Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation – without a doubt. However, the rapid growth in the industry has brought up several legal and safety issues among drivers and passengers alike.
For instance, does the buck stop with the driver or the ride-hailing company when something goes wrong during a ride? To what extent is the company responsible for a driver’s actions? The answers are not so straightforward, as detailed below.
The ride-hailing company may be liable or not
In most cases, employers are liable for their employee’s actions. However, ride-hailing companies do not consider drivers as their employees. They are independent contractors, which gives the companies some legal insulation from their drivers’ actions. Unlike with employees, employers are not answerable for actions by independent contractors.
However, there are situations where the ride-hailing company may be directly liable. An example is if the company did not correctly screen, supervise or train its drivers before bringing them on board. In this case, the ride-hailing company may be liable if it contracted an unqualified driver.
Ultimately, it depends on the specific facts of each case. Was the driver logged in to the app at the time or was the ride given privately? Did the driver act in self-defense? These and other factors may help ascertain where liability falls.
Safeguarding your rights after an accident
If you have been assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, it is worthwhile to be aware of what you need to do to get compensated for your injuries and the associated damages. Understanding your legal options, like whether you can place liability with the ride-hailing company, will help you make the right decisions and protect your interests.