Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
Hablamos Espanol 702.602.8869

Are Rideshare Drivers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Recent innovations in mobile application technology have fundamentally changed the way companies do business. Uber and Lyft – America’s great ridesharing giants – use this technology to provide customers with convenient and cost-effective transportation services. However, both companies are constantly besieged by costly lawsuits encompassing liability issues, insurance disputes, and claims of driver exploitation.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Rideshare drivers technically aren’t employees, but “independent contractors,” which means they aren’t entitled to a minimum wage, overtime, sick time, or health insurance. Alex Rosenblat, a writer for Slate, explains the complications surrounding this delineation in his article, “When Employees Become ‘End Users.’” He opines, “The very vocabulary that Uber deploys to describe its drivers and its own practices reinforces this view of labor: It treats its workers as ‘end users’ and ‘customers’ of its software. The terms are used in Uber’s lawsuits, and a senior Uber employee casually referred to the company’s workforce as ‘end users’ in conversation with me. The rhetorical impact of that language is clever. By fudging the terms of employment within its control, Uber provides us with a template for questioning what we know about employment relationships that can create legal distance between a worker and an employer. And it ushers in a new way of doing business all while the same old problems, like workplace harassment, persist under the veneer of technological neutrality.”

But what about workers’ compensation benefits?

The Question of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that provides essential benefits to any employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. One of the first questions rideshare drivers ask upon “employment” is if they can receive workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an accident. As there are over 50,000 traffic collisions in Nevada each year, this is not an unreasonable question.

Unfortunately, state laws haven’t kept pace with the advent of peer-to-peer ride-hailing services, and workers’ compensation technically isn’t an option for rideshare drivers.

The Uber Driver Injury Protection Program

In August 2018, Uber yielded to employee demands and introduced a disability insurance program that provides coverage through OneBeacon Insurance Group and Aon P.L.C. The “Driver Injury Protection” program is currently available in 40 states as well as Washington D.C. To be eligible for benefits, a driver needs to be logged into the app and in the process of picking up or dropping off passengers.

A driver can receive the following benefits after an accident:

  • Up to $1 million for medical expenses
  • Up to $500 per week in lost wages
  • Up to $150,000 in survivor benefits

The cost of this program is $0.0375 cents per mile, and drivers are only charged when they’re on-trip.

You can learn more about this insurance program by visiting the Uber website.

Injured in a Rideshare Accident? Schedule a Consultation Today

Contact the attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson if you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident. While Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t eligible or workers’ compensation, you can still pursue damages by a third-party claim against an at-fault driver. Our legal team can investigate your case and help you secure a settlement or verdict that facilitates your physical and financial recovery.

We provide 24/7 legal services! Contact Bernstein & Poisson at (702) 602-8869 to schedule a free consultation. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our office for an appointment, we can meet at your home or hospital room.