I was involved in an accident with an Uber driver. What are my rights?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
The usage of ride-sharing services is on the rise. According to Forbes, in the first quarter of 2015, an average of 46 percent of all total paid car rides where through Uber. This is a sharp increase up from only 15 percent in the same quarter of 2014. Meanwhile the percentage of taxi and limo users has fallen just as sharply. Closely following the rise in the usage of ride-sharing services is the occurrence of accidents involving Uber drivers.
Uber claims to have “best-in-class” insurance coverage for their ridesharing service. Uber maintains a commercial insurance policy with $1,000,000.00 in coverage per incident. An Uber driver’s liability to third parties is covered by this insurance policy from the moment a driver accepts a trip until the trip’s conclusion. This policy will be primary to any personal auto coverage that the Uber driver may have. The policy also maintains $1,000.000.00 in uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. This coverage will apply in the event that another driver causes an accident with an Uber driver and does not carry adequate insurance.
While $1,000,000.00 in bodily injury (BI) coverage seems adequate to most people, there is a caveat. The BI coverage will only apply in the event that an Uber driver causes an accident either while transporting passengers or while traveling to pick up passengers. What happens if the Uber driver causes an accident but is not carrying passengers or traveling to pick up passengers? Uber’s insurance policy provides $50,000.00 in bodily injury liability coverage per-person, with a total of $100,000.00 in coverage per accident and $25,000.00 in property damage coverage in this situation. This policy, however, is only available in the event that the Uber driver’s personal insurance company denies the claim.
Clearly, just because Uber drivers seem to carry adequate insurance does not mean that their insurance company will not fight a claim. In fact, anyone making a claim against an Uber insurance policy can be expected to be treated the same as any person making a claim against a Geico or Allstate policy holder. The insurance company will attempt to minimize every claim and short-change every claimant. This is why it is always important to contact an experienced injury lawyer prior to contacting any insurance company. Your lawyer will insure that your rights are protected and that you will be adequately compensated for all of your harms and losses.
If you have been involved in an accident with Uber or any other Car Sharing service or have questions regarding uninsured motorist benefits or Personal Injury Protection benefits, please contact Attorneys Dell & Schaefer for a free telephone consultation.