Omaha Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft have become popular in Omaha in recent years, especially so since Nebraska allowed rideshare service providers to legally operate in the state.
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While these companies may sometimes offer a convenient, cost-effective, and reliable service to Nebraska residents, it is important to remember that their drivers do not have the kinds of rules and regulations that professional taxi drivers do. In the event of a rideshare accident that injures passengers, Uber or Lyft will most likely make every effort to stay removed from liability, even if the company has the insurance coverage the victims need.
How Rideshare Driving Works
"Ride-hailing" or "ridesharing" services are relative newcomers to the commercial driving industry, and legislation is still being pounded into shape over what ridesharing means to public safety and local tax income. Companies like Uber and Lyft provide a service framework through an "app" that connects independent driver-contractors with paying customers. Customers pay through the app and drivers are paid through the app, and the company takes a percentage of every transaction.
Unlike traditional taxi companies, rideshare services do not hire drivers as employees, nor do they provide specialized training for their drivers. Rideshare companies do not typically have to inspect driver’s personal vehicles for safety issues or ensure their drivers have commercial driving insurance. This makes their services less expensive compared to taxi companies, but also means passengers may be exposed to greater risks with these drivers on the road. When it comes to hiring rideshare drivers, the same background checks are not always performed, nor are drug screenings or other tests required of licensed commercial drivers in Nebraska.
Do Rideshare Drivers Have Commercial Driving Insurance?
Commercial driving insurance is coverage in addition to the minimum required automobile insurance in Nebraska. If a rideshare driver only has the minimum auto liability coverage, and gets into a collision while transporting passenger for Uber or Lyft, that driver’s own insurance company could deny the claim since the crash occurred while driving commercially.
In Nebraska, commercial driving insurance is required for rideshare drivers. Drivers can be ticketed if they perform rideshare duties without commercial coverage, but the cost of such a ticket might be less than the coverage itself, leading some drivers to prefer the risk of a ticket.
This can make it very difficult for a passenger to succeed with an insurance claim directly against the driver after suffering an injury. However, there are situations in which Uber or Lyft’s multi-million dollar insurance policies are meant to cover injured passengers. There are very specific details as to when this coverage will apply, so please speak to an experienced car crash attorney to find out if this compensation is available for your situation.
Proving Negligence and Liability
If a taxi driver gets into a crash, liability might rest with the driver or the taxi company, since vicarious liability can hold a company responsible for the negligent behavior of an employee performing job duties. But because rideshare companies currently hire drivers as independent contractors, it is very difficult to hold them liable for what their drivers do, so long as they follow the minimal regulations that federal and state laws require of them.
Dealing with insurance companies and proving liability after a car crash can be stressful at the best of times. If you or a loved one has been injured in rideshare accident in Omaha, either as a rideshare passenger or in another vehicle hit by a rideshare driver, things will be more complicated.
That is why you need an experienced Omaha car accident lawyer who understands how to handle these cases. Call the legal team Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 today for a free consultation. If we take your case, we do not charge you any fee until we get you fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
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