Rideshare programs and apps are gaining popularity in cities around the country. While most people choose between Lyft and Uber, there are several major rideshare apps in Chicago. A rideshare is an arrangement in which a passenger travels in a private vehicle driven by the owner/operator of that vehicle. The driver is typically a stranger and the passenger agrees to pay a fee in exchange for transit.
Ridesharing is a convenient and inexpensive option for commuters. It allows the passenger to hail a driver at almost any location to reach their destination. Ridesharing apps are more flexible than public transportation as the passenger can control the route and pickup time. Most ridesharing programs allow options to pick up multiple passengers, keeping costs low. Ridesharing apps are seen as convenient, accessible, and a great resource for those looking to travel around Illinois. Further, some limited data suggests that ridesharing apps are helping to reduce the number of drunk and impaired drivers on public roadways across the nation, improving safety and reducing the number of drunk driving accidents that result.
Problems with Ridesharing
There are some serious flaws in with ridesharing systems. For example, not all ridesharing programs are as careful as they should be with their driver approvals and hiring practices. While some companies conduct background checks and ensure drivers have safe driving records, others are not as vigilant. Unfortunately, drivers who are inexperienced or have a bad driving record can cause accidents, injuring their passengers and those in other vehicles.
Taxi drivers and those operating public transportation are subject to very strict safety and experience regulations, but these do not exist for most rideshare drivers. As rideshare app drivers use their own personal vehicles, safety features can vary widely from vehicle to vehicle, and passengers may not know exactly what safety features a specific car has before taking a ride.
In addition, ridesharing apps allow passengers to rate their drivers. Drivers can feel pressured to get passengers to their destination in a quick manner in order to boost ratings or receive a larger tip. This can lead to unsafe driving decisions like speeding or risky maneuvers. The more trips a driver completes, the more money they can make; thus the incentive to speed is very real.
Liability in a Ridesharing Accident
When a collision occurs involving a ridesharing driver and a passenger is injured, when people in another vehicle are harmed, or when a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a driver, many questions remain as to who should be held liable. These types of accidents are very common in the Chicago area given the city’s fast pace and growing demand for ridesharing.
The facts of any specific collision will determine where fault lies for a crash. An at-fault driver can be held liable for injuries that occur during a collision, but there may be questions as to whether others, including a ridesharing company, may bear blame as well.
Some ridesharing programs provide insurance for drivers and passengers involved in collisions but the coverage may vary among companies and may not be enough to compensate for all injuries that happen in a crash. It important for victims who are involved in a ridesharing car accident to know that they still have rights under local and state laws which may entitle them to a financial recovery.
Often, those injured in rideshare accidents can make a claim for their damages and can utilize the services of a personal injury attorney to assist them at every step of their claim.
The legal team at Abels & Annes is available 24 hours a day, seven day a week, to speak with you and answer questions about your options following a rideshare accident. We never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery in their cases. You can reach us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442), locally at (312) 924-7575, or online at your convenience.
If you were injured in a rideshare car accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (855) 529-2442 for a free case consultation.