Imagine hopping into an Uber and traveling just a few blocks when a car crashes into you. And – surprise! – it’s another Uber. Now the two Uber drivers are yelling at each other and you’re caught in the middle.
This scenario plays out more often than you might think. With more than 150,000 Ubers on California’s roads, Uber vs. Uber accidents are becoming more common.
As an injured passenger, you’re the innocent victim in this situation. Unfortunately, you’re in for a battle among multiple parties: driver 1, driver 2, each person’s insurance company, and Uber trying to sort it all out internally.
In the meantime, you’re dealing with doctors’ bills, recovering from your injuries, and missing days of work. You have pain and debt due to someone else’s bad driving! Now what?
Welcome to the Confusing Uber Claims Process
It’s time to see if Uber will compensate you for your accident. As required by California law, Uber offers individual victims compensation of up to $1 million through a liability insurance policy for injuries sustained in a rideshare accident.
To start an Uber insurance claim, you’ll use the company’s claims portal, where they’ll ask you lots of questions about the details of the accident. Be careful what you say here! Your answers could be used against you later.
Also, be advised that Uber’s insurance partner policies do NOT guarantee coverage for rideshare passengers in the event of an accident. Liability depends on who caused the accident and which period the Uber driver was in when the accident occurred.
Non-applicable period: When the driver is not actively working for Uber and is just using their car for personal reasons, their personal insurance coverage may apply. However, the rideshare company insurance would not apply during this period.
Period 1: The app is open and the driver is waiting for a match. Uber provides primary insurance of at least $50,000 for death and personal injury per person, $100,000 for death and personal injury per incident, and $30,000 for property damage, plus $200,000 in excess coverage. Uber is allowed to satisfy these requirements through insurance maintained by the driver, Uber-provided insurance for coverage if a driver does not maintain the required coverage, or a combination of these.
Period 2: A match has been accepted, but the passenger is not yet picked up. Uber provides primary commercial insurance valued at $1 million. Uber is permitted to satisfy these requirements through insurance maintained by the driver, Uber-provided insurance for coverage if a driver does not maintain the required coverage, or a combination of these.
Period 3: Passenger in the vehicle and until the passenger exits the vehicle. In addition to stipulations from Period 2, Uber is also required to provide uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage in the amount of $1 million from the moment a passenger enters the vehicle until the passenger exits the vehicle. In some cases, the Uber driver opts to extend this coverage.
Uber Insurance Might Pay for Almost Everything
Typically, you won’t need to start a lawsuit immediately after an Uber vs. Uber accident. An insurance claim is often all it takes to get the compensation required to cover medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Insurance settlements are often better for all parties than lawsuits because they’re fast, mutually-acceptable, and allow everyone to move forward after the accident. But don’t move so fast that you agree to a lowball offer that’s not in your best interests.
Timing-wise, insurance settlements with Uber or Lyft can take as little as a few days to process. You may have a check in-hand quickly as long as your injures were minor and the facts aren’t disputed.
More complicated claims take more time to process and may require an extended negotiation period. A complex claim may take a few months, which is still shorter than a personal injury trial which can go on for years before anyone ever sets foot in a courtroom.
Sometimes a Passenger Just Has to Sue
In some situations, a settlement isn’t possible and you have to sue to get the compensation you need. Here are some clues that you need to contact a personal injury lawyer about filing a lawsuit.
- You have extensive injures and all involved parties are refusing to cover them.
- Uber – or the driver – is ignoring you and won’t communicate.
- It happened when the Uber driver was off the clock and Uber refuses to help.
- The Uber driver was uninsured but has the financial resources to pay you.
- The insurance company is actively fighting your claim, lowballing you, or claiming you weren’t injured but you have clear evidence of your injuries.
At this point, an attorney can help you develop a strong demand letter backed up by hard evidence. They can take your claim to a higher level of negotiation to see if a lawsuit will be absolutely necessary.
You’ll need proof to cement your claim, such as:
- Accident reports
- Medical records
- Meticulous documentation
- Photo and video recordings
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert testimony
With this kind of evidence presented by an experienced personal injury lawyer, often the insurance company finally begins to see reason and agrees to a high level of compensation.
Uber Regulations are Changing in California
Here are a few more things to keep in mind because they could bolster your case. New investigations have found that Uber may be misleading the public and lawmakers about rideshare accidents because they want you to think their service is safe.
You may have heard about a huge change in how the state of California views rideshare drivers. You should know that California law regarding rideshare services is constantly evolving. Lawmakers are scrambling to update the law. Learn the latest here.
Was One of the Uber Drivers Drunk or Distracted?
California is also dealing with the ever-present dangers of distracted rideshare drivers and drunk rideshare drivers. If you suspect your Uber driver was distracted, high, or drunk, talk to your lawyer about your options.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we can launch an investigation into what the Uber driver was doing before the accident and gather meaningful evidence to support your side. This shows where the fault lies and adds value to your claim.
Another New Concern: Driverless Ubers
Adding yet another layer of complexity, driverless rideshare vehicles are now on California’s roads and have been involved in several high-profile wrecks with death and severe injuries. So far, all “driverless” Ubers rely on human backup pilots – however, these pilots sometimes fail to pay attention and allow accidents to happen.
You can sue for compensation after a crash that involves an autonomous Uber. Make sure you choose an experienced Uber accident attorney who is thoroughly familiar with the issues that arise in a case with a self-driving Uber.
“I worked with Sally and her team a few years back when I had an accident on the 405. They are INCREDIBLY responsive, professional, and great to work with. Getting into an accident can be a physically and emotionally painful experience. SO thankful for people like Sally who care so much about their clients.” – Scott B.
Experience a serious Uber or Lyft car accident in California?
Check out our Uber Accident Page to learn more about how the process works.
After an Uber vs. Uber Accident, You Need a Lawyer
You need time to rest and recuperate from your injuries, and perhaps even adjust to permanent disabilities. The last thing you need is the stress of a battle with Uber and its drivers.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a strong record of achieving swift accident settlements as soon as possible after Uber accidents. Our legal team is passionate about securing the financial compensation you deserve. You’re the innocent victim here!
You can turn to Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for help during this challenging and confusing time. We are Uber vs. Uber accident experts and we’re here to help you.