These days we think nothing of grabbing an Uber or hopping into a Lyft instead of a cab or driving ourselves. Rideshares have become a cost-effective part of our lives, with easy-to-use apps, cash-free payment, and the ability to leave driver feedback instantly. More than 36% of people used rideshares in 2018, and the two largest companies – Uber and Lyft – reported more than $17.7 billion in net revenue in 2019. Rideshare companies are popular among riders, but these companies raise some unique legal issues because they treat their drivers as contractors and state lawmakers haven’t figured out how to regulate them.
While rideshares are similar to taxi cabs, there are some important differences. Rideshare companies don’t own a fleet of cars. Rather, these companies act more as a platform to allow car owners to operate as a taxi in their private car. Moreover, rideshare platforms don’t fall under the same regulatory and licensing requirements that govern traditional taxi companies, leaving many grey areas concerning legal liability for accidents. Luckily, the New Hampshire legislature stepped into this regulation vacuum, passing legislation in 2016 to pass a law setting statewide rules for ridesharing.