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AB5, Uber, and Sick Passenger Liability

Know Your Rights When Ridesharing!

Rideshare drivers top the list of jobs with outlandish experiences and entertaining stories. However, when medical emergencies happen, liability will come into question. If you’re a rideshare driver, it’s a good idea to understand the laws regarding rideshare and how they affect both your insurance policy and liability.

Uber Over An Ambulance

Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney will tell you that there’s been a large increase in the number of individuals who have opted for calling Uber to handle their transportation to an emergency medical facility. The rising price of medical costs in relation to ambulances is making people feel backed into a corner. They know that an ambulance ride is going to likely cost in the thousands. But, they know that Uber is much cheaper.

In fact, there are three main reasons that people are choosing rideshare drivers over traditional ambulance transport. These include:

  • They’re Much Cheaper
  • A Driver Is Likely Close
  • They’re Much Faster

A Look From The Rideshare Driver’s Perspective

As an Uber driver, it can be unnerving to be thrown into a medical emergency. Suddenly, you feel as if you’re responsible for any liability issues that come up with the injured individual. The truth is that you have a decision you can make to relinquish liability from the start. You can refuse to take the passenger before they get into your car.

It’s true that you’re under no legal obligation to care for people that are not in your vehicle. However, as soon as they enter your vehicle, you legally become a proprietor that is conducting business. You have a special responsibility to your clients to keep them safe while they’re under your watch. This legal obligation is referred by rideshare lawyers as a ‘duty of care’.

Worker Status Has Changed

Any Uber/Lyft crash lawyer in Los Angeles will tell you that California has recently changed their laws regarding rideshare drivers. Traditionally, they were seen as independent contractors. However, they have been switched to become employees of the rideshare company. Among other hassles that this new status imposes on rideshare companies, liability for medical problems is one of them.

While with any lawsuit you would traditionally sue the person that neglected their duty of care, that’s not the case in this situation. Your Lyft accident lawyer will tell you that the rideshare company, whether it’s Uber, Lyft, or someone else, is responsible for the actions of their employees. They can be sued for compensation under four main claims. These include the following:

  • Neglect In Hiring / Retention
  • Neglectful Vehicle Maintenance
  • Neglectful Vehicle Lending
  • Respondeat Superior

What Should You Do If A Passenger Gets Sick?

As you learned above, it’s best to deny service to individuals using rideshare instead of calling emergency medical help. However, after you let a passenger into your vehicle, you’re legally bound to a duty of care. Here are some helpful steps you should take if you notice that your passenger is sick.

1.) Assess The Situation – Talk with your passenger to identify how coherent they are. This can give you an indication of how serious the medical condition is.

2.) Pull Over The Car – It’s never a good idea to keep driving your vehicle as the motion of it could cause further harm. Rather, take a moment and pull the car over in a safe location.

3.) Call 911 – Do yourself and your passenger a favor by calling 911. Let the medical professionals be trained in helping patients deal with the emergency situation.

These three steps are going to be your best bet for keeping your liability risk low. It’s important to realize that passengers calling Uber over ambulances are now getting more popular. Knowing how to handle the situation effectively will ensure that your personal injury lawyers will have a solid defense against any liability claims you may encounter.

Types Of Damages That Can Be Awarded

Whether you’ve been injured as a result of negligence or you’re being sued for it, there are various types of damages that can be awarded. It’s best to understand what each kind is and how it’s determined. That way, you can be prepared for future court proceedings when the time comes.


The first type of damage that we’re going to discuss is economic damages which are essentially money that is paid to the injured party. Your ridesharing accident attorney in Los Angeles will define economic damages as compensation for things that can have a dollar value easily placed on them. Some examples of economic damages include loss of earning capacity, lost wages, and medical bills.


This type of damage is best defined as things that can have a monetary value placed on them easily. Their intent will be to cover the losses of items that are subjective in nature. Some examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.


Any Los Angeles injury lawyer will tell you that punitive damages are meant to serve as punishment for offenders of the law. These rulings don’t happen too often. In fact, less than five percent of all verdicts end up with awarding some form of punitive damages.

Hiring A Ridesharing Accident Attorney Can Help

Whether you’ve been injured in an accident or are potentially being sued for injuries that occurred, an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help. They understand the basics of cases regarding medical emergencies. They know what is classified as a duty of care, what neglectful behavior is, and what sort of damages a case will likely bring. It’s best to contact a Lyft car accident lawyer in Los Angeles to represent you in all legal matters surrounding medical emergencies in a rideshare vehicle because they’ll be on your side. They will have your best interests in mind and assist you in getting a favorable verdict.

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