You may call an Uber because you need a ride to work when your car is in the shop or while visiting another city. Other times, you may be doing what you think is the smart and safe thing when you are out drinking. However, just because you call an Uber driver, it does not automatically guarantee that you will get to your destination safely.
In fact, the driver may be abiding by the laws and driving with due diligence. However, another driver could crash into their vehicle, or your driver could be intoxicated. That is why it is important to understand Uber’s $1 million insurance policy and what it means for passengers in this situation.
What Is Uber’s $1 Million Insurance Policy?
If you get injured while riding in an Uber vehicle, Uber has an insurance policy that makes it possible for you to file a claim. There are certain terms that must be met for it to apply.
As this kind of service requires coordination and the ability to drive defensively, many Uber drivers need to be able to perform this type of work. If you have an accident while riding as a passenger in an Uber, you have grounds for compensation pending proof of fault in the form of a demand letter.
Keep in mind that Uber is a technology company rather than a taxi or transportation company. This means it makes it easier for those needing a ride to connect with willing drivers conveniently. Knowing this is important because Uber is not subject to the same transportation regulations that are implemented by federal and state governments.
Additionally, Uber drivers are not employees. They are independent contractors, which means Uber is limited in liability if something should happen to you while riding in one. That means you should understand what Uber provides you in that $1 million insurance policy.
The Particulars of Uber’s Insurance Policy
There are three tiers of what Uber provides in terms of its insurance policy.
When an Uber driver is not available to accept requests to drive clients, if they get into an accident in this setting, their insurance is used. This does not apply to a passenger, as in this setting, the driver will be on their own.
No Passenger But Available
When an Uber driver is available but is not actively transporting a passenger and is available for ride requests, the driver’s insurance will be used if an accident happens. Uber will use its discretion to provide extra coverage of $50,000 for each injury up to $100,000 and property damage coverage of $25,000.
Available and Carrying a Passenger
While the other two tiers have little relevance to passengers of an Uber, when an Uber driver is available and carrying passengers, this is when the $1 million policy is potentially active. The Uber driver must be active, and you must be in the car when the accident happens.
If this is the case, you will be eligible for policy payouts that can go up to $1 million. Be forewarned that eligibility does not equate to Uber paying up. There are many things they will use to deny coverage. This can lead to the Uber driver’s insurance company also refusing to pay.
For example, the driver’s personal insurance policy may deny the claim because the driver was driving for pay when the accident occurred. It can get very murky with these details. Although Uber also carries a $1 million policy for uninsured motorists, you may have a struggle on your hands when trying to obtain compensation after being involved in an accident while riding in an Uber.
Why Are Uber Accident Claims Denied?
The insurance carrier that provides Uber’s insurance policy tends to avoid paying out on as many claims as possible. It is very common for them to deny claims. Additionally, because the drivers are not actual employees, passengers have a hard time getting compensation for an Uber accident.
Even if the driver was distracted, driving recklessly, or under the influence, claims may be denied. However, if you were a passenger in an Uber and it got into an accident, you can sue Uber directly. You could sue the driver directly, though many personal insurance policies forbid those they insure from driving for work purposes or using their vehicles in a rideshare situation. Another factor to add complications is that suing the driver may not benefit you as it may limit the amount of compensation you could receive.
Getting Legal Assistance for an Uber Accident
If you were injured while riding as a passenger in an Uber, you might be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against this tech company. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
The biggest challenge will be getting through Uber’s tangled web of fine print. Since the drivers are not employees, Uber is not liable for a driver’s actions. This does not mean that you cannot bring a case against them or a negligent Uber driver.
Uber is no stranger to litigation, so you must choose car accident lawyers like Brown & Gessell who know how to fight back. In any accident case, there are time limitations to filing your lawsuit against Uber or the Uber driver. You should speak with an attorney to see if you can pursue your case and recover the damages you have lost from being a victim in this accident.
Perhaps in the future, Uber will be forced to redefine its policy about drivers being contractors rather than employees. If that happens, then the $1 million insurance policy amount could change, and so could whoever is liable in the event of an accident.