By Logan Quirk
Caveat emptor…Uber Users Take Note: You May Be in Danger
Uber is the hot new fad when it comes to catching a ride somewhere. Whether you are without a car or intoxicated, the Uber app lets you find a local ride in a few minutes, and many believe it to be safer (and more sanitary) than mass transportation. What is not broadcast is that there is little known about the inner workings of Uber, and even less is known about that “fine print” that you agree to when you book an Uber ride.
Every Beverly Hills personal injury attorney will tell you to “read the fine print”. The truth is, very few of us actually do. We know we need to, but it takes so long, and with something as simple as catching an Uber ride, why bother. Truth is, you must read the fine print, as ride-share companies typically have clauses which eliminate your changes to request a jury trial if you end up suing. As if this doesn’t seem fishy enough, ride-share companies are not required by law to keep driver records. Driver records are kept on every taxi and mass transit driver, and even if your driver is rude, you know that he or she has a good record. With all of Uber’s popularity, there seem to be no safety standards that they must meet.
According to Uber’s fine print, they do not, and cannot, guarantee your safety when in the care of one of its “third party” drivers. Unlike mass transit, Uber drivers are not considered typical employees, hence the “third party” label. This means that you can be raped, mugged, or otherwise injured by an Uber driver, and Uber claims no responsibility for its own driver. Another issue with Uber is that they do not require drivers to undergo drug and alcohol testing, unlike mass transit and taxi companies.
Even with all of this negative press and outrage, Uber is not looking to change its ways. However, since there is still good in the world, many areas are banning or suspending Uber services until further notice. Full bans are in place in Eureka, Oregon and the state of Nevada. Uber is currently suspended in Panama City Beach, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, and Anchorage, Alaska, among others. While Uber is a big name, its issues are even bigger. It is always a good idea to read the fine print before you agree to something, especially something as important as being chauffeured around by a “third party” Uber driver.