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NYC Rideshare Accident Lawsuits: How to Win Your Lawsuit Against Uber

June 26, 2024
Home Blog NYC Rideshare Accident Lawsuits: How to Win Your Lawsuit Against Uber

In recent years, the way many people work has undergone a significant transformation with the rise of the gig economy. Also known as freelancing, the gig economy represents a departure from traditional, long-term employment models. It is characterized by the prevalence of short-term, independent work arrangements — where gig-workers take on tasks, projects, or assignments as temporary workers. While there are countless variations, the underlying concept remains the same: a tech company develops an “app” which links people looking for a product or service with a gig-economy worker who provides the service.

Accidents Involving Uber Drivers Are on the Rise

Rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Curb connect drivers with passengers. Uber is often described as a “disruptor” — it has upended the traditional taxi and livery car industry, and has come to dominate the New York City livery market. As the adoption of rideshare by consumers and livery drivers continues to rise, so do car accidents involving Uber drivers.

Uber Accident Cases Are Different from Typical Car Accident Cases

Rideshare accident cases are unique and different from other types of car accident cases. These cases are often hotly contested by the defendants. Attorneys handling lawsuits on behalf of people injured in Uber accidents must be intimately familiar with the app-based technology involved, the policies and procedures of the rideshare companies, and the rapidly developing case law and legislation in this area of law.

In order to meet growing demand for rideshare services, Uber has outsourced traditional taxi services to “partner-drivers.” Uber classifies these partner-drivers as independent contractors. This is in an attempt to reduce costs associated with employing traditional workers, and shield Uber from liability when these Uber partner-drivers do something that injures someone.

Establishing Vicarious Liability Against Uber

In cases involving rideshare accidents, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys look not only to the driver who caused the accident, but also to the company on whose behalf the driver was acting at the time of the accident. We are arguing that the companies are responsible for their subordinates’ actions. In rideshare cases, we argue that Uber is vicariously liable for the actions of their partner-drivers.

Vicarious liability — a complex legal concept with many nuances — concerns the question of whether a person or company can be held legally responsible for the acts or omissions of another person or entity. One type of vicarious liability is based on the theory of respondeat superior. In its simplest form, respondeat superior boils down to whether the superior is responsible for the acts of subordinates.

Proving the Control Uber Exerts Over Its Drivers to Win Injured Victims Cases

To prove that Uber should be held responsible for their driver’s negligence, during discovery we focus on the app-based technology involved, as well as the internal policies and procedures of Uber. We amass evidence that overwhelmingly illustrates that Uber dominates all aspects of their driver’s on-app life. Through an intimate familiarity with the app-based technology, we collect voluminous historical and “day of” data, which we analyze to support our injured clients claims.

We use partner-drivers onboarding materials, Uber policies and procedures, and communications between the driver and Uber. We demonstrate that the partner-drivers are not as independent as Uber claims. Rather, they operate in a system which dictates and controls almost all elements of how they do their job, what they are paid, and whether they will continue to be allowed to work for Uber. Each data set, message, recorded conversation, terms of service, and internal policy serves as a building block in demonstrating the control necessary to prove Uber’s authority as a principle that should be held responsible for the negligent acts of its drivers.

If You Were in a New York Uber Accident, You Need an Attorney Experienced in These Matters

If you have been injured in an Uber car accident, contact a firm with the experience and resources to aggressively build your case against Uber to ensure that you are fully compensated for the injuries and damages you have sustained. Weitz & Luxenberg is the first one to contact.

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