Taliaferro, Carran & Cowherd, PLLC
Call Today for a Consultation
Local: 859-757-4926
Toll Free: 866-959-1943

Car service apps in legal grey area

Over the past few years most Kentucky readers have probably noticed that they are using their smartphones for many things they never thought possible, whether that means using a digital boarding pass at the airport or video-chatting with a friend overseas. Increasingly, many people are using smartphone applications to set up transportation, using new programs like Uber, Sidecar, Lyft, and others to connect with commercial drivers or rideshare participants.

These applications are generally considered to be the wave of the future and are mostly hailed as positive innovations. However, a recent fatal car crash involving an Uber driver has raised questions about insurance and liability and legal oversight for these types of services.

State regulations on these types of car services differ, with few enacting specifically targeted laws since the business model is so new. They fall somewhere between a traditional taxi or private car service, since drivers are contracting on a by-the-ride basis, rather than working a certain shift during which they are under the auspices of the company. This matters when it comes to determining who is liable for accidents and injuries, since in order to assert liability on the car service company and not just the driver, there must have been a strong connection between an appropriate legal relationship between the driver and the company at the time. For a driver who is dropping in and out of service for the company, it can be hard to know when they were operating as on behalf of the company at the time of the crash and therefore whether liability is appropriate. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, “California regulator warns about gaps in ride-sharing insurance,” Marc Lifsher and Salvador Rodriguez, Feb. 5, 2014.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyers
  • Preeminent | AV | LexisNexis | Martindale-Hubbell| Peer Review Rated
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Top Listed in Best Lawyers | The world's premier guide
Email Us For A Response

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Us

Cincinnati Office
30 Garfield Place
Suite 920
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: 866-959-1943
Fax: 859-291-3014
Map & Directions

Covington Office
1005 Madison Avenue
Covington, KY 41011

Phone: 866-959-1943
Fax: 859-291-3014
Map & Directions

Firm Numbers:

Local: 859-757-4926