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Wednesday
Jun252014

Uber Company—Developing Legal Issues

Uber Company—Developing Legal Issues from Sequence Media on Vimeo.

Tax attorney Rob Wood discusses the Uber company and comments on his Forbes article, “Protests Show Uber Is Über Alles.” Uber makes cell phone apps that allow passengers to connect with ride-sharing services and vehicles for hire. The Sidecar and Lyft companies are similar to Uber.

 

Wood points out that confusion can ensue when an Uber passenger is injured and is looking for someone to sue. In fact, there have been accidents, and Uber is being sued. Wood thinks that “it will take some time for these legal relationships to shake out.” This is another case where technology has gotten ahead of the law.

These injury cases also raise the issue of independent contractors. Uber treats its drivers as such. But an injured passenger will likely sue both the driver and Uber. As Wood points out, a case where the plaintiff is an Uber user is very different from a case where the plaintiff is the driver of another car, or a pedestrian—in other words, where the plaintiff has no relationship with Uber.

The independent contractor relationship involves a number of tax considerations and things like unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and the like. The nature of the work relationship will become important in a number of ways.

For more information on the subject, please refer to Mr. Wood’s article in Forbes. Robert Wood is a tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California and spoke with The Tax Law Channel, an affiliate of The Legal Broadcast Network.  The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

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