What Should You Do After an Accident With an Uber Driver?
You can now find Uber drivers virtually anywhere. They are no longer limited to the confines of large cities, and because Uber drivers use their personal vehicles for the service, you cannot tell an Uber from any other car on the road. However, if you suffer an injury in a car accident with a negligent Uber driver, your path to compensation may differ slightly from the standard car accident.
There are generally two conditions under which you could end up in a car crash involving an Uber driver: as a passenger of the Uber driver or as a driver in another vehicle. If you are a passenger, contact both the police and Uber right away to report the accident. If you sustained any injuries, seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or seeing a doctor later. Both of these elements are important because Uber may fight your claim without a report.
If you collide with another vehicle operating for Uber, you handle the incident much like any other car accident, with few exceptions. Follow these steps to protect yourself:
- Contact the authorities. In every state, the police will come to the scene of an accident involving injured persons or substantial property damage. Additionally, while the police report may not be admissible should your case go to court, it will be helpful when filing an insurance claim.
- Call an ambulance. If anyone on the scene is seriously injured, you should call 911 immediately. The police will arrive on the scene with other first responders as well.
- Collect contact information. Speak to the Uber driver only to get their name and contact information. You will need this when reporting the accident to Uber.
- Contact Uber. Uber has very specific standards for covering their drivers, but you should be able to receive compensation from corporate insurance in most cases. If you fail to contact Uber, they could use that as a basis to deny your claim.
- Document the accident. Take photographs of everything, including your injuries, damage to the vehicles, the positions of both cars, and the area around the crash scene. Experts can often tell who is at fault just by looking at the positions of the vehicles. If you spot a security camera, ask the property owner for a copy of the footage.
- Have a medical evaluation. You may not need emergency medical services, but you should still see a doctor after the accident. Emergency department doctors regularly assess people with car accident injuries at the nearest hospital. They can ensure you have no internal injuries and document everything in a medical record, which you will use when filing a claim or lawsuit.
- Speak with an Uber accident lawyer. Personal injury attorneys handle car accidents, and given the surge in ridesharing, they typically have experience with accidents involving Uber or similar companies.
Keep in mind that most states set the statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits at three years. Therefore, if you delay filing, you could risk losing your opportunity to recover damages. Additionally, delays in seeking medical assessment allow the insurance company the chance to claim that you sustained your injuries elsewhere. One of the advantages of contacting an Uber accident lawyer is that they will take care of the filing process for you.
Who Is Liable for Damages if An Uber Driver Hits You?
States mandate the laws that dictate the distribution of compensation after a car accident. The majority of states adhere to the at-fault concept, which requires the insurance of the driver responsible for the accident to pay for the damages. Twelve states, known as no-fault states, require licensed drivers to purchase no-fault insurance. When a collision occurs, no-fault insurance, also called personal injury protection insurance, covers the medical bills and lost wages of injured parties through their own policies, eliminating the liability factor. However, most no-fault states still allow people with severe injuries to file a lawsuit when PIP coverage is insufficient.
When you file a claim with Uber’s insurance or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you are responsible for proving the three requirements for any personal injury case:
- The Uber driver owed you a duty of reasonable care, meaning that they owed you and other drivers on the road the promise to act responsibly while driving.
- The Uber driver failed to uphold that duty, causing an accident.
- The accident then resulted in damages, including bodily injuries and damage to your property.
It is important to note that the Uber driver’s personal insurance will not cover damages from an accident that occurred while the driver is on duty. In this case, you must file a claim with Uber’s insurance policy.
How Does Car Insurance Work for Uber Drivers?
When Uber drivers begin working, they signal their intent to work by logging into the Uber app. This signals to Uber that the driver is ready to receive requests, and the process works the same way for rideshare Ubers and food delivery Ubers. While the driver is available for a ride or delivery request, Uber provides the following coverage:
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
While en route with a passenger or delivery, the policies differ slightly. Both have $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage. This covers the driver, their passengers, and a third party in the event of an accident. Additionally, they both have comprehensive and collision on a contingency. It covers the car’s cash value and requires a $2,500 deductible. Rideshare drivers also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and first-party injury. This coverage is not available for delivery people.
If the driver is offline at the time of the accident, their personal insurance covers damages. Additionally, Uber can cover accidents involving rideshare drivers but not delivery drivers in New York state.
What if You Suffered an Injury While Riding in an Uber?
As an Uber passenger, you would only be liable for an accident under extremely rare and unlikely circumstances. However, if you suffered any injuries due to the accident, your options for seeking compensation vary depending on the driver’s coverage. Examples of potential ways that you could seek compensation for damages include:
- Some ridesharing drivers purchase commercial insurance policies to protect them while operating their personal vehicles for rideshares. These policies typically include bodily injury and property damage liability, covering injuries, deaths, vehicle damage, and possibly legal fees if the driver is at fault for an accident.
- Some personal insurance policies offer provisions for drivers using their personal vehicles for ridesharing.
- Uber offers bodily injury protection for their passengers and drivers from the moment they pick you up until they drop you off.
The likelihood of coming across a driver who carries commercial insurance or has a personal policy that covers passengers is extremely low. However, Uber’s policy covers up to $50,000 per person in an accident. Contact an Uber accident personal injury lawyer immediately if Uber denies your claim.
Should You Contact an Uber Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents are scary and overwhelming by nature. Even in cut-and-dry cases, where there is a clear at-fault party, you may not know what to do next. Uber accident lawyers specialize in personal injury and offer many advantages for your case, especially if you have severe injuries and significant property damage. Some benefits of hiring an Uber accident lawyer include:
- They typically work on a contingency basis. You pay no upfront fees for a consultation, and they do not receive payment until the case concludes.
- They have the legal knowledge and experience that you need to navigate the litigation process better.
- They have negotiation skills and put them to use in communications with the insurance company.
- They can often secure a higher settlement because they better understand the potential damages in your case.
- They know the value of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
- They provide friendly support as you wade through a physically and emotionally taxing time.
- They will exhaust all options fighting for a fair settlement but prepare your case for trial should the insurance company fail to cooperate.
- They will check on the status of your medical care regularly to ensure you get all the help you need to heal quickly.
If you suffered an injury in an Uber accident, the team at Judd Shaw Injury Law is here to help. We are passionate and committed to our clients, genuinely caring about what you need to get back on your feet. No one should suffer because of another person’s negligence, and we strive to alleviate burdens wherever possible. As your point-of-contact and legal representative, we will fight aggressively to protect your rights and look out for your best interests. Contact Judd Shaw Injury Law today for a free case review. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.