Uber and Lyft are the most popular forms of hired vehicles or rideshare in the Colorado Springs area. However, because they are different from taxi services, they are not considered common carriers. A common carrier is a service that transports people and goods on established routes and schedules.
State law defines common carriers as a public utility that must serve individuals indiscriminately. Common carriers may include freight trucks that haul cargo, buses that regularly transport passengers, and taxi services. Because of these slight nuances in the law, it is important to hire a Colorado Springs Uber/taxi accident lawyer if you were involved in a wreck with one of these drivers. A seasoned attorney understands the differences between each kind of service and knows how to handle cases involving these drivers, depending on the specifics of the situation.
Taxi drivers are employees of the companies they drive for, and the vehicles are owned by the taxi companies. As employees, taxi drivers receive a salary, work regular shifts, and drive the routes assigned by their employers. They are eligible for workmen’s compensation if they are injured on the job, and they are covered by their employers’ liability insurance policy. When an employee of any company causes an accident while working, any accident claim involving a taxi will be made against the taxi company, and by extension, its insurance carrier.
Uber and Lyft drivers, by contrast, are considered to be independent contractors. They use their own vehicles, maintain their own insurance, and make their own schedules. They choose where to drive, and can sign out of the system when they choose. TNCs are very careful to advertise that their drivers are independent contractors, so as to avoid having to provide employee benefits and workmen’s compensation insurance. A Colorado Springs lawyer could explain these differences between Lyft and Uber and other common carriers and how it may impact someone’s accident claim.
If someone is in a rear-end collision with just a regular driver, there is an at-fault party with auto insurance, which makes these cases more straightforward. However, with an Uber, Lyft or taxi accident, a claimant could recover from multiple insurances, which make the situation more complicated. For instance, an attorney may have to investigate and find out the insurance policy limits for all of the different parties, such as the Uber or taxi driver and their employer.
Additionally, the taxi’s status as a common carrier affects an injury claim because while these drivers have a duty of reasonable care when they are driving, this legal obligation is of the highest degree. If a taxi driver or their employer failed to meet this standard, the courts may apply negligence per se to this type of case. This means that the defendant may be automatically at fault for the accident.
Multiple parties can be responsible for paying damages in a Colorado Springs Uber or taxi accident. The Transportation Network Company Act establishes that the ridesharing companies must provide primary insurance coverage when the driver’s Uber app is turned on.
If someone gets hurt in a wreck caused by an Uber driver who is working at the time of the crash, there is the possibility to sue the company in addition to the motorist. An injured party should seek the advice of a lawyer in Colorado Springs who could investigate the Uber or taxi accident and review all avenues of potential compensation from both the company’s and the driver’s insurance.
One of the first steps a person should take if they are in an accident with a hired driver in Colorado Springs is contacting an attorney and sitting down with them to get information. At the time of the accident, an individual should exchange information with everyone involved, including their name, address, phone number, and they should take photos of the scene. If someone suffers injuries, they should seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. Individuals involved in a crash also should call the police and make sure that they file an accident report of which they could get a copy.
A person must focus on their own medical care and make sure that there are no gaps in treatment after a wreck. Seeking emergency care immediately after the accident is important to ensure that an injured claimant receives proper compensation.
A person should hire an attorney when dealing with a motor vehicle accident involving a ride-sharing service or a common carrier in Colorado Springs because these situations can be complicated. Hiring a Colorado Springs Uber/taxi accident lawyer can be beneficial because they understand the law pertaining to these situations and all of the complex moving parts. Additionally, retaining an injury attorney allows hurt individuals to focus on their recovery instead of the complex legal process.