The exorbitant healthcare costs in the US have pushed many people to seek creative solutions to their healthcare problems, namely taking Ridesharing trips using apps like Uber/lyft to the hospital as opposed to calling an ambulance.
Who can blame them honestly? An average ambulance ride can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars even with insurance coverage. In certain cases, the uber ride is even the quickest way to the hospital.
Ridesharing Driver’s Legal Obligation
Although it may seem harmless at first, there’s a myriad of legal liabilities associated with taking a ride-sharing app instead of an ambulance. In the first place, the driver is typically an independent contractor and not an employee of the ride-sharing company.
This exposes the driver to unnecessary legal risks if the rider’s condition is mishandled en route to the hospital. As soon as the rider enters the vehicle, the driver is expected to take reasonable measures to ensure the well-being of the rider. In the event of any mistreatment, the brunt of the legal burden would fall on the driver.
Another valid concern arises with the severity of the rider’s condition in the backseat of the ride-sharing car. In cases pertaining to mild ailments such as a headache or a cough, the short ride may not pose a great risk to the rider’s health
However, in severe cases that require immediate medical attention such as vomiting or bleeding, the ride with the medically untrained Uber driver can pose a serious risk to the health of the rider.
Personal Property Damage
An Uber driver is an independent contractor who provides their own vehicle in order to work for the ride-sharing company. This means that the driver is fully responsible for all costs related to damage of maintenance of the vehicle.
The prospect of giving rides to potential sick riders is a frightful prospect for the driver as well, concerning the upkeep of the car. If the rider is sick with a contagious disease or discharges bodily fluids of any kind, then it’s the driver’s responsibility to wash and sanitize their personal vehicle.
The prospect of suing an Uber/Lyft driver for the mistreatment of a sick rider is practically slim to none. There’s no money to be made in such a claim. The real compensation arrives from suing the ride-sharing company directly and implicating them in the claim.
The argument ultimately boils down to whether these ridesharing companies can justly label their drivers as independent contractors as opposed to company employees. If the latter case can be proven, it would require them to settle the claim in court.
Speak to a Uber/Lyft Ridesharing Accident Attorney
Because rideshare accidents regarding Uber or Lyft can be complicated, it is important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. In order to protect your interests and access to any possible benefits, consulting with an Uber/Lyft Rideshare Accident Attorney is your best course of action.