There is practically no possibility
that you were an independent contractor, based on your alleged facts. The reason why is that in order to have worked independently to transport persons for compensation, you would have had to have been licensed as a taxi or limo driver, under either local ordinance or by the State Public Utilities Commission
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) treats taxi drivers as employees of their dispatch company (see this link
You may have a very substantial wage claim against the employer. So large, in fact, that the employer may be thrown into bankruptcy. You can file a wage claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
However, you may want to consider hiring a private lawyer, first, because, frankly, if DLSE loads up the employer with fines, and the employer files for bankruptcy, then you could find yourself getting nothing at all for your efforts. So, you may have to settle for something less than what you could have received, or to a payment plan by the employer, so that you can get as much as possible.
If you would like to consult with local employment rights counsel before deciding to file a wage claim, then for a referral, see this link
Hope this helps.
NOTICE: My goal here is to entertain while educating the public about the law. I hope my answer is useful and informative to you. During our conversation, the website may ask you to rate my answer. If you rate my answer lower than the middle rating, then the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing. It is entirely your choice as to how you rate my answer. However, because your payment to me is in the nature of a donation/gift, rather than as compensation for any services rendered, you are entitled to know how your rating affects the final distribution of your donation.
If you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!