The Legal Issues Surrounding Uber and Other Ride Sharing Programs
Uber is a fast growing rideshare program that offers services across Atlanta and much of the country. This rideshare program allows users to download an app and request a driver as needed. Passengers can select the type and size of vehicle desired and review a driver's rating before accepting the ride. Drivers will then travel to pick up their passenger while driving in their own vehicle. While the program offers a competitive alternative to taxis and other public transportation, it does present some legal issues, including insurance gaps, workers' compensation challenges, and low insurance coverage limits. Some individuals have been involved in accidents while traveling in an Uber vehicle, only to find themselves at risk of not receiving sufficient compensation for their injuries.
In 2014, an Uber driver hit three pedestrians, killing a six year old girl. After learning of the young girl's death, Uber stated that it was not responsible for the accident because the driver involved was not carrying a passenger at the time of the accident, though he was an Uber driver waiting to be dispatched to a job. He also had the Uber app open at the time of the crash. The girl's family pursued legal compensation, claiming Uber overlooked the driver's prior conviction for reckless driving.
This accident presents one of the troubling legal issues surrounding Uber—insurance coverage problems. Another loophole is the company's requirement that passengers agree to hold the company harmless in the event of an accident during the ride. In an additional Uber accident, an injured passenger sought coverage for medical expenses from the company, only to find that coverage was denied because they agreed to hold the company harmless and the driver was the sole party responsible.
Uber drivers injured while working for the company may find themselves being denied workers' compensation benefits because Uber and other ridesharing companies consider all drivers to be independent contractors. Some courts have questioned this assertion and held employees eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
Further compounding these issues is the insurance companies' reluctance to honor claims arising from Uber drivers because their vehicles were used for commercial purposes, often not declared on the policy. This could leave injured drivers and passengers without any coverage whatsoever for injuries that arise while using a ride sharing program.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 36 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!
While we applaud novel concepts aimed in part at reducing drunk driving, it is important that the legal issues surrounding ride sharing be successfully dealt with. If you or a loved one is involved in ride sharing accident or if you are a ride sharing driver injured on the job, contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm accepts a wide range of cases, including car and truck accident as well as workers' compensation across Georgia and in the Southeast. We also bring 30 years of experience to your personal injury case and offer superior legal services catered to your individual needs. Prompt action is vital to the success of your accident case. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as your time to file a personal injury claim after your accident is limited.
Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.