Uber is a large part of why the rideshare industry has exploded in America. Rideshares are a convenient way to get around town or ditch your vehicle for quick and reliable transportation. The affordable service has helped reduce drinking and driving as well as distracted driving.
However, rideshare companies also have a dark side. Uber and Lyft have been involved in lawsuits related to deadly auto accidents and are far from perfect. Every time you enter a vehicle, whether you drive or ride as a passenger, is a safety risk.
What happens when you get into an accident with an Uber? Who is at fault —the company or the driver? The following article answers questions about determining fault in rideshare accidents and identifying the best party to pursue if you seek damages for your injuries.
What Can You Do After an Uber Driver Accident?
The number of rideshare drivers in the world has increased dramatically over the last decade. Close to 100 million people use Uber monthly. It is easily one of the most popular ridesharing apps.
The increased usage has put Uber in a sticky predicament, much like other rideshare companies. While the service is well intended, anyone knows that operating a motor vehicle is dangerous and carries with it several potential hazards.
Therefore, when an Uber is involved in an accident, most victims are confused about how the liability process works. In a traditional accident involving two vehicles, one driver is usually determined to be at fault, and any damages get taken out of that driver’s insurance policy.
On the other hand, getting into an Uber driver car accident (whether you are riding in the Uber or operating another car) is complicated because victims don’t know whether they should pursue Uber for damages, or the driver and his or her individual insurance policy.
Passengers or other drivers that are injured in an Uber driver accident are entitled to the same financial compensation as in other auto accidents. If you are injured and need treatment at an emergency room, doctor visits, or other medical procedures, you can have those expenses covered by the responsible party. Furthermore, you may pursue financial assistance for missed time from work and emotional damages.
Determining Fault in an Uber Driver Car Accident
Many auto accidents involve more than one vehicle or individual. If this is the case, determining who is at fault in the accident is crucial for criminal and insurance purposes. Insurance companies prove liability for an auto accident by finding out who is at fault for an accident involving more than one car or person.
In general, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering damages related to the other vehicle as well as any injuries sustained from the incident. However, many factors can change the most straightforward approach to determining liability in an auto accident.
For example, in some cases, the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance. In other instances, such as an accident involving an Uber driver, the person or entity that is at fault is far more complicated.
After an accident, the insurance companies that represent parties in the crash work to determine fault. They take factors into account like the police report, personal testimony, and injuries. In most cases, the at-fault person is either the one driving an Uber or the second driver.
Determining fault is more complicated when the driver did not break any laws (i.e., running a red light) yet still acted negligently. Negligence means that the accident could have been prevented if more caution and care were exercised.
Traditionally, victims of an Uber driver car accident have two methods of approach to receive damages if the Uber driver is at fault:
- The victim can pursue damages through the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance.
- The victim can pursue damages through Uber’s insurance policy.
Uber Insurance Coverage for Auto Accidents
Uber considers its drivers as independent contractors. Therefore, they are not employees of the company. Uber and other rideshare companies purposely make the terms of the work agreement this way to reduce their liability in auto accidents.
Consequently, when an Uber driver is involved in an accident, he or she does not have much protection from the company. The damages first come out of the personal insurance policy of the driver. However, if the Uber driver does not have a commercial auto insurance policy or an exception to a personal policy, it is plausible that the insurer will not honor the damages since the driver operated for-profit while driving for Uber.
Therefore, Uber also has its own insurance policy, which helps cover damages in the event that the driver’s insurance fails to cover the expenses. Uber uses a series of criteria to determine what condition the driver was operating under (for example, “off the clock” vs. “on the clock”) and what damages they can award.
Secure Damages for Your Personal Injuries After an Uber Accident
Injured victims of car accidents deserve fair compensation to cover medical bills and lost time from work. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, you should pursue the driver’s insurance policy first for damages. If that insurer fails to approve a financial reward (or the settlement is unrealistically low), you can request damages from Uber.
It can make all the difference to have a personal injury attorney on your side when dealing with an Uber driver accident. Uber is a company like any other that seeks to maintain profits and may offer you a settlement that is lower than you deserve.
Contact Stewart & Stewart today to get the appropriate reward you deserve for the lost time from work, emotional damages, and expensive medical bills associated with the accident. Our experienced attorneys are available for a free consultation at 1 (800) 33-33-LAW. You can also contact us online.