Uber & Lyft
In thought, hiring people with a valid driver’s license to drive people around in their personal vehicle seems like a great idea. Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have changed social norms around the world when they launched their services just a couple of years ago. The idea is good but the negligence for background checks on employees has created problems around the world for taxi companies. Dangerous cases of DUI’s, sexual assaults, kidnappings, felonies and fatal car accidents have been associated with Uber and Lyft. Ride sharing accidents are happening not just in United States but in nearly every country where Uber and Lyft service is available.
Who’s Driving You?
Who’s driving you, is a website that lists a series of incidents involving passengers who have been injured using Uber or Lyft and cases of criminal offenders who worked as drivers. The list goes from most recent 2016 to 2014 and scrolling through the list is terrifying. News links dealing with fatal accidents, alleged assaults, sexual harassment, impostors, and DUI’s committed by Uber and Lyft drivers.
The problem is that ride sharing companies do not screen their drivers thoroughly enough during the hiring process. Lyft and Uber run 3rd party background checks for drivers but cases of felons being hired are still being reported as recent as August 2016.
Ride Sharing Accidents
What are you options if you are injured in a car accident by an Uber or Lyft driver, or a driver does harm to you? Unfortunately, these companies deny liability through “third-party providers”, which is what their drivers are seen as. That means, technically, any Uber or Lyft driver is an independent contractor and not a direct employee for the company. Uber and Lyft are not liable for the actions of its drivers. When it comes to seeking justice or compensation for damages, the victims have to go after the drivers themselves.
Uber’s insurance policy may be a little complicated and it goes as follows:
- Off-duty drivers are covered by their own insurance policy.
- On-duty drivers are covered by their own policy plus $50,000 per injury and $25,000 for property damage.
- On-duty drivers with a passenger are covered by a $1 million liability policy and $1 million in uninsured/underinsured coverage policy.
Sounds pretty good right? Except that in the event of an accident or indecent the victim can only file a lawsuit against the driver and their insurance policy. Uber policy mandates that you cannot sue for damage that exceeds $ 1 million even if the driver was reckless, negligent, or drunk. You can only sue the driver.
Same situation if you are hit by an Uber car. You handle it like a typical car accident where you exchange insurance information and call a personal injury attorney if needed.
Uber’s Army of Attorneys
An article in Fusion reports that 50 lawsuits were filed against Uber in U.S. federal court, last year alone. 17 lawsuits were filed by Uber drivers, 15 from taxi and livery companies, and over a dozen from customers alleging serious crimes. All these cases are all currently pending in federal court right now.
Intrestingly enought, on January of this year, Uber had 27 job openings for attorneys worldwide.
What is Being Done to Change This?
Part of the reason why so many Uber drivers have filed lawsuits against the company they work for is to change their employment status. They don’t want to be independent contractors they want to be Uber employees. If that status is changed then Uber would be liable for any accidents or incidents their drivers may be involved in. It would also make it easier for customers and victims to sue ride sharing companies for damages. Naturally, Uber does not want that to happen. Earlier this year there was news that Uber had reached a $100 million settlement but the court declined approval in August. Knowing your rights can make a difference if you are ever in a an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver.
Here 4 You
In any case, if your or a loved one has been injured in an accident Davis Law Firm is here 24/7 to listen to your case. Our team of legal representatives offer free consultation so there is zero risk in calling. Don’t let the negligent actions of others effect the rest of your life, call us today!