From rear-end collisions to side-swipe accidents, any type of car crash can cause physical harm, mental anguish, and a lot of confusion about what to do next. But when you’re involved in an Uber accident, the situation can become much more confusing. Who is responsible for your medical bills? Should you contact the rideshare app to receive compensation? How long are you supposed to wait to settle your claim?
That’s where a car accident attorney comes in. An attorney can fight for your right to compensation and ensure you receive a timely and fair settlement. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Uber accident settlements, including the latest policies, claims, and Uber accident lawsuits.
Safety Risks Posed by Ride-Sharing
When using a ride-sharing application, most people don’t anticipate being injured in a car accident. However, much like all auto accident cases, Uber accidents can occur at any time without any warning. The majority of personal injury cases against Uber involve passengers and rideshare drivers who were harmed in an auto accident during an Uber ride.
Other common examples of potential personal injury cases against Uber include:
- Rideshare passengers injured or killed in accidents caused by Uber drivers
- Rideshare passengers injured or killed in accidents caused by other motorists
- Rideshare passengers injured or killed when entering or exiting the rideshare vehicle
- Pedestrians and bicyclists injured in collisions with Uber-operated cars
- Third-party motorists injured due to the negligence of Uber drivers
- Uber drivers injured in collisions caused by other motorists
What Happens After an Uber Accident?
The aftermath of an Uber accident can be disorienting and scary. It might be difficult to take action right away. However, the steps you take immediately after the car accident can dramatically impact your total compensation amount and settlement check timeline. The faster you’re able to document all of your injuries, property damage, and resulting expenses, the faster and easier it will be to argue for a fair settlement amount.
First, if you’re physically able, document the scene of the accident before leaving. Details you should gather at the scene include:
- Time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Full name and contact information for all drivers involved
- License and registration information for all drivers involved
- Motor vehicle insurance information for all drivers involved
- Notes of anything you observed before, during, and after the accident
- Copy of the police accident report and the responding officer’s full name
Next, promptly seek medical treatment and ensure you haven’t suffered any life-threatening injuries. If you delay treatment, the car insurance company can argue the accident was not the primary cause of your injuries. Therefore, it’s imperative to receive medical treatment immediately after an Uber accident.
After you’ve received medical assistance, you must notify Uber. Inform them that you were a passenger involved in an accident with one of their rideshare drivers, and ask for insurance information for your driver’s Uber coverage.
Once you receive the appropriate insurance information from Uber, contact a rideshare attorney before you attempt to contact the insurance company. An attorney can help guide the settlement process and document all present symptoms, medical treatment, loss of income, and other damages related to your case.
Do Injured Uber Passengers and Drivers Have Different Rights?
Unfortunately, Uber passengers and drivers have slightly different rights after an accident. For instance, a driver’s personal insurance must be used if the driver was injured off the clock. Uber will only compensate the driver for property damage if they had existing collision coverage and were en route to or with passengers.
Passengers may have an easier time receiving compensation from Uber. Uber will pay a passenger’s personal injury claim, so long as there’s not another liable driver who should pay first. Similarly, injured passengers or injured third-parties are likely to receive a higher payout from Uber’s insurance company, which has an insurance policy maximum of $250,000.
How Does Uber Liability Insurance Work After a Crash?
Two of the most common questions after an Uber car accident are how Uber’s liability insurance works and how much it’s worth. Uber has publicly acknowledged to riders that it has $1 million in insurance coverage for their in-use vehicles. In-use vehicles are vehicles transporting customers or vehicles en route to pick up customers. However, Uber’s full insurance policy is not public information and can only be disclosed through a court order.
Generally speaking, Uber’s liability insurance varies depending on whether the injured party was a rideshare driver, passenger, or third-party motorist or pedestrian.
Liability Insurance for Injured Uber Drivers
Because Uber rideshare drivers are independent contractors and not direct Uber employees, their liability insurance is a bit different. Uber’s insurance will pay for an injured rideshare driver’s personal injury claim only if another driver was at fault and the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. In other words, Uber encourages its drivers to go through the other motorist’s insurance policy first. Then, Uber will compensate the driver, but only if the other motorist didn’t have enough coverage for all damages.
Furthermore, Uber’s insurance will pay for their driver’s property damage. But they will only pay if the Uber driver had collision coverage on his or her personal auto insurance policy and the driver was en route to or with a passenger. So, unless a driver was on the clock and had existing coverage, Uber is not liable to pay for their property damage.
In no-fault states like Florida, Uber’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will pay an on-the-clock driver up to $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages. So long as the accident occurred in a no-fault state, Uber’s PIP coverage is liable even if the Uber driver was completely at fault.
Liability Insurance for Injured Uber Passengers
Both Uber and Uber rideshare drivers owe passengers a duty of care. They must do everything in their power to keep passengers safe. When an accident occurs, Uber will pay for an injured passenger’s personal injury claim as long as there isn’t another driver who should pay first. For example, if an Uber vehicle was involved in a multi-car collision, the driver responsible for the pileup would be responsible for the passenger’s injuries, not Uber.
The passenger must file a claim against the other driver’s bodily injury liability coverage before turning to Uber. If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is not enough to compensate for all of the passenger’s injuries, the passenger may file an injury claim against Uber’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uber will compensate the passenger up to $250,000 for whatever damages remain.
If the Uber driver escorting the passenger was to blame for the accident, the passenger may file a claim for up to $1 million.
Liability Insurance for Third-Party Motorists and Passengers
Because they are a commercial company, Uber’s insurance coverage limits are typically much higher than average car insurance policies. If you were in another vehicle that was hit by an Uber driver, Uber’s liability coverage will pay for your claim, including property and bodily damage. However, the Uber driver must have been responsible for the accident for Uber to pay for your damages.
Likewise, Uber’s liability insurance limits are significantly lower if the rideshare driver was noten route to or with a passenger when the accident occurred. In this instance, Uber’s insurance company offers bodily injury liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 for the entire accident. They also offer $25,000 in property damage liability. This coverage would only apply if the Uber driver struck you when they were not on the clock, such as on their way home.
Can You Sue Uber After a Car Accident?
Technically, no, you cannot sue the Uber company after a car accident. You can only file a lawsuit against an Uber driver or Uber’s insurance company—not the company itself.
However, you can only sue an Uber driver or Uber’s insurance company in one of two scenarios:
- You were injured as a passenger in an Uber vehicle
- You were a third-party motorist or pedestrian struck by an Uber vehicle
Filing a Lawsuit as an Uber Passenger
To file an Uber lawsuit as an injured passenger, you must have been in the Uber vehicle at the time of the crash. First, you must file an accident claim against the at-fault driver—whether that be the Uber driver or another motorist. The at-fault driver must be uninsured or underinsured for Uber to pay for your accident damages. If all of these criteria are met, you can formally file a lawsuit against Uber’s underinsured motorist insurance or the Uber driver.
Filing a Lawsuit as a Third-Party Motorist
To file an Uber lawsuit as an injured motorist, an Uber driver must have been at fault for the crash. You can sue the Uber driver, Uber’s insurance policy, or both for property damage and bodily harm from the accident. Uber’s insurance company will pay your claim up to $100,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage but can provide up to $1 million. In a no-fault state, such as Florida, you must file a claim against your own insurance before you can file against Uber.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim for an Uber Accident?
Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim for an Uber accident. However, your claim will not be against Uber itself. Rather, it will be against the Uber driver or Uber’s insurance company. A wrongful death attorney can help you build an accident case for a loved one killed in an Uber accident.
What is the Average Uber Accident Settlement Amount?
A passenger is limited to $250,000 in Uber’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, so most cases will settle for up to that amount unless taken to court. But remember that Uber has publicly acknowledged they have $1 million in insurance coverage for their vehicles, and they can pay up to that amount for severely injured passengers. Your total Uber accident claim amount will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the total damages caused by the accident.
The following are some recent Uber accident settlement amounts. Have a look over them to determine how much the value of your case could be worth. As a general disclaimer, accident victims with more severe injuries will likely receive higher compensation than victims with mild damages.
$260,000 Florida Uber Accident Lawsuit
While transporting a passenger, an Uber driver in Miami, Florida was T-boned by another motorist. The at-fault driver was making a left turn and failed to see the Uber vehicle. As a result, the Uber driver suffered a fractured vertebra in his middle back.
The accident injury resulted in significant pain and aggravation. In addition to almost $100,000 in medical bills, the victim also acquired a significant loss of income while recovering. Between a lawsuit from the at-fault driver and Uber’s existing policies for rideshare drivers, the victim received a $260,000 settlement.
$500,000 California Uber Accident Settlement
A young woman in San Francisco, California was riding her bicycle when she was struck by an Uber driver in a large SUV. The bicyclist was riding in a designated bike lane, located to the right of the right-hand turn lane. The Uber driver was headed straight. At the last moment, the Uber driver attempted to make a right turn through the bike lane and collided directly into the bicyclist.
The bicyclist was thrown in the air and landed hard on the pavement, suffering numerous facial fractures, internal bleeding, and a severe arm fracture. Her fractured arm required two surgeries to repair the damage. Initially, Uber’s insurance company tried to argue the bicyclist was in the wrong. However, her personal injury lawyer proved the Uber driver attempted to make an illegal turn, and she was ultimately granted $500,000.
Factors That Determine The Value of Your Case
There is no set average value for Uber accident cases. Several factors can impact the value of your case. The most common factors that determine the value of an Uber accident case include the severity of the injuries, medical expenses, total damages, and available insurance.
Severity of Injuries
In personal injury law, more serious injuries typically receive higher compensation. This is because, in general, severe injuries are significantly more painful, require more medical attention, and take longer to heal. For instance, a sprained wrist can heal within a few weeks and is a minor accident injury, whereas a limb amputation is a serious, permanent injury.
Current and Future Medical Expenses
Both current and future medical expenses must be accounted for in your Uber accident settlement. You cannot return to Uber a few months down the line to demand more compensation, so your initial settlement must account for the entirety of the medical treatment you will receive.
Returning to the above example, a sprained wrist requires immediate medical treatment that will only last a maximum of months. Limb amputation is a permanent injury that requires life-long care. Therefore, the total settlement amount must address the multiple years of medical attention that await.
Economic, Non-Economic, and Punitive Damages
There are three types of damages in an Uber accident lawsuit: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
- Economic damages have an exact compensation amount, such as medical bills or lost income.
- Non-economic damages are priced by the insurance company to make up for a victim’s hardships, such as pain and suffering or disfigurement.
- Punitive damagesare meant to punish the liable party, such as an Uber driver who was intoxicated while on the job.
The more damages you acquire in your Uber accident claim, the higher your overall settlement value will be.
Amount of Available Insurance
Whether you’re a rideshare driver, passenger, or third-party, insurance will play a huge role in your overall settlement value. Uber has a variety of policy limits to compensate injured parties. However, if you’re an injured driver or passenger and another driver was at-fault for your injuries, you will have to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal insurance first. The amount of available insurance will impact the total amount of compensation you may receive.
How Does an Uber Accident Attorney Help After a Crash?
Uber and ride-share accident claims can be complicated, especially since multiple insurance companies may be involved. While insurance companies are willing to negotiate with accident victims, they tend to offer way below case value. Plus, they might attempt to force you to settle for a lump sum before you know the full extent of your medical bills or other damages.
Before dealing with an insurance adjuster alone, consider consulting with an experienced Uber accident attorney. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident and gather all applicable evidence, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. They can help form a solid accident case while you focus on healing. Plus, an Uber accident lawyer can handle negotiations with the insurance company, which provides you the best chance of receiving fair compensation.
How Long Does it Take to Settle Uber Accident Claims?
The amount of time it takes to settle Uber accident claims varies. You must sign a release before you can receive a settlement check. The release makes your settlement against Uber final, meaning you will not be able to file secondary charges should your injuries worsen over time. This is another reason why it’s helpful to work with an Uber accident attorney, as they can help ensure you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before signing on the dotting line.
Once you’ve signed your release, you should receive your settlement check relatively quickly. Some attorneys may choose to demand the settlement check is overnighted or expedited before signing the release. Otherwise, it generally takes two to six weeks to settle an Uber accident claim.
Can an Uber Accident Lawyer Handle a Lyft Claim?
Yes! Rideshare attorneys are well-versed in all auto accidents, from truck accidents and motorcycle accidents to Uber and Lyft claims. They are knowledgeable about how to negotiate with rideshare insurance companies to help you receive maximum compensation. Plus, a rideshare attorney can also negotiate medical liens from your healthcare providers and help maximize your total compensation.
Seek a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber car accident, seek legal advice from a trusted law firm knowledgeable in rideshare accidents. Whether you were injured as a driver, passenger, or third-party, a personal injury attorney can help argue for the highest possible compensation. Seek a free case evaluation today to learn what your case might be worth.