Rideshare Drivers Shouldn't Contribute To Hazards During Snowy Weather

Ridesharing has become a global enterprise. Thousands of drivers hit the roads in partnership with Uber and Lyft in the United States to facilitate ride requests. Ridesharing companies have partners out working 24/7/365, which means drivers venture out during less-than-ideal weather. Drivers who are willing to take risks picking up fares on nights on which there are ice and snow on the ground place themselves and their passengers at risk. If an accident occurs, passengers should consider retaining a car accident attorney specializing in rideshare cases.

Negligence and Rideshare Coverage Limits

As an incentive to drivers, rideshare companies offer exceptional insurance protection deals. Uber covers driver liability up to $1 million, which essentially, mimics the high coverage limits of an umbrella policy. Regardless of the high threshold, persons injured by a rideshare driver shouldn't assume the company automatically pays out large settlements. The company's insurance provider will likely look carefully at the driver's specific negligence in light of the extenuating circumstances of the bad weather. In short, the provider probably tries to pay out a lesser amount than an attorney would seek. A car accident attorney familiar with rideshare accidents could direct attention to aspects of negligence to raise a settlement or possible jury award amount. 

Driving During a Snowstorm

Imagine a scenario in which a driver crashes a car on a snowy road. The passenger suffers severe injuries. Questions may arise about whether the driver was negligent. The driver and the rideshare company might insist he/she wasn't negligent in any way. A car accident attorney, however, could potentially raise the following questions:

  • Did The Driver Experience Any "Near Misses" On The Road? If it turns out the driver almost crashed the car previously due to poor weather, an argument could be made the driver was not able to handle the hazardous conditions. Perhaps he/she should have called it quits and ceased accepting passengers.
  • Was The Vehicle Adequately Prepared For The Trip? Although snow chains might not be mandatory for tires under state law, a driver may display negligence by omission by not adding chains to the tires. And for that matter, was the vehicle equipped with tires capable of handling snowy conditions?
  • Did The Driver Ignore The Rider's Request? A rider could ask the driver to slow down or take an alternate route. Ignoring reasonable requests based on safety concerns could be negligence.

These questions are possible ones an attorney may raise. An attorney skilled in rideshare liability might ask pointed ones based on the particulars of a case.