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Health Care Benefits for Rideshare Drivers

Do Rideshare Drivers Qualify for Health Care Benefits?

California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) made a large impact on the gig economy. This bill was designed to classify gig workers as employees. After the passage of AB5 in September of 2019, Uber and Lyft led an initiative campaign for Prop 22. 

Prop 22 was created to prevent gig workers from being identified as employees. This ballot would also take away employee benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, paid family leave, and workers’ compensation. With more than $200 million donated to its initiative campaign and the support of California voters, Prop 22 passed in November of 2020, thus reclassifying rideshare and food delivery drivers as independent contractors.

The ongoing debate on whether Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors or employees has been battled in congress for ages and will continue to face more obstacles as Prop 22 was declared unconstitutional and is expected to make its way to California’s Supreme Court.  

If you were a victim of an Uber or Lyft accident and would like to know your legal rights, our experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers are available 24/7 to offer legal assistance. 

Does a Rideshare Driver Need Health Insurance?

Typically, rideshare drivers transport about 7 to 8 people a day and are in their vehicle for an average of 4 to 5 hours. Not only can driving for all these hours lead to lower back pain, but the significant amount of random strangers utilizing the vehicle can lead to the spread of illnesses and germs. 

In fact, according to a study by the life insurance company, NetQuote, rideshare vehicles hold more than three times as many germs as rental cars and about 220 more germs than taxis. 

Surprisingly, the study compared the amount of CFU’s or colony-forming units found on a toilet seat to the number of bacteria growing on rideshare vehicle surfaces, such as seat belts and steering wheels. The study also found that rideshare cars have more than quadruple the amount of germs. With so many Uber drivers sitting in the midst of so many germs for a lengthy period of time, the chances of getting sick greatly increases.  

In addition to the cornucopia of germs you can be exposed to as a driver, many drivers report an extended amount of back pain. Sitting in a car is no different than sitting in a chair, until the vehicle begins moving. Due to the “vibrational overload,” your spine could experience prolonged discomfort, which can lead to shooting or stabbing pains or pains that can radiate down the leg and last for years.

Back pain has been linked to bladder problems, fever issues, and general numbness in the legs. Typical treatment requires the diagnosis of a doctor. Depending on the severity of the back pain, you may be offered medication or physical therapy. 

When injured because of your work, you should seek compensation. It is the belief of many rideshare lawyers that an Uber class action lawsuit settlement is necessary. 

Health Insurance vs Auto Accident Insurance 

While Uber offers auto accident insurance, it does not offer health insurance. Though health insurance and accident insurance may seem similar because they both deal with the body, they are very different. Generally speaking, health insurance covers your financial damages and medical procedures caused by an illness or injury, while auto accident insurance has more specific guidelines. 

Auto accident insurance only covers your damages if:

  • You were injured as a result of a car crash. 
  • You injured someone else in a car crash. 
  • You’ve damaged someone’s property in a car accident. 
  • You require post-hospital coverage. Auto accident insurance does not cover pre-hospital coverage, such as the expenses from an illness acquired 30 days before hospitalization.  
  • You require disability expenses after an accident.

AB5, Prop 22, and Your Health Insurance 

Under AB5, Uber and Lyft drivers were to be treated as employees rather than independent contractors. These drivers were also expected to be given some sort of health insurance. If Prop 22 did not exist and AB5 was still in full effect for rideshare and food delivery drivers, they would have received unemployment insurance, paid parental leave, overtime pay, paid rest breaks, and a guaranteed minimum hourly wage. 

Nonetheless, there is still a chance that these gig workers could potentially receive health insurance in the future. In August of 2021, Prop 22 was declared unconstitutional by a California state trial judge. Uber, along with other app-based services, have announced their intent to appeal to the decision. Prop 22 is predicted to make its way to California’s Supreme Court. 

Until a final decision has been made for the employment status of rideshare and food delivery drivers, Prop 22 will remain in effect, meaning that these gig workers are still classified as independent contractors.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, our skilled personal injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses. We are committed to resolving your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. 

Contact us today by calling (213) 652-5649 or filling out our quick contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team. 

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