The website of Uber Technologies, Inc. describes the rideshare service as “the best way to get around” and stresses the importance of finding “a reliable ride to a safe destination.” You might think, then, that Uber goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of its passengers and will assume liability if one of its drivers causes a car accident. However, that’s not always the case.
Uber does provide liability insurance for rideshare drivers, but the collision’s circumstances dictate whether it is the primary policy or contingent policy. Specifically, this is dependent on whether the driver has matched with a rider or not at the time of the crash. A personal injury attorney from our firm can help you determine how to file an insurance claim following your accident.
Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors, so Vicarious Liability Laws Do Not Apply
Uber has taken a number of steps to make it difficult for courts to impose traditional respondeat superior concepts of liability. For example, its drivers are classified as independent contractors.
Fortunately, due to the increasing number of serious collisions involving Uber vehicles, personal injury attorneys around the country are working hard to find ways to hold the rideshare behemoth accountable for the negligence of its drivers.
Some accident lawyers have pointed out that Uber’s process of hiring and terminating drivers, as well as its policies and procedures, demonstrate that the company exerts control over its drivers at a level that goes well beyond what is typical for an independent contractor.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Should Uber Drivers Really be Considered Independent Contractors?
The rideshare service has compared itself to a trucking company, pointing to similarities in average earnings, driver requirements, and licensing. The truth, however, is that a commercial driver’s license (CDL) license is not required to become an Uber driver. More importantly, Uber drivers transport people rather than goods.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, courts have been receptive to Uber’s argument that it just provides an app and is not an employer. However, a closer look at the company’s policies and procedures may contradict this claim. This includes policies related to a driver’s role, such as:
Accident lawyers have pointed to Uber’s process of vetting drivers and its training materials as proof that the company does far more than just provide an app. Therefore, many argue that courts should be able to impose respondeat superior concepts of liability.
Uber Claims to Look Out for its Customers’ Safety
Before hiring a driver, Uber investigates the applicant’s:
- Driver’s license
- Driving record
- Other details
Uber also provides comprehensive resources to help drivers fulfill the requirements of working for the rideshare service. Accident attorneys are considering new ways to prove that Uber’s contracts and policies may demonstrate that the company assumes a duty to:
- Hire, supervise, and retain drivers
- Ensure that vehicles are properly maintained
- Ensure that passengers are safe
Some of the strongest evidence to support this argument appears on Uber’s website. For instance, Uber has a passenger safety page on its site where riders can go to learn more about how the company keeps riders and drivers safe.
What to Do if You Suffered Injuries in an Uber Accident
If you were injured in a crash involving an Uber vehicle – whether you were a passenger, a pedestrian, or another driver – the process of determining insurance liability is much more complicated than in many other car accident cases. Our team wants to help.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to hold Uber liable for its driver’s actions or file a claim against the driver directly. A detail as seemingly minor as whether or not the driver had matched with a rider could dramatically alter liability and your financial recovery. When we represent you, our team will investigate to determine the status of the driver at the time of the accident so we know which party (or parties) to hold responsible.
You can discuss your legal options and the facts of your case with a personal injury attorney from our team before making any decisions about what to do. Our team provides free case consultations for injured parties, so you can connect with us at no cost to you. We also manage these cases based on contingency fees.
Talk to a Member of the Laborde Earles Law Firm Team for Free Today
If you decide to hire us, you won’t owe anything up front for our services. Our contingency fee structure means we go to work right away and don’t collect payment unless and until we recover compensation for you. If you don’t receive a settlement or court award at the end of this process, you pay nothing.
To discuss your case with a member of our personal injury collision team, contact our office for a free initial consultation. Call (337) 777-7777 to speak with a Louisiana rideshare accident team member from Laborde Earles Law Firm today. We can assess your case, determine liability, and outline your next steps.