However, it is unclear whether ride-sharing companies will be held liable when passengers are not in the car. It is difficult to determine when an individual is working on behalf of the company because ride-sharing drivers, unlike taxicab drivers, use their own motor vehicles. This raises questions as to whether they are liable if an accident occurs between passenger rides.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident or incident involving an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-sharing companies, you need an experienced attorney. Our personal injury attorneys have handled thousands of claims since opening in 1999. Speaking with an experienced attorney may be the difference between recovery and having a claim dismissed.
We handle cases in and around Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton,Weston, Philipi, Buckhannon, Elkins, and Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis counties. For an initial consultation, contact one of our attorneys today.
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