Safe from a DUI, but not from your Uber driver
When your driver service turns dangerous
It’s a typical night on the town. Dinner, drinks and (maybe, after a few too many) dancing. You’ve told yourself repeatedly you’ll make a more valiant effort to stop getting behind the wheel on nights like these. It’s not worth risking the price you’d pay for a DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio. You want to keep yourself and your fellow Buckeyes safe.
You pull out your iPhone and open the Uber app that you downloaded earlier—finally, you’ve joined the bandwagon.
You’re already signed in with your credit card linked. GPS found your pickup location. All you need to do is select your destination and request a ride. Simple enough.
The rest of your group already splintered off, so once the car arrives, you climb in the back, feeling like a chauffeured king. You’ll be safely home in no time.
Suddenly, you’re brought back to reality by a blow from your driver’s fist. Then, you’re out cold. When you come to, you’re lying at the front of your apartment complex, a bloodied nose and your wallet missing. You made the safe choice and in exchange you get assaulted and robbed.
What can you do? What are your rights? You want revenge, but how will you ever find your Uber assailant?
Signing your rights away for a safe ride
In the grand scheme of things, ride-hailing services, such as Uber, Lyft and the classic yellow cab, are safe. According to Uber, each of their freelance drivers must pass a background check, consisting of county, state and federal audits from seven years prior, and hold current $1 million liability insurance. Reports of Uber-gone-wrong only pop up once in a while.
Even still, it’s important to know what you’re agreeing to when you register with the ride-booking apps.
Legally, tapping for an Uber ride is different from hailing a taxi because cabs are regulated by each state’s department of motor vehicles.
By downloading Uber’s app, inputting your credit card and soliciting on-demand transportation, you agree to a list of terms, including Uber’s independence from guaranteeing the safety or ability of third party providers, as in, your driver and your consent for risk. Instituting such conditions ensures the relatively new company absolution from the actions of their contracted drivers—Uber wipes its hands while you’re stuck fighting the man.
But, it’s not just Uber. Lyft’s terms of service warrant similar rider liability.
Choosing between a DUI or Uber
Driving while under the influence of alcohol can jeopardize your and others’ lives as well as your future. It’s always a better choice to take a ride from a designated driver than risk needing a DUI attorney.
But, perhaps, a government-monitored ride is best.
Historically, victims of assault have more chance of success when suing a company rather than an individual. As such, when choosing between ride-hailing services and the big yellow taxi, the regulated cabbing industry makes taxi companies more accountable if accidents do arise.
No matter your choice, a DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio can help
Whether you chose to drive after drinking, and were charged with a DUI, or you experienced an assault, you need experienced, qualified representation from a Columbus criminal defense lawyer.
Call Yavitch & Palmer at 614-224-6142, or make an appointment at our downtown Columbus office using our online contact form today.