It is no surprise that smartphone based rideshare apps like Uber are becoming increasingly popular. Using your smartphone to hail a ride from Uber or its competitors is easy, fast, and considerably cheaper than a cab.
Companies like Uber have a responsibility to do everything they can to keep their customers safe, and they, therefore, have safety measure in place. However, accidents will always happen regardless of how many security measures are in place. It is important for Uber passengers to understand how they will be compensated in the event of an injury that occurs after an accident with an Uber driver.
Standard driver’s insurance may cover Uber car accidents
Uber drivers have two forms of insurance. To work for Uber, they must have a certain level of personal insurance. Then while they are driving, they are granted limited liability insurance from Uber. The limited liability insurance is necessary because private insurance will not cover accidents that happen while the driver is driving for pay. Therefore, any compensation you receive will come from the Uber limited liability insurance. Uber even provides insurance for if your injury was caused by an uninsured motorist, so even if the Uber car were hit by someone who does not have sufficient insurance, Uber would still compensate you for the accident.
Uber vs. taxi insurance
While regulations may vary across the country, many states have a minimum insurance coverage requirement for taxis. Therefore, if you become injured due to a cab driver’s negligence, it is likely that their insurance policy will cover your medical care and the rest of the expenses related to your injury. However, it may be difficult to collect. The insurance companies that taxis often use are substandard carriers that often look for any excuse to deny a claim.
Cab companies often do not carry any more insurance than the state’s required minimum policy. Alternatively, Uber drivers have more liability coverage, and their insurance is a company that is superior to that of your average taxi. Uber purchases one million dollars’ worth of insurance for every driver and has an excess insurance policy.
States also have different requirements for cab companies to have insurance specifically for accidents that involve an uninsured driver. Many states, unfortunately, do not require a cab to have insurance specifically for accidents with uninsured motorists. Therefore, if your cab gets into an accident with an uninsured driver, you would likely receive no compensation for your injuries unless you have your uninsured motorist policy. However, if the crash were to happen in an Uber car and not a taxi, you would receive as much one million dollars to cover your injury.
Uber may attempt to deny you compensation
Despite having great insurance for their drivers, getting compensation for any injuries may not be an easy task. As a tragic example, in 2014, an Uber driver hit and killed a 6-year-old in San Francisco. Uber attempted to deny any responsibility for the accident, stating that the driver was not logged into their app at the time of the accident. The driver who caused the crash had already been convicted of reckless driving once. Uber either did not know about the conviction or did not disqualify the driver for the conviction. The family of the child is suing for wrongful death.
It is imperative to remember that Uber and its insurers are still businesses, and getting compensation from them will likely not be easy. It should come as no surprise if the company takes significant steps to fight your claim. Sometimes, Uber will even use the way it classifies its driver’s independent contractors instead of employees to fight off liability for an accident, as was the case with the child in San Francisco.
How to get compensation from Uber in an accident
If you receive an injury after an accident in an Uber vehicle, you should be covered under the Uber driver’s insurance as well as the insurance Uber provides, regardless of who caused the crash. While Uber may attempt to fight their liability by citing that their driver is an independent contractor, that is an argument that may be defeated in court. It is important to remember that this argument only applies to claims that exceed one million dollars because Uber provides coverage for each driver up to one million dollars. If your Uber driver caused a car accident because they were drunk, distracted, reckless, or under the influence of other substances, Uber may try to avoid compensating you. To get the compensation you deserve, you will need an experienced car accident lawyer in Rockville on your side. The lawyers at our office have the experience to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation for damages you deserve after an accident involving Uber or any other ride share company.
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