In the 11 years since Uber’s, and 8 years since Lyft’s, arrival on the scene, there have been consistent increases in user numbers, driver numbers, and revenues for these rideshare services. In tandem with the growth these companies have experienced, there has also come an increase in accidents and accident–related complications for these commercial vehicle rideshare providers.
When large commercial vehicle ventures like Lyft and Uber encounter frequent, expensive problems like payouts to victims of accidents through the fault of their drivers, they create ways of mitigating their losses and controlling the situation. They also have the benefit of large amounts of money to pay for talented legal representation and extensive insurance. One of the strategies they have developed and applied to their settlement agreements is confidentiality clauses.
Unfortunately, the fact is that if a confidentiality clause is a component of the settlement contract, you need to agree to those terms if you wish to finalize that contract and receive your payment. You are not obligated to sign any contract with which you are dissatisfied, but without an agreed settlement contract, you can’t get paid.
Common Components of a Confidentiality Agreement
Within the context of a rideshare (e.g. Lyft, Uber, Alto) confidentiality agreement, there are typically a handful of clauses in the agreement that work in tandem to keep signatories from sharing information about the settlement, or defaming the company or the agreement publicly after the fact. Here are some of those common clauses that one might expect to encounter in negotiations and draft Lyft settlement agreements.
Confidentiality: In the most basic sense, a confidentiality clause is an acknowledgement that the parties will not to disclose the terms, conditions, payment amounts, or other specifically listed aspects of the settlement agreement
Non–Disparagement Clause: This is an agreement not to defame, disparage or impugn the party or parties specified in the agreement. This can mean leaving a negative Google or other online review of Lyft, posting negative comments or confidential details on your own social media or on other public forums. In some cases, acts deemed to violate the non-disparagement clause may void the settlement, in some cases you may be required to pay liquidated damages.
Liquidated Damages: A liquidated damages clause may specify a certain amount of money that parties must pay in the event that they breach the confidentiality and/or non-disparagement clauses in the agreement.
Are Confidentiality Clauses Legal?
Faced with a confidentiality clause, you may the thinking, what about free speech? The first amendment to the United States Constitution does guarantee freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. However, it does not guarantee a right to speech without consequences.
As frustrating as they may be, confidentiality clauses are a legal contractual feature when agreed upon by the signatories of the document. It can certainly be frustrating to go through a lengthy negotiation process with a rideshare company and their insurer, only to be informed that you are not allowed to “vent” about the ordeal. The best remedy for this frustration is reaching a Lyft settlement agreement with terms and a substantial payout that you are happy with. For the best chances of this ideal outcome, contact a personal injury firm that is experienced in commercial vehicle accident cases, like Thompson Law.
Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a Lyft or Uber, or perhaps a delivery truck, or even an 18–wheeler, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney. You should consider the legal assistance you really need when you are going to battle with the insurance companies and legal representatives of large commercial vehicle companies. If you have questions about your situation and your options, Thompson Law is here to help. Reach out anytime 24/7 for a no-risk FREE CONSULTATION with one of Thompson Law’s legal experts by calling (214) 444-4444 or toll free at 1-800-LION-LAW (1-800-546-6529). Call 4 and get the roar.
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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered after being hurt in a Lyft or other commercial vehicle accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. However, delayed onset injuries are no less deserving of justice. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.