Given how simple, quick, and straightforward ridesharing programs like Uber and Lyft are, it’s no wonder they have become incredibly popular. But the liability and insurance arrangements of such services can create considerable problems in the event of an accident. An Uber accident lawyer may be needed to help sort out liability and damages in such cases.
Did you know that Uber doesn’t require its drivers to take any safety training courses?. Unfortunately, such lack of training and certification can result in Uber drivers being involved in dangerous car accidents.
The attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek are here to guide you through the legal challenges that can arise from an Uber accident. Relying on our decades of experience representing clients in auto accidents, we can make the case that wins you the full compensation you are due.
How Are Uber Accidents Different From Other Car Accidents?
Vehicles and drivers for traditional cab companies are licensed and regulated by the state or local municipality. Specific laws are on the books concerning accident fault, insurance, and compensation for taxi accidents. In the event of an accident, these laws and regulations define who is responsible in various circumstances and how insurance will compensate victims.
In comparison, Uber and other ridesharing programs are a different story. Uber does have insurance that applies when drivers accept passengers through their service. However, what makes it so complicated is that the coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the crash. Coverage is different depending on whether the driver:
- Has accepted a ride or was transporting a passenger
- Was waiting to give a ride
- Was “offline” (not working at the time of the accident).
Liability and insurance for each of these situations are discussed in greater detail below.
How Does Insurance Work in an Uber Accident?
Uber does offer accident insurance for its drivers. The accident insurance coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the crash:
Driver Has Accepted a Ride Request or Is Transporting a Passenger
Both Uber and Lyft have a $1 million insurance policy for their drivers that covers accidents that happen after the driver accepts a passenger through the company app. This applies to situations where the driver has accepted a ride but the passenger isn’t in the car yet, or while the driver is already transporting the passenger.
Uber drivers can often be involved in accidents where the other driver is at fault. In many of these situations, the other driver may not have enough insurance to cover injuries. Uber’s $1 million policy typically provides coverage in these instances.
However, this process can still be challenging to handle due to the interaction between commercial and personal aspects. The assistance of an Uber accident lawyer can be of much benefit to clear up any issues regarding compensation.
Driver Was Waiting to Give a Ride
If an Uber driver is “on the app” or online and waiting for a rider but has not yet accepted a request, the insurance coverage is:
- $50,000 per person injured in a crash (up to $100,000 per accident)
- $25,000 in property damage per crash
This amount might not be sufficient to cover injuries and damages, especially those involving serious, catastrophic injuries to the spine or neck. An Uber attorney can help ensure that the injured party is fully compensated for their losses.
Driver Was “Offline” at the Time of the Crash
When an Uber driver is “offline,” it means that they are not logged into the app and thus are not working. If an accident occurs in such a situation, you cannot sue Uber or pursue an insurance claim under their policies. Instead, you would treat the crash like a regular car accident and pursue a claim against the driver for any damage or injuries.
These can include various types of crashes, like rear-end accidents, “t-bone” crashes, head-on collisions, and other accidents. Like any other car accident case, evidence will need to be provided to prove the claim and show that the Uber driver was liable for the crash.
Is Uber Responsible for Accidents?
Uber’s drivers are independent contractors, not direct employees of the company. As such, it may be difficult to sue Uber directly if an Uber driver is at fault in an auto accident. In these instances, the injured person would need to file their claim against the driver to obtain compensation for their injuries.
Even with Uber’s $1 million insurance policy, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit if there are legal issues that need to be resolved, or if the insurance policy doesn’t cover specific losses. An Uber accident lawyer can help the victim of the crash obtain the proper remedy for their expenses.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident With an Uber Driver
A person who is not an Uber passenger can also get into an accident involving an Uber driver. The two most common scenarios are:
- You were in another vehicle that was in an accident with an Uber driver
- You were a pedestrian or bicyclist who was struck by an Uber
In both of these cases, liability and damages will again depend on whether the Uber driver was driving a passenger, on the clock waiting for a ride, or off of the clock (“offline”). Basically, if the driver was off the clock, then it would be treated as a normal car or pedestrian accident.
As you can see, these types of situations can become quite complex, especially when it comes to proving whether the driver was working or not at the time of the accident. This is why it is highly recommended to let an Uber accident lawyer sort these issues out on your behalf.
Steps to Take After an Uber Accident
As with any car accident, the victim must be able to prove two things in order to win compensation: that the other party was at fault for the accident, and the severity of the victim’s injuries.
- Call for medical attention if there is an injury or suspected injury.
- Document the accident with photographs of injuries, property damage, and the accident scene.
- Gather witness information.
- Get the driver’s personal and insurance policy information.
- Jot down the accident events while they are still fresh in your mind.
- Obtain the police report.
- Track all medical appointments and costs for accident injuries.
- Track all time missed from work due to the accident.
Following these steps can help prepare you for your claim, and will begin the process of preparation in the event that a lawsuit is needed. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of success. An experienced attorney can help you gather what’s needed for your case.
Verdicts & Settlements
At Pierce Skrabanek, we take all the necessary steps to prepare for negotiations and trial, so that our clients get the most favorable results for their cases. Notable verdicts and settlements include:
How a Lawyer Can Help
An experienced car accident attorney is your biggest ally following an accident, and this is especially true during the complicated legal aftermath of an Uber accident. An attorney can take on insurance agencies that deny claims due to insufficient driver coverage. We can also go after the rideshare companies themselves, who do all they can to avoid paying out on an accident one of their drivers has caused.
By negotiating with other parties and gathering the necessary evidence for you, you can enjoy a better chance of winning your claim, while also being able to concentrate on healing. As part of taking on your case, your attorney may:
- Collect and review medical and other technical documents
- Gather medical bills and other expenses related to your accident
- Take witness testimony
- Order police reports
- Work with medical experts and other technical experts
Upon carefully reviewing this evidence, we can build a strong case that demonstrates your injuries and property damage were directly due to the Uber accident. We can also determine and prove the maximum compensation you are owed. Choosing to take on an Uber driver or rideshare company on your own means taking the risk of not recovering full damages, and potentially being denied compensation altogether.
Pierce Skrabanek Is Here for You
The reputable Uber accident attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek have been standing up against big companies for years. We know all the tactics corporations use to deny a legitimate claim and will leverage this knowledge to your advantage.
Let us take over the legal aspects of your car accident case. Reach out to us today at (832) 432-1924 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We are here to ensure that all the important details of your case are fully addressed and resolved.
Uber Accident Lawsuit FAQs
- Medical treatments not covered by insurance
- Lost work wages due to the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (for instance, if the driver acted intentionally or extremely recklessly)
Obtaining a damages award can help you recover losses caused by the accidents, and can help you move forward toward a better quality of life. A qualified Uber accident attorney can fight for the highest compensation you are entitled to.