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The Sharing Economy – The Law is Behind the Times

Car Accidents

With Age, and Updated Regulations, Comes Trust

One of the oldest businesses in the United States is the Seaside Inn in Kennebunk Beach, Maine.  Their website touts Nine Generations, and according to Wikipedia, they are the 6th oldest business and the oldest hotel in the United States having opened in 1667.

This is a family-owned business that has seen a lot of change throughout this country’s history. All the while, this hotel, as with all hotels across the country, has to keep up with laws and regulations related to being allowed to operate as a hotel.  It is the same for any registered transportation company being run.  There are local, state, and federal laws that have to be complied with to operate legally.

The Laws Have Not Kept Up With the Sharing Economy

When it comes to hospitality and transportation, most of the laws and regulations that are in place have been put there for the safety of the people who would use these services.  Unfortunately, ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft often do not have to adhere to the same rules and regulations as taxi operators and other transportation owners/operators.  As we have seen time and again with the cases of injury and assault from all over the country, the lack of appropriate regulations and monitoring when it comes to ride-sharing companies has created a significant risk of danger for the rider.

We have talked at length previously about the multitude of safety issues with the cars used for rideshare services.  When was the last time the vehicle was inspected?  When you stay in someone’s house or get into a stranger’s car, how do you know the person doesn’t have a violent background or a history of alcoholism or drug abuse?

The Gap of Trust

Sharing economy services like Airbnb, Uber, or Lyft may be a way for people to earn some extra money, but as the consumer, there is a massive gap between using these services and using the services of companies that have long histories, good reputations, and laws that strictly regulate their operation.  That gap is one of trust.  When you get into New York City Taxi, you can be reasonably satisfied that the car is safe and that the driver has been checked out.  When you stay at a Hyatt, you know that when you get into your room and lock the door, you are safe and that there is a fire system, and that you have access to a fire exit.

Call Marc S. Albert for a Free Consultation

When you get into an Uber outside of the City of New York that does not have T&LC or Livery license plates, or when you get a room through Airbnb, you have to give strangers a lot trust that you are being taken care of and are being kept safe.  We are not only talking about malicious intent.  Is the car safe?  Is the electrical outlet in your room safe?  Local laws and regulations across the country are catching up with the new sharing economy, but there is still a lot of work to do.  If you have been injured in a car accident involving rideshare or you have been the victim of the negligence of a homeowner who put their house up on Airbnb, you need to work with an attorney that knows and understands the law related to these shared services.  Call the law offices of Marc S. Albert for a free consultation at 855-252-3788.