Uber drivers are generally covered by a personal auto insurance policy and/or Uber’s million-dollar insurance policy, depending on their status when they are behind the wheel. For Uber drivers and car accident victims, it’s crucial to know that:
- Driver status at the time of a crash can impact which insurer carries liability for the accident.
- While an insurer may be liable for a crash, there are no guarantees that the company will honor a valid claim.
- Insurers commonly leverage certain “gap” periods – like when drivers are waiting for or responding to ride requests – to deny liability and avoid paying claims.
These issues can make it especially challenging for Uber car accident victims to obtain the financial recoveries they deserve.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our Houston attorneys are skilled at helping accident victims successfully navigate the complexities of the claim process, particularly when challenges with insurance companies arise. Tenacious, strategic and experienced, we can help you advocate your rights, effectively stand up to insurance companies and seek any possible recovery for your Uber accident claim.
Hurt in an Uber Car Crash?
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Before you speak to the insurance company, give an official statement or sign anything, let us explain:
- Your rights and entitlements so you know how to protect the strength and value of your claim.
- How our representation and guidance can be pivotal to the successful outcome of your claim and recovery.
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When Uber Drivers Are At Fault for a Crash: How an Uber Driver’s Status Can Impact Insurance Coverage
Uber driver status refers to whether drivers are:
- Offline, meaning the driver is not logged into the Uber app and, therefore, is “off duty”
- Online, meaning the driver is logged into the Uber app and, consequently, is “available to accept ride requests.”
When Uber drivers are primarily at fault for car accidents, the insurance coverage that should come into play is detailed by the following table.
|Driver Status||Insurance Coverage||Type of Coverage*|
|Driver Offline||Driver’s Personal Auto Insurance Coverage||Depends on the Policy|
Minimum Coverage Required in Texas for Uber Drivers:1
|Driver Online – Available, Waiting for Ride Request||Personal Auto Insurance +|
Uber’s Contingent Liability Coverage
|Personal Policy Acts as Primary Coverage2|
When Primary Coverage Is Exhausted or Denied, Uber Contingent Coverage Provides:
|Driver Online – Ride Request Accepted, En Route to Pickup Rider(s)|
|Driver Online – Transporting Rider||Uber’s Insurance Coverage,3 Provided by the||Coverage Provides:|
*Uber’s coverage will typically only be available if the Uber driver maintains personal auto insurance coverage, as required by state law.
When Uber Drivers Are NOT at Fault for an Accident: Available Coverage
When Uber drivers are NOT primarily at fault for an accident, the insurance provider for the at-fault party should provide coverage for the resulting damage.
However, Uber’s insurance coverage can still come into play when accidents occur during a ride and when:
- The at-fault driver does NOT carry sufficient or any insurance (to cover the damages that the Uber driver and rider(s) sustained).
- The at-fault driver flees the scene, resulting in a hit-and-run accident, and that driver cannot be identified.
In these cases, Uber’s uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage could provide a total coverage of $1 million for bodily injury.
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How Insurers Can Leverage the “Gap” Periods to Deny Coverage & Claims
Although Uber drivers may be covered by their personal auto insurance policy and/or Uber’s JRIC policy while they are driving, these insurance providers cannot be relied on to automatically step up and fully honor a valid Uber accident claim.
- Uber drivers’ personal auto insurance providers can – and commonly do – deny coverage for any crash that occurs while the driver is online (i.e., logged into the Uber app). They typically argue that personal policies do not cover crashes arising from policyholders’ commercial driving activities and that driving for Uber, regardless of whether a rider is being transported, is a commercial driving activity.
- The James River Insurance Company has been known to deny coverage for crashes that occur while Uber drivers are logged on but before they have accepted a ride request or before they have picked up a rider. The argument often used to deny coverage in these situations is that the Uber driver was not technically “on the clock” (i.e., earning money for driving the rider), so no commercial activities were occurring and the personal auto insurance coverage should cover these crashes.
These situations can be as frustrating as they may be difficult to face, especially for crash victims who may be struggling with serious injuries.
How a Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm Can Help You with an Uber Car Accident Claim
A Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can provide crucial assistance, support and representation when it is time for Uber accident victims to seek recovery. In addition to determining all liable parties, we will work rapidly to:
- Gather all evidence
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Obtain and review police reports
- Advise you on how to proceed
- Vigorously protect your rights and interests in all dealings with the insurer(s).
As your claim proceeds, we provide you with aggressive, effective representation every step of the way. With prior experience in insurance defense, our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about the insurance industry and the tactics insurers use to try to limit or avoid paying valid claims. This makes us highly effective at subverting these tactics to protect our clients and their Uber accident claims.
As an auto accident victim, you need an attorney on your side who is skilled and fully committed to getting you as much as possible for your injuries. You need a trusted attorney at the Amaro Law Firm.
Protect Your Rights, Claim & Recovery: Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an Uber crash, you can turn to a Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm for experienced help with your claim. We will not let insurers compromise your recovery or coerce you into taking a lesser settlement.
Call (877) 892-2797, text (281) 612-8024 or email our firm for a FREE consultation.
During this case evaluation, you can get important answers about your legal options and how to position your potential claim for success.
The experienced attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm are dedicated to working to help you receive compensation to which you may be entitled. While we realize that compensation may not make up for the permanent losses caused by serious Uber accidents, we also know that these recoveries can be integral to rebuilding lives.