Many of us use Lyft and Uber to get around town. But how safe are we? You need to know about these recent horrifying crimes their drivers committed on passengers:
- An Uber driver was caught after sexually assaulting a 77-year-old woman in Fort Worth;
- On Friday in Denver an Uber driver shot and killed his passenger. After firing ten .40 caliber bullets at him, the car veered off the road and crashed into a guard rail. The driver had a recent history of speeding and traffic violations;
- A few weeks ago we learned that over 100 Uber drivers had sexual assaulted or abused their passengers.
Yesterday, Uber once again promised its customers that it was working on making them safer.
Rather than rely on vague promises, here are seven good tips you can use to gauge your safety before you decide to get into an Uber of Lyft.
New law in Texas makes riding in an Uber or Lyft a little safer
Texas Governor Greg About signed the watered-down House Bill 100 last year which created statewide rules for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). But the law replaced often stronger local ordinances already in place.
Although the new statute (finally) requires Uber and Lyft to conduct criminal background checks, it inexplicably does not require them to fingerprint candidates. And why does Uber — and not a state police agency — get to perform this crimimal check in Texas and in almost every other state?
Drivers are now technically not eligible to drive for TNCs in Texas if they have more than three moving violations or were convicted of certain crimes within the three-year period preceding their driver application.
Further, TNCs cannot legally hire any driver who was convicted of certain crimes in the preceding seven-year period, including fraud, drunk driving, theft, and acts of violence.
How ride-sharing company liability policies differ
If you have been injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle or crashed into by one of their drivers, what do you do next? Who will pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses? Your lawyer can promptly assess your case and lay out the best plan of action to help you recover your damages.
Each company has different ways to pay its customers.
- Uber carries a $1 million insurance policy that goes into effect when an Uber driver is involved in an accident while transporting a passenger.
- Lyft also carries a $1 million insurance policy. However, its coverage only goes into effect after exhausting the driver’s personal and any available commercial policies.
The importance of hiring a good lawyer
If you are injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation. While companies like Uber and Lyft will urge you to report your collision to their main office first and settle with them, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney beforehand.
If you proceed without legal counsel, you may be overwhelmed by insurance adjusters and insulted by low-ball settlement offers.
At Berenson Injury Law, we have nearly 40 years of experience advocating for accident victims.
We have filed cases against Uber, Lyft, taxi cab companies, and probably every automobile liability insurance company licensed to do business in Texas.
While Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the travel industry, they are not without their dangers. At Berenson Injury Law, we pursue the driver as well as the company to help you recover the maximum compensation for your Fort Worth or Dallas area accident case.