If you’ve been a reader of the news you’ve probably heard of Uber. Uber is an app – and a company of the same name – that allows customers to connect with another person in order to get a ride to their destination for in exchange for payment. It smooths the commercial process by removing the need for cash (all rides are paid via Uber’s credit card system) and making it easier for normal people to make a little extra money on the side by driving other people around. Uber’s biggest plus is the convenience of likely having a driver in your neighbourhood and the fact that the prices are often lower than competing cab drivers. Sounds pretty good right? Maybe. There are some issues about Uber that you should be aware of before taking a ride or signing up to drive.
What is Uber’s Legal Standing?
Taxis, as well as buses, or every other form of paid transportation fall under ‘common carrier’ law. What that means is they legally have a greater duty and assume a greater responsibility for the safety of their passengers than, say, your neighbour giving you a lift to the supermarket. Uber has fought against being classified a ‘common carrier’ and asserts that their app is built for ‘ride-sharing’ not as an option for professional transportation. This has aggravated the taxi industry, which requires special licensing and additional fees in order to operate as a business in certain municipalities.
Recourse for Injury
So what happens if you’re hurt in an Uber vehicle? If it’s the fault of a driver in another vehicle the outcome would be the same as if you were in your own car – they would be held liable and you would be recompensed by insurance. Things get murkier if it’s the Uber driver’s fault however. While it would normally be covered under their personal insurance, if they’re operating a vehicle for profit and have not alerted their insurance company to that fact they may have their claim denied. Uber has publicly stated that any insurance claims not covered by personal insurance would be covered by them though the exact nature of that agreement is not widely known.
Regardless of what insurance is covering the driver your rights to compensation remain the same as they would in any other vehicle. If you’ve been hurt in an Uber vehicle or with any other motor vehicle you may need an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call Conte & Associates at 1-877-614-0008. Based in Vaughan and Whitby, Conte & Associates works with clients in Whitby/Oshawa, and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough.