A DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO UBER CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
When all goes well, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft can make your life easier. An Uber ride can help you get to work, the airport, or safely home after a night out. However, Uber drivers can be involved in accidents just like everyone else, and victims should understand their rights.
If you’re a passenger in a ridesharing accident, you may incur various accident-related losses. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you may be able to recoup them. Unsurprisingly, the first thing that may Uber accident victims want to know is how much compensation they will be able to obtain by filing a claim.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to estimate exactly how much all Uber accident victims get from these lawsuits or even the average settlement. Because Uber is a private company and many of these cases are settled out-of-court, getting an accurate reporting of all cases is not possible. However, you can estimate how much your case may be worth based on these five factors.
1. The Driver’s Status at the Time of the Accident
If someone is driving for Uber to pay their bills, it’s quite unlikely that they will have many assets that you can seize after a lawsuit. Even if the judge awards a large sum to you, it could be difficult to actually get the money from the driver. As such, you can look at Uber’s insurance policies to see how much compensation you can realistically get.
Which insurance policy applies depends heavily on the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Uber provides the following levels of liability coverage for drivers:
- On a trip or after a ride has been accepted – $1 million
- Available, but between trips – $50,000 per individual (up to $100,000 per accident) and up to $25,000 for property damage
- Not logged in – no coverage, the driver uses personal insurance
If you are injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver that is providing a trip or on his or her passenger, you will most likely be able to recover up to $1 million by making a claim on Uber’s policy. However, this could change depending on the specifics of the case. For example, if you are hit by an Uber driver who is in between trips or who has turned the app off, the policy limits may be much less.
2. Who Was at Fault for the Accident
Before you file a claim against an Uber driver, it’s important to know whether the company’s liability policy will cover the incident. Uber’s liability policies only apply in two cases:
- The Uber driver’s negligence caused the accident
- Another driver is liable, but that driver is uninsured or underinsured
If you’re in an accident and the other driver is legally liable for the accident and has adequate insurance, Uber’s insurance provider will likely not pay. Instead, you will need to address the issue with the other driver.
This issue is further complicated in states with no-fault insurance laws. In these 12 states, passengers seek compensation from the insurance policy that covers the car they were in, regardless of who was to blame for the accident. So, if you are a passenger in an Uber at the time, you will make a claim against Uber’s policies.
3. The Extent of Your Injuries
Being in an accident while taking an Uber ride does not automatically mean that you will get $1 million for your trouble. Instead, that figure is the maximum that the policy will pay for liability. How much of that maximum you can receive depends on the severity of the accident and the costs you incur as a result.
The total cost of physically recovering from the accident will likely be a major factor in determining how much compensation you receive. This may include any of the following costs, as applicable:
- Emergency medical services
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy and other ongoing treatments
- Expected future medical treatments related to the accident
- Travel needed in order to access appropriate medical care
It’s absolutely vital to keep all medical records and receipts for medical care. Adding all of this up can help prove how extensive your injuries are, thus increasing your total amount of compensation,
4. Other Damages from the Accident
While medical costs can make up a large portion of the damages you claim, that is not all that the insurance company and courts should consider. Uber accidents often result in significant economic and non-economic losses, including lost income and physical and emotional pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine the extent of your losses and ensure that you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
5. Other Responsible Parties
In most cases, your compensation will come from the car insurance policy of either the other driver or Uber. Because Uber classifies drivers as contractors, rather than employees, it’s difficult to sue the company itself for an accident. However, there may be cases in which an entity other than the drivers holds some responsibility.
For example, if you and your lawyer discover that Uber did not properly vet a driver before hiring them, the company may bear some responsibility. If the other driver was drunk, a bar could be responsible for overserving that person. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case and hold all responsible parties to account.
As you can tell, Uber accident claims can be complex and often depend on local laws. That’s why it’s important to find an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney to handle your case. Many of these lawyers work on a contingency basis, so they only get paid if you get compensation.
Search for a reliable lawyer and get started with your claim as soon as you can. Many states have statutes of limitations for car accident claims, so don’t delay.