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If you’re looking for an Uber accident attorney, you’re in the right place.
Ridesharing around the country has become a huge industry, and companies like Uber and Lyft are the dominant market forces. Ride-sharing apps connect private drivers with passengers. Using these apps is often quick, convenient, and cheaper than using a taxi. Ride-sharing apps are usually considered technology companies, not taxi services. Therefore, passengers typically file auto accident claims against the driver of the vehicle and not Uber.
Your right to a safe Uber ride is built into the fare. This fee pays for background checks on Uber drivers, motor vehicle screenings, and driver safety education. In Washington, DC, Uber drivers must have a clean driver’s license, maintain the mandatory insurance policies, and undergo a background check (including a comprehensive review of history of felonies and a search of the sex offender and crimes against minors registry).
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors. This is problematic for individuals who are injured in an Uber vehicle because employers are generally only vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, not for the actions of independent contractors. This distinction has allowed Uber to shift liability from the company to the driver in many cases.
However, Uber also maintains a sizeable insurance policy on its drivers with policy limits around $1 million. The company and passengers are covered by a three-part insurance plan, and the coverage that applies is based on the driver’s activity at the time that the accident occurred. For example, if the driver is available and ready to pick up passengers, but is not carrying a passenger when the accident occurs, the primary insurance is the driver’s own insurance policy. If the Uber driver is involved in an auto accident with a third party, Uber typically provides coverage of at least $50,000 per person with a maximum of $100,000 per accident and a maximum of $25,000 in property damage per accident. On the other hand, if the driver is available and accepted the request to pick up a passenger (but the passenger is not in the vehicle), Uber’s insurance policy covers three things: (1) the Uber driver’s liability to a third party; (2) any injuries due to an uninsured or underinsured motorist; and (3) collision and comprehensive coverage if the Uber driver already has such coverage on his/her personal insurance. The coverage amount is $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury. Likewise, when a passenger is in the car, Uber covers the driver with the same insurance as when the driver has accepted a request, but the passenger is not yet in the vehicle.
Uber’s insurance policy’s carrier, as with any insurance company, tries to avoid paying out as many claims as possible; therefore, it is not uncommon for accident claims to be denied by Uber’s carrier. Uber’s categorization of its drivers as independent contractors makes the situation even more complicated. Accident victims may respond to a denial of this nature by suing Uber directly. Alternatively, they can seek payment from the driver’s personal insurance company. Knowing which insurance policy is responsible for coverage when a car accident occurs is a complicated matter. Filing a claim as an Uber passenger is best left to the discretion of an experienced Uber car accident lawyer at The Elan Law Firm who is familiar with both insurance regulations and the specifics of your case.
Each state has its own unique law regarding ride-sharing services, and the laws continue to evolve. Moreover, insurance issues related to rideshare services continue to be litigated in the courts.
Get in touch for an Uber accident attorney.
If you have been injured in a Lyft or Uber car accident, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against Uber or the driver’s insurance company and be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages. Contact the experienced Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC Uber car accident lawyers at The Elan Law Firm for a free consultation.