More people than ever are choosing to work as independent contractors for drive sharing services like Uber. Uber provides drivers with a way to earn money by finding customers through Uber’s phone application, picking them up, and dropping them off at their desired location. What rights does an Uber driver have when they’re injured in a car accident or by a passenger?
If you’re an Uber driver and you’ve been injured in an Uber accident, you may be wondering about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we understand how devastating it can be to suffer an injury in an Uber car accident. Our legal team has extensive experience representing Uber drivers who become injured on the job. Contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.
Understanding Your Rights as a Driver in an Uber Accident
Uber and Lyft have received criticism for failing to protect their drivers sufficiently. Driving a rideshare vehicle is not without risks. Uber drivers must share a vehicle with customers they do not know, and there have also been reports of Uber drivers being physically attacked while on the job. Uber has recently put certain policies in place to protect Uber drivers, such as:
- The Uber application has a built-in feature that will immediately send your trip information to local authorities in the case of an emergency
- The Uber application allows friends and family members to follow your route
- Uber drivers can rate their riders and can give dangerous riders a low rate to warn other Uber drivers
- Uber provides protection against the uninsured motorist and in hit and run accidents
- In an accident, Uber will repair your car up to its cash value with a $1,000 deductible
- Uber prohibits riders from carrying guns even when doing so is legal
- Uber drivers are allowed to keep cameras inside their vehicles to record trips for their protection
California Now Recognizes Uber Drivers as Employees
In addition to the protections and rights mentioned above, Uber must consider its California drivers to be Uber employees. In August, a California judge ordered Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers as employees with benefits rather than independent contractors under a recently passed law, the AB5 Bill. This change provides Uber drivers with the same benefits and protections that employees receive through state and federal labor laws. Drivers now have a right to health insurance, paid sick and family leave, and workers’ compensation. When Uber drivers were considered independent contractors, they did not have a right to these employment benefits. This ruling will likely be appealed by Uber, whose management seeks to keep drivers classified as independent contractors.
As of now, Uber must treat its drivers as employees of the company. As a result, drivers have more rights under California law and more potential legal causes of action against Uber. When Uber violates California’s employment laws or its contractual agreements with drivers, drivers can sue Uber in civil court for damages.
Class Action Lawsuits Against Uber
Driving for Uber can be a great opportunity, but even the safest Uber driver can be involved in a dangerous car accident. Uber drivers have more rights in California than they do in other states because they are considered employees, not public contractors. Uber also provides employees with rights and protections through their company policies. Drivers have the right to sue Uber in California. There are multiple ongoing lawsuits brought by Uber drivers against the company.
One of these lawsuits is a class-action lawsuit brought by multiple Uber drivers from around the country. These Uber drivers are seeking compensation from Uber based on Uber’s violation of California law. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that Uber failed to distribute tips to drivers properly. Settlements have been reached in some of these lawsuits, but new lawsuits are continually being filed against Uber.
Seeking Insurance Compensation As an Injured Uber Driver
When a car accident involves an Uber driver, dealing with insurance companies becomes challenging. Typically, three different insurance companies are involved, namely, the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy, the other driver’s insurance policy, and Uber’s insurance policy. Ride-sharing companies like Uber provide insurance coverage for accidents, but the amount of coverage depends on when the accident occurs during the Uber trip.
Uber offers up to a million dollars in bodily injury liability for drivers and passengers injured in an Uber accident. However, the million-dollar insurance policy is only available when the accident occurs after the driver has accepted a rider’s request and before the driver drops the rider off.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or for offering low-value settlements. If you’re an Uber driver who’s been injured in an accident, we recommend speaking with an attorney before accepting an insurance settlement. We will review your case to determine whether the insurance company is offering you a fair settlement amount or trying to lower volume. If the insurance company is rejecting your claim, we can negotiate with the company and ensure that they fulfill their contractual duties. Whether you’re seeking compensation from Uber’s insurance policy, your personal insurance policy, or the policy of the other, at-fault driver, we will advocate for your right to obtain the compensation for your injuries you deserve.
Contact Our Southern California Uber Accident Attorney Today
If you’re an Uber driver who’s suffered an injury in an Uber Accident, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we will carefully listen to the facts of your case and help you determine your best legal strategy. We are aware of all the ongoing litigation involving Uber and use our knowledge of California law and trial experience to navigate the process of obtaining compensation for you. Contact our Southern California Uber accident lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.