Uber has exploded in popularity throughout California. This popular ride-sharing service allows people looking for a ride to open an app, request a driver, and arrange transportation seconds later. While the service is convenient, Uber drivers are just as likely to get into an accident on the road as any other motorist. As such, it is important that everyone knows what to do in case they are in an accident involving an Uber driver, and how to claim compensation for any injuries incurred.
A California Uber accident lawyer can help sort out the confusion after these accidents and help you claim the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.What is a Transportation Network Company?
Uber is a transportation network company (TNC), also sometimes called a mobility service provider. TNCs match passengers with drivers either through a website or through a mobile app. TNCs were once thought to provide a service similar to a taxi service to those in rural or less-populated areas. Today, they are in just about every city and town you can imagine.
TNCs are heavily regulated in the areas where they operate, including California. Drivers are required to have thorough background checks performed on them and fares are regulated, as are licensing, the number of drivers, and minimum wage. When Uber or their drivers do not follow these regulations, they can be penalized.Uber Insurance Requirements
California law requires Uber drivers to carry proper auto insurance at all times. California follows at-fault, or tort-based auto insurance laws. This means that if there is an accident, injured individuals must go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company to claim compensation.
The insurance coverage provided for the Uber driver will depend on whether the driver had a passenger at the time, and if they were online. When the driver is not online, does not have a passenger, and is not on the way to pick up a passenger, he or she is covered by a personal auto insurance policy.
When the Uber driver has the app turned on, and is on the way to pick up a passenger, but has not arrived at the destination yet, then he or she is covered by Uber’s insurance. At this point, Uber provides up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability and $100,000 of coverage for one accident.
If the Uber driver has a passenger in the car at the time of the accident, Uber will provide up to $1 million in insurance for the accident. This coverage is provided to injured passengers and other drivers that are hurt, if the Uber driver was at fault for the accident.
Although it is helpful to know that if you are in an accident while in an Uber, you have the right to compensation, how do you proceed when the other driver was at fault but does not have insurance?Uber Accidents and Uninsured Motorists
While Uber does provide insurance to their drivers and passengers, that coverage changes when the other at-fault driver does not carry proper insurance. In these instances, Uber’s insurance policy will cover up to $200,000 for bodily injury. However, this is the amount applied to the entire accident. If there were multiple passengers in the vehicle and they each sustained an injury, that coverage is split between all passengers.
This amount is reduced even further when the Uber driver sustained damage to his or her vehicle. In this instance, only 95% of the $200,000 will go toward the passenger’s injuries. The other 5% will go toward the repair of the Uber driver’s vehicle.Uber Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Of course, it is not always other drivers that are involved in an accident with an Uber. Sometimes, pedestrians are, too. When this happens, the same insurance rules will apply. This means that if the Uber driver was at fault, pedestrians can claim insurance coverage through Uber’s insurance policy. If another driver was at fault for the accident, pedestrians can go through their insurance policy to claim insurance.
However, these insurance claims quickly become complex. For example, the Uber driver may cancel a ride immediately after hitting a pedestrian. This means that at the time of the accident, the Uber driver may have been covered by Uber’s $50,000 insurance policy because they were online but had not yet picked up their passenger. Once they cancel that ride, though, Uber may argue that the driver was not online and not on the way to pick up a passenger, so the Uber driver was not fully covered.
There is a good chance that this is going to happen, as well. Uber’s insurance company is just like any other. As such, they are more interested in their profits than in helping those injured. They may try to argue that their insurance policy had not yet kicked in simply because they do not want to pay out on a large insurance settlement.
In this scenario, the pedestrian may have to go through the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy, which will likely not be anywhere near the limits of Uber’s policy.
Regardless of the insurance policy limits of Uber and the driver, pedestrians may also sometimes claim insurance coverage through their own auto insurance company. This is most often the case when the at-fault driver was not the Uber driver, and the at-fault driver did not have any insurance. California law requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage and this is very helpful in pedestrian accidents.Were You in an Uber Accident? Call a California Uber Accident Attorney
Uber accidents are some of the most confusing accidents on the road. There may be multiple parties at fault, and that means you may have to deal with multiple insurance companies. Dealing with one insurance company is extremely difficult, dealing with many is almost impossible. Before you do, you must speak with an Uber accident attorney in California.
If you have been hurt in an Uber accident, call Willoughby Brod, LLP at (800) 427-7020. We will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and hold them accountable for paying you any compensation to which you are entitled. You do not have to go through this alone. Call us today or contact us online for your free consultation.