Haddonfield, New Jersey (PRWEB) June 11, 2014
Fed up with taxi companies, more and more citizens are turning to popular rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft to get them to their destinations cheaply and more quickly than a standard cab ride.
The burgeoning new industry has many safety advocates concerned. On June 5, CNBC ran a report entitled “States warn of rideshare risks for passengers.” Prompted by New Jersey’s recent warning about the new rideshare systems, the article explored some of the pitfalls facing the industry and the worries that many consumers and lawmakers currently have.
Levy, Baldante, Finney, Rubenstein, Cohen & Chizmar, P.C. have been watching these matters from afar and have now decided to speak on the subject. New Jersey auto accident lawyers themselves, Levy Baldante’s litigation team understands the desire to harness technology to get a cheaper, often more convenient ride, but they hope that passengers will use caution.
“The allure of these easy-to-use apps can cause an otherwise reasonable person to overlook certain red flags,” said R. Erick Chizmar, a partner with the firm. “We’re not saying that any of the services currently gaining market share are inherently unsafe, but the relative youth of the entire industry means that everyone has to be on their guard. Saving a couple bucks or shaving a couple minutes from a trip are not worth the cost of a serious personal injury and the hassle of a lengthy lawsuit.”
Levy Baldante has studied this issue and come up with important tips that an individual should enact prior to getting into a stranger’s vehicle:
•Verify The Company- Only a couple of rideshare services could be considered high-profile, but more businesses are sure to follow in their wake if there’s money to be made. Always conduct research into a company to make sure the business is legitimate.
•Verify The Driver- This is one of the most difficult aspects of these rideshare services, as there’s currently no satisfying means of verifying an individual’s driving history or deducing a criminal background, despite what rideshare services may claim. In a taxi, a passenger can see their driver’s information and report dangerous actions to the authorities; the mechanisms to do the same with a rideshare driver are still being ironed out.
•Don’t Rely On Insurance- As that CNBC report hints, sorting out matters of insurance is no easy feat. A driver’s insurance levels may not be adequate, or in the case of an accident, the insurance company could decide not to cover a crash because the driver was using the vehicle for commercial purposes without attaining the necessary license. These are tricky legal issues for which there are currently no easy answers.
•Get The Information- Persons who hitch a ride with one of these services should mark down the name of the driver and their license plate number for future reference in case a dispute arises.
•The Buddy System- It’s much safer for a group of people to enter an unknown vehicle than a single individual to hop into the automobile of a person they never know and whose background they can’t be sure of. Consider refraining from a rideshare service if you’re by yourself.
•Become A Vehicle Appraiser- While no one should judge any individual by his or her appearance, a person is within their rights to judge a vehicle that’s responsible for their safe transport. If an automobile that pulls up has a smashed bumper, missing mirrors, a cracked windshield, or it sports any noticeable safety defects, the person who hailed that ride can politely decline to be transported.
•Know Your Rights- If something about the situation feels unsafe, be that distracted driving, noticeable intoxication, over-aggression, or unwanted advances, demand to be let out of the vehicle. Call the police at once if the driver refuses to comply with your request.
The law firm of Levy, Baldante, Finney, Rubenstein, Cohen & Chizmar, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of injured parties since its founding in the 1960s. Recognized by such organizations as Super Lawyers, the American Association for Justice, and the Trial Lawyers Associations of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Levy Baldante is dedicated to assisting persons injured by medical malpractice, automobile accidents, defective products, premises liability, and other instances of personal injury. Persons interested in filing a rideshare lawsuit are encouraged to visit the Levy Baldante auto accident lawyer page.