Does Uber Compensate for Accidents?
Will Uber compensate you for an accident?
Uber took the transportation world by storm, quickly dominating local travel in California cities and all around the globe. But the rideshare model Uber helped popularize has come under fire from safety advocates and insurance leaders.
Sure, Uber will potentially compensate you for a car accident. But the way Uber approaches accident cases often leaves victims angry, frustrated, and struggling to get the financial support they deserve.
Uber Accidents are On the Rise
Multiple studies have attempted to link the popularity of Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing apps with a nationwide decrease in accidents involving intoxicated drivers behind the wheel. While these services may limit drunk driving in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, they are also partly responsible for a rise in auto accidents in these same cities.
Just like everyone else, Uber drivers sometimes drive distracted, drive drunk, or make mistakes that result in accidents. There’s also a new factor: driverless Ubers that have been involved in high-profile auto accidents and deaths.
It's difficult to get a good picture of just how many Uber and Lyft accidents happen on an annual basis because most police forces still don’t differentiate between rideshare crashes and regular auto accidents. Plus, in California, Uber has actively worked to hide accident statistics from the public and prevent transparency about persistent safety problems.
Motorcyclist hit by an Uber driver
Last year I was in a serious Motorcycle accident that was not my fault. Beyond the initial emergency room visit, I required surgery and months of rehab. All in all, my left leg will probably never reach 100%. It has been a stressful and scary year. But one of the comforts through it all has been the services that Sally Morin provided.
While I was focused on my health, she was taking care of everything else. And in the end she got the other drivers' insurance company to settle at an amount that was substantial enough to cover the pain and suffering I had incurred as well ease my worries about paying for any future care related to the accident.
She even got the medical collections to decrease my balance due by thousands. I was skeptical to hire a lawyer off of YELP, but in the end it was the best thing I could have done.
Experience a serious Uber or Lyft accident?
Visit our Uber Accidents Help Page to learn more about how the personal injury process works.
How Rideshare Companies Differ From Other Transportation
While a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft essentially performs the same service as a taxi or limo driver, there are huge differences in how these services are viewed by the legal system and insurance companies across the country.
Taxi drivers are almost always employees of a company that helps compensate crash victims. Even taxi drivers who are technically independent are under the oversight of one or more state and municipal regulatory agencies and are subject to licensing requirements and other measures to protect the public.
Rideshare drivers, on the other hand, are independent contractors, essentially private citizens who are using their personal vehicles to provide a service on the Uber or Lyft platform. Although California’s new gig work law calls rideshare drivers “presumed employees,” it will likely remain difficult to make rideshare companies take full responsibility for their drivers’ actions. These companies have long histories of fighting the law!
So, Does Uber Compensate for Accidents?
The short answer is yes. Victims involved in Uber accidents can file a claim and receive compensation in a number of ways, depending on the circumstances.
If you were in an accident but weren’t injured, you can still get compensation from Uber for the amount you were billed for the ride. All you have to do is submit a complaint via the Uber app and your refund will likely be processed within a day or two.
This reporting process is important because if the police weren’t involved, it's up to the Uber passengers and parties involved to report the accident to Uber. If you don't, the driver might not. That means the driver may continue to work as an Uber driver in good standing, even if their poor choices and negligent actions contributed to a crash.
But what if you were injured in an Uber crash? What if you have severe injuries? For injured passengers, it’s important to keep in mind that California is a comparative negligence state. That means that all parties involved in an Uber accident can be assigned a portion of the liability. Your Uber driver may or may not be 100% to blame.
In such cases, you may be compensated by the Uber insurance policy for a majority of your financial losses including your medical bills, property damage, and more. We’ll describe how this works in more detail below. You may also need to seek additional compensation from another party's insurance company.
Regardless of which company you're seeking compensation from, craft a solid demand letter with the help of your uber accident lawyer and present enough evidence to make a persuasive case. This is always the best way to maximize your insurance settlement if you were injured in an accident and the driver is at fault..
How Insurance Works in an Uber Accident
Timing matters in Uber crashes. If there is no passenger in the car and the app is not open and active on the driver's mobile device, Uber insurance will try to avoid compensating you for your injuries or other financial losses.
In such cases, it falls upon the injured individual to seek compensation from the driver and/or their personal auto insurance policy. California mandates that all drivers maintain an insurance policy. However, if your injuries are severe, the associated medical expenses may surpass the mandatory insurance coverage dictated by California law.
If you've been injured by an Uber driver while they were essentially "off the clock" and the driver was either uninsured or underinsured, you may still be able to get the compensation you deserve from your own insurance policy, or in certain cases, via a personal injury lawsuit.
It’s important to understand that if your accident includes injuries although Uber requires its drivers to have auto insurance, there’s no guarantee the insurance will cover your claim. It’s usually arranged through one of the rideshare companies’ partner policies from Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and many others.
Rideshare drivers are only on the clock at certain times, which is why it matters so much to know which of the following three periods applied for the Uber driver at the time of the accident.
Period 1: The driver is offline or the app is off.
When the driver is not actively using the app and isn’t working, the driver’s personal insurance coverage applies. You’d need to pursue their auto insurance company, not the rideshare insurance.
Period 2: The driver is available or waiting for a ride request.
When the driver is working but not actively transporting a passenger, Uber maintains third-party liability coverage if personal auto insurance doesn’t apply. This includes $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Period 3: The driver is en route to pick up riders or is actively driving a passenger.
This is the active period when a driver is en route or driving passengers. Uber insurance is $1 million in third-party liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, contingent comprehensive and collision coverage, and up to the cash value of the car with a $1,000 deductible.
What About Pedestrians in Uber Accidents?
Pedestrians can seek compensation too. Let’s say an Uber driver strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk. If the driver was en route to picking up a passenger, even if there was no passenger in the car, the injured pedestrian could seek compensation from Uber.
Thankfully, California traffic laws make it easier for a pedestrian to be compensated by Uber after a collision. Indeed, the California Vehicle Code mandates that all drivers yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
The law also mandates that all drivers operate their vehicles in a safe and prudent manner, especially when pedestrians are present. There are very few incidents in which an injured pedestrian will be found even partially at fault when hit by a car in California.
Getting Uber to Compensate You After an Accident
As the victim of an Uber accident, it falls on your shoulders to collect and present evidence pertaining to the crash and your injuries in such a way that it persuades Uber's insurance company to pay out in an amount that's appropriate and adequate to compensate you for your losses. Accomplishing this - especially while recovering in a hospital - can be difficult or even impossible.
That's why if you've been injured in an Uber accident or a Lyft accident, you should at the very least have a no-obligation free consultation with a personal injury attorney who is experienced with these accidents and dealing with rideshare companies and their insurance carriers.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ll help you get a clear sense of all the options you have as well as the hurdles you may have to overcome. Remember, you don’t have to rely on Uber’s representatives to resolve your claim. You can seek the help of an experienced Uber lawyer who will help you secure the compensation you deserve.
We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including rideshare accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact our law firm today for a free online case evaluation.