Much attention has been directed toward negligent or dangerous Uber drivers who cause accidents and injuries. However, what if you are driving an Uber and get hit by another driver who was at fault? Your rights and best course of action largely depend on state law and this article focuses on Uber drivers who get hit in South Florida.
After a Crash
Uber gives minimal advice to drivers regarding what to do following an accident while they are on duty. The instructions state to do the following:
- Check regarding the safety of all parties
- Call 911 to notify paramedics and police if needed
- Call Uber and report the accident
This is similar to what any driver should do after any type of car accident whether it involved a rideshare vehicle or not, however, all of these steps are important.
Many people are reluctant to call 911 after a crash, wondering whether it is necessary or because another driver asks you not to call. However, calling the authorities is important for several reasons. First, emergency medical personnel can identify whether anyone may have injuries that require immediate attention. Car accidents can leave you in shock and disoriented and you may not realize that you’ve suffered a serious concussion or similar traumatic injury. You should never fight against paramedics who want to transport you in an ambulance, as you can seek compensation for these costs later. After all, your health is the most important factor following a car crash.
Next, police will arrive on the scene and determine whether they believe that anyone violated any laws. If all witnesses state the other driver run through a red light, they may receive a traffic citation. If the other driver appears to be intoxicated, police can make an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). These documented offenses can help you obtain compensation from the negligent driver down the road.
If you fail to call the authorities, insurance adjusters may later claim it was a sign that the accident was not serious and that you did not need medical attention for any crash-related injuries. If you do not receive immediate medical attention, an insurer can also question whether the accident was the actual cause of your injuries.
It is imperative that Uber drivers properly notify Uber of a crash and all of the related details. There is a section of the Uber app called “Trip Issues” that drivers should use to describe what happened. Someone on the Uber team is then supposed to reach out and discuss the accident with the Uber driver. If you are the injured Uber driver, be careful what you say to the Uber representative. They will likely write down everything you say. If you minimize your injuries, they will document that you are not very injured and may use that information against you in an insurance claim for medical bills.
Injured Uber Drivers Seeking Compensation
Auto insurance is complicated in Florida and even more so when a crash involves an Uber driver. Normally, an injured driver in Florida will have to make a claim with their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault. However, PIP coverage is not required for ride-for-hire drivers of taxis, limos, and rideshare companies in Florida. Therefore, Uber does not provide PIP coverage for its drivers and a driver’s personal PIP coverage will likely not provide coverage if it learns that a policyholder was driving for Uber at the time of the accident.
A driver’s health insurance will likely provide coverage for medical expenses, however, if the accident was someone else’s fault, the insurance company will likely want to be reimbursed by the at-fault driver. This means that any settlement the Uber driver receives can be reduced significantly and go toward health insurance coverage.
That brings us to an Uber driver’s right to file a claim against the driver who caused the crash. Normally, PIP laws would restrict the right to take action directly against the driver. However, since there is no applicable PIP coverage here, the Uber driver would have the right to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company or to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
In either situation, the Uber driver would have to demonstrate that the other driver was negligent in some manner to cause the accident. Negligence can include:
- Distracted driving
- Running red lights
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving
Proving liability is not an easy task and it is important for accident victims to seek legal assistance when preparing to file an insurance or legal claim.
If the at-fault driver has the proper bodily injury liability coverage, the Uber driver may be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical treatment costs
- Past and future income loss
- Mileage costs for medical treatment
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent disability
- Mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Similar damages can be sought in a personal injury lawsuit, as well.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured or the accident was a hit and run, Uber’s uninsured motorist insurance will cover the costs of the crash as long as the driver was en route to pick up a passenger or had a passenger in the car. Uber’s UM policy has a $1 million limit, so it will often cover a driver’s losses. An attorney can help you prove the full value of your claim to ensure you receive the full settlement you deserve for all of your Uber accident injuries.
Discuss Your Options With a Miami Uber Car Accident Law Firm Today
The laws and insurance policies regarding Uber drivers who become accident victims are complex. It is critical that you seek help from an attorney who specifically stays up to date on Uber accident law. If you would like to set up a free consultation, please call Uber Car Accident Law at (305) 964-8806 or contact us online as soon as possible. We’re here to assist you.