On December 7, 2022, Regan Zambri Long PLLC filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers who used the ridesharing service in the past. According to the complaint, the company had violated the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
Empower is a ridesharing service owned by Yazam Inc. According to its website, Empower’s mission is to allow drivers to set their rates a get 100 percent of the fare. It also allows riders to request either a same gender driver or a driver they have used previously.
According to its website, riders that use the ridesharing service not only pay on average 20 percent less than Uber or Lyft but can feel safe by “limited ride requests to favorite or same gender drivers.”
The complaint alleges that Empower is consciously violating Washington, DC’s consumer protection laws that require ridesharing programs to maintain $1 million of liability insurance to protect passengers, drivers, and other people on the road in the event of an auto accident.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff had requested a ride on the Empower app on August 6, 2022. While being driven to her destination, the driver had collided with a concrete median, which resulted in the plaintiff suffering injuries. It was later discovered that neither Empower nor the driver had insurance to cover the cost of the injuries.
In addition to failing to provide the required liability insurance, the complaint also alleges that Empower does not perform background checks on its drivers. District of Columbia law requires that rideshare companies retain an accredited third party to conduct a background check on each driver, which includes a local and national criminal background check, a full driving record check, and a national sex offender database background check. However, the complaint alleges Empower does not perform these checks on its drivers.
If you were involved in a ridesharing accident with any type of ridesharing service, your first step is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t believe that you are injured, it’s important to get checked by a medical professional. Once you know what injuries you have sustained, you want to report the incident as soon as you can by using the rideshare app. Your next step is to reach out to a qualified Washington, DC rideshare accident attorney to protect your rights.
You are not required to communicate with the driver, the ridesharing service, or their insurance providers. In fact, some businesses might make an effort to learn more about you in order to reduce the amount of compensation they owe you for your injuries. It is essential to first consult with an accomplished Washington, DC, attorney and let them speak on your behalf.