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Uber Cleared to Operate in Chicago

uber-phoneUber, a privately-held technology company based in California, offers an app that links private drivers with passengers who are in need of transportation.

Despite having been through the legal wringer in many different jurisdictions, under new city ordinances, the company is now licensed to operate in Chicago after a tumultuous nine month debate on a divided City Council.

Ubers negotiations with the Chicago City Council resulted in painstaking concessions on both sides. Uber agreed to cooperate with investigations, hire independent law enforcement officials who are off duty to do random checks, implement an alert system that notifies City Hall of drivers who violate the terms numerous other safety measures.

The successful negotiations now give Uber free reign to operate in one of its largest North American markets. While city council members seem to be satisfied with Ubers concessions, taxi cab drivers and their representatives are still protesting the license granted to Uber. More than 3,000 cab drivers in Chicago are losing an estimated two million cab rides a month, and their chief compliant is that Uber drivers are not held to the same standards as taxi cab drivers and companies.

Uber, and similar companies such as Lyft, have changed transportation-for-hire services as we know them. They often argue that the old rules governing taxi cab drivers should not be applied to the new sharing-economy.

Gap Insurance Challenges

Among the many legal battles Uber has been fighting all across America is an issue related to accident insurance coverage.

The company insures drivers who are in an accident when a passenger is in the car to the tune of $5 million. Additionally, when a driver is not working for Uber he or she is insured under the personal insurance policy.

However, when a driver has the application turned on their phone, and is not carrying a passenger, neither insurance policy applies.

The time period where a driver is on his way to pick up a passenger or after dropping after a passenger is called the gap-coverage period.

States have been scrambling to find ways to ensure that drivers have sufficient auto insurance coverage during these gap-periods. Some states, like California, are offering new auto insurance plans that are tailored specifically to cover those periods.

Other states are still wrestling with the question to determine who is responsible for insurance coverage. While granting Uber a license to operate is the first step, there are sure to be legal challenges that arise.

GWC Injury Lawyers auto accident lawyers are fully aware of the potential dangers that new technologies can pose to the public.

Our attorneys remain ever vigilant and ever prepared to provide legal assistance to families looking for justice.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, contact an experienced and tech-savvy law firm to discuss all of your legal options.