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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

First Circuit Decides Important Case About Lyft Drivers 

Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber have changed the world. Users can request a ride from pretty much anywhere on their app, making it a convenient option for nights out, trips to the airport, and even everyday use. These new apps have made taxis nearly obsolete. However, in the past couple of years, concerns have arisen regarding the compensation structure of these apps. The apps make it very easy to become a driver, raising safety concerns. Further, rideshare drivers were some of the essential works most at risk during the pandemic and did not receive hazard pay. The First Circuit decided his week a case that decides whether Lyft drivers are workers engaged in interstate commerce in the case of Cunningham v. Lyft

What happened in the Cunningham case?

Escalators are unique machines as they are in constant use but are rarely under supervision. Courts have considered under what circumstances manufacturers, installers, owners, or maintainers of escalators can be liable for injuries resulting from an escalator.

Common Carriers

In the United States, a common carrier is a person or other commercial enterprise that transports passengers for a fee and establishes that their service is open to the general public. Some common examples of a common carrier are railroads, airlines, and taxi services. Common carriers are held to a slightly higher standard of care than individuals, they are required to provide their passengers with the utmost duty of care. For example, common carriers are liable for injuries suffered by passengers as a result of a carrier’s negligence but do not ensure passenger safety. Companies and drivers are not responsible for injuries that happen because of causes that are out of their control.

An important type of insurance coverage is uninsured motorist coverage.  This coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with someone that does not have any insurance or has insufficient insurance.  Recently, there was a case decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court determining the scope of this type of coverage and who is protected when the insurance is purchased.

The case was Oliveria v. Commerce Insurance.  The plaintiff seemed coverage as a household member under the uninsured motorist provision of the policy.  The plaintiff argued that he should have been covered under the insurance policy of his girlfriend’s mother and step-father, with whom he had lived with for an extended period of time. The appeals court ultimately upheld the Superior Court’s ruling that, although the plaintiff lived with the insured parties and has a son in which the policyholders are genetically related to, he himself is not related by blood and therefore not eligible to under the policy.

The plaintiff had been living with his girlfriend, their son, and her mother and step-father for an extended period of time. Oliveira is not married nor engaged to his girlfriend, but notably, they have a young child together and have been living under the same roof for years. On the night of July 18, 2014, Oliveira was injured in a one-car accident, sustaining major injuries which included a four-day hospital stay, disability benefits, and medical bills which totaled over $40,000. The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident was insured under her own policy, and Oliveira accepted a settlement with the driver of $100,000.

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