When Uber transported its first rider more than 12 years ago, no one could have imagined how transformative the transportation network company would be. However, for all the billions of rides provided in that timeframe, hundreds of people have been injured or killed in accidents caused by Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing drivers. If you were injured as a result of an Uber, Lyft or any ridesharing driver — whether as a passenger, an occupant of another vehicle on the roadway, or a pedestrian or bicyclist — you can potentially sue the driver, the Uber, Lyft or ridesharing company and other parties.
An experienced Uber or Lyft Ridesharing accident lawyer from Eltringham Law Group can assist you in determining all sources of liability and associated insurance resources that can be accessed in order to provide compensation for the expenses and quality-of-life impacts you have incurred as a result of your injury.
Who Pays for Accidents Caused by Uber or Lyft, Ridesharing Drivers?
Uber and Lyft requires individuals to show proof of a personal auto liability policy when they apply to drive and also requires them to submit to a criminal background and driver history check. The driver’s insurance must meet the minimum insurance requirements for the state where they will be transporting passengers. For example, in Florida, drivers are required to have a personal injury protection (PIP) policy of at least $10,000 as well as liability coverage that provides at least $125,000 per person and $250,000 per accident, as well as $50,000 in property damage liability coverage.
When an individual is injured by an accident that was caused by an Uber or Lyft ridesharing driver, they can first seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury by filing a claim against the Uber driver’s personal auto liability policy.
The Big Issue with Filing a Claim Against Your Driver’s Personal Policy
When the Uber or Lyft driver is liable for the accident, it is expected that the victims of that accident will first file a claim against the driver’s policy. Unfortunately, many of these claims are denied because the driver failed to tell their insurance carrier that they were using their vehicle to make money. However, Uber also carries a third-party liability policy to compensate passengers, pedestrians, and the occupants of other vehicles who are injured as the result of the driver’s carelessness or recklessness.
How does Uber’s $1 Million Insurance Policy Work?
If the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance carrier fails to pay on the claim or the claim exceeds the limits of the driver’s policy, Uber’s third-party liability policy can go into effect. While the company often touts this $1 million policy it provides to protect the rights of passengers and others injured, the policy only pays out $1 million in certain circumstances. Here is how the policy works:
- If the driver is not logged in to the Uber app and is not working when the accident occurs, their personal auto liability policy provides coverage for individuals who are injured or experience property damage.
- If the driver is logged in to the app and waiting for a ride when the accident occurs, the Uber policy provides $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage liability.
- If the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or is transporting a passenger, Uber’s $1 million liability policy is in effect.
If Uber’s Policy will Likely be the One to Pay on My Claim, Should I Just File the Claim with Them First?
No. Uber’s policy is a third-party liability policy that is available in the event that the driver’s insurance carrier will not provide compensation due to unreported commercial activity from its insured. However, Uber still requires that to be the first resource when seeking compensation for injuries caused by the driver’s carelessness or recklessness.
Can You Sue Uber Itself?
If Uber’s insurance carrier refuses to pay on the claim, then a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in order to seek compensation from the insurance carrier through the courts. While Uber has largely insulated itself against liability for the actions of its drivers by classifying them as independent contractors, there are some circumstances in which the company can be named in a lawsuit, such as accidents involving drivers who have a known history of careless driving but were approved to drive for Uber anyway.
What About App Distraction?
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Uber over the years, alleging that Uber drivers are often distracted by the platform’s app, which requires them to input information on their cell phones while driving. These claims have largely been unsuccessful due to the designation of drivers as independent contractors, in spite of the consensus that the Uber app creates distracted Uber drivers.
Seeking Compensation After an Uber Accident
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by an Uber driver, you can seek compensation through the personal injury process. This process initially involves your attorney submitting a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The package contains details of the accident, documentation of expenses, and a demand for the full value of your claim.
Once the insurance adjuster receives and reviews the package, they can choose to either accept the claim, deny the claim, or accept the liability of their insured but offer to settle the claim for less than the value demanded. If a settlement offer is made, your attorney will provide guidance and information to help you make an informed decision whether to accept it or to continue negotiations.
If negotiations fail to produce a fair settlement offer, your attorney will file your personal injury claim in court within the statutory deadline. In Florida, Uber accident claimants have four years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Uber Accident? Eltringham Law Group Can Help
Let our experienced Uber, Lyft and ridesharing accident attorney help you make sense of the process of obtaining compensation for the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by a ridesharing driver. For your free case evaluation, contact us online.