Uber is taking the world by storm. Getting an Uber is faster, cheaper, and more convenient than calling a cab. Also, the company runs background checks on drivers. Its standards are as high as many taxi companies. But accidents are a fact of life, no matter who is driving. Therefore, before getting in the car, know what to do in case of an Uber car accident.
After the Accident
As soon as an accident happens, after ensuring everyone is safe, your first call should be to the police. Even if the damage is minor and no injuries are apparent, you want a police report to describe what happened. This makes your life easier in the event you seek damages.
Additionally, the driver should contact Uber right away and alert them to the accident.
You’ll want to speak with an experienced attorney about your options. The sooner you do this, the better. A good chance exists that you can receive compensation after an Uber car accident. Payment could come from the driver’s insurance company, Uber’s supplemental coverage, or Uber itself.
Uber Driver Policies
Because Uber is still a new trend, it can be unclear what happens in an accident. Who is liable? Who pays for the passenger’s injuries? How do those affected ensure they get paid?
Uber drivers must carry auto insurance. But their policies don’t always protect them. Car insurance companies tend to look for reasons not to pay claims. For instance, standard policies do not cover commercial driving. Ride sharing counts as driving for pay.
Fortunately, Uber steps in where the driver’s insurance company stops. The company provides liability coverage on top of what its drivers carry. Also, Uber offers uninsured motorist coverage. If a driver without insurance plows into your Uber, you still have protection.
How Much Does Uber’s Insurance Cover?
Here’s where the news gets better. Uber is actually more generous than most taxi companies with its coverage. The company provides each driver with $1 million in liability coverage. This is on top of what drivers carry for themselves.
Most cab companies, by contrast, carry the minimum that their state requires, which, in most places, amounts to much less than $1 million. Also, taxi companies tend to use less reputable insurance companies. These companies often find ways to deny claims.
From this perspective, you’re better off in an Uber car accident than a taxi accident. Uber not only provides its drivers with more insurance coverage but also uses better insurance companies.
How to Get Compensated for an Uber Car Accident
Uber’s policy should cover you for injuries suffered in an Uber car accident. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. Even if blame belongs to another driver who isn’t insured, Uber’s policy should take care of you for up to $1 million.
The challenge comes if you seek more than $1 million in damages. In these situations, Uber will likely deny responsibility. Because its drivers are contractors, not employees, Uber can deny responsibility for their behavior. Let’s say your driver was engaged in reckless behavior during the crash. Uber might argue it has no way of knowing or controlling if a driver is texting or under the influence.
Even though such issues only arise for claims greater than $1 million, you always want to speak to a qualified attorney after an Uber car accident. You may think your claim is worth much less, but you never know. A good lawyer can ensure you don’t leave money on the table.
Uber car accidents can affect more than the driver and passengers. For instance, you could be driving another car when an Uber driver runs into you. Likewise, an Uber driver might strike you while you’re crossing the street on foot.
One tricky situation happens when an Uber driver causes an accident in between calls or when the driver is not logged into the Uber app. Suppose an Uber driver drops someone off and decides to head home. The driver turns off the app and, seconds later, strikes your car.
The question becomes whether the driver was acting as an Uber representative when the wreck happened. The answer determines how much money, if any, you receive.
Uber argues that when drivers have their app turned off, they are driving for personal use and not for the company. However, in the scenario above, it was the driver’s work for Uber that caused him or her to be in the position to injure you in the first place. Again, this is why you need to speak with an experienced attorney after an Uber car accident.
Car accidents are stressful situations. In the case of an Uber car accident, it can be even more trying because you don’t always know where to look when seeking compensation for your injuries. An experienced accident lawyer can take the burden off your shoulders and make sure you get all the money to which you’re entitled.