The convenience, reliability, and low costs of the popular ride-sharing program, Uber, has made commuting very easy for many people. However, with Uber completing thousands of rides on a daily basis, there is a high chance of drivers being involved in accidents, leading to injuries and property damage.
Considering such a situation, many questions may arise pertaining to liability and insurance coverage. What happens if you are involved in a car accident while you are riding an Uber? Who will be liable to pay for your injury and property damage? It is important for you to know about what to do and who to turn to to get the compensation that you deserve in case you find yourself in an Uber accident.
Understanding How Uber’s Insurance Policy Works
Drivers registered with Uber are not actually its employees – they are considered independent contractors. The ride-sharing program requires the drivers to have their own third party liability insurance before they can use its app to get customers. In addition to the driver’s private insurance, Uber has a contingent liability insurance policy in place as well, which may provide coverage for your damages under specific circumstances.
Situation #1: Driver is “Off the Clock”
If an Uber driver is driving with the app turned off, they are considered to be off the clock or not working for the company. In such a situation, if the driver is involved in an accident, Uber will not bear responsibility and the driver’s personal insurance will come into effect to cover claims related to injuries and property damage.
Situation #2: Waiting for Passengers
If a driver has turned on the app but don’t have any passenger riding with them or assigned to them, Uber’s contingent liability policy may provide coverage for the damages sustained in a car accident. This insurance policy is secondary in nature and will come into effect after the driver’s private insurance.
Situation #3: With a Passenger
If a driver is en route to pick up an assigned passenger or the passenger is already riding with them, the car will be considered as a commercial vehicle. If an accident takes place under such a situation, Uber’s contingent liability policy will apply, which will cover up to $1 million.
Steps to Take after an Uber Accident
It can be quite confusing as to what to do after an Uber accident. Here are some essential steps you should follow:
- Seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Take information from the Uber driver and the other party involved in the accident. This includes names, contact information, vehicle registration, and details of their insurance provider. Take a picture of their vehicle, driver’s license, and Uber logo sticker.
- Call 911 to get law enforcement involved in the situation. Report the entire incident to the police to get everything on record.
- Report the incident to Uber. You can do this either by calling the company’s customer service number or through its app under the ‘Your Trips’ tab.
Accidents involving Uber drivers are unique and complex in nature. If you have been involved in an accident while riding an Uber, you will be covered by the driver’s private insurance and Uber’s contingent liability policy. It is essential to consult a personal injury attorney trust to evaluate your situation and help you with the best course of action.