In large cities, commuters often rely on cabs to provide an alternative to driving or using mass transportation. Recently, companies like Lyft and Uber have been transforming how people travel. These companies, however, have not changed one facet of transportation in particular. Driving leads to accidents.
Even the most gifted drivers can injure others from their own momentary carelessness or error. As this is a new concept developing in the law, collecting for insurance purposes can be tricky to navigate. The dedicated attorneys at Freundlich and Littman, LLC have years of experience dealing with insurance matters. We are your Uber accident lawyers. If an Uber-related accident causes injury to your body or car, do not wait to seek legal advice. We can help you seek compensation.
What Is Uber And How Does It Work?
Uber is a mobile-based service which allows its users to pay for and schedule an Uber driver, much like a taxi service would. The largest difference between a taxi driver and an Uber driver is the law. Taxi drivers must register for a license with the local government department or union. Uber drivers are “independent contractors.” That term means that the drivers are not actual employees of Uber.
Due to this fact, Uber will not have, “vicarious liability.” Vicarious liability is complex. For your purposes, it affects the defendant in a lawsuit. Vicarious liability holds employers responsible for any negligence of their employees. The accident must occur in the scope of their employment. It means that Uber, in theory, does not pay for the negligence of their drivers. Uber drivers have limited insurance available to them from Uber. Still, Uber expects drivers have their own personal car insurance.
Uber has been fighting claims for years that they employ the drivers. Rather, they argue that their company provides a means for a customer to connect with a driver. Uber is also notorious for fighting liability or responsibility. Modern taxi companies argue taxi drivers have more liability and responsibilities than Uber drivers.
Strict government regulations are not yet placed on many Uber drivers. The laws on Uber vary by state. Most states have yet to put any Uber-related laws on the books.
All these differences beg the question: who bears the cost of an accident?
Who Bears The Cost In An Accident?
In a traditional car accident, the law expects that both drivers carry insurance. After an accident, the drivers exchange insurance information. Then, the insurance companies battle it out. In a taxi situation, the taxi driver hands over the insurance information provided by their company. An Uber driver, on the other hand, drives for themselves and not the company. Does that mean that Uber has no responsibility to pay insurance money to anyone? Not necessarily.
Uber does not claim to be a company akin to a taxi service, but they do have policies for those injured by an Uber driver. In the beginning, Uber did not allow Uber drivers to have insurance coverage between picking up clients.
An Uber driver drives their own personal vehicle. As such, they have personal insurance on their cars. If they get into accidents, their insurance may cover their own injuries or injuries of other drivers; however, it may not. Many personal car insurance policies prevent collecting from acts of driving for a profit. In doing so, the insurance may resist payouts to Uber drivers themselves. Likewise, personal medical insurance may not be able to cover the entirety of expenses. It will be difficult to receive full compensation.
Uber has insurance policies in place for Uber drivers who suffer injuries. As these drivers are independent contractors, the law is different for a customer. A customer faces difficulty in obtaining monetary relief from Uber itself. Until a recent case where an “off duty” Uber driver killed a child, Uber would not supply insurance for drivers between transporting customers.
What To Do Next
Uber has a system for reporting accidents. Uber instructs their drivers to report an accident. From there, Uber has a one million dollar policy which covers the property damage and physical injuries. If you are not an Uber driver, but another driver, the rules on whose insurance covers is unclear. Do you seek relief from the driver’s personal insurance? What if they deny coverage?
Next, you could try to hold Uber accountable, but Uber is vehemently denying any managerial roles over Uber drivers. They claim that they are merely the means of communication; however, many in the legal and insurance fields do not look favorably on this.
It is confusing and exhausting trying to get ahold of money owed you following an accident. Do you sue everyone? The answer is messy. The attorneys at Freundlich and Littman, LLC understand that the process for collecting can be frustrating. We are your Uber accident lawyers. We will help you fight for the money that you deserve.