Uber is a ridesharing service that has been around since 2009, and is available in over 600 cities. The Uber service matches people who need a car ride with drivers, it is very similar to a taxi service, except the drivers use their own vehicle. People can request a ride via the Uber phone app. The only requirements that are needed to drive for Uber are a driver’s license, a clean driving record, car insurance and your own personal vehicle. So if an Uber driver has a drug or alcohol problem, Uber is relying on a clean driving record to prove that it does not impair their driving capabilities. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident in or with an Uber vehicle it is imperative that you contact an experienced car accident attorney to assist you in maximizing your compensation.
What You Should Do If You Are Involved in an Accident?
Uber is supposed to vet its drivers before they are allowed to work for the company. However, accidents still happen. You should take the following steps if you are involved in an Uber accident.
- Assess the Situation – The first thing that you should do is make sure that there are no injuries. NO MATTER WHAT, GO AND HAVE A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL CHECK YOU OUT EVEN IF YOU FEEL FINE. You will still need the police to file a report even if no one is visibly injured. Furthermore, it is still a good idea to go get checked out at the emergency room. It is possible to be injured and not have any symptoms initially.
- Call the Police – You are required to report the accident to the police. The police will also be needed to clear the roadway. Make sure that you give the police all of the facts about the accident.
- Document the Accident – You can get compensated for the accident. However, the key to getting compensated is to have the proper evidence. That is why it is a good idea to capture photos and videos of the accident. You will also need to get contact information from the other driver and witnesses.
- Contact a Car Accident Attorney – having an expert on your side, especially when dealing with a company like Uber will be vitally important in maximizing your compensation and making sure that your case is handled properly.
Why Uber Can Be Risky
Uber drivers spend long hours on the road, frequently driving in unfamiliar areas, sometimes dealing with distracting passengers, and often having to check their phone while driving.
Uber does screen their drivers before hiring them, and most are safe and responsible. However, with more and more Uber drivers hitting the road this increases the likelihood of accidents involving Uber vehicles. There have also been a number of instances where Uber drivers have slipped through the cracks of their vetting process and Uber has hired individuals with criminal records. These individuals should have never been allowed to become Uber drivers and this leaves Uber open for litigation.
While the majority of Uber drivers are properly vetted employees, they are also human, which may lead them to be involved in car accidents. With an increasing number of Uber drivers flooding the market it makes them compete harder for passengers, which may cause them to take more risks in order to get that fare. These may be speeding, aggressive driving and failing to obey traffic laws, which can all lead to accidents.
Gaps in Uber Insurance Coverage: What Uber Drivers Need to Know
If you are an Uber driver, you are insured in the event of an accident — but only if it happens during a certain period. Once a driver turns on the Uber app, the level of eligible coverage depends on their situation. There are three different situations:
- The app is on and you are waiting for a request. In this situation, the company insures you for liability coverage only, and only if your own insurance policy does not cover you in this situation. You may be able to fill the gap by purchasing supplemental rideshare insurance.
- You have accepted a ride request and are on your way to pick up a passenger.
- The passenger is in your car and you are headed to the destination.
During the second and third situations, Uber will fully cover you with up to $1 million in liability, as well as comprehensive and collision coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
One important note here: if the accident happens during the second period, then Uber may try to deny that you had accepted the rideshare request. You should take a screenshot of the accepted request immediately after an accident, if you are in an accident on your way to pick up a passenger.
Why You Will Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
It can be difficult to get compensated from Uber even though it has liability insurance. They want the driver’s insurance to pay before Uber pays. However, a personal auto insurance company will typically not pay if the car is being used for commercial purposes. That is why everything can quickly get confusing.
It can also be difficult to prove negligence. That is why it is a good idea for you to contact an attorney. Your attorney will be able to prove negligence and make sure that you are fairly compensated.
If you would like to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, please call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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