Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are called transportation network companies. These companies provide app-based ride-sourcing to match consumers with drivers of vehicles for hire. These companies first emerged in 2012 and have been an alternative option to more traditional methods of transportation, such as hailing a taxi from the street. Before, if you were a passenger in a taxicab or a private bus company and were injured as the result of the negligence of the driver, not only could you sue the employee driver to recover for any damages as a result of their negligence, but you could also sue the employer based on their employee-employer relationship. If the driver was in the course and scope of their employment, then the employer would be liable and responsible for compensating injured passengers.
Navigating the Legal Landscape: Ride Share Accident Defense in Texas
The State of Texas has enacted what is called the Transportation Network Companies Act which has rules to regulate rideshare companies in Texas. In addition to regulating them, the Act defines rideshare drivers as independent contractors instead of employees of the rideshare company they are driving for. This has essentially eliminated the ability to automatically have the company that these drivers work for be liable. In order for an injured party to hold these companies liable now, you must be able to articulate a legal theory of liability against them to say what they did wrong and why they should be liable for the injury. This is what an experienced Texas personal injury attorney is for. In light of changes in the laws, it is important to hire a lawyer to seek all potential and available causes of action to get you closer to your recovery.