In Louisiana, a common carrier by motor vehicle is defined essentially as a person in the business of transporting persons or property for compensation and available to the public generally. See CTS Enterprises, Inc. vs. Louisiana Public Service Commission, 540 So. 2d 275 (La. 1989). Thus, Uber vehicles and Lyft vehicles are considered common carriers.
As common carriers, Uber vehicles and Lyft vehicles are “held to the highest degree of care, diligence and skill in receiving passengers, conveying them to their destination and setting them down safely as the means and character of the conveyance and circumstances will permit.” Deason vs. Greyhound Corporation, 6 So. 2d 348, 360 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1958); Luckette vs. Bart’s on the Lake, Limited, 602 So. 2d 108, 110-111 (La. App. 4 Cir.), writ denied, 608 2d 178 (La. 1992). This higher standard is applied in personal injury cases.
For example, an Uber vehicle picking up a man in Harvey to take him to Metairie has a duty to care for that passenger during the trip and keep the passenger reasonably safe. Thus, if an accident results from the negligence (fault) of the Uber driver, the driver, Uber and the vehicle’s insurance carrier may be responsible for the damages sustained by the passenger. These damages may include pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. However, the Uber driver could shift the responsibility of paying damages by proving that the accident was caused by another driver. In such a case, the responsibility for the accident would lie with the at-fault driver.
If you or a loved one was involved in a collision with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, contact Lawyer Don at Law Office of Donald D’Aunoy Jr., LLC for a free consultation. Lawyer Don’s main office is in Metairie. However, he recently opened a new satellite location in Harvey, Louisiana (1901 Manhattan Blvd. Building D #313, Harvey, LA 70058) to better serve westbank citizens living in Gretna, Algiers, Marrero, Harvey, Waggaman and Westwego.