Just ten years ago, it would have been considered crazy to click a button on your phone, then get into a car with a complete stranger and hope you end up at your destination. In 2021, Uber drivers made over 6.3 billion trips — and the number only seems to be getting bigger by the year. But more Uber rides also mean more Uber accidents.
Getting into a car accident with an Uber driver can be devastating for those involved, especially if people are injured in the process. The confusing legal and insurance status of ridesharing businesses only makes the situation worse. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to do if you get into an accident with an Uber driver and what you need to understand about the situation.
What to Do After Uber Accidents
After an accident, there are important steps to take to preserve both your health and your future legal options. Here’s what to do after Uber accidents in Tustin:
1. Call Emergency Services
If you’re in an accident with an Uber driver that results in any injuries or property damage, make sure to call 911 immediately. Both police and EMTs should arrive on the scene. Reporting the accident is a necessity because a police report will be created.
Having a complete accident investigation conducted is crucial in a personal injury case. Also, even if your accident injuries are minor, EMTs will be able to help find any other injuries you may not have noticed.
Also, know that you can refuse any medical treatment or ambulance transport. However, ensure you are eventually examined by a doctor. If the Uber driver is proven to have caused the accident, your medical bills will be covered by the Uber driver’s insurance or Uber’s insurance.
2. Gather Evidence
Collecting evidence is vital to creating a personal injury claim. If you’re able to, begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. This includes:
- Names and contact info of everyone involved (including police officers, eyewitnesses, and the Uber driver)
- Take detailed photos of all vehicles involved, where the accident took place, and all injuries you sustained
- The Uber driver’s driver’s license number and personal insurance information
- A copy of the police report
3. Find a Suitable Lawyer
Consult with a personal injury lawyer that specializes in auto-related accidents. Doing this will help you understand what legal options are available to you. It will also help you recover maximum compensation. Speak with an Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible. Doing this will start the process to recover damages from the accident.
How Uber’s Liability Insurance Works
Uber has had to change the way they deal with insurance claims after its employees were found liable in car accidents. Although they have a comprehensive insurance plan, it isn’t like normal car insurance. Understanding how it works can help you navigate your way to a settlement better. Although Uber often showcases their $1 million auto insurance policy, there are loopholes that can result in much lower payouts to victims. Here are the factors that affect the insurance plan:
1. “Active” Driver Mode
If the Uber driver gets into an accident while carrying passengers, Uber’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in. This policy is split between medical expenses and property damage. However, be aware that California law permits insurance companies to pay out just the medical expenses as opposed to the actual total cost in damages. This means victims could end up getting much less than expected.
2. “Engaged” Driver Mode
If the Uber driver is on their way to pick up a passenger but doesn’t actually have passengers in their car when they get into an accident, a different, much less-expensive policy is used. This policy includes:
- Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
- Third-Party Liability Coverage
- Uninsured or Underinsured Bodily Injury Motorist Coverage
3. “Looking for Fares” Mode
If the Uber driver was not carrying a passenger or was not on their way to picking up a passenger, Uber’s insurance will not cover you. In this case, victims of an Uber accident need to seek compensation from the Uber driver’s personal insurance policy.
Unfortunately, even though it is required by California state law to have auto insurance, roughly 1 in 8 drivers don’t have insurance, which can create a massive headache for victims of the accident.
Maximize Your Settlement after an Uber Accident
If you’re involved in any kind of Uber accident and are seriously injured, make sure to get in contact with an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in auto-related accidents. Getting the compensation you deserve can be a time-consuming and complicated process that can leave you sitting in the dust with nothing if you aren’t prepared for it. If you get stuck in a worst-case scenario, you may even need to go to court. Situations that could lead there include:
- Insurance companies refusing to pay
- Uninsured Uber drivers
- Vague and unclear circumstances of the crash that are hard to prove
Even in the best-case scenarios, having an experienced attorney will be incredibly beneficial in securing a fair settlement from insurance companies and can even help you make more than enough to cover their fee. If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident, schedule a free consultation with Legacy Accident Lawyers.