Can you sue Uber after an accident?

Your Uber driver picks you up from the airport, but it only takes five minutes for your trip to fall apart. While trying to make a left-hand turn, the Uber driver cuts off a pickup truck and gets in an accident. You get rushed to the hospital with significant injuries. As you recover, you start wondering if you can sue.

You may be able to, but you might have trouble suing Uber itself. The company does not list drivers as employees, but as independent contractors. Among other things, this means Uber can claim the company is not liable after an accident, even if an Uber driver is at fault. They have done this before. For instance, a driver in San Fransisco fatally injured a 6-year old and Uber took this stance in 2014.

Typically, experts note that it is far harder to hold companies responsible after an independent contractor does something wrong, whereas the company would bear far more responsibility if that person was an employee.

Think of it this way: Your Uber driver does not "work for" Uber. He or she is just a private citizen who offered to give you a ride in exchange for monetary compensation, as anyone could. You just happened to use the Uber platform to connect with each other. The driver took on that specific job -- the one ride -- but never agreed to permanent employment.

This does not mean you can't sue at all. You may be able to seek financial compensation from the driver directly, and you need to know all of the legal options you have.

Source: Money, "My Uber Got Into a Wreck. Can I Sue?," Alicia Adamczyk, accessed June 04, 2018

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