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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Do Rideshare Drivers Deserve Workers Compensation?

Much press coverage has been given to new ridesharing companies, such as Lyft or Uber, that have been replacing taxi services and utilized by millions of people. The safety of these services have been questioned, and multiple allegations of drivers assaulting passengers have been reported. Little media commotion has been made for the safety of the drivers, however.

Recently, an uber driver sued an ex-taco bell executive after the driver was attacked by the passenger, who was allegedly intoxicated. Ridesharing drivers deal with quite a few intoxicated passengers and are at high-risk for these attacks. Drivers are treated as independent contractors and not given benefits or workers compensation through their companies. They are also not given safety training, which could signify that they are not counted as employees. This could be a lapse in the regulatory environment not catching up to a new, rapidly-growing rideshare industry. Read below to see what safety measures rideshare companies are providing.

Current Safety Measures Offered by Ridesharing Companies

Rider distractions: Uber has been testing a new safety measure in which their driver has a “bop-it” game, to give to an aggressive or drunk passenger to potentially distract them. They have also thought about installing mirrors so passengers can see themselves behaving poorly, which will hopefully make them less likely to do it.

Emergency response lines: Lyft tells its drivers to “end the ride” if they feel unsafe, and offer a 24/7 emergency response line to better connect drivers with emergency response personnel.

More suggestions such as subsidized dash-cams are recommended for all drivers. These safety measures may not be enough, and these companies don’t want to invest resources into their employees because they don’t want to be liable for attacks on them. If you work at a job as an independent contractor, know that there may be coverage options available that you don’t know about.

Columbus workers comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC have answers to your work injury questions today.

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