For many Uber & Lyft drivers it is only a side hustle and not their full-time employment. This can create a difficult scenario to recover lost wages if not properly documented. The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team handles a large volume of motor vehicle accident cases and we routinely find that “gig” Uber and Lyft drivers cannot substantiate Uber/Lyft lost wage claims and we have develop this blog to provide a helpful resource for Uber/Lyft drivers.
Evidence of Prior Income: Uber and Lyft will suspend your account shortly after the motor vehicle accident is reported pending their investigation. It is important that an Uber/Lyft driver capture as much information as they can prior to the suspension. This includes any driver/passenger logs identifying the frequency (how often and when) you drove for Uber and Lyft and how much money you earned during those periods. This evidence is used to develop a pattern of your “gig” employment.
How do I get this information? Uber provides weekly pay statements in its Partner Dashboard. It is important that you download or print the detailed report and not only the summary. It is our experience that many clients only screen shot the summary and cannot provide the detailed report when requested – so use this tip and capture the information ASAP.
A lot of clients that are no longer able to obtain the detailed pay statements above rely on bank records and while they are a great source identifying prior income, they do not provide the same level of detail that may be necessary given the facts and circumstances for your claim/case.
Tax records may also be used as evidence of prior Uber/Lyft earnings.
Evidence of Prior Expenses: At present, Uber and Lyft do not reimburse for gas, tolls or maintenance of your vehicle. If the detailed pay statement is provided, prior income and the related mileage associated with that income can be used to project expenses based on the IRS Standard Mileage Rate for Business (53.5 cents in 2017). The projected expenses associated with loss income can be used to determine the “net lost wages.” Essentially, the actual income loss due to your inability to drive for Uber or Lyft.
Tax records may also be used as evidence of prior Uber/Lyft expenses.
Evidence of Lost Income: The information provided above will be used to develop a pattern of the gig income you earned with Uber/Lyft. For example, the evidence may show that you drove for Uber every Friday night between 6:00 pm and 3:00 am for 10 consecutive Friday’s prior to the motor vehicle accident. If you are injured and unable to drive for four Friday nights after the accident, we now have documentation to support a lost income claim.
Medical Treatment/Reports: The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team frequently find that clients will tell the medical provider about their full-time job, but not their Uber/Lyft gig. Insurance adjusters often rely on those instances in denying a lost wage claim. Therefore, it is extremely important to mention all employment AND to specifically ask the medical provider if you can continue to driver for Uber/Lyft while receiving medical treatment. In our experience, if asked, most medical providers will keep you out of work or provide for modified duty if necessary. Modified duty may restrict driving to and from work/medical treatment, but not for Uber/Lyft.
Disability Slips: If a medical provider tells you not to go to work or drive for Uber/Lyft request, a disability slip prior to leaving the medical providers office. That disability slip is important evidence of lost wages and some medical providers do not provide copies to lawyers when requests for medical records and bills are received.
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team approaches every case as if it is going to be litigated. The tips above will help develop important evidence to support a lost wage claim.
In November 2017, Jason A. Plotkin presented a National Continuing Legal Education course on Uber & Lyft Litigation to attorneys and other legal professionals located throughout the country. The course was designed to teach other lawyers how to handle the unique nuances of accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies. If you or someone you love has been injured, or even died, as the result of an Uber or Lyft car accident, the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team is on your side. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in auto accident cases and for other personal injury claims, and we’re prepared to fight aggressively in court to defend your rights.
We always offer free initial consultations for personal injury cases, so there’s no risk in speaking with us and receiving an honest and informed evaluation of your case. Call us at (410) 661-9440 or fill out our online contact form to speak with an attorney and discuss your legal options.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon.