How Are Rideshares And Cabs Different?
Rideshare Drivers Are Independent Contractors
Uber and Lyft are ridesharing companies. When you ask for an Uber driver using your cell phone app, you send a signal to all local Uber drivers in the area. Each Uber driver operates their own small business but the drivers don't have a special license, like the one required for cab drivers. Lyft explains: People who want transportation from point A to point B can be matched with transportation options to such destinations
Uber and Lyft's drivers are independent contractors - not employees. Uber and Lyft drivers have a maximum insurance policy of $1,000,000 for “on duty” injuries. The terms of the insurance policy are very specific, depending on who is in the car at the time of the accident, and whether or not the driver is providing a service for Uber or Lyft at the very moment that the crash occurs.
Because both passengers and drivers can leave each other ratings and reviews, this self-regulated system is supposed to help keep both riders and drivers in check. Reviews are self-governing and do nothing to protect the public against unsafe rideshare drivers.
Cab Drivers Are Usually Not Independent Contractors
Taxicab drivers are usually employees of the taxi company whose name is on their cab. Did you know that San José taxi cab drivers have to apply for a taxi cab operator license? The permit application has to be approved before they can ever drive a cab in San José. The application asks a lot of questions, like criminal history, and requires the applicant agree to drug and alcohol testing. The police directly receive the results. Prospective taxi cab drivers also get fingerprinted and their criminal history is obtained from the FBI. The taxi driver laws are designed to protect the public.
California law does not impose these safety rules on rideshare companies. This is one of the reasons that taxi companies say that ride-shares are nothing more than a taxi cab service that cuts corners to sidestep the rules, regulations and industry standards that keep taxi passengers safe by holding them to a high level of conduct and safety. For example, San José taxi cab drivers can lose their cab permit if they fail to meet these standards.
What's The Difference Between Car Insurance For A Rideshare App Like Uber And Car Insurance For A Taxi Cab?
Rideshares Have Complicated Insurance Rules.
Both Lyft and Uber have $1,000,000 insurance policies for accidents involving their passengers but it's only available under certain limited circumstances. A rideshare accident involves at least three parties: the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, and the injured passenger or pedestrian.
Taxis Have Simpler Insurance Rules.
When a traditional cab driver is at fault in an accident, claims can be filed against that particular cab company. The taxi cab insurance covers the taxi cab driver inside their cab 24 hours a day. Cab companies need to have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers all their drivers. This increases overhead for the business and means slightly higher fares for customers, but it also means protection to anyone who gets hurt in a taxi cab accident.
Who's Responsible To Pay People Injured By Rideshare Drivers?
After the shock of the accident wears off, you may wonder about the Uber accident insurance policy and want to know: who is responsible to me after I got hurt in an Uber accident?
No Rideshare Company Coverage If The Uber App Is Off, But The Driver May Be Covered.
If the app is off, you have to look toward the driver's own car insurance. Uber won't pay any of your damages. Because rideshare drivers are self-employed, they're supposed to carry their own car insurance. Regular car insurance policies don't cover rideshare work. Some rideshare drivers just assume that their regular car insurance will cover them - - but it doesn't. Only after an accident, they learn their own insurance doesn't cover them while they're working as an independent contractor rideshare driver.
Rideshare May Cover The Accident If The Uber App Is On, And The Driver's Own Insurance May Provide Coverage.
If the Uber app is on when the crash happens, then the driver's personal car insurance (if it has rideshare coverage) and Uber's liability coverage may cover your damages.
Uber Will Cover The Crash If It Happened During A Rideshare
Uber's commercial insurance policy and its limits apply.
What's The Difference Between Reporting An Accident To Uber And Reporting An Accident to a Taxi Company?
Uber And Lyft Let You Report The Accident Online.
Both Uber and Lyft have online accident reporting that seems “easy” to use. Most taxi cab companies don't have that capability. Although Uber and Lyft let you report the accident online, I recommend you don't report it yourself.
Why? Because just like a Form SR-1, sometimes people who get injured in a rideshare accident make mistakes reporting their claim online. Uber's online accident reporting starts out like this: Please let us know what happened by sharing details that will help us to support you. Don't be fooled. Uber only wants to protect Uber. You need a good attorney who will protect you.
What Kind Of Claim Can I Make After An Uber Accident?
The same kind of claim that you can make for any other car accident. First, it has to be proven who was at fault. That is, who was negligent. If you prove negligence and have a good case, you can receive compensation for your case. Sometimes, an Uber or Lyft driver acts recklessly, like driving drink or high. If that's the case in your rideshare accident, then you can also get punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages.
When Should I Call A Rideshare Accident Attorney?
It's best to contact an Uber accident attorney right away, on the date of the accident if possible. That way you can reap all the benefits and protections of having a good attorney fight for you from day one.
I'm Gardner Law's attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner. I speak Spanish - hablo español. I'm experienced with personal injury and wrongful death accident. If were injured in a rideshare accident, call me at (408) 214-5555 or message me here: message me here. If your loved one passed away after a rideshare accident, please call me about your wrongful death case.