CAR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

In most personal injury cases such as construction accidents, premises liability, auto accidents, and workplace injuries, employers can be held responsible for the reckless and negligent actions of their employees. If a delivery driver crashes into you car and causes you injury, the employer of the delivery truck will be responsible for compensating your medical costs, lost income and wages, and pain and suffering. However, when it comes to rideshare service such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, you might be surprised to learn that in many cases they may not be liable for compensating your injuries. 

When it comes to car accidents involving Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar drivers, it has historically proven difficult to present the drivers for these services to technically be employees. Rideshare drivers choose when and where they want to work, and are responsible for paying their own taxes on wages earned working for these services. Furthermore, drivers for rideshare service usually are not covered by the workers' compensation insurance of the rideshare companies, they are most often defined as independent contractors. It is for these reasons that US courts have traditionally found rideshare drivers to be free agents, and not actual employees of the rideshare service.

How does this impact my Morris County personal injury case?

Following the public outcry regarding a 2013 incident wherein a 57-year-old Uber driver struck and killed several pedestrians on a crosswalk, Uber has begun to offer contingent insurance for its drivers when they are logged into the Uber system and transporting or searching for passengers. Contingent insurance means that Uber will pay for injuries caused by its drivers only if and when the driver's own insurance policy fails to cover the total sum of compensation awarded. Contingent insurance is somewhat limited in its scope, and as previously stated, only comes into play in the event that the driver's insurance isn't sufficient.

For the time-being, if you are involved in an auto-accident with an Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar driver, your best bet is to find an experienced Morris County personal injury attorney who can properly assess the scope of your injuries, can pursue your personal injury claim with the driver's insurance and, if necessary, with the contingent insurance of the rideshare service involved.

Contact a Morristown Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today

At the law offices of Smith & Doran, we have extensive experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries, and protecting the future of them and their families. Founding partner Robert A. Smith is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, an accolade awarded by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to only 2% of the active lawyers in the state. It signifies his extreme excellence and commitment to personal injury law, and Mr. Smith is ready to use that expertise to fight for you today.

To speak with Robert Smith and the personal injury team of Smith & Doran today about your case, contact us online or through our Morristown offices at 973-261-6254. All personal injury cases are taken on contingency, meaning you do not pay anything until your case is won. We are also available for evening and weekend appointments, and if you are unable to come to our offices we are happy to meet with you to discuss your case.

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The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
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