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What You Need to Know About Uber Accidents and Insurance Claims

Despite the fast growing popularity of rideshare 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 with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys who are here to help you understand any questions you may have about an Uber accident case.

If you are interested in using our services, our 24/7 legal team can be reached by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form.

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.

  • The rideshare driver is offline. 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. 
  • The rideshare driver is online and awaiting a request. A driver is online and available to pick up a rider. 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
  • The rideshare driver is online and is picking up or dropping off a rider. During the time the driver receives a ride request and is on the way to pick up or drop off 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.

Uber vs Taxi Background Checks and Safety

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 safety report released by Uber, from 2019 to 2020, the rideshare service averaged nearly 3 million trips per day in the United States. Although the rideshare company has achieved a high success rate in customer satisfaction, it has had its downsides, as well. Uber attempts to make drivers as secure as possible, by including features such as Uber vehicle requirements that help create safer transportation for the passenger. 

There have been several publicized issues regarding Uber lawsuits and safety. About 57 percent of Uber drivers were accused of sexual assault. The types of sexual assault that was reported through the company’s app included the following: non-consensual sexual penetration, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part, non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, attempted non-consensual sexual penetration, and non-consenual kissing of a non-sexual body part. Additionally, Uber has faced enormous lawsuits and 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 may vary depending on the country and state. 

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 

Uber’s Employment Policy 

Your Uber driver’s employment status is important to think about 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.

As the AB5 bill passed in September of 2019, rideshare and food delivery companies did not favor the idea of classifying their drivers as employees. To take effective action against this new law, Prop 22 was formed and led by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. Each company contributed a total of $30 million to campaign accounts to fund for an initiative campaign in case they were not given the chance to reach a compromise. 

Instacart and Postmates later joined this initiative campaign as they were also not content with the idea of converting the employment status of their drivers from independent contractors to employees. This campaign was able to collect over $200 million, which was the most funds an initiative campaign has ever gotten in California.

In November of 2020, Prop 22 passed, meaning that rideshare and food delivery drivers were no longer going to be classified as employees. With these drivers remaining as independent contractors, it can become quite complicated for someone to file a personal injury lawsuit against them for an accident they were at-fault for. 

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 a fair settlement offer. 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 filling out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team. 

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