Who is Responsible in an Uber Accident?
From a legal standpoint, an Uber accident is just a regular accident. The only difference is that, in an Uber accident, at least one of the vehicles involved in the accident is an Uber service vehicle. Being an Uber driver does not change culpability in the event of an accident, but it does affect the payout in case an Uber driver is found to be at fault. This, in turn, has significant impacts on both Uber drivers as well as passengers, and even pedestrians who happen to suffer injuries as the result of the accident.
Uber and other ridesharing companies consider themselves to be nothing more than service providers that connect customers with drivers. They do not see themselves as responsible for their drivers, and instead consider the drivers to be independent contractors and not employees. Accidents, however, can be serious, even fatal, and due to previous legal precedents, there are clear guidelines in place that determine culpability for insurance coverage in the case of an Uber accident.
An Accident with an Uber Driver
If your car has sustained damage or you have suffered an injury due to an accident where an Uber driver was at fault, then you can claim damages from the driver. This would typically be the responsibility of the personal insurance provider of the driver. Uber requires all its drivers to maintain the minimum level of insurance mandated by the state. Here are Texas state driver insurance requirements. Furthermore, Uber provides liability cover up to $1 million for its drivers.
Uber Liability in an Accident
Here are Uber driver insurance policies. In summary, Uber only insures its drivers under specific scenarios.
- If the Uber driver is not logged into the app at the time of an accident, Uber will not provide insurance coverage for accidents or injuries that result from the accident.
- If the Uber driver is logged in but is waiting for a rider or is en route to pick up a customer, then Uber provides liability coverage for accidents that are the fault of the driver up to $50,000 per person injured in the accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident. $25,000 in property damage liability is also covered by Uber.
- Uber will only provide coverage up to the full amount of $1 million if an Uber driver has picked up his or her ride and then has an accident.
Uber Driver Insurance & Passenger Claims
Being an Uber driver puts the driver in an exception clause. Some insurance companies now have specialized ridesharing coverage plans that help address these exceptions.
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle which is not at fault for an accident, you will claim damages from the driver at fault. If the offending party has no insurance coverage, then Uber will pay for your personal injury.
If an Uber passenger or pedestrian bystander is injured in an accident in which an Uber driver is at fault, then the injured party can claim damages directly from the Uber driver (which will be forwarded to the personal insurance provider of the driver for resolution). Only if the driver’s personal coverage does not cover injury costs and damages will Uber pay remaining coverage and damage costs for the driver, but only up to the above-mentioned maximum of $1 million.
Additional information can be found in Uber’s insurance support guide.
Pedestrian Claims & Uber Drivers
If you are a pedestrian and have been injured by an Uber driver, then you have to seek damages from the driver’s insurance provider. Here are additional details on pedestrian accidents in Houston. Such accidents play out like any standard accident claim, except for situations in which Uber is held accountable for the accident. This scenario can only happen if the Uber driver is logged into the app and is either en route to his or her customer or has a passenger in the vehicle already. In all other cases, you will not be able to file a claim with Uber.
If the driver has insufficient insurance or doesn’t have coverage at all, then Uber will provide cover, but only in scenarios wherein coverage by Uber is justified.
Key Takeaways for Uber Accident Liability
As a passenger or pedestrian, your rights are protected, and claiming damages in the event of an accident or injury is a matter of determining fault. Being involved in an accident with an Uber driver only means that Uber may pay out insurance when the driver’s coverage has been exhausted and Uber is liable for the accident because it occurred when the driver was logged into the Uber app, was en route to a customer, or had a customer in the car when the accident took place.
If you happen to suffer personal, vehicular, or property damages from an accident, it is always a good idea to jot down as much information as possible. Take photos and record other relevant data points so that you can assist police and investigative agencies in determining liability for the accident. Here are details on what to do in case of an accident. Doing these things are especially important for situations in which pedestrian bystanders are injured in an accident. A police report can go a long way in determining culpability for the accident.
An experienced accident and injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal complexities involved with claims and culpability in the event of an Uber accident. If you have suffered from or in an accident and are looking for a legal expert on car accidents in the Houston area, contact us today for a free consultation at 713-677-2159 so that you are paid the damages you are entitled to.
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- Who is Responsible in an Uber Accident?