Have you ever been concerned by a driver’s habits on the road, only to realize…
Short of the start of the ongoing pandemic, ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have boomed in popularity and value in the last decade.
Part of the reason for the success of the Ubers and Lyfts of the world are due to the way the ridesharing companies, which operate almost exclusively through their smartphone applications, are structured.
Until recently, Uber and Lyft drivers weren’t legally recognized as employees of Uber.
Rather, they were classified as independent contractors. Last year, a California judge ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify and treat their drivers as employees, so the answer to the question of whether or not you can sue Uber or Lyft hasn’t changed, but just how such lawsuits go has changed slightly.
One can say that this change is favorable for those who wish to sue these ridesharing companies.
Yes, you can sue Uber or Lyft (for the right reasons). Incidents and/or accidents that result in lawsuits against Uber or Lyft usually involve the passengers and/or drivers during a rideshare.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers are now legally classified as employees, it has become more difficult for the ridesharing industry titans to escape liability in the event that their drivers cause or are involved in motor vehicle accidents, or incidents with their passengers.
For example, Attorney John Kristensen of Kristensen LLP filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of a client against Uber and one of its drivers for the driver’s uploading of explicit photos of the client to her social media accounts through the use of her cell phone, which was found by the driver in the car following the end of the ride.
In the example provided above, Attorney Kristensen sought damages for his client alleging action based on California Civil Code 1708.85 and Uber’s negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of the Uber driver whose actions caused severe emotional distress to the Plaintiff.
Claims against Uber and Lyft are now more inclusive of the actions and inactions of the newly classified employees – their drivers.
However, claims aren’t restricted to only lewd actions such as the one discussed above.
Rideshare Lawsuit: Testing Autonomous Uber Vehicles
Recently, the testing of autonomous (or self-driving) vehicles has spread across the internet, with people sharing pictures and videos of drivers falling asleep at the wheel of self-driving cars.
Perhaps the technology is there, but even after autonomous vehicles are officially introduced to consumers, including their introduction into the ridesharing industry, tests show that the technology isn’t perfect, and this means lawsuits.
In 2018, the case of the death of a 49-year-old Arizona woman from the testing of an autonomous Uber vehicle is an example of a wrongful death claim that can be brought to Uber.
Attorney John Kristensen is an expert in these kinds of product liability cases, and can help you successfully bring your claims to Uber and Lyft.