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Uber Accident Policy and Insurance Compensation

Here’s What You Need to Know About Uber Accidents and Insurance Claims

Despite the fast growing popularity of ridesharing companies, such as Uber, different states will have different policies when it comes to dealing with accidents. Uber has a long-standing $1 million dollar insurance plan. However, that doesn’t mean that this plan will cover you in the event of an accident.

When insurance companies look at liability, they generally try to place negligence on another party. Some states release liability altogether. Understanding the different rules for drivers, passengers, third parties, independent contractors and employees can be very confusing. West Coast Trial Lawyers is a top personal injury law firm in Los Angeles and we are here to help you understand any questions you may have about an Uber accident case.

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Uber vs Taxi Background Checks and Safety

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

Since the introduction of rideshare applications in 2009, the taxi driving business has taken a tremendous hit. Rideshare apps are classified as technology companies and are not restricted to the same regulations as other transportation services. Due to the app’s convenience and more affordable prices, Uber has soared to the top of the charts when it comes to transportation services. According to a report released by Uber, from 2017 to 2018, the ridesharing service averaged a total of 3.1 million rides per day in the United States. With both years combined, the company accumulated a total of 2.3 billion trips.

Uber. There have been several publicized issues regarding Uber lawsuits and safety. In addition to the 103 drivers that were accused of sexual assault, 31 drivers were convicted for forcible touching, kidnap, rape, and even murder. Uber has faced enormous lawsuits and have settled over $10 million dollars in sexual assault and personal injury cases.

In an attempt to reduce these claims, Uber has created several in-app features, including a panic button and route tracking. Additionally, Uber conducts annual criminal and automobile checks to ensure all legal requirements are met. These background checks are operated by private, third party firms and vary depending on the country and state.

Taxis. Just like Uber, all taxi drivers must pass a background check. Though the regulations are different per state, they are generally stricter than Uber’s requirements. In the state of California, in addition to passing the background check, a taxi driver must:

  • Enroll and pass a drug/alcohol test and participate in random drug tests
  • Pass a medical examination and have no physical or mental issues that could affect the safety of the passenger
  • Get a taxi driver permit
  • Attend training programs and pass defensive driving tests

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Uber’s Employment Policy

Your Uber driver’s employment status is an important consideration when determining fault and liability. Most states do not consider their drivers as “employees” and instead hire them as “independent contractors.” This distinction releases the company from any liability during an accident.

If your state considers your driver an independent contractor, it can become a nightmare to sue that individual. Luckily for California residents, the AB5 bill forces ridesharing companies to enlist their drivers as employees, giving you the right to sue them directly.

Uber’s $1 million Insurance Policy

Uber has an infamous $1 million insurance policy that is divided into four parts. It all depends on what the driver was doing at the time the accident took place. Listed below is a quick evaluation of the different tiers.

  1. Period 0: When a driver is riding their car for non-work related purposes, they must rely on their personal insurance policy should they get into any accidents.
  2. Period 1: If a driver is available to pick up a ride but does not yet have a passenger, this is considered as period 1. If an accident occurs, Uber will offer you third-party liability if your personal insurance does not apply.
    • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
    • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
    • $25,000 in property damage per accident
  3. Period 2. During the time the driver receives a ride request and is on the way to pick up the rider, Uber’s insurance policy is in full effect and liability insurance, including uninsured and underinsured riding insurance, can cover liability for up to $1 million in damages per accident.
  4. Period 3. Once the rider is in the car, Uber’s insurance policy is in full effect and liability insurance, including uninsured and underinsured riding insurance, can cover liability for up to $1 million in damages per accident.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses. We are committed to resolving your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out.

Contact us today by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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