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uber accidents

Learn what you need to know about Uber accidents before you order your next ridesharing ride. Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Uber accidents are increasingly common in the state of California as ridesharing companies continue to expand their reach and influence across the state.

In fact, many people do not realize that ridesharing giant Uber got its start right here in California, and so ridesharing companies have been active here for far longer than they have been elsewhere in the nation.

However, ridesharing law itself is still quite new. Ridesharing is not the same as public transportation, traditional taxi service or private transportation companies. Ridesharing is its own entity, which can get complicated quickly when you are involved in an Uber accident and try to go it alone to navigate the claims process.

In this article, learn what you need to know about Uber accidents before you order your next ridesharing ride.

Uber Has Its Own Hiring and Oversight Practices

As a knowledgeable ridesharing accident attorney will readily explain, the relationship Uber has to its drivers is a very unique one. Uber and similar ridesharing services are part of the new emerging “gig economy.” As such, drivers are considered to be independent contractors rather than hired employees.

Drivers are responsible for supplying their own vehicle, carrying their own personal (commercial) car insurance policy and seeing to their own education of road laws and policies.

In other words, Uber does not do the kind of full background screening it would do if it was hiring employees. Uber does not provide driver safety and road education for its contractor drivers. Uber does not even require contractor drivers to provide a certain level of appropriate personal (commercial) auto insurance while driving for Uber.

But Uber Has Its Own Auto Insurance Policy, Right?

It is true that Uber does carry a $1 million policy that protects passengers while they are riding in an Uber driver’s personal car.

But this is only because the state of California passed a law forcing ridesharing companies to provide this coverage.

And just because Uber carries $1 million in coverage does not necessarily mean you will have access to its benefits if you are affected by an Uber accident! For this, you often need to work with the best Uber accident attorney to force the company to do the right thing.

If you are a passenger who is in an Uber driver’s vehicle when an accident occurs, you may be able to receive compensation through Uber the company’s insurance policy. But you can bet Uber won’t just open up their wallet and rain down cash on you.

Three Common Scenarios When You Are Involved in an Uber Accident

These are the three most common potential scenarios you may see play out if you are a passenger who is involved in an Uber accident.

Uber proves their driver was not at fault.

First, the company will seek to prove that their driver was not at fault. If they are successful, you could wind up relying on the other driver’s personal auto insurance policy….if they even have any insurance at all.

You can see how dangerous this first scenario can be. What if Uber the company proves their driver was not at fault, withholds all coverage to you, the passenger, and the other driver has no insurance? What then?

Uber proves their driver was only partially at fault.

If Uber cannot prove the other driver was solely at fault, they will try to prove the other driver was partially at fault.

Here, depending on the percentage of fault allotted to each driver, you may find yourself in the difficult position of having to work with two separate insurers to get reimbursement, medical attention and other care you are entitled to as a result of an Uber accident.

If the other driver does not have auto insurance, you may also end up receiving only a fraction of the care you deserve and need.

Each of these three scenarios, and especially the first two, will require skilled handling by the best Uber accident attorney to resolve swiftly and in full.

Uber’s driver is cited as being totally at fault.

If this occurs, you are more likely to have a smooth process seeking and receiving full reimbursement from Uber the company’s own $1 insurance policy.

What If You Are a Bystander Involved in an Uber Accident?

Bystander Uber accidents are more common than most passengers realize. This is partially because Uber drivers are more active in crowded, congested urban areas where streets tend to be narrow and there is lots of foot traffic.

It is also partially because Uber drivers tend to be busier at night and on weekends when they receive more calls for ridesharing services. It is harder to see at night and people on foot may also be vision-impaired by weather, alcohol or fatigue.

Being a bystander involved in an Uber accident is the most difficult position to be in, because your own auto insurance won’t cover you and you are not covered under Uber’s $1 auto insurance policy. Uber’s policy only covers passengers and only under the three scenarios explored earlier here.

So what avenue do you have for reimbursement if you are a bystander who is involved in an Uber accident?

The best approach is to retain the services of a knowledgable and experienced ridesharing accident attorney right away. You may be consumed with getting the medical care you need after injuries sustained through the Uber driver’s negligence. You will need an advocate who can start the ball rolling to get you compensated quickly and in full.

Five Key Steps to Take After an Uber Accident

Uber may be a billion-dollar international company, but never assume that means it will be easy to file a successful insurance claim.

If you have been involved in an Uber accident as a passenger or bystander, you need to take five key steps right away.

  1. Call the police and ask them to come to the scene and prepare an accident report.
    2. Call Uber and report the accident right away.
    3. Get the Uber driver’s name, contact information, license and insurance information.
    4. Document everything with photos, videos and notes.
    5. Contact your ridesharing accident attorney to report the accident.

When you take these four steps immediately, you will have the best chance of receiving full reimbursement for any property or personal injury damages sustained as a result of the Uber driver’s actions.

You never want to leave the claims process up to chance. At best, this will result in you getting only a part of the compensation you deserve. At worst, it may leave you uncompensated and bearing all the financial burden of your own care.

Contact Us at West Coast Trial Lawyers

Here at West Coast Trial Lawyers, we have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the increasingly complex waters of ridesharing accident law. This is especially the case here in the state of California, the birthplace of ridesharing itself, where ridesharing companies are treated somewhat differently than they are elsewhere in the nation.

If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for expert legal guidance today.

This content is a joint venture between our publication and our partner. We do not endorse any product or service in the article.

Written by panday ge