Laws and regulations with regard to insurance of taxi cab and car rental companies have been settled for some time now. In a 21st century problem, however, the law with regard to car-sharing companies is unclear and creates doubt for individuals injured in car accidents involving car-share motor vehicles.
A recent car accident and resulting lawsuit in San Francisco, California has raised questions with regard to liability of car-sharing services. The car accident took place in March, when a Dodge Charger struck a Lincoln Town Car that was preparing to make a left turn at an intersection. The impact of the collision sent the Charger flying across the intersection and slicing a fire hydrant from the ground. The fire hydrant flew some distance before striking a pedestrian, as a geyser of water erupted from the ground.
The driver of the Charger suffered a broken hand and sued the Lincoln Town Car driver and company SF Limo Car Service, which was written on the side of the town car. The pedestrian suffered a broken back and several other injuries, including a back injury. The pedestrian sued both drivers and a car-sharing company Uber.
Uber is car-sharing service which connects individuals looking for a cheap ride to registered livery cab drivers. Uber provides its drivers with titles of “Uber driver” and provides their vehicles with “Uber IDs.” The drivers, however, are not employees of Uber. They are rather “independent contractors,” with their own commercial insurance and other relevant car accident insurance. Uber owns no motor vehicles, employs no drivers and buys no insurance. The company essentially provides a technology platform to connect drivers and customers. But Uber does have contracts with the drivers, and differs in several other ways from a simple “phone book” –type service.
Without any clear statutes covering this new type of business, insurance companies and others will closely watch this car accident lawsuit to determine how courts will view the liability of these car-sharing companies that have sprung up in recent years.
Individuals involved in car accidents in Massachusetts are often unaware of their options in recovering compensation for personal injuries. The help of an expert Massachusetts attorney can be crucial in recovering the monetary compensation that the injured driver, passenger or pedestrian deserves. If you or someone you know has suffered personal injuries as a result of a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident, please call 617-787-3700 right now to protect all of your legal rights and remedies. Our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys, Boston, MA car accident lawyers and Boston, Massachusetts wrongful death accident attorneys are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you in recovering damages for your personal injuries.
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