In 2019, 111 million people took 6.9 billion trips with Uber.
Although those numbers have dipped since the start of the pandemic, one thing remains certain. When millions of people take billions of car trips, accidents are inevitable.
Have you been involved in an Uber accident? Whether you were the driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian, you'll need legal help to know what to do next. More specifically, you'll need a car accident lawyer who specializes in rideshare accidents.
Keep reading to learn more about your rights after an Uber accident and what personal injury lawyers can do to help.
Understanding Uber's Insurance Policy
Not surprisingly, Uber has a complex set of policies that determine who pays for what in the event of an accident.
The good news is that passenger injuries are almost always covered. On-duty drivers are usually covered, as well. With that said, exact laws vary by state and individual insurance companies.
To keep things simple, let's break it down into three different scenarios.
First, let's say there's a driver who provides Uber services but is not actively available to pick up passengers. If an off-duty driver is involved in an accident, they're covered under their personal auto insurance policy.
Next, imagine a driver who is available to pick up a passenger but hasn't yet. In this case, they're covered by their own insurance plus Uber's contingent liability coverage. This covers up to $25,000 in property damage and up to $50,000 in personal injury.
Finally, let's consider an Uber driver actively transporting a passenger. If there's an accident, Uber's policy provides up to $1 million in liability coverage and $1 million in uninsured or underinsured coverage.
Different Types of Uber Accidents
So far, we've discussed a lot of numbers and legalese. Now let's switch gears and discuss what an Uber accident looks like in real life.
How do you determine who's at fault? More importantly, who pays for property damages or personal injury? Consider four different situations you could find yourself in.
1. An Uber Driver Crashes Into Your Car (No Injuries)
In this best-case scenario, imagine an Uber driver has struck your vehicle. Although there's some damage to one or both vehicles, no one suffered any injuries.
This situation will be handled like any other traffic collision. Exchange information with the other driver, document the damage, and then contact your auto insurer to file a claim.
2. You're a Passenger in an Uber Accident (No Injuries)
If the only damages are to the vehicle (not to you or the driver), you may be asked to supply your version of what happened to the authorities. Otherwise, you don't have any legal obligations once the ride has ended.
Depending on who was at fault, the Uber driver may be covered by the liability policy outlined above.
3. You're an Uber Passenger and You're Injured in a Crash
As mentioned earlier, passengers are technically insured for up to $1 million in personal injuries. This coverage also kicks in if the other driver caused the accident and they're either uninsured or underinsured.
The $1 million cap is in place to prevent you from suing Uber for any excess damages. This is true even if your Uber driver caused the crash due to recklessness or DUI.
Although you can't sue Uber directly, you can file a lawsuit against the driver if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An attorney who specializes in drunk driving accidents can provide more insight into this legal process.
4. You're a Pedestrian Injured by an Uber Driver
What happens if you're an innocent bystander and you're struck by an Uber vehicle? Or what if you're a passenger in another vehicle and you're hit by an Uber driver?
It might seem like a long shot, but 30% of fatal Uber crashes involve pedestrians. If you're in this unfortunate situation, who's responsible for your personal injuries?
If the Uber driver was conducting a trip with a passenger, the $1 million liability coverage applies. If the driver was off duty or between trips, the responsibility falls with the driver's personal auto insurance.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
It's natural to feel overwhelmed in the wake of an accident — especially one that wasn't your fault. As you get ready to take your next steps, consider three important ways an Uber accident lawyer can help you.
1. They Understand the Law & Legal System
The justice system is complicated, and trying to navigate it on your own can be a nightmare.
Should you file a claim or a lawsuit (or both)? What happens if your case goes to trial? What if you're being harassed by insurance companies or you miss a deadline for filing paperwork?
Personal injury lawyers know the ins and out of the legal system. They can evaluate your case, advise you of the best options, and be your advocate throughout the entire process.
2. They're Expert Evaluators & Negotiators
Do you want to rest your entire fate on a hastily written police report? Personal injury lawyers will leave no stone unturned as they examine all available evidence to determine who's at fault.
If your case goes to court, your lawyer will be right there to help with litigation. They'll keep track of your settlement claim and may even be able to expedite the process.
3. They'll Get You the Compensation You Deserve
Seasoned lawyers know there's a lot more involved in personal injury lawsuits than an emergency room bill.
Depending on your injuries, you may need ongoing therapy or a series of surgeries. You could end up with a partial or permanent disability. There's also the cost of missed work as well as emotional pain and suffering.
If you accept a low-ball payout from Uber or your own insurance company, you could get buried under a heavy financial burden. Hiring a lawyer increases your chances of getting the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Uber Accident? Call the Soffer Firm
None of us want to think about the possibility of an accident when we step into a vehicle. Unfortunately, the risk is there every time we get on the road.
If you were involved in an Uber accident in Florida, legal help is available. Our Miami-based law office specializes in personal injury, car accident injury, and rideshare accidents.
Don't attempt to navigate the legal system or fight through the claims process on your own. Contact our team of personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.