Think Twice Before You Uber

Arthur C. Kosieradzki - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyMay 11, 2015

It’s a late, blustery Saturday night when you come to discover that you and your friends are in no shape to get behind the wheel of a car. Cabs can be expensive, but you’ve heard about this cool one-tap app that gets you a cheap ride across town - Uber. You’ve heard nothing but praise about the affordable and casual ride-sharing service so you download the app, and you’re off.

But there are a few key things to consider when you step into an Uber vehicle - things that perhaps should have kept this San Francisco start up from amassing more wealth in the past six years than Facebook did in 10. Expected to hit $10 billion in revenues by 2015, Uber has skyrocketed in popularity nationwide. And yet, legislation that restricts ride sharing services, or bans them altogether, is now trending in many cities, states, and countries. How can this be? Let’s all think for a moment about why we should hesitate before hitting “Set Pickup Location” this weekend.

Employment Oversight
First of all, Uber does not expect its drivers to meet the licensing or inspection requirements that apply to taxi and limousine services. Some drivers may even be moonlighting after a 10-hour day shift at another job, leaving you with a drowsy chauffeur.

Safety and Liability Not a Priority
Reports of drivers committing assault, rape, and kidnapping have surfaced as of late, but Uber’s Terms and Conditions allow the company to deny responsibility for injuries or harm caused by its drivers. Uber self-identifies as a technology service that connects riders to drivers, making it clear that whatever happens beyond this connection is not their responsibility, since they are not a taxi service. Their Terms and Conditions state: “By using the services, you acknowledge that you may be exposed to situations involving third party providers that are potentially unsafe, offensive, harmful to minors, or otherwise objectionable ... Using the service is at your own risk and judgment.”

Surge Pricing Makes Uber a Wildcard
While Uber fares are normally lower than those of taxis, Uber reserves the right to implement surge pricing during periods of peak demand, such as when an Uber passenger in Pennsylvania paid $117 for a 4-mile ride on New Year’s Eve.

Weakening Work Conditions
Uber drivers are also becoming concerned over company policies, including new fare reductions, a huge increase in the commissions paid to Uber, a “misleading tipping policy” and the company’s rating system. Additionally, although the company provides insurance for its drivers, gray areas exist that raise serious concerns about whether Uber’s insurance would apply in certain situations. Uber provides coverage once a rider is in the car, but between trips, Uber switches to contingent insurance that pays only if a driver’s personal insurance company refuses coverage.

Like many innovative business models, Uber has created great opportunities and challenges that didn’t exist before. However, Uber and its ride-sharing competitors must take full responsibility for the safety and welfare of their customers and employees. Until they do, call someone you know or a taxi service for that late night ride home.

Client Reviews

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Jeanne Tondryk

Eric W. Beyer helped me through a very difficult time and his professionalism, advice and results from an injury were highly respected. Amidst the personal part of getting myself back to health, his guidance when life was blurry was so appreciated. He listened and then put forth my options honestly and directly which I totally appreciated!

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Chris and Amy Boys

We worked with Art and his team on a personal injury case. We could not have been more pleased with the result. Art and his team were both professional and personable, and were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend Art and his team if you find yourself in this type of situation.

Daunne Schaller

I was seriously injured in a car accident on my wedding night and went to SiebenCarey. Being involved in an accident is never fun. The folks at SiebenCarey got us thru the event helping us get on with our lives. They were up front and honest. We knew we could trust them. It’s clear to me why Art has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America and Super Lawyer for 12 years running. Now anytime I know someone who was involved in an accident I refer them to SiebenCarey.

Deb Colombe

I was involved in a car accident that was complicated at best. God blessed with me Eric Beyer as my attorney. Although it was a long drawn out process between the two insurance companies, Eric was not only my attorney, he was my rock.

Eric is one of the most ethical people I have ever met in my lifetime. He was a constant source of not only information, but of comfort throughout the whole process. I never doubted for one moment that Eric did not have my best interest at heart. He took every word I said seriously and did what he had to do. If I ever have the misfortune of another injury like this, I would go to no one other than Eric Beyer. I will never in my lifetime be able to thank Eric enough or let him know how much I respect him and what a comfort he was and has continued to be for me. God Bless you Eric Beyer.

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Teresa Zweber

I retained Robert Brabbit in 2011 for a workmans comp case. I have been extremely pleased with him as my attorney. He won the first part of my case with ease, he has great knowledge and professionalism and am anxious to see the end results of my settlement. I would recommend him highly and he won against a major retail store.

Morgan Petoletti

My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.

Sheryl Nixon

Jeff Sieben was the first one I talked to about my injury. I was not sure if there was even a case. But as the months went by and my pain got worse, the seriousness of the injury became apparent. Jeff took on the case and put me at ease about the medical bills and calls. He was professional in his attitude while being compassionate to my situation. I have recommended him to others and will continue to do so. 

Ashlyn Wall

They were able to work with me while I was away for school and much appreciated the help. I would highly recommend them!

Adele Thompson
I would like to express my gratitude for the excellent assistance in processing my legal action necessary due to a car accident. In particular Matthew Steinbrink exceeded my expectations regarding all the necessary paperwork and negotiating on my behalf. I would not hesitate to recommend SiebenCarey in the future.

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