You can sue Uber itself or an Uber driver if you’re injured in an accident involving one of their vehicles. This is true if you’re an Uber passenger or were hit by an Uber driver in another vehicle. However, whether you choose to sue Uber or the driver will depend on the circumstances.
The financial compensation amount you can claim will also vary based on the accident specifics, the extent of your injuries, and the insurance policies in play.
Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors, not employees; therefore, Uber often tries to distance itself from accident liability. If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact an Atlanta rideshare accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates today for help.
Understanding Uber’s Liability in a Rideshare Accident
Things can get complex when determining Uber’s liability in an accident. While Uber considers itself a technology company rather than a transportation company, the legal landscape is continuously evolving to address the unique circumstances of rideshare company accidents.
It’s important to understand that Uber drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. This classification plays a significant role in determining who is responsible for any accident injuries or damages resulting from an accident.
Uber’s Liability Coverage
In general, if an accident occurs while the driver is actively transporting a passenger or en route to pick up a passenger, Uber’s liability coverage likely comes into play. This coverage typically includes bodily injury and property damage, although the specific details may vary depending on your location and the nature of the accident.
However, if the accident occurs while the driver is not actively using the app or has not accepted a ride request, Uber’s liability may be limited, and the driver’s personal auto insurance policy would typically be responsible for any resulting damages. This can create complexities when determining the appropriate party to file a claim against or pursue legal action.
Uber’s Limited Liability
Such as if the driver was not using the app correctly or if a third party caused the accident. Understanding these nuances is crucial in navigating the legal process and ensuring you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
When engaging with Uber, the distinction between the driver as an “independent contractor” versus an “employee” often emerges as a focal point. Historically, Uber has consistently categorized its drivers as independent contractors. This classification serves as a defense mechanism for the company, allowing them to distance themselves from the liabilities and responsibilities associated with traditional employer-employee relationships.
Uber’s terms of service, which all users agree to when signing up for the app, may also contain clauses designed to protect the company from legal claims. These include mandatory arbitration clauses, which could limit a user’s ability to pursue a lawsuit in court.
Furthermore, Uber might contend that they are merely a technology platform that connects drivers with riders, not a transportation provider. The company aims to further limit its direct liability in accident scenarios by making this argument.
Given these intricacies, individuals involved in accidents with Uber vehicles should consult with legal professionals well-versed in ride-sharing laws and regulations. By doing so, they can ensure that they’re equipped to challenge any attempts by Uber to evade responsibility and pursue the compensation they’re entitled to.
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How Uber’s Insurance Policy Applies to 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.
The Driver Is “Off the Clock”
Only their car insurance policy will apply if a driver is off the clock and unavailable to accept fares. That means Uber’s insurance may not cover your injuries if a car with an Uber sticker hits you. Georgia law requires that drivers carry $25,000 liability insurance per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage.
The 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 company, 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.
The Driver Is Carrying a Passenger
Once an Uber passenger is in the ride-sharing vehicle, Uber puts the full weight of its insurance coverage behind the driver. That means $1,000,000 in liability and $1,000,000 in property coverage are available.
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 considered the at-fault driver.
In most cases, your claim will be with Uber (the company), not the driver (the individual). You can file this as an insurance company claims against them, and, in many cases, no actual personal injury 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) in an accident with an Uber.
- You were a pedestrian who was hit by a rideshare driver.
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 rideshare passenger in the vehicle.
How Do You Prove Whether an Uber Driver Was Available for Rides at the Time of the Accident?
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—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 claim the driver was available for fares.
Always get an Uber accident lawyer to help if you are in an accident involving an Uber vehicle. The company has deep pockets and will work to underpay you if possible.
Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help You File a Comprehensive Claim in an Uber Accident Case
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim with Uber, negotiate a settlement, or even sue the Uber driver. Determining liability in these cases can be complex, so consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in Uber accidents is crucial.
John Foy & Associates charges nothing if you don’t win, so why not call our legal team today for a free consultation? Contact us now for more information.