When you drive for Uber, it is a great way to make extra money while behind the wheel of your vehicle. However, the fact remains that you never know exactly who will be stepping into your vehicle during the day or night. While most of your trips will be fine, others may involve passengers who are sick when they step into your vehicle or become sick along the way. When this happens, liability will suddenly become a serious issue for you. While you may want to help the person any way you can, making the wrong move could put you in legal peril. However, with the recent passage of the AB5 regulation in California, additional laws may be in place during these unusual instances. If you are an Uber driver and find yourself facing complex liability issues due to a sick passenger, contact a personal injury attorney Newport Beach residents trust from West Coast Trial Lawyers.
You are Not an Ambulance Service
While it may sound crazy to you, many people have started calling Uber instead of an ambulance when they have a medical emergency. Since a typical ambulance ride will result in a bill of at least $300, many people use Uber because it is cheaper. However, it is vital you remember Uber is not an ambulance service, and you are thus not obligated to provide service to or help the person in any way in these situations. If you are experiencing legal issues due to such a situation, speak with ridesharing accident attorneys Newport Beach clients rely on at West Coast Trial Lawyers.
AB5 and Liability
With the passage of AB5 in California, Uber drivers have much more liability protection than before. Under the provisions of AB5, an Uber driver is not liable when refusing service to a customer. However, once you choose to accept them as a passenger, you are considered to be a proprietor conducting business, and thus have a legal obligation to care for them. In legal terms, you have accepted a duty of care for the passenger. If questions arise about whether or not you met the duty of care for an Uber passenger, meet with Uber accident lawyers Newport Beach trusts to resolve such matters.
No Longer an Independent Contractor
Under the terms of AB5, Uber drivers are classified as employees rather than independent contractors. This is critical, since this places Uber itself in a position of liability regarding sick passengers. As an employee, an Uber driver is looked upon the same way as is a bus driver, taxi driver, or train conductor. Because of this, Uber could be sued by a sick passenger for negligence in its hiring practices, vehicle maintenance, and other factors. Unfortunately, you too could find yourself named in the lawsuit. If this occurs, trust Lyft accident lawyers Newport Beach gig workers know have track records of success in these cases.
What if a Passenger Gets Sick?
If you have accepted a passenger’s request for service in your Uber vehicle, you owe them the duty of care that often arises in negligence cases. Should your passenger become sick during the trip, always make sure you make every attempt to speak with the passenger to assess their coherency. Along with this, quickly pull the car over to a safe spot off the road and immediately call 9-1-1. Once you make this call, you have fulfilled your duty of care, and alleviate most if not all of your potential liability issues. Should a sick passenger still accuse you of negligence after taking these steps, speak with Uber and Lyft accident lawyers Newport Beach residents work with regularly at West Coast Trial Lawyers.
Suing for Damages
If a sick passenger does follow through on a lawsuit against you and your company, they will attempt to gain financial compensation for various damages. These usually include medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other related damages. Rather than find yourself being ordered to pay a sick passenger thousands of dollars in damages, do everything possible to show you acted in a reasonable manner and fulfilled your duty of care. By working with a personal injury attorney Newport Beach trusts with these matters, you can gather the evidence needed to show the incident was handled in a manner consistent with what a person who relied on common sense and good judgment would do under similar circumstances.
Beware of Punitive Damages
When dealing with a sick passenger as an Uber driver, always keep in mind the possibility a victim could seek punitive damages in a lawsuit. While only awarded in about five percent of all cases, they can nevertheless be very high. Since these damages are aimed at punishing a person’s behavior, always make sure you act as you should with a sick passenger. Should you need guidance on this matter, consult with ridesharing accident attorneys Newport Beach trusts at West Coast Trial Lawyers.
Doing Your Job
Since the last thing you expect to encounter while driving for Uber is a passenger who has a medical emergency, you may give little thought as to how you would handle such a situation. However, this can prove to be your downfall from a legal standpoint. Should you panic and fail to call 9-1-1, force the passenger to exit your vehicle, or commit other acts when faced with these unexpected developments, you will need the services of Uber accident lawyers Newport Beach residents rely on for help in these matters.
Don’t Be the Fall Guy
In many of these situations, the ridesharing company will do everything it can to make you the fall guy for what took place. If this happens, look to Lyft accident lawyers Newport Beach clients rely on to protect their rights in these cases. If you know you did everything possible to keep a sick passenger’s situation from spiraling out of control, schedule a consultation at once with Uber and Lyft accident lawyers Newport Beach clients trust at West Coast Trial Lawyers.