DETROIT (AP) – When you catch a ride using Uber or Lyft, you do so at your own risk.
Under terms and conditions that riders agree to – but few read – at sign up, the app-based ride-hailing companies say they aren’t legally liable for the safety of their drivers or the quality of their services. That’s because the drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
The terms seem to be at odds with company statements that highlight their efforts to keep riders safe with driver background checks, a code of conduct and other measures.
Instead, if a rider is injured in a ride-hailing car, the driver appears to be liable. If a driver gets lost and makes a rider late for an appointment, or if a driver assaults someone, the company says it’s not involved.
Uber “does not guarantee the quality, suitability, safety or ability of third-party providers (drivers),’’ its terms say. Riders also agree that the “entire risk arising out of your use of the services, and any service or good requested in connection therewith, remains solely with you.’’
“That’s just a real eye opener,’’ says Stephen Saltzburg, a law professor.