Since car accidents are one of the main ways Americans are hurt year in and year out, you can imagine that any profession that puts you behind the wheel is a serious risk. The sheer level of exposure to potential accidents means even safe, responsible drivers could be injured or killed.
For instance, did you know that taxi drivers face a higher risk of dying on the job than law enforcement officers? While Uber drivers are not taxi drivers, the work is very similar.
So, say you decide to drive for a ride-sharing service. You’re involved in an accident at an intersection, and you break your leg. Do you get workers’ compensation payments to cover your medical bills and your lost wages?
You do not. Technically, independent contractors are not employees. This means that the companies that they work with do not have to pay them a cent if they’re hurt on the job. As an Uber driver, you’re not an employee of Uber. You’re a contractor who drivers for Uber.
It may seem like a small distinction, but it’s huge. It means you have to have your own insurance and you need to use your savings to cover for those lost wages. If you work for Uber every day, perhaps putting in more than 40 hours a week, you probably feel like an employee, but you don’t get all of the perks that true employees are entitled to.
As you can see, it’s important to know what type of worker you’re classified as when considering injuries and compensation rights. This is especially true if you think you’ve been misclassified.
Source: The Intercept, “Uber Still Doesn’t Get It: Company Docs Reveal Flimsy Plan for Injured Workers,” Avi Asher-Schapiro, accessed Feb. 21, 2018