Start Transcript Uber Riders: What is the maintenance history of the car you are in?
Another issue to consider is, what about the maintenance of the vehicle?
Every time I’ve used Uber, I’ve been impressed with the vehicle. Sounds like it’s working fine. Doesn’t smell bad, or anything like that. I’ve been pleased, but I’ve never gotten under the vehicle, and checked the brakes, or checked the engine. I’m entrusting myself to Uber when I get into that vehicle. Or, am I entrusting myself to Uber? I guess that’s really the issue. Am I entrusting myself to Uber, or am I entrusting myself to the Uber driver? Some guy that I’ve never heard of, or met, and will never hear of, or meet again, most likely. What if the brakes to this vehicle go out? What if they’ve never been checked? What if he’s been using the same set of worn out brake pads for a long time, and he knows it’s just a matter of time before disaster hits.
Let’s say it hits while I’m riding in the car. What happens then? Do I have a claim? Who is my claim against? There are a lot of things to consider, here. If you have a serious injury in this situation, you need to get compensation for that injury. What are some sources of recovery that you can go after? One that occurs to me, is the Uber driver. The Uber driver may have known, or should have known of a hazard that the Uber driver should’ve protected you against.
What kind of assets do you think the Uber driver has? He’s probably not sitting on a mountain of money, and just driving Uber for the fun of it. This is probably somebody with not much in terms of assets that you could go after, in terms of a recovery for a serious personal injury. What about insurance? Uber does, to some degree, and I think, to quite an extensive degree, have some procedures to make sure that their drivers have insured the vehicles, and to make sure that Uber, itself, has gotten coverage over the Uber vehicles that will cover you during a fare, during transport. How much coverage is available? What’s the policy limit? Is it a million dollars of coverage? Is it five million dollars of coverage? What if the injury is a devastating injury? What if you’re left a quadriplegic? You can’t move any of your limbs from your neck down. Can you go after Uber? Are they going to put up a fight to that, and say, “No. We’re not really responsible for the condition of this vehicle.”
These are issues that I really can’t give you an answer to, right now. It’s going to depend on the specific facts of the situation. What did Uber know? What should Uber have known? What kind of system did Uber have to check on the condition of these vehicles with reasonable frequency? I’m not going through all of these issues, and discussing these issues for the purpose of throwing Uber under the limo. I happen to be a big fan of Uber. I use the services frequently, and I recommend it to other people, but there are a host of legal issues, some of which we’ve discussed here, that are brand new. They haven’t been sorted through yet, and you may encounter these legal issues if you are injured while you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give me a call.