Services that enable you to hail rides have made it much easier for people to travel from place to place without the need for driving an automobile. With just the short few taps of your smartphone, you can have a driver take you where you need to go. Popular services such as Uber have perfected this business model.
However, these vehicles, just like any others on the road can become involved in car crashes that cause injuries to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. What happens if you suffer an injury in a car crash with an Uber, for instance? What should you do after the accident has occurred?
Car insurance is an issue that will affect both the driver and any injured passengers in an accident involving an Uber vehicle. Uber vehicles are both work vehicles and personal vehicles, depending on whether or not the driver is on the clock so to speak. When the car is not on the Uber app, the personal car insurance of the driver may be the only applicable coverage.
However, when the driver is on the app and available to pick up passengers, the driver may have access to supplemental liability from Uber in addition to the driver’s personal car insurance coverage. While an Uber driver is picking up a passenger and transporting them to the destination, Uber provides up to $1 million in liability coverage.
According to Uber, its drivers are independent contractors. They are not employees, but third-party service providers. The company uses this designation to avoid or minimize liability when drivers are involved in accidents.
As a driver or pedestrian hit by an Uber
If you are a driver of a vehicle impacted by an Uber, your first steps should be similar to the steps taken in the wake of any standard auto accident. Obtain the names, contact information, and insurance information of other drivers, as well as any witness contact information that is available. Take plenty of pictures of the accident scene from different sides and angles.
If the police did not show up, call them from the scene of the accident, especially if any bodily injury or more than minimal property damage has occurred.
Determining liability can be challenging if you are driving another car hit by an Uber driver, or a pedestrian struck by an Uber driver. If the Uber driver was not officially on the clock, you can treat the crash just like any other car accident. Gather as much evidence as possible and assess your injuries to support your claim. However, what if the driver was on his or her way to pick up a customer? During that travel time, is the driver considered to be on the clock, or not? This is a question that may be challenged by both sides.
As an Uber passenger
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle involved in a crash, the personal insurance of the driver may not adequately cover your injuries. More than likely, the company’s insurance will cover your injuries.
Generally speaking, employers are liable for the accidents of their employees. Even though Uber drivers are not technically employees, according to the company, as stated above, they provide liability coverage for accidents occurring on the clock.
If you are injured as a passenger in an Uber vehicle, get the medical attention you need for your injuries first and foremost. This will enable you do have a quick assessment of your injuries and obtain the treatment you need. As well, it will create a documented record of your injuries post-accident – something you may need for a personal injury claim.
If you have suffered an injury in a car crash with an Uber vehicle that was not your fault and don’t know the next steps to take, or how to file an effective claim, our Fort Lauderdale car crash attorneys can help. We have the experience and resources to fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-TELL-SAM or send us an email through our contact form to set up a free consultation.