Uber and other ride-hailing apps have revolutionized the way people get around. No longer are traditional taxis the only way to get rides around town. But when you get into a car with a stranger, how much do you really trust that person with your safety?
With the dawn of new forms of transportation also arises a new set of issues. Who is liable in the case of an accident? Who do you turn to if you’re hurt? What are your rights after a crash?
Independent contractors or employees?
Recent court rulings have called into question whether Uber drivers are independent contractors or employees of the company, and the exact laws vary from state to state and as cases move through appeals courts. This can affect who has liability in the case of an accident, and it could be helpful to consult an attorney to navigate the legal nuances.
Insurance coverage varies
If you are the passenger in an Uber that’s in an accident in New York, you and the driver are NOT likely to be covered by the company’s $1.25-million insurance policy. This is because Uber drivers are considered contractors, not employees. Therefore, they do not fall under this insurance policy.
Unless Uber’s CEO is somehow responsible for your car accident, you’ll likely need to work with the driver’s car insurance company.
What to do after an accident
Calling law enforcement to the scene is a legal requirement if someone has been hurt. Reporting the incident to the police will also help make sure everyone’s side of the story is accounted for. The police will record the name of the drivers involved, collect insurance information and more.
Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to also take pictures of the damage and your injuries and keep your medical records and bills.
Know your rights
After an accident, it is crucial to know your rights. However, this can be difficult when there are so many parties involved and considering how often the rules on liability can change. Discussing your case with an attorney can help you learn more about your options.