Liability Insurance and Uber Rideshares
Contact The Doan Law Firm for Experienced Representation in an Uber or Lyft Accident
“Ridesharing” businesses such as Uber and Lyft have emerged as popular alternatives to other forms of personal transportation such as taxis. As the number of privately-owned and operated rideshare vehicles increases, it is only natural that the number of traffic accidents involving rideshares are also increasing.
In today’s post, the rideshare personal injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm gives an overview of the motor vehicle liability insurance provided to its drivers by rideshare giant Uber along with an explanation of the circumstances that will determine how much insurance coverage will be available to those who may be injured in an accident involving an Uber driver and vehicle.
Who is liable in a rideshare accident?
Before discussing liability in a rideshare accident, we need to understand how an “uneventful” rideshare is accomplished.
Rideshare companies rely on networks of drivers who use their own vehicles to provide “on demand” local transportation. Using Uber as an example, this is accomplished in the following steps:
- An individual needing transportation uses a cellphone application (“app”) to request that a driver and vehicle come to his or her location and pays Uber by credit card.
- The Uber web server/computer selects the driver who is nearest to the passenger’s location and has logged in as being available to accept ride requests.
- The driver accepts the request and transports the passenger to the location the passenger has requested.
Should an accident occur, the question of “who pays for what” is usually based on which party is determined to be “at fault” in the accident. If an Uber passenger is injured, and the Uber driver was not at fault, the responsible party’s insurance carrier will cover any expenses. If the other party is not insured, then Uber’s “Uninsured Driver” coverage will be responsible for paying the passenger’s expenses.
Whether or not Uber’s liability insurance is active at any given time depends on the driver’s status, as indicated by the driver’s Uber app, at the time an accident occurs.
As far as Uber is concerned, and assuming that the Uber driver is not at fault, there are only three possible scenarios that may exist if one of their drivers is involved in a traffic accident:
- the driver is not “logged in”
- the driver is “logged in” but not transporting a passenger
- the driver is” logged in” and is transporting a passenger
An Uber driver is involved in an accident while not on duty (the driver not "logged in" via the Uber app)
If an Uber driver has not logged in to Uber via its smartphone app, then Uber and its liability insurance carrier will consider that driver to be “off duty” and not covered by Uber’s corporate liability insurance. In other words, the driver must turn to his or her personal motor vehicle insurance if they are found to be at fault following a traffic accident.
An Uber driver is involved in an accident while on duty, but is not transporting a passenger when the accident occurs
In this scenario the Uber driver has logged in via the Uber app and is enroute to pick up a passenger that has requested a ride. If an accident occurs while the Uber driver is enroute after having accepted a ride request but before the passenger has entered the Uber driver’s vehicle, Uber’s liability insurance will be active but at a lower level or “dollar value” of coverage.
As of November 2018, if an Uber driver is found to be at fault in a traffic accident, Uber’s liability insurance would provide:
- $50, 000 of liability coverage for an injury to one person;
- $100,000 of total personal injury liability per accident, regardless of the number of accident victims;
- $25,000 for damages to the personal property of someone other than the Uber driver.
An Uber driver is involved in an accident while on duty and transporting a passenger at the time of the accident
In this situation Uber’s liability insurance would pay, in addition to the above:
- a minimum of $1,000,000 global coverage, per accident, and
- a minimum of $1,000,000 in uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, depending on the insurance status of any other driver that may be involved in an accident.
Contacting an Uber accident injury lawyer
As we have seen, insurance coverage in accidents involving an Uber rideshare driver can easily become quite complicated. Given this situation, it should be clear that, should you suffer an injury in such an accident, you should not try to deal with Uber by yourself but should contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer such as The Doan Law Firm.
Our firm always offers you a free initial consultation to help you decide if you should proceed with a lawsuit against the parties involved in your accident injury. Should you decide to pursue legal action, we are always willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for a percentage of the settlement that we will win for you.
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