What If I Was Injured in a Uber Motor Vehicle Accident?
The use of ride-hailing apps like Uber is becoming more popular by the day. Because the practice is new, the law has had trouble keeping up with it. Therefore, questions arise as to who is liable if you are injured while riding as an Uber passenger, or if you are injured as a result of an Uber car crashing into you or your car.
Because the concept of Uber drivers is relatively new, there is still some confusion surrounding what an Uber driver actually does. Uber drivers are unlike taxi drivers in that they use their own personal vehicles to transport passengers. Passengers contact Uber via an app and a nearby driver will come to pick you up.
In the case of motor vehicle accidents, those injured are likely to recover damages from the insurance carriers that provide insurance to the defendants. In Uber’s case, this is somewhat complicated…
While it seems like Uber should be liable for your injuries if you are hurt in an Uber-related accident, this may not be the case. Uber claims that its drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees. Moreover, Uber allows drivers to use their own personal auto insurance. This is the problem you may face when trying to receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Yes, Uber is Insured, But that May Not Cover Your Injuries…
Uber has a complex insurance structure that includes three “phases”. Depending on when you are injured and during what phase, the available insurance coverage is very different.
When the drivers are not “on duty” and do not have the Uber app open, they are covered by their own personal motor vehicle insurance.
When drivers are on duty, and are available to pick up passengers but haven’t done so yet, they are covered by their own personal insurance plus Uber’s additional contingent liability coverage. This means that if a driver’s personal car insurance is not sufficient to cover the cost of your injuries, Uber’s contingent insurance coverage kicks in.
- Finally, drivers who are driving with a passenger are covered by a much larger Uber insurance policy. Currently, this is a $1 million liability coverage policy and a $1 million uninsured/underinsured coverage policy.
So, you’re covered, right? Well, maybe.
Uber Drivers are Considered Third-Party Providers
Because Uber drivers are currently considered independent contractors, the company is not liable for an Uber driver’s actions. Therefore, you may not be able to sue Uber for damages based on its drivers’ actions—especially when the drivers are not carrying passengers.
There are also other limitations on insurance coverage. It is critical that you contact a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you are protected.
So, Who Will Pay You For Your Injuries?
The answer to this question largely turns on how a court classifies Uber drivers—employees or independent contractors. Knowledgeable attorneys stay current on this ever-evolving area of the law. This is a complicated legal issue and you should contact legal representation to help you through the process at 386-274-2229.
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