When Passenger Safety Is Compromised: Can Uber Be Held Liable for the Negligent Actions of Their Drivers?

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Uber Cab
Uber Cab

Auto law becomes more complicated every day because of technology and different services. It has become more important to highlight good personal injury lawyers that can bring justice. Lawyers are here to represent you and help bring your voice out by using the justice system. You can see The Millar Law Firm today to get a good sense of how professional legal lawyers can help you.

One of the new systems technology has brought with it is Uber. This taxi service has been fast growing and many people have started using it all over the country. Yet, the concept seems like a very unsafe idea. People are basically getting into stranger’s cars who are not even always professional drivers with experience. Accidents are bound to happen. Uber, being a company, will always try to fight back and try to place the responsibility of the accident somewhere else. That does not mean they will share liabilities that you can take advantage of.

What Makes Uber Not Liable?
All drivers who work for Uber are listed as independent contractors. This, leaving a lot of
nuances out, basically means that drivers are freelancers who work for Uber. Contracts are
involved but individual drivers are not representing Uber because they are representing
themselves. They are individual businesses who have been hired by Uber to work for them. They are not employees and can create their own schedules when using Uber. Uber will argue that if the accident is caused by the mistakes of the driver, the driver should be held completely responsible since they are not an employee.

Uber is also a technology company and not a driving company. They also will use this to prove they are not liable for any harm that is done to a passenger on an Uber trip. This comes into place especially if an accident or injury occurs when the driver’s app is off during the trip. Therefore, in the court of law, the driver would not even be driving for Uber on this trip.

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A lot of times, the drivers cannot afford a large settlement as they also are just working people. If the accident is severe, a high medical bill will take your driver forever before they can find the money to cover that cost. If you want to receive justice for your accident and the trauma it may have caused you or your family member, you will have to turn your attention to making Uber liable.

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When Is Uber Liable?
Uber has a contingent liability coverage that you can access when you get into an accident on an Uber trip. Basically, any driver who signs up with Uber also signs with their insurance. Uber started this because they wanted to encourage more safety within their system. To protect drivers, they offer a maximum of $1,000,000 for medical expenses that passengers can also access when they are in the car during an Uber trip. As long as the app does not signal a finished trip, Uber can be held liable for the damages done to the driver and the passenger.

Rideshare Experience
This will become a war between Uber and your party. As long as you were involved in an
accident during one of your Uber trips and the app was on and signals this; you can make a case for yourself in the court of law. Personal injury lawyers can help you with this but you definitely want to be careful of the lawyers you choose.

You need to find legal lawyers who are experienced with rideshare accident victim cases.
Rideshare programs exist to connect individual drivers with individual customers. There are a bunch of apps that provide this service but Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ones.

Legal lawyers always have to take an aggressive stance against rideshare programs. These
lawyers will look to sue the driver, their individual insurance and Uber itself to make a larger settlement you can be happy with. Uber will do their very best to make the driver or the driver’s car liable because if they can prove that, they will not be held liable at all.

If another driver hit the car you were in, Uber will have a very small case for the defense. Uber may still try to lower their settlement by trying to find more blame to put on their driver.

Case Study
It is always helpful to look at examples to see where you can poke holes in Uber’s defense. In September 2014, Roberto Chicas was attacked by an Uber driver with a hammer and gravely injured his eye. The medical bills would cost him a fortune. Uber claimed that the driver had full responsibility because the driver made the decision of using the hammer and is solely at fault. Chicas’ lawyers tried to tear this defense down.

His lawyers argued that while it is true Uber is a technology designed marketplace, the
marketplace might not be a free one. Uber decides which drivers end up with the customers; you do not. Therefore, their company is not just participating in a free market but is actually designing it which makes Uber linked. Uber also has a lot of control over their drivers and his lawyers hoped to show that defining the driver as an independent contractor was murky. Chicas’ lawyers also argued that Uber does not try to train their drivers. They wanted to argue that Uber did not train their drivers to handle conflict and dispute.

Uber Passenger Safety
Uber continues to be popular despite its liability issues. They are trying to provide a different service and that line of defense has worked for them. Yet, as more Uber accidents happen, lawyers have more cases to learn from. Lawyers have become smarter about showing Uber’s liability in accidents and can help any legal trouble you are going through. When it comes to Uber, it becomes more important than ever to find the right lawyer whose expertise in auto law can help you find the best settlement.

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