What to Do If an Uber Driver Hits You
The confusing legal status of ridesharing & the complicated insurance claim process may leave you wondering what to do if an Uber driver hits you.
A car accident is bad enough, but what if an Uber driver hits you? Now you’re not only facing the nightmare of dealing with the other driver in a crash, but also a rideshare accident with a big company like Uber and a complicated insurance hassle.
Plenty of California drivers find themselves in this situation every day. Uber now has about 150,000 drivers working in California and rideshare accidents are on the rise.
In fact, data from the San Francisco Police Department shows that rideshare drivers receive the largest share of traffic citations in the city, accounting for 50% of citations for failure to yield to pedestrians, 74% of illegal u-turns, and 77% of citations for obstructing a bike or traffic lane.
You could be the unfortunate cyclist, pedestrian, or driver who’s the victim of an Uber crash - and the Uber driver might throw up their hands and say, “Not my problem!” Now what?
What happens next can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including:
Plus, our state’s new gig work law, California AB 5, has added a new layer of employer responsibility for Uber. Although Uber fought the law’s passage, they couldn’t stop it. The new law calls Uber drivers presumed employees, which means as an injured victim, you might have a much better shot at holding Uber accountable for what happened.
Below we've created a quick reference guide to help you through the immediate aftermath of an Uber accident and the financial recovery process to come. If you ever find yourself in this situation, Sally Morin Law has your back.
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.
What Should You Do Immediately After the Crash?
After any sort of car accident, there are certain things you must do by law and certain things you should do to stay safe and protect yourself. Here are the 4 steps to take next.
1) Call Emergency Services
Call 911 immediately if there are any injuries - even minor ones - or property damage. This call will send first responders like police and EMTs to your location within minutes. You have the right to refuse medical treatment, but you might regret it later.
Having a complete and accurate police accident investigation report sets up your insurance claim or personal injury case. Plus, EMTs will be able to detect injuries that you may not even be able to notice at first. If the Uber driver is found to have caused the accident, you can ask Uber’s insurance to pay your medical expenses.
2) Begin to Gather Evidence
Evidence collection is an essential step for building a solid insurance claim after an Uber driver hits you. You should start immediately after the accident, if possible, and collect:
3) Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who will ultimately be deemed at fault for the Uber accident, contact your own insurance company. It’s time to get the ball rolling on your financial recovery and get the insurance process moving along.
4) Find an Experienced California Uber Accident Lawyer
While you may not need an Uber accident attorney to fight for you if your injuries are minor, anyone with serious injuries should consult with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with these accidents. Uber is a company with a long history of trying to minimize accident claims, so you need to know how to maximize your settlement.
How do Uber Accident Insurance Policies Work?
Under California law, Uber is required to hold $1 million in insurance in case someone suffers accident injuries. Uber’s insurance partner program offers driver coverage with major insurance carriers like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and others.
In the event of a covered accident, a passenger can request compensation from the Uber insurance depending on the circumstances involved. Uber rideshare insurance coverage depends upon three distinct periods:
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 Uber’s.
Period 2: The driver is available or waiting for a ride request.
During this period, 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 picking up 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 if the Uber Driver Has No Insurance?
Both Uber and the state of California require Uber drivers to have insurance, so if they don’t have it, they’re breaking the law and in danger of losing their job. Unfortunately, uninsured drivers are still all over our roads.
According to the International Insurance Institute, just 87% of drivers in California have insurance. That means that roughly 1 in 8 drivers have no auto insurance at all. Worse yet, many personal auto insurance policies will not cover drivers while they're using their vehicles for ridesharing unless they've purchased additional insurance expressly for that purpose.
So if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you may have to talk to your own insurance company, try to hold Uber responsible under California’s new AB 5 employment law, and/or sue the Uber driver individually. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can explore your options and make the best choice.
What if You Were Hit by a Driverless Uber?
Driverless Ubers are back on California’s roads after the company temporarily halted the program due to safety incidents. You may have heard about the San Francisco pedestrian hit by a driverless car and the pedestrian death in Arizona that happened when the human back-up pilot was watching TV on her phone.
So what happens if one of these driverless cars crashes into you? First, you should know that a car can’t be held legally responsible. The driver is still expected to be in control of their vehicle under California’s rules of the road. And if the car belongs to Uber and is test-driving, Uber is probably ultimately responsible.
As an injured victim, you can pursue a personal injury case against the owner/driver of an autonomous car by making a negligence claim. It’s possible that you could also hold the vehicle manufacturer responsible for design flaws or system malfunctions that contributed to your self-driving vehicle accident.
You Need an Uber Accident Lawyer
After a serious Uber accident, it’s vital to get qualified legal representation as soon as possible. You could have severe injuries along with medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. The process of securing the compensation you deserve is often extremely challenging and a lawyer’s advice can be a breath of fresh air.
Even when the facts and evidence in the case seem clear, you’ll need an attorney who is an experienced negotiator to help protect you from a bad deal. A good personal injury lawyer in a serious injury case can usually increase your award by so much, it more than covers their fee and leaves plenty so you can address your expenses and trauma.
Remember: Uber might be liable for your injury, but it will be difficult to get them to actually write you a check. It's up to you and your attorney to negotiate/litigate the monetary compensation you need to get on with your life.
Don’t let Uber and their insurance company shut you down with a lowball offer. You need a lawyer on your side after your Uber crash. Call 877-380-8852 or get a FREE online Uber case evaluation to see how we can help maximize your compensation.
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 Uber 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 us today for a free online case evaluation.