While the various app-based ride-share services didn’t even exist a few years ago, today Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and similar ride-sharing services have become pretty much ubiquitous. Especially in urban areas, it seems as if everyone has seen the stylized “U” sticker in Uber car windows as they stop to pick up or drop off passengers. Ride-share services are convenient, quick, and generally less expensive than traditional taxis.
Nonetheless, they come with drawbacks. If an Uber or other ride-share service vehicle injures you in a traffic accident, where you can turn to for damages can prove murky, even when the ride-share driver was at fault. Generally, the ride-share service’s insurance policy covers you, but that has limits and also can depend upon timing. If you were involved in a traffic accident while riding in a ride-share vehicle from Uber or another service in the Miami/south Florida area, you need to consult with a Uber Car Accident Law personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if Florida law might entitle to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Uber Car Accident Law, at (786) 438-2660, or send us an email through our online contact form.
Using Uber is Not a Surrender of Your Rights
Not long ago, Uber and similar ride-sharing companies didn’t even exist. Almost overnight, these services were found almost everywhere, challenging traditional cab services in cities across the country—and the world. Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and other similar app-based ride share services now operate anywhere demand exists. If an area has taxis, it likely has Uber or a similar service. You just log into the service’s app on your smartphone, summon a ride, and in a few minutes, get in the car when it arrives. Just like with a taxi, most of the time you get to your destination with no trouble, and frequently at a better price. But what happens when you don’t get to your destination without trouble?
What Should I Do if Uber Driver Injures Me?
In the event of an accident, Uber not only provides drivers with insurance coverage—on the company’s website, the firm advises drivers to:
- Make sure everyone involved is safe
- Call the police and emergency medical services if necessary
- Contact Uber
All of this is good advice for Uber riders as well. Get your driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. As with all traffic accidents, if you can do so, take pictures of the scene. Naturally, none of this applies if your injuries prevent you from performing any of theses tasks. At that point, whose insurance covers what, and for how much, becomes a major issue.
Uber’s Insurance Covers Its Drivers—to a Point
Uber’s liability insurance policy covers drivers in the event an accident takes place while their Uber apps are active. The insurance covers driver liability as well as uninsured drivers who are at fault, with limits of $1 million. The amounts of coverage can differ in certain locales depending upon local insurance regulations, such as in New York City, but those regulations require more coverage, not less.
Uber’s insurance policy limits its drivers’ liability in the event of an accident while a passenger is riding in an Uber. While $1 million covers most accidents, a serious injury that requires lifetime care or results in full permanent disability can easily exceed $1 million in costs. Also, because Uber and other ride share services categorize their drivers as independent contractors, the companies contend that they are not themselves liable for their drivers’ actions. This could limit an injured passenger’s ability to sue the ride-sharing company for damages suffered in accidents when damages exceed the limits of the insurance policy.
If the Uber Policy Isn’t Enough, What Can I Do?
If a ride-share driver injures you and you suffer damages that exceed the policy limits, by claiming independent contractor status for their drivers, the companies limit your options for a lawsuit. You probably can’t sue the ride-share company—past such efforts have not met with much success. You probably can sue the Uber driver, but recovery of compensation there is probably more limited than from the Uber insurance policy.
If the other driver involved lacks insurance, Uber has an addition $1 million in coverage available for uninsured motorist coverage. Doubling up the two Uber policies would depend on the circumstances, though, and is not always an option, so the $1 million coverage limit usually applies. If the other driver is at fault and has insurance, you may pursue claims against that insurance company, but the other driver’s insurance may not offer significant additional coverage, so you might need to resort to a claim against your own insurance policy under personal injury provisions.
For Uber drivers, the liability coverage is more limited—it does not apply unless the driver actually has accepted a fare and is either on the way to pick up the fare or the passenger is in the vehicle—but no such limits apply to the passenger. Once you are in an Uber vehicle, the Uber policy covers you. The question remains whether that policy will pay for a severe accident that results in major injuries.
Call the Attorneys of Uber Car Accident Law Today to Explore Your Options
If an Uber driver injured you in the Miami/south Florida area, consult with an Uber Car Accident Law personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if Florida law entitles you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Uber Car Accident Law, at (786) 438-2660, or send us an email through our online contact form.