Uber drivers are everywhere, not least of all because everyone loves the convenience of having his or her personal driver at the touch of an app. The fact is, however, that Uber drivers are often pushed beyond the limits of safe driving. Many Uber drivers already work fulltime jobs and moonlight as Uber drivers as a means of keeping up with the expensive demands of modern living. When you also factor in deadlines and customer ratings, it can add up to as serious, injury-causing accident—especially in bustling locales like Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhood or thoroughfares like Ft. Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard.
Looking at Uber
Uber rocketed onto the rideshare scene and never looked back. This is not to say that it hasn’t had its share of legal drama—nor is to say that its legal drama is over. While Uber does offer Driver Injury Protection for about four cents a mile, this doesn’t mean that Uber is on your side if you’re ever injured as an Uber driver. It’s important to highlight the fact that insurance companies of every stripe are in the business of turning a profit. Often this means denying claims and minimizing payouts. If you’ve suffered an injury while driving for Uber, you may face an uphill battle when it comes to recovering compensation for the loss you have sustained.
If you’ve been injured as an Uber driver, you need experienced legal counsel. The law pertaining to ridesharing is not only relatively new but also continually evolving. As evidenced by burgeoning legal drama, Uber has walked—and continues to walk—a fine legal line. At Uber Car Accident Law in Miami, we cover all of South Florida, and our dedicated legal team has the experience, skill, and commitment to aggressively advocate for your claim’s best possible resolution.
The Three Uber Periods
While there is some legal wrangling going on regarding the issue, the fact is that Uber doesn’t consider its drivers employees but instead classifies them as independent contractors. This allows Uber lots of wiggle room when it comes to providing insurance coverage if you’re injured in an accident. Once you turn your Uber App on, there are three distinct periods that Uber recognizes:
- App on, no passenger (Period 1). You may assume that if your Uber app is on and you’re waiting for a passenger that Uber’s got you covered for any injuries you may incur in an accident. This, however, is not the case during Period 1. Uber takes no responsibility for you when you’re on your own time, and when you have no passengers, they take the position that you’re on your own time. During Period 1, your own insurance will kick in if you’re injured in an accident. Uber does, however, cover you for liability during this period (if you’re responsible for damaging someone else’s vehicle and/or for injuring someone else) in a car accident.
- In route to pick up a passenger (Period 2). When you’re in route to pick up a passenger, Uber has technically got you covered. This is not to say, however, that it’s a straightforward deal. If another driver injures you during Period 2, it’s likely that you won’t be able to pick up the passenger that requested the ride in the first place. Uber can use this technicality to shoot you back into Period 1. If you’re injured in an accident during Period 2, take a screenshot of your Uber app that captures the time, date, and ride status. If you end up fighting Uber on coverage, this screenshot could be the deciding factor.
- Passenger in your car (Period 3). If you have a passenger in your car at the time of an accident, it’s easy to demonstrate that you’re on Uber’s clock. During Period 3, Uber’s insurance covers you.
This highly specific breakdown of periods makes it clear that Uber doesn’t play and that you—as an Uber driver—are not Uber’s top priority. In fact, Uber is Uber’s top priority.
If You’re Injured
If you’re involved in an accident when you’re driving for Uber, there are some steps you should take to protect both your well-being and your claim:
- Safety first. Always put your own safety and the safety of anyone else who’s involved first. If you’re in an accident, pull your car safely off the road if possible. Check to make sure that you’re okay, and if you’re able, go to the aid of anyone who’s injured. Call 911 in the process, and remain with the injured person until emergency aid arrives. It’s important to remember that not all injuries are visible and that not all injuries present with symptoms immediately after an accident. Always seek medical treatment after being involved in a car accident—it’s best for both your health and for your claim.
- Document the accident scene. Gathering evidence at the scene of the accident can be critical to your claim. If you’re in Period 2, take that screenshot. Then get down to the important work of collecting evidence (if you’re not able to do it yourself, enlist a bystander):
- Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the scene. Make sure you include shots that capture the overall scene and shots that capture the details.
- Get eyewitness statements and eyewitness contact information.
- Jot down exactly how you remember the accident happening—include as many details as you can. Accidents are overwhelming, and your memories may become blurred with time. This contemporaneous document can help keep the facts straight and help bolster your claim.
If You Were Injured While Driving for Uber, You Need a Skilled Uber Accident Attorney
Every car accident is difficult, but if you’re injured as an Uber driver, it is that much more difficult. Uber insurance coverage is tricky, and your very livelihood—driving—may also be at stake. The experienced legal team at Uber Car Accident Law in Miami is here to help. Our Uber accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and dedication to fight for your rights and for your rightful compensation. We cover all of South Florida, so please contact or call us at (305) 964-8806 today.