When we hire Uber or Lyft to drive us, we want their driver to be the best, most attentive driver in the history of drivers. But, as we all know, that is often not the case and even if they are, there are so many other drivers and hazards on the road that accidents are bound to happen.
Accidents involving Uber or Lyft can have several victims including the driver, the passenger, pedestrians, and of course, occupants of other vehicles. If you’re unfortunately in one of these accidents, you may wonder what your rights are and how you can hold Uber or Lyft accountable for their actions.
For starters, all Uber and Lyft drivers are insured with a commercial insurance policy with limits of $1,000,000. This is common knowledge and stated in their fine print. While that may seem like a lot of money, if you are severely injured or a loved one is killed, you may find that it will not secure your future financial needs. If that is the case, then what redress do you have?
The answer to that question leads us to another question: Can you directly sue Uber or Lyft to reach their vast resources if one of their drivers cause you or a loved one severe, catastrophic injury or death?
The answer to this question hinges on the legal determination of whether Uber or Lyft drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors.” Typically, employers are liable for the actions of their employees, but they are not liable for the actions of their independent contractors.
And, as you may have guessed, both companies classify their drivers as “independent contractors” so that liability begins and ends with the driver and the company is therefor shielded from injury lawsuits. This is an ongoing legal dispute and while some lower courts, including here in California, have determined drivers to be “employees” the issue is far from settled.
Because of the uncertainty in the law and the fact these cases can be very complex, what is settled is that if you’re injured in an accident involving Uber or Lyft, you will certainly need an Uber accident lawyer or a Lyft accident lawyer to handle your Uber accident claim or your Lyft accident claim.
The Dominguez Firm has over 30 years of experience and aggressive, tactful car accident lawyers that have successfully handled thousands of auto accident cases, and nearly every type of car accident case you can imagine. If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident or any other type of vehicle accident, whether ridesharing accident or not, please do not hesitate to call us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation to speak to one of our car accident lawyers.
Uber Self-Driving Car Runs Over and Kills Pedestrian
On March 19, 2018, in Tempe, Arizona, an Uber self-driving car failed to detect a pedestrian walking her bike across the street, ran her over, and killed her.
The wrongful death occurred at nighttime with a human back-up driver behind the wheel that was apparently looking down until just before the incident. Even though the woman was not in a cross walk, early reports indicate that an observant human would have detected her as she had walked her bicycle about 40 feet into the street where the collision occurred.
The wrongful death lawsuit will likely allege negligence and products liability causes of action against Uber, its back-up driver, and the manufacturers of the sensors, radar, and technologies that are designed specifically to avoid these types of tragic accidents from occurring. While the personal injury/wrongful death lawsuit will compensate the victim’s family for their loss, it will also hold Uber and other companies pushing for driverless cars accountable for their failures. In doing so, we hope these technologies can become 100 percent fool proof so needless injury and loss of life are avoided. After all, they claim self-driving cars will make us safer, which is something that has yet to be determined.