Who Is Responsible In An Uber Accident?
According to a report by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on the risk of fatigue and sleepiness in the ridesharing industry, ridesharing accidents are on the rise, and ridesharing drivers are at a higher accident risk than the average driver due to sleepiness and fatigue.
If you suffered in an Uber accident, whether as a passenger, a driver, or any other road user, here we outline everything you need to know about your legal options, how to prove fault, what types of evidence are needed to build a case, and injury/property damage claim options at your disposal.
Uber Accident Claim Options
The victims of an Uber accident are typically:
- The Uber driver
- The passenger in the ridesharing vehicle
- The driver or passenger(s) of the other car that collides with the Uber vehicle
- Other road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists, or cyclists
Depending on the nature of your accident, you can file a claim against:
- The Uber driver
- The insurance company of the Uber driver
- Uber and Uber’s insurer
- Your personal health insurer
As is true with any vehicle accident, insurance claim adjusters will try proving your fault in the accident. These adjusters will look at all of the evidence regarding the accident, including:
- Witness testimony
- Surveillance cameras
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Accident scene pictures
This information is used to determine the person responsible for paying for all injuries and car and property damages.
Uber drivers are categorized as independent contractors tasked with transporting customers. Since Uber drivers are not employees of Uber, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the insurance coverage of the driver can be used for the damages caused by accident.
Fortunately, Uber requires all of its drivers to carry car insurance. Nevertheless, it is common for such driver’s insurance companies to refuse to cover accidents that occur during the course of a ridesharing pick or drop.
Uber also offers supplemental insurance to its drivers to cover passengers involved in an Uber accident. However, all passengers should note that Uber’s insurance only becomes available if the driver had the rideshare app on when driving.
Who Pays for Damages When an Uber Driver Causes an Accident?
Like any other accident claim, you’ll need to prove two things for a successful claim:
- Liability – Prove the fault of the person responsible. To succeed in doing this, you need to prove that the responsible party was negligent.
- Damages – How badly you were injured, and losses resulting from property damages.
In case the Uber driver was the negligent party, the most straightforward course of action would be forwarding a claim to the personal insurance carrier of the driver. However, this doesn’t always work. Unless the responsible driver had purchased a ridesharing endorsement or had a commercial policy, his or her personal policy will likely not cover your losses, and the carrier will deny your claim.
Regardless of liability, Uber provides insurance to all of its drivers. The damages you can claim and the extent of your coverage will depend on which of four distinct time periods your accident occurred in. These time periods are called ‘Uber Periods’ and they outline how much - and under what circumstances - Uber will pay for damages and injuries.
Uber coverage varies based on when a crash occurs.
- Period 0: This is when the Uber driver hasn’t yet logged into the rideshare application. For accidents that occur during this period, Uber doesn’t provide coverage.
- Period 1: This covers the time between a driver logging into the Uber application and accepting a passenger’s request. Uber offers coverage for crashes that are found to be the driver’s fault when they occur during Period 1. This coverage is up to $50,000 for one person injured, $100,000 for the entire injury liability for each crash, and $25,000 for property damages.
- Period 2: This is when the driver has accepted a customer’s trip request and is headed to pick up the client. During this time, liability coverage goes up to $1 million.
- Period 3: This is when the customer/rider is in the vehicle with the driver. Liability coverage during this period is up to $1 million, along with limited coverage for the damage of the driver’s vehicle and uninsured motorist’s cover.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
Like all big corporations, Uber and insurance carriers are in the business of making money and protecting their shareholders’ interests. These companies will do all they can to mitigate liability and they have teams of lawyers and claims adjusters protecting their interests. Why not have an expert on your side, too?
Our car accident lawyers in Miami have defended the rights and interests of our clients since before Uber’s inception. With our contingency-based representation, we will strive to win the highest possible compensation possible for you after an Uber accident and will assist you with aggressive negotiations and expert litigation. Call us now at 305-853-9171 to learn about your legal options and rights and to initiate a claim.