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Uber Car Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

Uber Car Accident LawUber is a popular choice for people who need transportation, and car owners who need extra income. The transportation app enables customers to book drivers who use their own cars. They take Ubers while shopping at Aventura Mall, going to work on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, or heading out to enjoy themselves in South Beach.

The rapidly growing rideshare app services 40 million rides monthly and owns 77 percent of the ridesharing market in the United States. With 160,000 active drivers and so many rides every month, it is inevitable that Uber drivers and their passengers will be involved in accidents. At Uber Car Accident Law, we look out for your legal rights in the event of an accident involving an Uber ride.

Uber’s Insurance Policy

Uber’s insurance policy protects drivers under two circumstances:

  1. While on their way to pick up a rider and during a trip
  2. While waiting for a request

Drivers on Their Way to Pick up a Rider and During a Trip

Upon accepting a request and driving to pick up a passenger, an Uber driver is covered for three things:

  1. Third party liability insurance. Third party liability insurance covers a driver’s liability for damages to any third party. Examples of a third party include a pedestrian, another driver, or a property owner. Coverage limits vary by state. For third party liability, due to the driver’s fault, the Uber insurance limit is 1 million per accident.
  2. Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. When another driver is at fault and doesn’t have sufficient insurance, this insurance covers the driver and passengers. If the driver is at fault but unidentified, for example, a hit-and-run accident, the insurance provides coverage. Coverage limits vary by state but are at least 1 million per accident.
  3. Contingent and comprehensive coverage. Uber’s insurance policy covers the cost of your vehicle whether the accident was your fault or not. The driver must maintain auto insurance that includes collision for the same vehicle while not on an Uber trip. There is a $1,000 deductible and the coverage limit is not to exceed the cash value of the vehicle.

While Waiting for a Request

While online with Uber and before accepting a request, Uber provides coverage for the driver’s liability to a third party if an accident is the driver’s fault. Coverage includes paying for property damage or the other person’s medical bills. Coverage varies by state, however in this particular situation coverage is at least the following:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident for bodily damage
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

The Self-Driving Accident that Caught the Nation’s Attention

News outlets throughout the United States recently shared the shocking story of a woman’s death caused by a self-driving Uber car. The March 2018 death of 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, drew attention to Uber’s effort to test self-driving cars. A self-driving SUV operated by Uber struck Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona.

A vehicle operator sat behind the wheel, but the car was in autonomous mode. According to preliminary information, the estimated speed of the car was 40 in a 35 miles per hour zone. The vehicle operator, in place as a safety driver, was responsible for maintaining control of the car in the event of a malfunction. In this particular case, the operator appears on interior video, looking repeatedly down. The video catches the operator appearing shocked at the sight of the pedestrian.

Interior and exterior cameras provide investigators with helpful insight into the crash. Uber removed its self-driving cars from the road immediately after the accident. Testing self-driving cars also stopped, as Uber deals what is believed to be the nation’s first self-driving car fatality.

Uber vs. Taxis

People who use Uber cite the following benefits as what draws them to Uber versus calling a taxi:

  • A clear overview of pricing prior to booking
  • Ability to follow drivers on a map
  • One-tap rides
  • Cashless convenience
  • Feedback options

The smartphone clearly makes Uber an easy method of accessing a ride. The app is most popular in large cities, like New York. The sharp decline in taxi use versus the steep increase in Uber use is resulting in a turf war.

Who’s Driving You?

The Taxicab, Limousine, and Paratransit Association (TLPA) promotes for-hire vehicle safety. The association, founded in 1917, launched their Who’s Driving You? campaign to call awareness to the risks of Uber and Lyft. Security and safety concerns top the list of TLPA’s agenda.

Getting into a stranger’s car is always a personal risk. In Naples, Florida, a case of road rage drew police attention to 41-year-old Uber driver Alvaro Gutierezz. Officers caught up with Gutierezz at the Ridge Port Plaza where he planned to pick up passengers. Gutierezz failed all field sobriety tests and was unable to produce proper insurance papers. Upon his arrest, Gutierezz refused a breath test. It was his fourth DUI arrest and second arrest for refusing a sobriety test.

Uber Car Accident Law

Ridesharing is a smart choice in many situations. Services like Uber assist people with getting to work, school, or the store. Using a smartphone to summon a ride after a night out with friends is also intelligent. What’s not smart is when an Uber driver lacks proper insurance, drinks before driving, or is careless on city streets. There are many good Uber drivers out there who provide a valuable service. And, some accidents are unavoidable. But, when Uber drivers take careless disregard for their passengers’ safety, we can step in on your behalf.

Uber Car Accident Law represents Miami and South Florida victims of Uber accidents. Whether an Uber driver is at fault because of texting, drinking, or speeding, when that recklessness results in injury to you, we can help you ensure that you recover damages to compensate you for, among other things, your injuries, your lost wages, and your medical expenses. If you or someone you love was injured due to an Uber accident in which the driver was at fault, contact us. Our team brings focus and dedication to Uber accidents involving our clients. Call (305) 964-8806 or visit us online today.