Uber car accidents have become prevalent in cities around the United States, including cities in South Carolina. If you were involved in an Uber accident, you may incur exorbitant bills for medical care. Additionally, you may have incurred lost earnings, or have to make additional payments to your insurance company.
While those who drive for Uber usually operate their own vehicles, they also have the option to rent cars to drive for Uber. Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, and not employees of the ride-sharing company. Therefore, the legal doctrine of “respondent superior” is inapplicable. This is where the company is held liable for the acts of its employees while driving the company’s vehicle during the course of employment.
There is a possibility that courts will eventually hold Uber liable for the negligence of its drivers while they are transporting paying passengers, because Uber is receiving a direct economic benefit from the transaction between driver and passenger. However, courts will be less inclined to hold Uber liable for a driver’s negligence when the driver’s app is turned off, and the driver is not performing for the company at the time at which the accident occurs.
Another factor that shields Uber from liability is that its drivers are not operating vehicles owned by the company. The majority of states have “owner’s liability” laws that hold the owner of a vehicle liable for the negligence of the vehicle’s operator when the operator is driving the car with the consent of the owner. However, with respect to Uber, because the drivers operate their own vehicle, Uber has no owner’s liability for its drivers’ negligence.
But fortunately, victims of car accidents involving Uber will be able to hold Uber financially responsible for the accident. Upon acceptance of a ride by an Uber driver, the company provides $1 million in liability coverage, which would be applicable to injuries suffered by an Uber passenger whose driver causes an accident.
If you were injured in an Uber car accident, call the experienced car accident attorneys at Steinberg Law Firm at (843)720-2800. Their experienced attorneys will help you recover compensation for your losses, including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.