How Does Uber Insurance Work in an Accident?
New Gig Work Law Impacts San Francisco Uber Accident Claims
In June 2020, Uber and Lyft drivers were declared employees by the California Public Utilities Commission under the new California law AB 5, also known as the gig work law. It describes rideshare drivers as “presumed employees” as opposed to independent contractors, which means rideshare companies must follow state laws regarding employed workers.
This is a huge change that impacts how accident victims may be able to hold rideshare companies responsible for their injuries. While Uber is well known for trying to avoid liability for car accident claims, its drivers’ new status as employees is shaking everything up.
In the years since Uber launched in 2009 in the Bay area, there have been hundreds of Uber accidents in San Francisco. Victims of these accidents often find themselves fighting uphill battles.
It’s sneaky and underhanded when a company uses legal loopholes to avoid paying innocent victims the compensation they deserve. But for years that’s exactly what rideshare companies have tried to do - minimize their liability while maximizing their profits.
Good news: You don’t have to rely on Uber’s or Lyft’s representatives to resolve your case. You can seek the help of an experienced San Francisco Uber accident lawyer to stand up to the rideshare company.
As a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, I’ve seen the devastation Uber and Lyft injuries can cause and the challenges victims face when it comes to getting fair compensation during a difficult recovery process. I’m here to help you use California’s new gig work law to hold rideshare companies accountable for their drivers’ accidents.
Why Uber Accidents in San Francisco are So Complicated
Ridesharing is extremely popular and the San Francisco Bay area is one of the world’s biggest Uber markets. Uber has more than 150,000 drivers working in California, with many living in rural and suburban areas and commuting daily to big cities to serve rideshare passengers.
As any reputable taxi driver will tell you, Uber is not a taxi service. It’s a ridesharing service. The company was designed to connect individual drivers with people who need to get from point A to point B.
It’s similar to a taxi service in that:
But even with the new gig work law in place, there are still some differences between rideshare services and taxi services. If you’re ever in a rideshare accident in San Francisco, these differences become a big deal.
Uber Drivers and the Problems with Auto Insurance
Car insurance policies - including the “partner policies” Uber offers its drivers - do NOT guarantee coverage for rideshare passengers in the event of an accident. An insurance company will always scramble to find ways to protect itself and avoid paying out on a claim.
Although California legislators enacted rideshare laws in 2015 and strengthened them with the new gig work law in 2020, accident victims are still on their own to pursue personal injury claims. This means you will still need the help of an experienced attorney to hold a rideshare company accountable for their driver’s accident.
In fact, having an attorney may be more important now than ever. At this point, Uber and Lyft have been fighting legal battles against the state of California for years. If you try to go up against them alone, you’ll face an army of company lawyers and insurance reps.
Landmark Fatal Uber Accident in San Francisco
To see how Uber tends to handle car accident claims, look at the landmark legal case of 6-year-old Sofia Liu. She was crossing the street when she was struck by an Uber driver.
When the family pursued a claim against the company for the girl’s tragic death, Uber insurance denied the claim because the driver had not yet accepted a passenger - he was simply riding around with the app open. Sofia’s family won a lawsuit against the company, which set the stage for AB 2293, which required Uber to cover drivers whenever the app is open, not just when they have accepted or are actively carrying a passenger.
Today, AB 5, the new gig work law, further holds rideshare companies accountable because it makes their drivers “presumed employees.” Injured people and the families of victims who have died in rideshare crashes have more hope of winning against Uber, Lyft, and all the others.
However, if you’ve been injured, remember that a settlement or payout is never guaranteed. You’ll need the help of a San Francisco Uber accident attorney to hold the rideshare company
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.
We Handle Your Uber Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an Uber accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of traffic law, including injuries that arise from Uber, Lyft and other rideshare accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your rideshare accident while we handle the legal details. We truly care about our fellow citizens of California. Call 1-833-SALLY-SF today for a free case evaluation.