When you were a child, your parents and other adults likely told you to never get into a car with a stranger. While that advice is certainly valid for young children and even adults in some scenarios, it is common for people to get into cars with people they do not know because they use rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft to get where they need to go.
While using rideshare programs may not be inherently dangerous in and of itself, you are still at risk of ending up in a car accident if your driver or another driver on the road is reckless or negligent. Additionally, Uber drivers are not held to the same standards as other professional drivers, like taxi drivers.
What’s the difference?
In many cases, taxi drivers cannot have any alcohol in their system. When it comes to Uber drivers, no stipulations exist that prohibit drivers from drinking as long as the level is below the legal limit. This means you could get into a vehicle with a driver who has consumed alcohol before starting a shift. Additionally, taxi drivers typically face rigorous background checks, whereas Uber drivers do not have as much testing or checks in some areas because local ordinances differ.
Maintenance issues could also result with vehicles used by Uber drivers. Though the company requires drivers to use vehicles that are newer (from 2005 or after), maintenance checks occur less frequently on those vehicles than taxis. Unfortunately, a vehicle malfunction could easily result in a car accident.
What about liability?
In the event that an accident does take place, Uber relinquishes itself of any liability in the fine print included in the terms of service. However, in a taxi-involved accident, the taxi company typically holds at least partial liability. Still, if you find yourself injured in an accident while in a rideshare vehicle, it does not mean that you cannot pursue compensation for damages.
You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault for the accident, whether it is your Uber driver or the driver of another vehicle involved in the crash. You may also have other avenues open for seeking compensation. In this type of situation, having reliable information on how Texas law handles Uber accidents can make a difference in how you choose to proceed.