Thanks to the tech revolution, many workers take advantage of the new “gig economy.” Some of them use their cars to work rideshare and food delivery jobs, but they may lack the experience that professional drivers possess. As a result, they may find themselves involved in a regrettable motor vehicle collision and a subsequent lawsuit. New legislation in Texas might shield rideshare and delivery companies, along with trucking companies, from lawsuits.
A proposed law draws attention
House Bill 19 focuses on shielding commercial vehicle companies from liability suits. The legislation does not ban an injury victim from filing a claim but stipulates that a plaintiff must prove “grossly negligent behavior” when suing. Lawmakers behind the legislation claim it works to protect companies against “unjust and excessive” lawsuits.
Rideshare and delivery drivers sometimes commit moving violations due to distractions or other reasons. A driver might be looking for a posted address number in an unfamiliar area and hit another vehicle, giving someone whiplash. Or, the driver might be in a rush and not come to a complete stop before turning on a red light.
Even long-time professional truck drivers could make mistakes behind the wheel. Driving above the legal speed limit could result in a crash if a truck cannot stop in time.
Gross negligence and driving behavior
Determining whether such behavior is “grossly negligent” could raise many questions in court. Someone driving 30 miles above the speed limit could be considered grossly negligent, but a driver need not travel that fast to violate traffic laws or cause disastrous injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
An accident victim could file an insurance claim against a trucking company or a rideshare service after an accident. Suing the driver remains an option as well. In certain instances, proving gross negligence might not be as challenging as others.