Uber Crashes: What are my rights?

You’re no doubt already familiar with Uber, the app that let’s you hail a ride straight from your smartphone.  But have you ever stopped to consider certain legal ramifications of getting a lift from the ride sharing service.  Who is considered liable when a driver gets into an accident?

As an Uber passenger, your personal insurance policy will most likely not cover you in an Uber accident, because the accident occurred in a vehicle that was being used for commercial purposes.

Luckily, many states require that ride-sharing companies, or Transportation Network Companies, as they are now known, provide insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles.  Uber provides insurance that meets or exceeds the requirements of state law in every state where TNCs are regulated.  Keep in mind though, policies range from state to state.

Uber insurance benefits

Uber driver coverage

Damages to an Uber driver’s car that occur during “Period 1” are not covered by Uber insurance, nor are they liable for personal injury to a driver in an accident that occurred during that period, if the accident was the Uber driver’s fault.

When drivers are not available to pick up passengers, they’re covered by their own personal auto insurance.  However, when drivers are available, but haven’t yet picked up a passenger, the drivers are covered by their own personal insurance, plus an additional contingent liability coverage, provided by Uber.  This coverage goes as high as $50,000 per injury, for a total of $100,000, if the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t cover the matter.

Uber’s liability

Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors, or third-party service providers.  Therefore, they’re not Uber’s employees. A company is only liable for the actions of its employees while they are working.  They are not liable for the actions of third-party contractors, therefore Uber is not responsible for the actions of their drivers.

Bystander injury by Uber driver

We know now what passengers of and Uber are entitled to in the event of an accident, but what about a pedestrian or passenger of another car? The issues becomes whether or not the driver was on duty.  If the driver was on duty at the time of the incident, Uber’s insurance would cover the crash up to $1 million.  However, if the driver was off duty, the injured would be left to deal with the driver’s personal insurance coverage.

Other Uber legal issues

Along with auto insurance matters, there is also the concern lately about the action of Uber drivers in relation to passenger safety.  After several rape and assault allegations, Uber began requiring its drivers submit to background checks, as they were previously not required.

What we can do for you

If you or a loved one has been involved in an Uber-related auto accident that has resulted in personal injuries, it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible.  If you were the victim of an auto accident, you are entitled to compensation for the medical bills, pain, suffering and even future medical procedures.  At The Carlson Law Firm, we can help you prove that the other person is at fault through a detailed look at the case.  We have a team of skilled attorneys, nurses and private investigators ready to assist. Contact us as soon as possible for your free consultation.