Uber Car Accidents – What Should I Do if I’m Injured?
Uber car accidents are complex affairs. If you’ve been involved in an Uber car accident, you should contact an experienced Uber accident attorney for help.
There are two insurance policies that cover the driver. Since the driver is driving their own car, they have a personal auto accident insurance policy that covers them in the case of an accident. In addition, Uber’s accident insurance also covers the driver.
Of course, if it was only a matter of choosing which policy to make a claim on, everyone would choose the Uber accident insurance because it has the higher policy limit. Instead, Uber’s policy covers the driver at specific times and the driver’s own accident policy covers accidents at other times.
The Uber Policy Always Covers the Uber Passengers
If you are a passenger in the Uber vehicle and your driver is taking you from point A to point B, determining which policy you would file a claim on is very simple. You’re filing a claim against the Uber policy. Uber is quite good about covering their passengers in the case of an auto accident. Uber passenger insurance covers all passengers who step into an Uber vehicle. It’s basically everyone else who has to worry.
The Rules of Uber’s Auto Insurance Coverage
The Uber company does not consider Uber drivers as employees. The drivers are actually independent contractors. In the case of employees, an employer would be responsible for any negligent act that their employee did while on the job. This is not the case with Uber drivers. However, many lawsuits and states have pressured Uber into covering their drivers under certain instances. A recent deal passed that seemed to satisfy all parties involved.
Uber’s auto insurance does not cover the driver all the time. There are specific times when the Uber policy “kicks in”, but the default policy is the driver’s own auto accident insurance policy. For instance, Uber won’t cover an accident that occurred while the driver was on their way to the grocery store. That doesn’t make sense. So the question is: When does Uber’s auto accident insurance get triggered?
As you may know, Uber drivers have an app that they use to accept fares. Uber’s company auto insurance policy activates as soon as they accept a fare. It stays triggered until that fare is dropped off at their desired location.
In other words, if an Uber driver is on their way to pick someone up or drop them off then Uber should be responsible for covering the injured party’s medical expenses and more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Uber Policies Have Three Periods
Delving a little more deeply into how Uber’s auto accident insurance works, from the driver’s perspective, there are three periods. These are:
- Uber driver is awaiting a request;
- Uber driver is on their way to pick up a passenger; and
- The uber driver has a passenger in the vehicle.
Uber’s policy will not cover anything that happens while the driver is awaiting a fare. Uber figures that the driver could be doing anything during this period, including running personal errands.
Once an Uber driver has accepted a fare (period two), that’s when Uber’s policy begins to kick in. While it should stand to reason that Uber is responsible for covering the accident, the potential Uber passenger can still cancel the ride. This, however, is when things get tricky. It’s not going to be apparent to Uber that the ride was canceled after the accident. If the ride was canceled before the accident, then Uber’s policy trigger would have been turned off.
This creates an ambiguity in the timeline. Insurance companies will always interpret ambiguities in their own favor. This means assuming that the policy was not active during the accident and that the driver’s own insurance company should pay.
The driver’s own insurance company, meanwhile, can claim that their driver’s policy does not cover rideshare accidents.
Sometimes, Uber will Claim that Passengers are not Covered
If this isn’t bad enough, there will be cases in which Uber’s own insurance policy will not protect its passengers. For instance, if Uber has reason to suspect that their driver’s gross negligence was to blame for the accident, they may wash their hands of the whole thing. Remember, Uber drivers are not employees. If an Uber driver was driving drunk, stoned, or distracted, Uber could claim that they are not responsible for the accident, the independent contractor is.
If the Uber driver does not carry additional rideshare insurance or is not covered by Uber’s personal rideshare insurance policy, you may be left with a lot of medical expenses and no insurance company that is willing to compensate you.
Uber Accidents are Complex: Contact an Attorney
Regardless of whether or not you’re an uber car accident passenger or another driver or pedestrian on the road, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Yet too many of those injured by Uber drivers find themselves caught in a runaround between the driver’s personal auto insurance company and Uber’s own auto accident insurance policy. It isn’t fair to those who are facing major medical expenses, months of discomfort, and lost time from work.
What you need to know is that insurance companies are in the business of denying claims. They are legally obligated to pay out claims under certain instances, but if there are any ambiguities in the timeline or the fault of the driver, they will interpret these in their own favor to reduce or eliminate any obligation to the injured.
The Law Office of Steve Roberts helps those injured in Uber accidents recover damages from at-fault drivers. We will fight to ensure that Uber pays up when their policy should have covered their driver. If the driver’s own insurance policy should have covered the accident, then we’ll ensure you get that money from them. We will not let the insurance companies claim that neither is responsible for the accident because this allows drivers to drive around uncovered. That’s illegal.
Talk to an Uber Accident Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in an Uber accident, give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.