Ride-share services--such as Uber, Lyft, and others--have become a popular choice for folks who need a ride and are looking for a more convenient, and usually more friendly alternative to the taxi cab. Increasing in popularity every year, these ride-share services use web technology to connect passengers with private drivers, usually through a mobile application.
Changes in Massachusetts Law Regarding Ride-sharing
In August of 2016, Governor Charlie Baker officially passed legislation to regulate ride-share services in Massachusetts. That legislation was criticized by traditional taxi companies for being too liberal and putting them at risk to eventually go out of business. The regulations included the requirement for ride-share drivers to have special, supplemental insurance because once the driver launches the app and logs in, they are no longer covered under their own personal auto insurance policy.
Ride-sharing companies do not have the same employer/employee relationship with their drivers as traditional taxi companies. The driver is considered an independent contractor thus distancing the ride-sharing company from legal responsibility in the event of a car accident. This includes situations where the accident was caused as a result of driver negligence. Because of this, it is important for you to know your rights if you’ve been in an accident as a passenger or driver in a ride-sharing vehicle.
Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents in Massachusetts
There are many causes of ride-sharing car accidents. Perhaps the most common reason is a tired, over-worked driver. Ride-sharing drivers tend to work extremely long hours and many of them do not have experience driving under those conditions.
Other causes of Uber accidents in Massachusetts include:
- Distracted driving whether it be mobile phone use, talking to the passenger(s) or eating
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The driver's unfamiliarity with their surroundings / being “new to the area”
Pursuing legal action against a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft can be a complex process. It is important to have a proven, experienced car accident lawyer to represent you during this process. At Spada Law Group, not only do we have a proven track record of fighting for our clients to get the best possible result, but we used to work for the insurance companies – that gives us a unique advantage.
If you’ve been injured in any kind of accident involving a motor vehicle, call us and have your case reviewed as soon as you can. At Spada Law Group, we will review your case at no cost or obligation to you unless we recover compensation for you. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call our office today at 617-889- 5000.