Many people work as Uber drivers on a part-time or full-time basis in California. A recent report estimates that approximately 210,000 people drive for Uber at least once per quarter in the state. With so many Uber vehicles on the road, some ridesharing accidents are going to happen. You may be wondering: What are my rights if I am injured in a crash while working as an Oakland Uber driver? Here, our Oakland personal injury lawyer explains what you need to know if you were injured in an accident as an Uber driver in California.
Personal Injury Lawsuit: You Have the Right to Hold a Negligent Defendant Liable
First and foremost, it is important to emphasize that Uber drivers can file a personal injury lawsuit directly against a negligent third party. If you were injured while working as an Uber driver because another motorist ran a right light while talking on a cell phone, you can hold them legally liable. Similarly, if you were hurt in a crash because of the negligence of a commercial trucking company, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to hold them accountable. Your status as an Uber driver in Oakland does not impact your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent defendant.
Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors in California—Not Covered By Workers’ Comp
In recent years, there has been a lot of controversy in California regarding the status of Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. In the fall of 2020, a California judge ruled that ridesharing drivers must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance due to the state’s passage of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). However, that ruling was “stayed”—meaning it was not allowed to take immediate effect.
In November, California voters passed Proposition 22—a ballot initiative that grants app-based transportation and delivery companies a clear exception to the requirements of AB 5. In effect, this means that Uber and Lyft drivers are not entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Though, in February of 2021, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 22.
The Bottom Line: As of March of 2021, Uber drivers are not covered by workers’ comp insurance in California. If you were injured in a crash while working as an Uber driver in Oakland, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against any defendant whose negligence contributed to your accident. You may also have a claim through your own auto insurance coverage or through Uber’s optional driver insurance protection insurance program.
Call Our Oakland, CA Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our Oakland auto accident lawyers have the skills and legal knowledge to handle Uber and Lyft crash claims. If you or your family member was hurt in an Uber collision, we are here to help. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We represent ridesharing accident victims throughout Northern California, including in Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, Berkeley, and Emeryville.