Ridesharing has become an epic trend in recent years. According to Uber, 95 million people used its app in 2018. With this enormous influx of passengers relying on Uber, accidents have become an issue for thousands of people. Car accidents of any kind are frustrating, dangerous, and expensive. However, being a passenger in an Uber accident can be doubly frustrating. Many questions arise when a crash occurs. Who is at-fault? Whose insurance is liable? If you’re injured, who is compensated? With the lengthy list of questions that become relevant, we’ve put together information to aid you every step of the way.
What to Do Following the Crash
First, like every car accident, make sure everyone is alright around you. If you or anyone else is injured, promptly call 911 and get an emergency crew to the scene. Once this happens and the dust has settled, there is much to do.
If you are not injured, insurance companies will need to be called, and the questions will be constant. Collect photos of everything. When I say everything, I mean every inch of all vehicles involved. This will cause fewer headaches for you in the long-run. Obtain the information of everyone involved and then worry about who is responsible both financially and physically. If you don’t feel comfortable handling everything on your own, Buffalo accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury auto accidents can help you every step of the way.
If you are injured, the next step is to figure out who will be covering your injuries. That’s where everything will begin to get delicate.
Uber’s Accident Policy
To make things simple, Uber created an accident policy that defends it from rider lawsuits and any other ensuing harm. This accident policy marks the beginning to understanding what you need to know in the case of a car crash.
The policy is as follows: if you’re riding in an Uber and the driver is involved in a wreck that causes you injuries, Uber provides you with $1,000,000 in bodily injury insurance coverage. The company equally protects their driver with $1,000,000 in liability insurance. Both coverages mean you are secured if you are injured and if you did nothing to cause the accident to happen.
Knowing you are insured will certainly bring you peace of mind; however, there is more to the accident than a fine print policy. If you feel you’ve been unjustly accused of something or aren’t being properly compensated for your personal injuries, finding an accident attorney is vital.
Who is Liable?
Liability is extremely important. After a car accident, whoever is at fault is usually held responsible; the same applies to accidents involving an Uber. Whomever the ridesharing driver is, they will most likely have car insurance coverage. If you find that they don’t, Uber also has a policy that protects its riders from UM’s (uninsured or underinsured motorists). The UM coverage is usually $1,000,000.00 as well. The Uber driver’s personal car insurance will be liable for the subsequent damages.
In every case, as a rider, you may have personal insurance, as well. The type of insurance you pay for will lead to the amount of coverage you have.
Now, this all may seem cut and dry so far, but it’s about to get interesting. In Florida, there are more questions on this issue than in any other state. Florida possesses a no-fault PIP (personal Injury Protection) law.
Even more important to keep in mind, Uber drivers are not necessarily employees of the company. Instead, Uber has bonded them in a contract. Therefore, the drivers do not have all the protection of a fully employed person of a normal company. This grey area creates more questions than it presents answers.
To sum it up, if you’re in Florida, an auto accident attorney could be your best bet if any hiccups come forth. If you’re in any other state and your driver is at fault, you will either be covered by Uber or the driver’s personal insurance policy.
Should You File a Lawsuit against Uber?
In most car accident cases involving Uber, riders would sue the at-fault driver, which has nothing to do with the ridesharing company whatsoever. But some situations, while rare, may arise in which you do have recourse against Uber. The most popular thing that some riders would take legal action against Uber for would be the driver of the Uber vehicle. Uber has taken scrutiny recently over the type of people that are being hired to drive for it. Many people have been wondering if the background checks Uber is doing are enough. If you believe your driver was behaving recklessly, you could have a viable case in the circumstance of an auto accident.
Other than the extreme situations, you will not be suing the rideshare company; you will be suing the at-fault driver.
Uber has begun an overhaul of safety with its company. In most cases, you will not have to worry about a thing when it comes to an injury sustained in an Uber accident. To make sure you understand what needs to happen and what will follow the accident, it’s important to know the facts.
Just like any car accident, be sure to call 911. Take pictures and even videos. Everyone has a cell phone, and it can be utilized to your advantage. Contact your insurance company and assure you are not liable for anything. Remember, Uber has an accident policy that will help almost all cases. Determine the at-fault driver, and if you feel you are not being compensated fairly for your injuries, an auto accident attorney would be your dearest friend.
Keep in mind, Uber immediately releases a driver if they’re in an accident while driving for the company. This is a significant peace of mind for anyone worried about getting in an Uber. Stay safe on the roads and recognize what to do if the rideshare is in an accident.
Credits to the Author
Chris O’Brien has been handling personal injury cases in Western New York for more than 30 years. He enjoys a national reputation as not only a trial lawyer but also an educator of other trial lawyers. At the same time that he has recovered 20 million or multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of his clients, Chris has also taught trial skills in 21 states, districts, and territories as well as 2 provinces in Canada. He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the National College of Advocacy, has been a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for 20 years, and has been named as one of Western New York’s Top Ten Lawyers by Buffalo Business First.