Ride-sharing apps such as Uber have made it easier than ever to summon a ride with the tap of a button. You can pick a driver, choose your destination and pay for the ride all in one place. However, not many people put much thought into the potential legal complications that can arise from a car crash involving an Uber vehicle. Accidents can happen, and when they do, it is important to understand who may be liable for the resulting damages.
Liability in Uber Crash
The classification of Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors instead of employees has sparked much controversy, resulting in a multitude of legal battles across the country. As independent contractors, it means they are considered self-employed, and responsible for their expenses, taxes, and insurance coverage. While it is true that taxi and bus companies may be held liable for accidents caused by their employees due to the legal principle of “vicarious liability,” the situation with Uber is different. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the liability falls solely on the driver in all cases. Uber does provide liability cover for its drivers under specific conditions, which may help cover damages caused by an accident.
Uber Liability Coverage Qualifying Criteria
Generally, Uber drivers’ insurance coverage is based on their app status and the specific circumstances leading to an accident. There are three distinct circumstances in which Uber insurance may apply:
When the driver is online and waiting for a ride request: The coverage includes a contingent liability policy with limits of $50,000 per person bodily injury, $100,000 total bodily injury, and $25,000 in property damage. It’s important to understand this information so you don’t miss out on the compensation. Being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault should not be your financial responsibility. Making sure your rights are covered is the most important step.
When the driver has accepted a ride request and/or is on Enroute: Once a driver has accepted a ride request and is en route to pick up their passenger (or the passenger is already onboard), they will be covered by Uber’s commercial auto liability insurance policy. This includes up to $1 million in liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uber will make sure that you are covered as that is their responsibility. If they are not able to do so then you need to seek out legal assistance. Especially if you are involved in an accident that was beyond your control.
After the ride has been completed and the driver is offline: Lastly, if an accident occurs after the ride has been completed and the driver is no longer online, they may be covered by their auto insurance policy. If the drive has been completed then that is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that they are covered. If not then that is a financial situation that they will have to handle.
Seeking Legal Guidance
While ride-sharing apps have revolutionized the way people travel, it is important to understand what legal recourse you have if you are involved in an accident. Whether you’re a driver, passenger, or a third-party victim, it is best to seek the proper legal guidance to ensure you receive adequate compensation for any damages you may have suffered. An experienced Uber accident lawyer can advise you on the ideal course of action and fully protect your rights under Florida law. They will be able to assess the situation and see what you are rightfully owed.
Uber provides insurance coverage under certain circumstances. However, determining who is responsible for the resulting damages and whether you are entitled to receive compensation is not always straightforward. It’s also important to note that Uber’s liability policies will vary based on the particular circumstances of an accident, including the country or state it occurred. Having a skilled attorney on your side can help get the case resolved promptly. You should not miss out on any type of compensation.