Nowadays, one can’t deny the importance of ride-hailing applications like Uber and Lyft. For some people, it has almost become impossible to survive without the services of these companies. But being an avid user of these apps, there are some questions that I think should be answered to detain any prevailing misconception regarding the behavior of the ride-hailing apps.
Uber and Lyft: How these ride-hailing applications became so important for us?
Whether you’re heading for business events or any family function, whether you want to travel 1 km away or you want to head over to the corner of your city, whether you want your car to arrive right now or you want to pre-book it, you know you can count on the madly used ride-hailing applications, Uber and Lyft.
Being an old-school kind of a person, I’ve always tried to pick up flaws in the current use of technology. And it’s not only me, but most of the people who might not be a tech-freak or an avid tech user would also consider these constantly engaging technology updates, a bit disturbing.
Not to sound old, but let’s be honest, the simpler days back then were more contented and less hectic. Even though they weren’t blessed with the blessings of technology still they managed to do more work manually.
While all of this had always sound relatable (also because I’ve written it myself duh!) but when it comes to services of these online ride-hailing applications, my views have kind of changed. Now I’m more like a dependent-to-Uber/Lyft but not-so-dependent-to-local-buses/taxis.
And to be honest, technology here won my heart.
Using these applications is really this simple?
Before being a frequent user of these applications, I used to find the concept a little too tricky. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve never been a tech-person so overthinking, in this case, was always an option.
And if you’re living in Pakistan you just have to step out of your house, go to the nearest bus/taxi/rickshaw stop and you’re good to go.
But as soon I had installed these applications on my phone (which is a smartphone, not Nokia 3310) I never knew life could be this easy!
With just a simple tap on your smartphone, you can get a ride to whatever destination you have in mind. And another great part is that, in other countries, these apps provide is the cashless transaction option. The payment and billing are handled within the app, and you have the choice to use your credit card to pay instead of cash.
So I was now introduced to a world that doesn’t require me to walk towards the local transport stop, bargain with the driver who makes a face like his day has been spoiled just because he’ll drop a customer like me, remember the tricky locations all by myself because my driver is not in a mood to ride with a careless customer and the best part is I don’t have to fight for the change. (In ride-hailing apps the remaining money can be transferred to your account, which you can later use)
What happens if you meet an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft?
At the onset of this blog, I’ve said that there are some questions which are needed to be answered. That was because I knew the answer myself but people around me were living in a bubble of misconception which I wanted to burst.
Most of the people believe that if you met an accident while traveling in cars of these ride-hailing companies, you can sue the companies for the injuries you had. But, is it really like this?
The answer is NO.
The drivers of Uber and Lyft are considered to be independent contractors meaning that they function as independent third parties and are not employed by the ride-hailing companies.
Bursting the Bubble: The companies are liable to their drivers’ actions but not responsible
You heard it right, some of us think that the company will if anything bad happens to their customers but you know, things don’t always work the way we want.
While companies may be held liable for the actions of their employees. They are not responsible for injury or damage caused by the negligence of independent contractors (drivers). This is because of the legal doctrine of respondent superior or “let the superior answer.”
Hogan injury well defines hailing app liability.
What is the doctrine of the respondent? Here’s what the doctrine says?
Uber and Lyft drivers, they have autonomy in their work schedules, work conditions, and use their private vehicles to do their job. Which means that they can work independently without much input from the company. Uber and Lyft only provide their drivers with the app that connects them to passengers. Because of this, Uber and Lyft have very limited legal liability. Which eventually makes it tough to pursue legal action against them.
Moreover, if you get in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft can then here’s what you need to do:
The process of filing a claim when you get into an accident while riding an Uber or Lyft car is the same as when you get into an accident with a private vehicle. If the at-fault party is the Uber or Lyft driver. You may file a claim with their insurance company and the insurance company that carries Uber or Lyft’s additional insurance.
You should get in touch with a lawyer immediately and ask them to send the preservation of evidence letters to Uber or Lyft and the driver to make sure that the data related to your ride will be preserved. On the other hand, if the at-fault party is not the Uber or Lyft driver, then you should file a claim against the other driver’s insurance. If the other driver’s insurance isn’t able to cover the damages caused by the accident. Uber and Lyft have a $1 million underinsured motorist policies that could apply.
On the other hand, if you’re a driver at one of these applications, we have good health and business news for you.
Uber and Lyft require all their drivers to have their own car insurance before they could become accredited drivers.
Companies also provide their drivers with two additional coverages in the form of safety measures.
The first one covers accidents that occur when a driver is available to accept passengers via the app. It is not transporting passengers yet, meaning that when an accredited driver gets into an accident while looking for passengers. The company’s coverage will be the primary source of compensation for injury and damages. The second additional coverage applies when an accredited driver is transporting a passenger when they get into an accident. In situations like this, the companies provide $1 million in liability coverage for their drivers.