Uber seems to be in the news constantly, either due to new initiatives, corporate scandals, or political developments. Presently, a California initiative is working its way through the legislature that would make “gig-economy” workers, like Uber drivers, protected under existing minimum-wage laws. In response, Uber has proposed an optional arrangement in which their drivers, currently statues under employment law as independent contractors, would be guaranteed minimum earnings of $21 per hour, with the benefits of regular employees. The new idea comes with a catch: the earning amount would only be triggered while drivers were either carrying passengers or on their way to pick up new passengers. Idling while waiting for a ride would not be included as part of time on the clock. Additionally, detractors worry that Uber may change other parts of the compensation structure in order to pay for the new benefits.
Despite the controversy, Uber remains a popular way for Washington, DC residents to get around town or catch a ride after a night of partying. With more rideshare drivers than any other service in the area, it’s a good wager that an Uber will be just around the corner whenever it’s needed. Passengers often also take advantage of Uber when the metro system has delays, allowing them to reach their destination more quickly (although rush-hour surges can come with a higher price point).
Although Uber began with only professional drivers, most Uber drivers are ordinary people using their cars to make a few extra dollars. Uber drivers should have an accident-free history, but that doesn’t mean they are perfectly cautious, and it certainly doesn’t mean they can always avoid other drivers who may be unsafe. When an accident happens involving an Uber rideshare, what happens? Cohen & Cohen
James River Insurance
Uber has a contract with Virginia insurance company James River Insurance to cover claims arising from ridesharing trips. Unlike with its competitor, Lyft, the James River coverage on an Uber starts as soon as a ride is arranged; it does not have to wait until the driver reaches the passenger. This means that if an Uber driver hits your vehicle while on his or her way to pick up a passenger, he will definitely have coverage, while a Lyft driver may not (or may have poor coverage).
Many people are aware that James River carries a million-dollar policy for Uber. However, that doesn’t mean it is a million dollars for the taking. Those are the limits of the policy — the largest amount of money that will ever be paid out on a single accident. James River is in the business of avoiding any claims and paying as little as possible. Getting help from an experienced Uber accident attorney is critical.