Businesses involved in the transportation of passengers, such as Uber and Lyft, have a duty to exercise care to avoid accidents and causing injuries to individuals. In other words, these transportation companies have a duty to passengers to get them to their destination safely. When a transportation company fails to exercise this care, a passenger, or passengers, may be harmed and can file a lawsuit.

In recent years, many Uber lawsuits have been filed for various reasons. These can range from injuries caused by accidents to various other issues. In some cases, class action lawsuits have been filed as well.

Is Uber a Common Carrier?

Whether Uber is a common carrier depends on the state. A state such as Maryland classifies Uber as a common carrier. This means that the company owes the passengers the high degree of care not to injure them while driving from one place to another.

In other states, Uber and other companies like it are considered a ride-share business. In the event of an accident or a resulting lawsuit, liability can depend on whether the state designates the business as a common carrier or a ride-share.

How Can I Prove the Uber Driver Caused My Injuries?

An individual injured while in the care of a transportation service may sue for negligence, which is defined as the duty to act as an ordinary person would in similar or same circumstances. Proving the company and/ or driver was liable involves showing:

  • Duty: It must be shown that the Uber driver had a duty of care to the passenger. In most cases, this is simply the duty to observe the rules of the road.
  • Breach of that Duty: It must be shown that the accident or injury was caused by a breach of this duty. 
    • For instance, if the driver was found to be speeding, it could be considered a breach of their duty of care owed to the injured party.
  • Causation: The court must prove that the driver’s breach of the duty was the actual cause of the injuries.
  • Damages: The injuries must result in damages that can be calculated and represented in a dollar amount.

Should I Sue the Driver or the Company for My Injuries?

In the situation where a person is injured or has a legal dispute with an Uber driver, it may be necessary to file suit against directly against the driver, not against the company. Normally, under vicarious liability laws, a company can be sometimes be held liable for the actions of their employee.

However, Uber drivers, as of July 2018, are currently classified as independent contractors, not actual employees of the Uber company. Thus, Uber the company may not be directly responsible for the actions of drivers. If there are any questions or specific considerations regarding this issue, it may be necessary to contact a lawyer for further advice.

What are the Legal Remedies in an Uber Lawsuit?

Legal remedies in an Uber lawsuit will typically involve some form of compensatory damages award. The damages may often be enough to cover:

  • Hospital bills and medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Property damage; and/or
  • Various other costs.

Are there any Limits Placed on the Damages Award?

Depending on the case, there may sometimes be limits placed on the amount of damages a person can recover. This can depend on many factors; states often have different jurisdictional rules when it comes to the amount of damages received in an injury lawsuit.

In other cases, the injured party’s damages might be subject to limitations due to their own actions. For instance, if the plaintiff somehow contributed to their own injuries, they might have their damages limited by a certain amount.

This is sometimes known as contributory negligence, meaning that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed somehow to their injury or injuries. Again, the amount of damages ultimately issued may depend on state and local injury laws.

Should I Speak with a Lawyer about My Uber Claim?

State laws regulate the passenger transportation companies differently. To determine whether you can sue Uber, you need to contact a local personal injury lawyer about your potential claim. Your attorney can provide you with advice on how to pursue a legal claim in court.