Chicago Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Uber Driver Accidents
While Uber is technically legal, more cities and local governments are putting bans and restrictions on these ride-sharing programs – specifically because of accident rates and a lack of recourse for accident victims. In a normal accident situation, the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for injuries that he or she caused, and you are responsible for your own vehicle. It’s not as clear-cut, however, when you are a passenger of another person’s car and that person is using the vehicle for income, rather than leisure. Clearly, this form of transportation can become complex when accidents occur.
What Happens When an Uber Accident Occurs?
Whether you are the Uber passenger, a driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian, and you are in an accident with an Uber driver, you will notice that things get rather complicated. Because Uber states that all drivers under their service are considered independent contractors, not employees, Uber can deny coverage for any injuries sustained while passengers use the service. However, a passenger in an Uber accident may be entitled to compensation from the Uber driver’s or the other driver’s insurance – depending on who was at-fault for the accident. This would fall under Uber’s automatic one million dollar per ride policy.
Understanding Uber’s Insurance
Uber has created an insurance policy specifically for their drivers and passengers. When Uber drivers have “available” status, they are provided with liability insurance from Uber. This can cover up to $50,000 for injuries, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Therefore, if an Uber driver is negligent in an accident – even if he or she doesn’t have a fare (but was waiting to receive one) – your injuries, as well as vehicle damage, could be covered under the company’s liability insurance policy, up to the specified limits.
If the Uber driver has a fare, the liability policy amounts increase. This includes the time spent driving until the customer has been dropped off. The coverage breakdown is as follows:
- One million dollars in liability,
- One million dollars in uninsured/underinsured motorist injury, and
- Up to cash value of the collision and comprehensive coverage.
How to Protect Yourself After an Uber Accident
There are repercussions for any accident; unfortunately, there are not enough laws to protect individuals against Uber accidents at this time. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber vehicle or if you are a passenger in the Uber transport, there are things that you must do in order to protect yourself. These include:
- Get the license plate number of the Uber vehicle and any other vehicles involved.
- Exchange contact information, as well as car insurance information, with the vehicles involved.
- If there are any witnesses, quickly gather their contact information. You don’t need an official statement from them, but you may want to contact them later to get more information.
- Take pictures or videos of the accident (if possible). You will want to document the vehicles, weather conditions, road conditions, and anything else pertaining to the accident.
- Report the accident to police and get a copy of the police report, as well as the police officer’s information. If the other driver was cited, you will need to note this.
- Visit a doctor right away for a check-up. You will want to inform him or her that you were involved in an accident. Keep copies of any medical records you have, as well as receipts for out-of-pocket expenses – you will use these later to file your claim.
- Speak with an attorney.
Get Professional Legal Assistance from Malman Law
Even if your injuries were minor, dealing with Uber’s insurance policies can be complicated. An attorney can assist you with your claim. If Uber refuses to cover your claim, the other party’s insurance may pay for your injuries and losses. To get started, contact an attorney at Malman Law for a consultation by calling us. Or, fill out our online contact form with your legal questions and we will be in-touch with you shortly.