Whether you are an Uber rider, another motorist or a pedestrian, you may have the right to sue an Uber driver following a car crash IF:
- The Uber driver is at least one of the at-fault parties.
- The driver’s insurance company and/or Uber’s insurance company fail to fully compensate you for the injuries and losses you have suffered in the accident.
- The driver had no insurance coverage, and Uber’s insurance provider will not fully compensate you for the crash-related damage.
An attorney at the Amaro Law Firm can help you determine whether you have the right to sue an Uber driver and whether there may be other legal options for seeking financial recovery. We invite you participate in a free, no obligations case review for these insights.
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We urge you to call or email us whenever you are ready for essential insights about an Uber car accident claim. Until then, the following presents some generally helpful information regarding suing Uber drivers.
How Do I Know If the Uber Driver Is At Fault?
There may be some clear indications that an Uber driver is at least partially to blame and liable for an accident, such as a driver admitting fault, being issued a citation or being arrested immediately following a crash.
In absence of these events, determining whether an Uber driver may be at fault can require going over evidence like (but not limited to):
- Police reports and accident scene photos
- Witness statements
- Cellphone records
- Red light camera photos.
If another driver, in addition to the Uber driver, shares fault for an accident, both drivers can be liable for compensating accident victims. Holding all at-fault parties accountable is pivotal in helping accident victims.
What Insurance Company Covers an Uber Driver for an Accident?
It depends on the driver’s “status” at the time of the crash. Generally, an Uber driver should be covered by:
- The personal auto insurance policy when (s)he is “offline” (i.e., off-duty) and when (s)he’s online waiting for a ride request or responding to a pickup request (after accepting a ride request)
- Uber’s insurance policy when online waiting for or responding to a pickup request (in which case Uber’s policy provides contingent or secondary coverage) and when transporting riders (in which case Uber’s policy is the primary coverage).
While this may seem fairly clear cut on paper, in reality, things can get complex and confusing. This is largely due to the facts that:
- Just because an insurer should cover an Uber driver under certain conditions, it does NOT necessarily mean that the insurer will provide coverage when an accident occurs under those conditions.
- Personal auto insurance providers often refuse to provide coverage when drivers are online, arguing that these driving activities are work-related and, therefore, a commercial policy should apply and provide coverage.
- Conversely, Uber’s insurer – the James River Insurance Company (JRIC) – will argue that, when a driver (who is an independent contractor, not an employee) is not transporting riders and is not technically earning or on the clock, the commercial policy does not apply, and the personal auto insurance should provide primary coverage.
This can present a big challenge for Uber accident victims, and suing an at-fault Uber driver (and possibly the insurance companies) can be necessary when either or both insurers undervalue or deny valid claims from victims.
What If the Driver Has Minimal, Insufficient, or No Insurance?
Uber drivers are required to carry and provide proof of personal auto insurance (at least the minimum required by state law). It is not uncommon for Uber drivers to carry the minimum, and oftentimes, the minimum falls far short of being able to cover the injuries and damage caused by a car crash.
When Uber accident victims find themselves with more damages than the driver’s personal auto insurance can cover, they may be able to sue the driver and/or file a claim with JRIC. This may also be the case if the Uber driver does not have any personal auto insurance (which could occur if, for example, the policy has lapsed or the insurer has dropped the driver for some reason).
Get More Answers & Effective Advocacy for an Uber Accident Claim: Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you set an Uber car accident claim up for success.
As former insurance defense lawyers, we know how the insurance industry works and the tactics used to try to avoid paying valid claims. This makes us highly effective at protecting our clients’ rights and claims so they can obtain the full recovery they deserve.
While we realize that compensation will not change the permanent losses from a serious Uber accident, we also know that these recoveries can be pivotal to rebuilding lives.