Uber drivers have a history of causing accidents and personal injuries in California. Victims of those accidents have every right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. That’s ordinarily done by filing a claim against Uber through its insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the company. Take notice that a claim isn’t a lawsuit. Only a lawsuit against Uber that is brought within the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury will operate to preserve an accident victim’s rights.
The Independent Contractor Issue
Unfortunately, Uber specifically identifies its drivers as independent contractors in their working relationships with the company. Pursuant to that relationship, Uber built a legal wall between itself and any Uber passenger or third party that is injured in an accident. It’s only through legislation that Uber maintains any adverse interest in an accident. Through a complicated insurance arrangement, an Uber passenger might be covered by Uber’s own insurance company. Policy coverage and limits depend on whether the Uber driver was logged into Uber’s app and what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. Those limits are as high as $1 million in liability, uninsured, and underinsured motorist coverage. Whatever the fact scenario might be surrounding the accident, you’ll likely need to first bring your lawsuit against the Uber driver.
Why Sue Uber?
There are a number of reasons why an Uber accident victim might want to sue Uber along with its driver. First, that driver may have been uninsured at the time of the accident. He or she may have had a poor driving record or even and his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked at the time of the accident. The driver might have even had a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, sexual assault, or other criminal convictions. Although Uber carries out background checks on all driver applicants, some drivers may have gotten around such checks. It’s convictions of record like these that might bring a negligent hiring and retention lawsuit directly against Uber.
Suing Uber Directly
If you need to bring Uber into your lawsuit as an actual party in the future, here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Draft and file your personal injury lawsuit.
- Have a summons issued.
- Serve Uber’s registered agent with a copy of the summons and lawsuit.
After service of the summons and complaint, Uber will have a specified time to answer or otherwise plead to your lawsuit. You’ll most likely receive a motion to dismiss your case against Uber but not against its driver unless there are technical defects in your complaint as to that driver.
Any Uber accident is going to have complicated liability and damages issues. If you try to take them on yourself, you might make a simple mistake that costs you your case. You can contact a knowledgeable and aggressive Uber accident lawyer for a free consultation and case review at the Rideshare Law Firm. If we’re retained to represent you, you’re far more likely to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages. After being injured in an Uber accident, contact us right away.