While taxis have always been a common transportation option in big cities, the rideshare industry, consisting of companies such as Uber and Lyft, has taken off substantially in the past few years as another alternative to taxis and public transportation. As a result, the insurance industry and legislators in Massachusetts are struggling to keep up with complex scenarios presented in the context of an Uber/Lyft auto wreck.
Given the potentially complicated nature of these accidents and ensuing claims for compensation, you should strongly consider calling a Brookline Uber/taxi accident lawyer for assistance. An experienced attorney could look over the details of your injury and advise you on your eligibility to receive compensation.
Since vehicles used for Uber rides are personal vehicles that belong to the Uber drivers, one issue that arise may be whether the vehicle was being used for the purposes of an Uber ride or for its owner’s personal needs at the time of the accident. If the owner of the vehicle was driving to the grocery store and caused an accident, then it is likely that the owner’s personal motor vehicle liability insurance policy would provide coverage.
However, if the owner of the vehicle was driving an Uber customer to pick up groceries at the time of the accident, then Uber’s million-dollar liability insurance policy may provide coverage, in addition to the driver’s personal insurance policy.
Another issue relates to coverage by the Uber policy. Uber has consistently taken the position that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. As a result, its insurance company often denies coverage in cases of driver negligence leading to an accident. This is only one of many unique issues in these cases that a Brookline Uber/taxi accident attorney may be able to help you successfully address.
The state of Massachusetts requires taxi cabs to provide a minimum liability insurance policy of only $20,000. For an accident caused by a taxi cab driver that results in serious injuries, $20,000 may not even begin to cover an injury victim’s losses. This can leave injury victims without much recourse for the remainder of their expenses related to the accident.
Taxi drivers often drive in an aggressive and negligent manner as they compete to collect more fares. As a result, an accident may occur. Drivers may also be distracted by cell phones and making arrangements to pick up their next fare.
In other cases, taxicab companies may share liability. For instance, if they negligently employed a taxi driver with a bad driving record, they may be liable for injuries sustained in accidents involving that driver. Likewise, if they are responsible for maintaining the taxicab fleet, and a poorly maintained vehicle leads to a collision causing injuries, then the cab company may also be liable.
Every state establishes a statute of limitations for different types of lawsuits, which are deadlines for filing suit. Individuals who fail to file personal injury actions within the statute of limitations typically are prohibited from further pursuing the claim, no matter how catastrophic the accident or severe their injuries may be.
With this in mind, it may be essential for injury victims to consult with a Brookline Uber/taxi accident lawyer in order to determine the applicable statute of limitations.
According to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260, § 2A, victims who wish to file personal injury claims must do so within three years of the date that the accident occurred. If they fail to file within this statute of limitations, they risk being unable to pursue their claim for relief.
With the proliferation of individuals who now use taxis and Ubers, especially in metro areas, the number of accidents involving these drivers and vehicles should only continue to increase.
If you are injured in a taxi or Uber accident, there are unique issues that only a Brookline Uber/taxi accident lawyer may be able to address. Get the advice you need in this situation by contacting an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer who may be able to assist you with your needs.