Rideshare services in the U.S. have been in the news recently with the tragic death of a South Carolina university student, who was kidnapped and murdered by the person she mistakenly believed to be her Uber driver. While events like that are thankfully rare, car accident injuries involving rideshare drivers are less so. Sometimes, those damages are suffered due to the missteps of a rideshare driver, sometimes the rideshare driver is the person who was harmed.
Whether you’re an injured rideshare driver or someone hurt by a rideshare driver, there are several things you need to know in order to take legal action in the most effective way possible. One of the most basic of these is: whom should I sue? This can be more complicated than you might think, given the complexity of the corporate structure of some of the rideshare services. Every choice you make matters and may mean the difference between success and defeat, so be sure you have a skilled Chicago injury attorney representing you at every step along the way.
One question being asked these days, in relation to rideshare services, is “what is Raiser, LLC?” Raiser is an integral part of the corporate structure of Uber and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber. (Uber has several of these entities.) Raiser is the business entity with whom Uber driver are technically contracted. When an Uber driver gets paid, it is Raiser that is technically paying that driver.
If you are injured in an auto accident by an Uber driver who was at fault, this corporate structure could play an important role in your court case. Both Uber and Raiser may seek to escape liability based upon their drivers’ classification as independent contractors, but you may still be able to pursue one or both of them based upon direct negligence claims like negligent hiring, negligent training or negligent retention.
No connection between Raiser, LLC and Lyft
On the other hand, Lyft’s corporate structure is considerably less complicated than that of Uber. Lyft and Raiser have nothing to do with each other. Lyft has a smaller series of subsidiaries, including bicycle sharing services Lyft Bikes and Motivate, as well as Corral Labs, an entity that develops ridesharing apps.
As with Uber, Lyft classifies their drivers as independent contractors, but that classification doesn’t prevent you from pursuing Lyft for direct negligence claims like negligent hiring, negligent training or negligent retention if you’re hurt in an accident caused by a Lyft driver. Lyft does not have a subsidiary, analogous to Raiser, through which its drivers are contracted and paid. This may be potentially helpful if you are injured in a rideshare accident, as it could potentially mean sifting through fewer layers of corporate structure in order to target the entity that owes you compensation.
If you’re a rideshare driver, whether you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, seeking benefits like workers’ compensation can be challenging. Independent contractors generally cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois, and the rideshare services claim that all their drivers are independent contractors. However, if you are able to persuade the judge that, based on the nature of your relationship with the rideshare service, you actually meet the law’s criteria for employee status, as opposed to independent contractor status, then you may be entitled to benefits.
In any injury case, the difference between achieving or falling short of a full success may be your ability to identify all of the defendants who owe you compensation, which can be especially complicated if you’re dealing with a complex corporate structure. To make you’re getting everything from your rideshare injury case that you should, talk to the skilled Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years and are ready to discuss your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.