Ride-hailing services offer an alternative commuting solution to people who travel from one place to another. These services such as Uber and Lyft are much more convenient compared to other modes of public transportation such as trains or buses and are relatively cheaper compared to taxis. However, for the longest time, drivers of Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like those previously mentioned were considered to be individual contractors. With the recent legalization and regularization of these peer-to-peer services, TNCs will now have a working framework regarding their business and employees.
However, as more people use or get into availing of these ridesharing services, more cars are on the road along with taxis and private vehicles, which means they are also bound to get involved in car accidents. Below are facts that you should know about Uber and your rights as a motorist, passenger, or pedestrian after an Uber-related road accident.
Transportation Network Company Laws & Regulations
With the recent passing of the AB5 Bill which puts peer-to-peer services under the government’s jurisdiction, app-based services and their respective companies are now required to get a license from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to operate. This regularization also means that TNCs must now conduct criminal background checks of all drivers, have routine vehicle inspections and driving training programs, exercise zero tolerance for alcohol and substance abuse, and provide at least $1 million of insurance coverage per accident to their drivers. Additionally, this regularization classifies drivers from being individual contractors into regular employees, granting them the same legal rights as other employees in other industries.
Uber Car Accident Scenarios
With the legalization of technology-based ride-hailing services, Uber drivers not exempt from car accident liabilities. Fortunately, with the various requirements of CPUC for Uber and other similar companies to operate, compensation for injuries and damages can be claimed from either the driver or the company that the driver is working for. Below are different scenarios of Uber-related car accidents one might get into. These scenarios also describe what one’s rights are and the compensation that they are entitled to depending on the accident.
What if You Get into An Accident While Inside an Uber?
If you are inside an Uber, Lyft, or other similar ridesharing service and your driver gets involved in an accident, you can sue the driver directly if he or she is found to be at fault. However, the $1 million liability insurance that Uber offers their drivers can cover your medical bills and other costs. Additionally, Uber also provide their drivers with uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage worth up to $1 million if the other driver involved in the accident is at fault is found not to have enough insurance to cover for medical expenses and additional related costs from the accident. Also, take note that Uber’s $1 million insurance policy should fully compensate the passenger if another driver is held liable for the crash.
What if you Get Involved in an Uber Car Accident as a Motorist or a Pedestrian?
This scenario is the most complicated one to deal with since you have to consider whether or not the Uber driver is on-duty as well as other factors. These factors determine if compensation is available or not and whose insurance policy you can claim compensation from. For example, if you determine that the Uber driver who hit you has his or her app off at the time of the accident, you can’t claim Uber’s insurance policy for compensation and instead direct your claims to the driver’s personal car insurance policy.
If the Uber app is on and the driver is actively waiting for a ride request, Uber can cover $50,000 to up to $100,1000 per person in bodily injury liability as well as up to $25,000 in property damage. If the driver is either on his or her way to pick up a rider or has an Uber passenger during the accident, Uber’s mandatory $1 million car insurance liability can cover for the medical expenses and other accident-related damages of the victim.
What You Should Do After the Accident
Like any other traffic accident, it is vital that you document the accident and get all the necessary information related to it to have a viable claim for compensation regardless of who is at fault. Get the name, contact details, and personal insurance information of both the Uber driver and the other driver involved in the accident. Take photos of your injuries, vehicle damage, and property damage, if any, and get testimonials from witnesses during the incident. Additionally, familiarize yourself of Uber’s insurance policies to know if you can get coverage for your injuries and to which party you will direct your efforts in obtaining just compensation from the accident.
Also, since California is an at-fault state, the law will have at least one party held liable for the accident. However, up until the party at fault is determined, claiming your compensation will be difficult as you will be put in the middle of multiple insurance providers denying or delaying the claim to either pay for less than the proper amount of compensation or to discourage you from claiming for the settlement at all. These scenarios make it vital that you have all the necessary information about the accident since it quickens the process of finding out who is to blame for the accident, getting you your compensation faster.
Contact an Expert Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
If you get involved in a car accident involving an Uber or similar ridesharing service providers, remember that you are entitled to specific rights and compensation for your injuries and other damages. Whether you were a pedestrian, driver, or Uber passenger, you are entitled to proper compensation. It is best that you seek proper legal advice from an experienced Uber and Lyft attorney to further your claims against the driver or company involved. Doing so is in your best interest as it will help you get the proper compensation you deserve as well as help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. Contact Mesriani Law now for a free consultation regarding your Uber car accident claim.