Over the last several years, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become part of the global culture. There have been controversies in many areas, as one might expect, but most consumers—especially those in younger demographic groups appreciate having additional alternatives to traditional car services and taxi cabs. What happens, however, when an Uber ride ends in an accident and you are injured? Is the driver liable for your injuries or does the company bear some responsibility as well? This is the question that will need to be answered by the courts once again as a 24-year-old woman has sued San Francisco-based Uber over an accident which left her paralyzed from the chest down.
The concept of “ridesharing” can be rather misleading. Ridesharing has long been a staple on college campuses where students looking for a convenient and inexpensive way home for the weekend could connect with a driver headed in the same direction. The term, however, as it has been adopted by car-for-hire companies like Uber is somewhat of a misnomer. Uber drivers are not really picking up additional rides en route to a similar destination; they are dispatched similar to a taxi or limousine service. As such, riders expect their drivers to be courteous, safe, and professional.