If you are looking for a ride in Omaha and don't want to pay for an expensive taxi, you can now use apps on your phone to call an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicles. Rideshare companies have rapidly grown in popularity after becoming legal in Omaha earlier this year. These companies, however, come with risks about liability and insurance coverage.
If you've been injured in a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you may have questions about seeking and obtaining compensation for damages such as medical bills and lost wages. The experienced Omaha car accident attorneys at Cullan & Cullan LLC can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Call us at (402) 882-7080 to find out how we can help you.
Regulating Rideshare Companies
On Uber's official Omaha website you'll see these words: "Uber is not a transportation provider."
They put this sentence in the fine print to protect themselves from financial responsibility when one of their drivers gets involved in an accident. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft consistently maintain that they DO NOT employ drivers, but only provide an online platform that connects riders with drivers. This helps distance rideshare companies from the actions of their drivers.
Nebraska officials took a long time to approve Lyft and Uber companies within the state because of the many potential risks these companies present. Since these companies use independent contractors and not employees, they're not always legally responsible for the accidents caused by the drivers. In fact, the reason why rideshare companies are generally cheaper than taxi services is that they have fewer rules and regulations.
What You Need to Know About Rideshare Companies in Nebraska
Here are a few facts to understand about rideshare companies:
- They have independent contractors instead of employees
- They DO NOT regularly screen drivers for drugs
- They rarely inspect vehicles to make sure they're properly maintained.
- They often let drivers use their own insurance policies without making sure their insurance covers commercial driving.
After Uber and Lyft were allowed to operate in Omaha, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) began issuing tickets to drivers for improper authority, improper rate or tariff, and for having no commercial insurance on file.
According to KETV, the Commission issued at least three tickets to ridesharing drivers for these types of violations in Sarpy County within the first few months.
Contacting a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
If you're injured in a rideshare accident, Uber or Lyft may claim that they're not responsible because they are not transportation companies. The insurance provider of the Lyft or Uber driver may deny your claim because they don't have insurance that covers commercial use.
If you're involved in an Omaha car accident involving a ridesharing company, speak to an experienced rideshare accident lawyer who'll fight to protect your rights. Financial support should be available for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other related damages.
Call Cullan & Cullan LLC at (402) 882-7080 for more information about your legal rights.