If you are familiar with Lyft or Uber, you may already know about these companies’ shared ride services, called Lyft Line and UberPool. Essentially, it works by taking two rides that are heading in roughly the same direction and combining them into one. Two strangers (three, if you count the driver) end up sharing a commute.
People who use Lyft Line or UberPool are generally looking to save some money. The companies advertise that ride sharing passengers can save 20-60% on their fares. But what these companies are not telling you is that sharing a ride with a stranger can be dangerous, and it is unclear whether Lyft or Uber will take responsibility if anything happens.
There are some safety provisions in place. Driver service companies perform background checks on their drivers. Before a passenger can order a Lyft or an Uber, they have to set up an account with a valid email address, phone number, and credit card. Passengers and drivers can see each other’s ratings. But when two or more passengers are sharing a ride, they have no way of checking on each other’s personal background. What happens if someone in the car becomes violent? Who is responsible? Do Lyft and Uber have a legal duty to protect their customers?
A Chicago woman recently filed suit against Uber, claiming another passenger in her UberPool stabbed her in the face. The lawsuit is still open as of September 2017. But Uber has responded by denying any insurance coverage for the woman, arguing that the incident was not an accident.
This story highlights a major problem with driver service companies and passenger safety. Taking a Lyft or Uber has become a common practice for many people. But there are still significant issues that have not been addressed or settled, such as who is responsible for making sure everyone in the vehicle is protected. This legal uncertainty is something that people should keep in mind the next time they are considering using their Lyft or Uber apps.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision and need help with your personal injury case, call Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group at (404) 436-1529 to schedule a free personal injury consultation.