In most personal injury cases, employers are held responsible for the recklessness and negligence of their employees. However, when it comes to ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar, this general rule of thumb doesn’t necessarily apply.
When it comes to car accident injuries caused by rideshare drivers, many courts do not consider the drivers in these cases to be actual employees of the company they work for. Rideshare drivers set their own hours, choose where they want to work, and are responsible for their own taxes. Drivers are not covered by the rideshare’s workers’ compensation insurance, as they are usually defined as independent contractors. For these reasons, the courts across the U.S. have decided that rideshare drivers are free agents, and not employees.
What does this mean for your Mercer County auto accident with an Uber driver? Since a 2013 incident, when a 57-year-old Uber driver struck and killed several pedestrians on a crosswalk, Uber has offered contingent insurance for its drivers when they log into the Uber system to begin accepting drivers. Contingent insurance means that Uber may pay compensation to injured parties only if and when the drivers’ own auto insurance policy doesn’t cover the total amount necessary.
Contingent insurance however is quite limited in its scope, and was only offered by Uber because of the public backlash resulting from the accident previously mentioned. For the moment, the worldwide giant Uber has managed to put enough legal distance between itself and its drivers to be responsible for its drivers’ actions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with an Uber driver, or any other driver, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for advice.
At the law offices of Cohen & Riechelson, we have extensive experience helping victims injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and hit-and-run accidents. Our attorneys know how to uncover evidence of negligence, such as distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, defective roads, and defective auto parts to help you secure the best possible settlement.
To speak with one of our attorneys today, contact us online or through our Hamilton offices at 609-528-2596 today.