Federal Judge Determines That a Jury Must Decide if Uber is Liable for a Passenger’s Injuries
“We’re very, very confident that a jury will determine that drivers are in fact employees.”—Joseph Marasco
With this confidence, our team at Marasco & Nesselbush is moving forward with an ongoing case representing a client who was seriously injured while in an Uber.
When our client requested an Uber to pick him up at the airport, he expected a smooth and safe ride. Instead, his Uber driver collided with an abandoned vehicle en route. This devastating crash has left our client with injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.
One simple Uber ride has resulted in a lifetime of physical and emotional pain and impacted his ability to work and provide for his family. Our client since came to our firm for help, and we continue to work to obtain his family compensation for their hardships.
Joseph Marasco was recently quoted about this decision in the Providence Journal article, Jury to decide if Uber responsible for passenger’s injuries, by Katie Mulvaney.
Who is Liable for an Uber Accident?
The lawsuit has been brought against the Uber driver who is allegedly responsible for the accident, and against Uber and its subsidiary company, Rasier LLC.
Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors, not employees. Uber drivers are thus deemed ineligible for benefits like minimum wages, overtime pay, and health insurance. The company also uses this classification as an excuse to deny accountability when Uber ridesharing accidents occur.
A US District Court judge has asked jurors to determine whether the Uber driver should be considered an employee of Uber or an independent contractor. If they are found to be an employee, Uber could be held liable for the passenger’s injuries.
Uber claims that it is a mere software provider and therefore cannot be held responsible for the accident. Yet, Uber controls its drivers’ finances and unilaterally determines their fares. We argue that Uber exerts control over virtually all aspects of their drivers’ conduct and are responsible when tragic injuries occur.
A Long History of Uber Lawsuits
This is not the first lawsuit of its kind to be brought against Uber. A class-action suit was filed against the company on behalf of 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts, who claimed that they were improperly classified as independent contractors.
Uber is a huge company, operating in hundreds of cities around the world and worth billions of dollars. However, Uber seems to fail to appreciate that it would be worth nothing without the hardworking people that drive for the company.
By classifying drivers as independent contractors, Uber offers them no benefits, forces them to pay all of their own business expenses, and is not bound by minimum wage laws. These drivers often need to work long hours sometimes early in the morning or late at night just to make a living.
If Uber drivers were classified as employees, both the drivers’ and passengers’ legal rights would be better protected in the case of an accident. Instead, those involved in Uber accidents are forced to battle insurance companies and Uber policies.
If you have been involved in a serious accident involving Uber or another rideshare service, an experienced attorney can make all the difference in helping you win your legal battle.