After an Uber Accident
In theory, rideshare options like Uber make our roads safer by reducing the number of people who drive after drinking. While we’re still waiting on conclusive data, one recent study yielded interesting findings. While Uber seems to have reduced drunk driving by over 60%, it hasn’t reduced the overall number of car crashes.
In other words, even when ordering an Uber is the smart choice, you could still find yourself involved in an Uber accident, and when an accident occurs, victims may not know what to do, leaving them with many unanswered questions. Whose insurance comes into play? If you have to file a claim, who do you file it against? Learn what to do if you’ve been involved in an Uber accident here.
What Constitutes an Uber Accident?
Unlike traditional taxi drivers, not all Uber drivers are considered “on the job” as soon as they get in their car. In other words, you could get in an accident with someone who drives for Uber without it inherently constituting an Uber accident.
Additionally, rideshare drivers are not considered regular employees. Uber considers their drivers as contractors, rather than employees. Uber drivers use their own private vehicles which means that when they’re not using the Uber app, they’re just regular drivers operating their personal vehicles.
However, the second that app is open and an Uber driver logs on, they are considered to be working for the company. Whether they’re en route to a passenger, have a passenger present, or are waiting to secure a ride, they’re driving for Uber. If you get involved in an accident with an Uber driver under these circumstances, you are part of an “Uber accident.”
Does Uber Take Responsibility for Uber Accidents?
Why does this distinction matter? It matters because it will impact whether or not Uber’s recent liability insurance policy could kick in.
In the early days of Uber, the company refused to provide any sort of financial compensation for other drivers or passengers who were involved in an Uber accident. However, they now provide the following coverage:
- up to $50,000 of liability coverage per person (at a $100,000 maximum per accident) and $25,000 of property damage when the Uber driver is waiting to secure a ride or en route to pick up a passenger
- up to $1,000,000 of liability coverage per accident if the Uber driver had a passenger in the car
Keep in mind that this coverage only kicks in under certain circumstances. For example, if the driver’s personal car insurance policy will cover the related damages, Uber’s coverage won’t apply.
If the Uber driver isn’t at fault, Uber’s coverage will only kick in if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. Ultimately, if the driver’s insurance maxes out, Uber will be responsible for covering the remaining damages.
What to Do in the Aftermath of an Uber Accident
Now that you know that Uber will provide coverage when necessary, it’s time to talk about what to do if you were involved in an Uber accident. Let’s break it down into the necessary steps.
1. Report the Accident
The first thing you need to do is report the accident by calling the police and Uber. As an Uber passenger, you can report the accident to Uber through the app. If you are another driver, make sure that the Uber driver reports the accident to Uber, as there is no direct way for you to do so, yourself.
2. Document the Accident and Gather Information
It is always important to document the scene of the accident if you are able. Take photos and videos that reveal important details, including angles at which the cars collided, nearby street features like lights or stop signs, and related property damage. You can also take photos of any immediately noticeable injuries.
It is also important to collect the information of others involved in the accident. Make sure to get the name, phone number, and insurance information of the drivers involved, including the Uber driver.
3. Seek Medical Attention
In 2020, car accidents caused over 2 million disabling or non-disabling injuries and over 38,000 deaths. It is not uncommon for car accident injuries to go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of an accident because victims are often in shock. Even if you think that you weren’t injured in an Uber accident, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible.
4. Beware of Early Settlement Offers
If Uber’s insurance policy applies, you may get a call from the insurance representatives not long after the accident occurred. Remember that insurance companies have an interest in offering as little money to victims as possible.
If Uber reaches out and offers a low settlement, avoid taking it. Taking an early settlement can hurt or negate your ability to receive more compensation in the future.
5. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Once you can safely do so, it’s time to contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer. Uber accidents can become more complicated than typical car accidents because it’s not always clear which insurance policy will apply. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you to file an Uber accident claim and navigate the different insurance companies as well as help you fight for a fair settlement.
Contact a Buena Park Uber Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in an Uber accident in Buena Park, let us help you. Filing an accident claim against Uber is a confusing and intimidating process, in no small part because the massive company doesn’t want to pay for the damage caused by its drivers. Don’t fight rideshare companies alone.
Contact us and we’ll schedule your free case consultation. During your case consultation, you can tell us more about the accident and injuries you’ve sustained and ask us any questions you may have.