In the vast majority of personal injury cases such as car accidents, truck accidents, premises liability, and product liability, employers are held liable for the negligent and reckless actions of their employees. For example, if an employee fails to follow proper safety protocols in a hardware store, and you are injured as a result, the hardware store itself can be held responsible for compensating your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
The exception, it seems to be, are rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. If you are injured in a car accident involving an Uber driver who was at the time actively accepting and transporting passengers, you might find it difficult to hold Uber itself responsible for compensating you for your injuries. The reason for this is that most US courts have found that Uber and other rideshare drivers are not technically employees of the rideshare service. Drivers make their own hours, are responsible for paying their own taxes, and are usually not covered under the rideshare workers’ compensation insurance. They are most often considered to be independent contractors.
Who is Responsible for my Accident with a Rideshare Driver?
While rideshare drivers are generally considered to be independent contractors, most rideshare services have begun offering contingent insurance for their drivers. This was due to a 2013 incident where a 57-year-old struck and killed several pedestrians crossing the street. The family of the deceased victims were unable to hold Uber responsible, and there was a public outcry for justice and a change in Uber’s insurance policies.
Since that incident, rideshare companies have begun offering contingent insurance. Contingent insurance is a type of insurance that will help compensate injured victims, but only if and when the responsible driver’s own insurance policy is unable to pay the full amount necessary. So if your accident compensation settlement comes to $300,000, but the driver’s insurance policy only covers him for $200,000 then the rideshare’s contingency insurance can be held responsible for paying the remainder.
Contact a Monmouth County NJ Auto Accident Injury Attorney Today
While Uber’s and other rideshare service’s evasion of responsibility for the actions of their employees may not be fair or just, the law has not yet adapted to the changing landscape of transportation.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a rideshare driver, your best course of action is to contact an experienced Monmouth County personal injury attorney who can walk you through the process of recovering compensation, and fight for your rights by securing compensation from liable parties and insurance companies.
At the law offices of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience helping clients injured in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents across Monmouth and Middlesex counties. The settlements we have secured for our clients have helped them successfully rebuild their lives, and keep their families safe and secure.
To speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today, contact us online or through our West Long Branch offices at 732-440-3950.