It’s smart to make use of ridesharing services like Uber when enjoying a hassle-free night out with friends or grabbing a ride home after a flight. Uber provides quick, reliable transportation with the touch of a smartphone app. For all the conveniences Uber offers, one aspect of the service remains complicated—the process of handling insurance claims after a car accident. If you’ve been injured in a wreck with or in an Uber vehicle, an Uber accident lawyer can help you and your family recover.
Rideshare companies like Uber have made great strides in recent years to make their insurance policies and procedures more straightforward than when the company was new, but there are still multiple complexities that could complicate an injury claim and potentially leave a victim without the money they need to fully recover. 3-4 insurers are often involved in any rideshare accident claim.
In addition, Uber often takes a “hands off” approach to many claims since the corporation tends to protect its own interests before anyone else’s. It’s a simple, unfortunate fact that accident victims are often left in the dark when dealing with corporate legal departments and insurance groups.
At Rideshare Law Group, we know you deserve better. If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. First, let’s go over some facts about how the company works and how insurance claims are typically handled after a car crash with an Uber vehicle or driver:
Some Facts You May Not Know About Uber
- Rideshare companies like Uber started gaining popularity when customers saw how simple it was to grab a ride with a few taps on a smartphone. The service works almost the same way as a taxi company, but with a technology-friendly twist.
- Uber doesn’t utilize in-vehicle meters which means riders typically know what they’re paying ahead of time thanks to the app. Riders are charged a base rate based on distance traveled and time spent. Fares may vary depending on vehicle type and the city, but most final fares are close to the projected initial fare the user sees before they confirm the pickup.
- Fares may also increase during hours of peak demand such as on New Year’s Eve in busy cities.
- Uber drivers are not employed through typical means by the company. They’re considered independent contractors by the company, though the rules for most independent contractors may not apply to all drivers. This does mean, however, that drivers receive no special training and supply their own vehicles.
- They are, however, required to use a vehicle that meets certain standards. All vehicles, for example, must be well-maintained, must be fairly new, and must have four doors.
- Drivers themselves must also meet certain standards. They must be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, and have a current driver’s license and registration.
- Drivers are “rated” via a 5-star system built into the Uber app. Customers are requested to rate each driver after a ride, and drivers must retain a certain rating to keep driving. This encourages drivers to be courteous and respectful to their clients as well as keep their vehicles clean.
- Since drivers are independently contracted, they can choose where to work and during what hours. To find a passenger, all they have to do is turn on the Uber driver app and log in. This makes their vehicles show up to customers who are looking for a nearby ride. Once a driver accepts a ride, the customer will see information regarding the driver and their vehicle as well as a real-time GPS ping showing the exact location of the car.
The Complexities of Uber Accidents
Since Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, they are required to carry their own insurance coverage in addition to the coverage provided by Uber. The coverage provided by Uber only covers drivers and passengers during certain periods of a trip. The rules are divided as follows:
- Offline – When a driver is in their vehicle but not using the app, they are considered “offline”. Any accidents that happen during this period are handled by the driver’s personal insurance policy.
- Available – When a driver is in their vehicle, using the app, and waiting to accept a ride, they are considered “available”. They are covered by Uber’s insurance coverage—liability only—but for a limited amount ($50k injury/$25k property/$100k total).
- En Route – When a driver has accepted a ride and is on their way to pick up the passenger, they’re considered “en route”. They’re covered by Uber’s full insurance coverage at this time ($1M liability/$1M uninured/underinsured motorist injury/and contingent collision/comprehensive).
- On Trip – When a driver has picked up the passenger and is bringing them to their destination, they’re considered “on trip”. They’re covered by Uber’s full insurance coverage during this time (see above).
As you can begin to see, if you’re injured in an Uber accident, the nature of the crash as well as the status of the driver at the time of the accident will both highly affect your claim.
Example Scenarios of Complex Uber Injury Claims
The following example situations are cases where you and your family may find it difficult to recover without legal assistance:
If you’re a passenger in an Uber vehicle and another driver who’s uninsured causes a crash, you may find yourself unable to pay for your medical bills if Uber decides that their contingency clause does not apply to your claim.
When a major corporation like Uber decides how much money you will receive, you can rest assured that the corporation will not always have your best interests in mind. Corporations will often do anything they can to cut corners financially.
If you’re a driver who gets into an accident with an Uber driver that does not currently have a passenger in the vehicle, Uber may refuse to become involved at all. If your injuries are severe, you may find yourself unable to pay for your recovery if the Uber driver’s private insurance coverage falls short.
If you’re a driver who gets into an accident with an Uber vehicle with a passenger, you may find yourself facing three separate insurance adjusters and three separate settlement offers. You may have to work with your own insurance company, Uber’s corporate insurer, and the Uber driver’s personal insurance company.
It’s possible that the three companies may work together to diminish your settlement amount in favor of Uber or cause your family an unneeded amount of stress by haggling for a lower offer than you feel you deserve.
In all three of the situations above, it can be difficult to obtain the compensation you need to move forward. Regular car accident claims are complicated enough, but when you add in the extra complications from dealing with a rideshare corporation and multiple insurance agencies, it can feel like no one is concerned about your injuries, your wellbeing, or your ability to provide for your loved ones while recovering.
How Can an Uber Accident Lawyer Help My Family?
In any of the above scenarios or similar situations, it may be difficult to know where to turn. If you’re receiving pressure from multiple insurers to settle an accident claim quickly, it’s in your best interest to take a moment to breathe, tell the insurers that you are still considering your options, and consider getting legal help as soon as possible.
By hiring an Uber accident attorney from Rideshare Law Group, you can focus on your recovery while trusting that we will look out for your best interests. We may be able to help settle your claim and get you a favorable settlement offer.
We can help you potentially obtain compensation (damages) for the following:
- Property or vehicle damage
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Physical therapy expenses/home care costs
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earning capacity in the case of a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional trauma
To learn more, get in touch with our legal team today. Our Uber accident lawyers are located throughout the United States and can assist with rideshare injury claims on a nationwide level. Our team has the experience and dedication your case deserves.