Injured in an Uber Accident—Who Is Liable?

By October 18, 2023October 20th, 2023Car Accidents

Uber and other ridesharing services have evolved from a novel concept to a vital part of urban transportation, offering a convenient alternative to traditional taxi services. Like any other mode of transport, Uber is not immune to risks, including accidents.

As a passenger, an accident during an Uber ride may involve multiple parties—you, the Uber driver, and potentially another vehicle or external factors. This can make the legal aftermath confusing.

If you are a victim of an Uber accident, you will likely have many questions about the accident and who may be liable. By finding answers to crucial questions, you can determine your legal rights and how to proceed after an Uber accident, including determining liability. An Uber accident attorney will provide valuable advice and legal knowledge when filing your claim or taking necessary legal action.

Who Is Liable in an Uber Accident?

Liability allocation for damages or injuries in Uber accidents depends on individual circumstances and factors. The rideshare element makes an Uber accident distinct from other motor vehicle accidents. Determining liability is more intricate and demands a thorough examination of each party’s involvement and the insurance coverage accessible to ascertain who compensates a victim’s damages.

When the Uber Driver Is at Fault

Where the Uber driver is at fault for the accident, Uber’s insurance policy usually applies to cover the damages of a passenger, another driver, or another accident victim. This coverage can include the injured parties’ medical expenses, property damage, and other related losses. 

The coverage amount available through Uber’s insurance policy can vary depending on whether the driver was available for a ride, enroute to pick up a passenger, or driving an active ride at the time of the accident.

When Another Driver Is at Fault

When another driver is at fault for the crash, their auto insurance typically pays for the damages to affected parties. However, when the at-fault driver’s insurance does not fully cover the losses, or they do not have insurance, Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may cover the remaining costs. Whether the Uber coverage applies in this scenario also depends on the stage of the Uber driver’s ride.

When External Factors Contribute to the Crash

External factors such as poor road conditions, bad weather, or mechanical failures might contribute to an Uber accident. For example, if the accident resulted from poor road conditions because of city negligence, you can hold the city responsible for the crash alongside the negligent driver.

In these scenarios, the accident’s specifics and the Uber insurance policy details will influence who ultimately bears the responsibility and who should pay for the losses. The complexity of these accidents highlights the importance of thoroughly documenting collisions and seeking legal advice to ensure the correct establishment of all liability aspects from the outset of the claim and case.

Understanding the Concept of Liability

The legality of an incident, particularly in terms of liability, determines responsibility for an Uber accident. We often discuss accidents and lawsuits regarding liability; however, many people may remain unsure of what it truly means, especially in a motor vehicle crash.

In legal terms, liability refers to an individual or entity’s responsibility for something, particularly regarding reparations or legal obligations. In Uber accidents, liability refers to who must pay for the damages, injuries, and other losses resulting from the accident. Liability is the cornerstone of personal injury law and accident claims. It determines who should bear the financial burden of the accident.

Liability Determinations in Car Accidents

Determining liability in car accidents relies on two key factors: negligence and causation. Negligence pertains to a breach of duty or carelessness that leads to an accident. A driver speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) are examples of negligent behaviors. Causation links negligent behavior to the damages and injuries victims sustained in the accident. To prove liability, you must also prove they directly caused the accident, the resulting damages, and that you suffered some property loss or an injury.

Determining Liability in an Uber Accident

Identifying the liable party is crucial in an Uber accident. Identification determines who compensates the victims for their injuries, property damages, and other losses. It also influences the insurance claims process—whether victims should file a claim with Uber, the driver, or potentially their insurance.

Uber’s Insurance Policy

Uber’s insurance policy plays a significant role in identifying who bears the financial burden following an Uber accident. The policy’s intricacies can make a considerable difference in whether you can obtain compensation for your injuries and damages from the crash through Uber coverage or other available sources of compensation.

Uber provides a three-part insurance policy that applies depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident:

  • When the rideshare driver had not actively logged into the Uber app at the time of the accident, Uber’s insurance does not apply, and any claims must go through the driver’s personal auto insurance.
  • If the driver was available but had yet to accept a ride, Uber provides liability coverage for any accident that is the driver’s fault. This coverage includes $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
  • Uber’s insurance increases significantly once the driver accepts a ride and a trip occurs. During this time, Uber provides $1 million in third-party liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

The exact application of Uber’s insurance policy depends on the specifics of the accident and the driver’s status during the accident. If the Uber driver is not at fault, the at-fault party’s insurance must cover your damages. Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may apply if the third party has no insurance or carries underinsurance.

Limitations and Exclusions of Uber’s Insurance Policy

While Uber’s insurance policy is comprehensive, it only covers some things. For instance, it does not cover personal items lost or damaged in an accident. Additionally, the policy only applies if the Uber driver is active on the app and available for rides en route to pick up a passenger or during a trip. Uber’s insurance will not apply if the driver has not logged into the app or they are using their vehicle for personal use.

You need a lawyer who clearly understands Uber’s insurance policy and how it works alongside other sources of compensation, such as personal auto insurance or third-party liability. A knowledgeable rideshare accident attorney can effectively manage the claims process and navigate the complexities of rideshare collisions.

Personal Insurance in an Uber Accident

Deciphering the fine print of personal insurance policies is crucial after an Uber accident. Uber’s insurance policy, passenger insurance, and the Uber driver’s private insurance are all potential sources of compensation.

Although Uber’s insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage, there could be situations where a passenger’s personal insurance policy may come to the forefront. When an Uber passenger’s injuries exceed the limits of Uber’s or the driver’s insurance, their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may help cover any remaining losses.

In some instances, the passenger’s insurance policy may exclude or limit some of what Uber’s insurance covers. Personal health insurance might pay medical bills and expenses for injuries you sustained during the accident.

Navigating these scenarios requires a lawyer who understands the individual insurance policies and their connection to the Uber service. You need an attorney to navigate many insurance policies and accurately identify available compensatory avenues.

The Uber Driver’s Personal Insurance

When an accident occurs while the Uber driver has not logged into the app—that is, they are not available for a ride, en route to pick up a passenger, or during a ride—their personal insurance policy should provide coverage, as Uber’s insurance would not apply under these circumstances.

Many standard personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when the driver uses the vehicle for commercial purposes, such as rideshare services. Many insurance companies now offer rideshare endorsements to fill this gap, but whether the Uber driver has such coverage can significantly influence an accident victim’s claim.

The unique nature of rideshare services and insurance companies make seeking compensation for an Uber accident challenging. Your lawyer will understand your policy and its interaction with Uber’s insurance to help you claim damages successfully. An Uber accident lawyer can decipher these complexities and protect your rights after an Uber accident.

Filing a Claim After an Uber Accident

The legal process following an Uber accident may seem daunting, but understanding the steps involved can make it more manageable. A first step in seeking compensation after an Uber accident is filing a claim with the insurance company. Your Uber accident lawyer can identify the insurers you may file a claim against for your losses.

Claim filing involves providing detailed information about the accident, your injuries, and any other losses you incurred. This process can be complex and demanding, requiring extensive evidence collection and organization. An experienced Uber accident lawyer can gather necessary evidence, calculate your maximum damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure your claim is as strong and compelling as possible.

Insurance companies often mount rigorous defenses to avoid paying out claims despite clear evidence pointing to liability. They may argue that their insured was not at fault, or they may downplay your injuries and damage calculations. You may even deal with multiple insurance companies, each trying to pass off liability to the other.

When disputes arise over liability or the extent of your damages, you may take your case before a judge or a jury. This time-consuming process requires a comprehensive understanding of personal injury law, rules of evidence, and courtroom procedures. Hiring an experienced Uber accident attorney to navigate these legal battlegrounds can make a crucial difference in securing your rightful compensation.

Why You Should Hire an Uber Accident Attorney for Your Claim

Legal representation will increase your chance of success in a personal injury case. After an Uber accident, the stakes are high for a victim. You could grapple with multiple insurance companies, navigate complex insurance policies, and deal with nuanced legal issues unique to rideshare accidents.

An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can represent you through these complexities. They gather evidence, communicate with insurance adjusters, file legal documents, represent you in court if necessary, and provide the peace of mind that you placed your case in capable hands.