Yes, you can sue Uber itself or an Uber driver if you’re injured in an accident. This is true whether you are riding in the Uber as a passenger, or if you were hit by an Uber driver when you weren’t a passenger. However, whether to sue Uber or the driver will depend on the scenario—and so will the amount of insurance money available.
This is because Uber uses a somewhat confusing insurance mode.
Understanding Uber’s Insurance in Your Accident
An Uber driver has three different amounts of insurance coverage, from different sources, depending on their status at the time of the accident. These three sources are:
- Driver is “off the clock”: If a driver is not currently available to accept fares—essentially “off the clock”—then only their own personal car insurance policy will apply. That means that just because a car hits you and it has an Uber sticker, does not mean Uber’s insurance coverage is necessarily at play. In Georgia, the law requires that drivers carry at $25,000 liability insurance per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage.
- Driver is on the clock but between fares: If the driver is available to give rides, but doesn’t currently have a passenger, they are still using their own insurance but Uber kicks in some contingency insurance. This contingency adds another $50,000 per person ($100,000 per accident) in liability coverage, plus another $25,000 in property coverage.
- Driver is carrying a passenger: Once an Uber passenger is in the vehicle for a ride, Uber puts the full weight of its insurance coverage behind the driver. That means there is $1,000,000 in liability and $1,000,000 in property coverage available to you.
Thus, the amount of insurance you can draw on changes depending on whether you’re a passenger or not, and whether the driver was on the clock. These factors also change who you should sue: Uber itself, or the driver.
Can you sue an Uber driver if you’re a passenger who’s injured?
Yes. As shown above, passengers will be covered by a full $1 million policy. And since you’re the passenger, you’ll never be at fault.
In most cases, your claim will actually be with Uber itself (the company), not with the driver (the individual). You can file this as an insurance claim against them and, in many cases, no actual lawsuit will be necessary
Can you sue an Uber driver who causes an accident if you’re not a passenger?
Yes. The two most common situations are:
- You were in another vehicle (driver or passenger) that was in an accident with an Uber, or
- You were a pedestrian who was hit by an Uber
In both cases, your action depends on whether the Uber driver was off the clock, on the clock available for a ride, or on the clock with a passenger in the vehicle.
If the driver was off the clock, or was on the clock but just waiting for a fare (no passenger), then your claim will be primarily against the driver, not against Uber. Uber will deny liability for any claims if the driver didn’t have a fare. However, their contingency insurance will still kick in some extra if needed, if the driver was at least available for fares.
If the driver had a passenger inside, then the entire $1,000,000 policy should apply to your accident—although Uber will fight it.
At the scene of an accident, there’s almost no way to be sure what an Uber driver’s status was or whether they were available for rides. It’s okay—just make sure you exchange information with them. There’s a strong chance that your attorney will file a claim against both parties—the driver and Uber—and let them sort it out. Your attorney can also get a definitive answer from Uber about whether they are claiming the driver was available for fares or not.
Always get a lawyer in a car accident involving Uber. They have deep pockets—and they will work to underpay you if they can!
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John Foy & Associates knows Uber accidents. We can make sure you get the absolute most money possible—and we charge nothing if we don’t get you money. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.