Daily: Court rules Bolt, not driver, responsible for accident damages

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Car in Bolt livery. Photo is illustrative. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A court has set a precedent that in the event of an accident involving a vehicle using the Bolt taxi-hailing platform, the latter, rather than the driver, is culpable for any ensuing injuries, daily Postimees reports.

The plaintiff had ordered a taxi via the Bolt app, Postimees reported (link in Estonian) and took a clearly-marked Bolt vehicle, one which is linked to a taxi license issued by the company, while subsequently the Bolt driver was at fault in a minor accident in which the plaintiff, i.e. the passenger, was slightly injured.

Bolt refused to compensate the plaintiff, arguing that the company was not responsible, that the driver had been culpable, and was the party who should be claimed against on the grounds that Bolt merely operates an app which both driver and passenger agree on a journey – including, unlike in the case of many regular taxi firms, knowledge in advance of the passenger's destination.

The passenger disagreed and took the matter to court, with Harju County court ruling that the tech firm was indeed to blame, and ordering one of two Bolt companies – Bolt Technology – to pay a total of €1,152.50 damages, the first decision of that nature against the company in Estonia, Postimees said.

Bolt says it plans to appeal the decision, which has not entered into force, within the next month.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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