Ride Share and Delivery Driver Legal Protection

september 30, 2020 | member benefits

Ride share and food delivery companies have completely transformed the transportation and food service landscapes, and not solely in the way we travel or order food. Their booming growth of these two-sided marketplace models have created jobs for many people.

More jobs and more growth, however, inevitably brings new legal situations to consider, and now drivers are realizing the need for continuous legal protection to safeguard their livelihood.

Drivers have plenty of legal matters to face.

Depending on state law, ride share and delivery drivers are often hired as independent contractors rather than at-will employees. These drivers do not receive the same benefits that employees do.  Drivers will face a variety of legal issues and will also need to navigate the sticky financials of taxes, traffic violations and car accidents on their own. Some of the most common ways drivers face legal troubles are below.

Traffic Violations

Getting a ticket is no fun, especially when your livelihood promises passengers to get them around town or deliver them food safely and timely. Receiving a ticket can tarnish your clean record. Not to mention, it’s expensive. Getting a lawyer’s advice and assistance can help you navigate the best way to minimize damages of a ticket.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Drive as safe as possible and follow all laws.
  • Make sure everyone is following the law in your car.
  • Make sure you are only picking up and parking at legally designated areas.

Car Accidents

Accidents happen, and they’re not fun for anyone. If you are in an accident, regardless who is at fault, you should seek advice from an attorney. If you are a LegalShield Member, you should contact your provider law firm.  

Additionally, if your passenger or the other driver involved in the crash claims personal injury, you need a lawyer to help navigate a plan.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have the proper insurance coverages.
  • Make sure everyone wears their seatbelts and follows the law. 
  • Pick up and drop off passengers safely.

Tax Auditing

Especially during tax season, the difference of being a contractor versus an employee becomes apparent. Taxes can be stressful for the self-employed, as they have to vet through income statements, expenses, and tax forms in an attempt to untangle the knot of how much money was going in and out.

If your income does not match your tax documents, or you deduct mileage you can’t prove, you may get audited by the IRS and will need legal consultation to navigate the process.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Seek advice and assistance as needed from a tax professional and attorney.
  • Get a mileage tracker app for your phone that you can use to deduct mileage properly (and saves your evidence of proof, too).
  • Keep track of all your essential tax documents throughout the year and store them in a safe place for when tax season comes along, so you are not scrambling at the last minute.

Passenger/Driver-Related Issues

Rider Scams

Picture this: A driver arrives at the requested destination and a person hops in the car, but that person is not the passenger that ordered the ride share. Maybe they just wanted a free ride to anywhere, maybe they felt like pulling a prank that day, or a scarier thought: maybe they are truly a criminal and hopped in to steal from you. 

For whatever reason, the event is damaging for the drivers. It could cost you time and money, or even result in property damage or false claims. Because of this, drivers may want legal consultation. 

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Always double check who you are picking up. Don’t simply ask the passenger “Are you Sam?” because anyone could answer “yes.” Ask them to say their name, and then have them say your name.
  • Always refer to your trip details saved in the app, for evidence if needed.

Personal Information Risk

It’s important to remember that safety in the ride share goes both ways. As a driver, you may want to have interesting conversations with your passengers, but oversharing could put you at risk for a number of issues like identity theft or stalking.

Tips for proactive personal information protection:

  • Do not give out your personal info like your cell phone number, home address, email, social media, etc.
  • Keep your car clean of any documents or cards with sensitive information.

Criminal Acts or Harassment

We’ve all heard of crazy incidents or seen alarming videos within the past few years: people harassing or verbally abusing their drivers, trying to start a fight with their drivers, or even attempting to steal from them.

If you’re a driver who has fallen victim to this sort of incident, it helps to be connected to a provider law firm who can get you the protection you need.

Car Damages

Unfortunately, vehicle damages are part of reality for anyone who makes their living on the road. And it’s not just vehicle-to-vehicle accidents that you have to worry about either. Perhaps a driver picks up a rowdy crew that damages the back seats somehow– there are many  scenarios that could apply.

Again, choosing to be a ride share driver is not easy, because you just never know who is getting in your car.

Safeguard your livelihood with comprehensive legal protection.

Having continuous legal support can give you peace of mind knowing you have protection, should one of the scenarios above occur. We are here to help.

As an addition to the LegalShield Legal Plan, drivers can now access our Ride Share and Delivery Supplement. The goal is to keep you protected and empowered on the job with essential legal services related to ride share and delivery such as:

  • Telephone Consultation and Legal Research. Receive phone consultation on an unlimited number of ride share and delivery legal matters, along with up to two hours of legal research per issue.
  • Calls, Letters and Document Review. Having a lawyer review your documents (up to 15 pages) for a ride share and delivery legal matter, means you’ll know exactly what you’re agreeing to. Your provider lawyer can also make phone calls or send letters on your behalf, helping with legal matters concerning your ride share and delivery career. This includes any combination of up to three per month.
  • IRS Audit Services. Receive legal services if audited by the IRS on your personal tax return for issues related to your ride share and delivery income.
  • Traffic Services. Get legal advice, consultation and defense for ride share and delivery moving violations while you are engaged in ride share and delivery activities.
  • 25% Discount. Receive a 25% discount off of your provider law firm’s corporate hourly rate for additional legal services that are not fully covered by this plan.

Learn more about legal protection for ride share drivers.

This is a general overview of the Ride Share and Delivery Supplement (“Supplement”) available from LegalShield for illustration purposes only. The Supplement is not available in all states and does not cover all vehicles or income producing activities. See a Supplement for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts and conditions. LegalShield provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.

Speak with a LegalShield Attorney About Your Legal Protection.