Uber accidents differ from other car accidents, including those involving cabs, because of the unique relationship between Uber and its drivers. Call 1-800-747-3733 to speak with an Uber accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine.
How Uber Works
Uber is a “rideshare” service that competes with taxis and other services for business. Potential riders download the Uber app to a smartphone or other mobile device and create an account. When users need a ride, they enter their starting point and destination. The app estimates the length of time it will take for the Uber driver to arrive at the pick-up point and the amount of the fare.
Uber’s Legal Relationship with Its Drivers
Uber drivers are independent contractors. They use their own vehicles. From a legal standpoint, that means the drivers are not employees of Uber. Uber is not responsible for the acts of their drivers as, for example, trucking companies are for the acts of their drivers within the scope of their employment.
Where to Look for Insurance Coverage If You Are Involved in an Uber Accident
An understanding of the insurance arrangement between Uber and its drivers is essential to understanding your rights if you, as an Uber driver, an Uber rider, a driver or passenger in another vehicle, or someone else, like a pedestrian, are injured in an Uber accident. Uber spells out their insurance coverage on its website.
Accident While the Uber Driver Is Not Logged Into an Uber App
If an Uber driver is not logged into the Uber app and is involved in an accident, the accident is treated like any other automobile accident. If you, as the driver or passenger of a vehicle involved in an Uber accident, can show the Uber driver was at fault, the Uber driver is liable.
When not logged into the Uber app, the Uber driver is not covered by Uber’s insurance, so the Uber driver’s personal insurance will apply. If the damages—medical expenses, lost earnings and future earnings, pain and suffering, and property damage—exceed the amount of the Uber driver’s insurance coverage, a provision in your insurance policy for underinsured motorist coverage may apply.
Since the Uber driver is an independent contractor, you cannot sue Uber for the acts of the driver.
Accident While the Uber Driver Logged into the App Waiting for a Ride Request
When the Uber driver is online waiting for an app request from a rider, Uber’s insurance covers the Uber driver’s liability if the Uber driver is involved in an accident with someone else and the accident is the Uber driver’s fault. The same rule applies if the Uber driver strikes a pedestrian or someone riding a bicycle. The Uber insurance limits are $50,000 per person for injuries, $100,000 in total liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Uber’s insurance policy only covers injuries and damages to a third party, and that does not include the Uber driver.
Accident While the Uber Driver is Traveling to Pick up a Rider
When an Uber driver is involved in an accident after he or she has received an app request for a ride and is traveling to pick up the rider, Uber’s insurance will cover any liability to a third person if the Uber driver is at fault. The insurance limit is $1 million in total liability coverage.
If the other driver is at fault and the other driver does not have insurance or the liability exceeds the other driver’s insurance, Uber provides uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for injuries to any of the occupants in the Uber vehicle. This insurance also covers hit-and-run accidents where the identity of the driver is unknown. The limit of the coverage is $1 million.
Uber’s Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Uber also provides collision and comprehensive coverage for the Uber driver’s vehicle, whether or not the Uber driver was at fault, if the Uber driver maintains insurance that includes collision coverage for the vehicle while it is not on an Uber trip. The coverage is for the actual cash value of the vehicle, with a $1,000 deductible.
Accident While a Rider Is in the Uber Car
If the Uber driver is involved in an accident while a rider is in the car, the Uber driver has the same coverage as he or she has while on the way to pick up the rider. If the Uber driver is at fault, Uber’s insurance covers the Uber driver’s liability for the other driver or the rider. Uninsured or underinsured coverage may apply. Contingent collision and comprehensive coverage may also apply.
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, you must exhaust the Uber driver’s insurance first. Most personal insurance policies do not cover the use of a vehicle for hire, such as when it is used in a ride-sharing arrangement.
If you are involved in an Uber accident, you need a lawyer to explain the ins and outs of the ride-share arrangement. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation.
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Uber Accident
As with any accident, the first thing to do after a car accident if you are in an Uber accident is to make sure no one is injured and contact emergency assistance if needed. You need to contact the police, even if the damage is minor. If you are an Uber driver, you need to contact Uber.
Contacting a lawyer can help. If you are injured, you need time to heal. Let a personal injury lawyer deal with the insurance company and the medical providers.
If you are involved in an Uber accident, call an Uber accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733.