On the surface, ridesharing services appear to be a less costly and more efficient method of transportation. However, there exist many dangers beneath the glossy facade of convenience and cost savings. As these services grow in popularity throughout Illinois, consumers who use these services may be placing themselves at considerable risk of personal injury.
Uber and Lyft are the largest of all the ridesharing companies, and while they are well-known, what is not well-known is just how minimal the requirements are for their drivers. These companies essentially hire “warm bodies”who are not required to undergo advanced safety training.These drivers are also not subject to drug/alcohol testing, but as of last year, they are required to obtain a chauffeur’s license and renew this on an annual basis.
Each time a passenger enters one of these vehicles, they place their safety into the hands of an individual whose primary goal is usually to make a buck, not transport their passenger safely to the destination.
Liability for an injury accident may be assigned to either the driver or the company they work for, i.e. Uber, Lyft, etc. Illinois courts view each as having the same duty of car that of normalized taxi services. In addition to filing claims against these entities, injured passengers may also file claims against the individual’s private insurance company.
In addition to accident injuries, consumers who use Uber and Lyft are at considerable risk of suffering physical or sexual assault. A search of Uber’s internal data indicates at least 6,000 complaints of sexual assault and many more of physical altercations. In situations where a driver’s behavior or actions lead to personal injuries, both the company the driver works for and the driver may be held liable for the cost of medical care, physical therapy, counseling, pain and suffering, etc.
It is crucial to carefully document and report any personal injuries that occur while using a ridesharing service. Passengers should start by dialing “311” and filing a complaint against the driver to document the problem.
Individuals who are injured by a ridesharing service should also take photographs of the accident and their injuries. It is crucial that they also gather eyewitness contact information before leaving the scene of the accident. This information can be compiled and prepared by a personal injury attorney for use during trial.