In many cities, Uber has become a routine way for people to get around. All they need to do is open an app and a car will magically appear to take them where they need to go. It’s convenient, but it may not be totally safe. An Uber accident is always possible every time you get into a car with the company. And if one does happen, you may be wondering what you need to do to make sure you are covered and you are safe.
Keep reading below to learn more about what to do if your Uber ride is in an accident!
Uber Drivers Are Not Traditional Employees
When you call for a traditional taxi, you’re calling for an employee to use a company vehicle to pick you up. They are usually full members of the company, and the company is responsible for anything that happens during the ride. However, Uber is not a traditional company.
Uber drivers are not considered full employees of the company — they are contractors. Usually, this just means that they face more complex tax requirements and that they can work for another company whenever they want. In a traffic accident though, the situation is different.
Independent contractors generally carry the responsibility for transporting you and your cargo safely. If they get into an accident, they are the ones who need to deal with the paperwork. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if your Uber driver gets into an accident, though.
Instead, it actually means you may get benefits from both the company and the driver.
Since They’re Contractors, They’re Responsible — Not Uber
Uber is a complicated company that relies heavily on its brand. Their leaders do not want to risk their reputation getting tarnished, and will pay heavily to make sure people trust them. That can work in your favor if your Uber driver is in a car accident.
They may reach out to you to discuss options for coverage and payments if you’re in an accident. If you file a claim with them, they will likely respond quickly and efficiently to ensure you’re taken care of. At the same time, your driver’s insurance may reach out as well with options for benefits.
As a passenger, you can actually stand to benefit a lot from being in an accident while in an Uber. And the best way to take advantage of the situation is to hire an attorney.
In Flordia, You Generally Cannot Sue Uber
Generally in Florida, you cannot sue Uber if you are in an accident. The state sees the company as a mere brand, not an actual company responsible for the safety of passengers and drivers. Their only service is connecting people with contracted drivers, not actually driving people around.
This means people cannot sue them in Florida, even if they are in an accident. It simply isn’t in their purview to make sure people get places safely, according to Florida state law. The company will still probably try to make sure you are taken care of though ‚ they have liability coverage for these situations.
You can sue the driver though if you can prove that they acted negligently. If they were texting while driving, drinking, or being irresponsible — they put your safety at risk. And for that, you can sue them for damages.
Things Are Changing Across the U.S.
Although you may not be able to sue Uber directly in Florida, attitudes are shifting across the country. There are more movements to hold Uber and similar companies responsible for their drivers. People are starting to argue that Uber’s practices of hiring contractors are unfair and illegal.
Mostly, lawsuits and legislation have been proposed in California to hold the company more accountable. Some other states are also trying to make ridesharing companies more accountable, such as New York. However, there has not been federal action about the issues yet.
So, for the time being, if your Uber driver is in a crash you will need to work with them instead of the company.
Uber Has Certain Insurance Requirements
Luckily, Uber requires all of its drivers to have a certain amount of insurance in case they get into an accident. This usually extends past typical liability and comprehensive insurance. Companies have even begun crafting policies that cover ridesharing, ensuring passengers are covered.
These usually cover damages to your health and your property. For example, if you need to see a doctor after an accident, the driver’s ridesharing insurance will typically cover it. They usually also cover damage to personal property like phones and laptops.
Drivers can pay top-dollar for these kinds of insurance plans, and for good reason. They are typically extensive and cover almost any possibility. It does mean that you need to find out what insurance company your driver has, though.
You’ll be working with the insurance company mostly as the claim is processed, instead of Uber. They legally represent the driver, and so you may not even talk to the driver again.
Insurance Coverage Can Vary By State
Florida is a unique state with a “no-fault” car insurance statute. This means that drivers must have personal injury and liability insurance, regardless of whether they work with Uber or not. With this statute, the first $10,000 of your claim must be handled by the insurance company.
At the very least, this means you can expect some kind of help if you are involved in an auto accident with your Uber. However, it can be more or less depending on your state. In some states, drivers may not be required to have as much insurance.
If you’re a passenger though, you can still be almost totally covered since both the driver and the company want to make sure you’re safe. Otherwise, they risk severe legal and marketing consequences.
Do Not Wait to File a Claim If You’re a Passenger
The most important thing to remember if you are in a car accident while riding an Uber is not to wait. First, contact 911 to file and police report and get medical attention. Then, file a claim with your driver’s insurance company.
Acting quickly will make sure you get coverage as soon as possible and will pressure the companies to respond quickly too.
An Uber Accident Is a Serious Issue
If you are in an Uber accident, then it is an uber-big issue. First, you need to make sure you are uninjured and get medical attention if you are. Then, you need to reach out to an attorney to help you with all the legal trouble that will come.
By getting an attorney, you can maximize the payout from being in an accident while riding with Uber. And for that, we’re here. Just reach out to us and we will make sure you get the money you deserve!
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.