After pressing the Uber icon on your smartphone and entering your information, you can usually relax and wait for the driver to pick you up. But, you are essentially accepting a ride from a complete stranger. Although Uber has stated that they conduct background checks and vehicle screenings, the fact remains that your driver is unknown to you and his or her driving style may not be to your liking.
If you use Uber, you should be aware of what may happen in case of an accident. Uber maintains a $1 million dollar insurance policy to cover their drivers and passengers. This is a three-part insurance plan that depends on which phase of the Uber ride the accident occurred. Basically, if the driver was using the vehicle for their own purposes and was not available to pick up passengers, the driver will only be covered by his or her own personal vehicle insurance which is determined by the policy limits and any state laws regulating insurance coverage.
If an accident occurs when the Uber driver is available to pick up people but has not yet done so, the accident is again covered by the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy and coverage limitations. Additionally, Uber has contingent liability coverage in the amount of $50,000 to $100,000 per injury and $25,000 for property damage. This coverage is only available when the driver’s personal insurance is not sufficient to cover all the damages. If you are involved in an accident while the driver is transporting a passenger, both the driver and the passenger are covered by Uber’s $1 million dollar insurance policy. Uber also maintains uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage up to $1 million dollars if the driver of the other vehicle does not have insurance.
It is important to remember that Uber drivers are not Uber employees. In essence, Uber connects people who need a ride to somewhere with independent contractors who can provide the ride. Unfortunately, Uber commonly uses this reasoning to attempt to deny responsibility in an accident. If you have been in an accident with or in an Uber vehicle, don’t try to handle it on your own. Call the compassionate, knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. Our dedication and professionalism are second to none and we are waiting to provide you with the highest quality legal services. Call 877-415-6566 or email [email protected].