Being involved in a car accident can turn your life upside down. Whether you’ve sustained serious injuries, expensive medical bills, or had to take unpaid time off work, the lasting effects can be distressing. This can be especially true if you’re in an auto accident as a passenger of a ridesharing service, or if the accident involves an Uber driver, because claiming compensation in these cases can become complicated. That’s why, if you’re injured in a rideshare accident, it’s important to reach out to a skilled Uber accident lawyer Los Angeles, like the team at Point Law Group, LLP.
Cases involving accidents caused by Uber and other rideshares can become complex when parties represent themselves, or turn to amateur lawyers. Handling claims or litigating in court can also be daunting when up against a large corporation like Uber, which is why you want a trusted auto accident attorney by your side. But, before you aim to seek compensation, it’s crucial to know your rights and if Uber is even liable for the accidents their driver cause.
Is Uber liable for accidents?
Is Uber Liable for an Accident Their Driver Caused?
The short answer is yes, for the most part, but there’s a range of factors that could determine the extent of liability. In most circumstances, car accidents are deemed the fault of the driver because they were in control of the vehicle at the time of the incident. If you were the passenger in an Uber at the time of an accident and were injured, this can be a much more clear cut case because you weren’t operating the vehicle, and Uber maintains coverage for its riders. There are exceptions to this rule though, like if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt which may have prevented serious injury. On the other hand, if you were a driver of another vehicle and were in an accident with an Uber driver, the liability may come down to the negligence of either party.
For a time, Uber attempted to absolve liability in these incidents, claiming their drivers as “independent contractors”, rather than employees. There has been an ongoing battle between the state of California and rideshare companies since 2020 around how to classify rideshare drivers. While Prop 22 is still being assessed, this dialogue, an increase in lawsuits, and stricter California laws have forced Uber to invest more into the safety and insurance of their drivers, thus making it easier to claim on Uber-related accidents.
What is Uber’s Insurance Policy?
Uber has provided an insurance policy that covers up to $1 million in third-party liability to their drivers or passengers, ever since Prop 22 passed in 2020. This coverage includes medical bills, injuries, and death benefits of Uber drivers who were injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, passengers riding in an Uber, or other drivers and bystanders in the event of an accident caused by an Uber driver. But there are, of course, contingencies within this policy.
- Drivers must carry their own personal insurance coverage that follows the state-mandated guidelines. Uber’s policy only covers what their drivers’ insurances can’t.
- Uber drivers must either be en route to a passenger or be on an active trip for the policy to apply. Uber’s insurance policy does not apply when Uber drivers are either offline or aren’t waiting to accept rides.
- When drivers are online or waiting for a ride request, but aren’t transporting or en route to passengers, Uber’s policy will only cover a small amount of property damage per accident and a total of $100,000 in injuries per accident.
Given Uber’s business model, the elaborate terms within their insurance policy, and Uber’s history of refusing to take accountability for their drivers, these cases can become increasingly complex. There are now several private insurance companies that offer Uber-specific policies, so at the very least, Uber drivers can have more of a say in the policies and companies that financially protect them and others.
What are the Safety Concerns Around Uber and Other Rideshare Services?
There are a myriad of safety concerns passengers have when using rideshare services. There’s always the uncertainty of getting into a car with a stranger, but one of the more concerning factors in Uber’s practices is their lack of thorough background checks of their drivers. Interviews aren’t part of Uber’s hiring process, and background checks are outsourced to a separate company, so when issues concerning safety arise, the blame is often put on this oversight.
Another pressing concern is down to the driver’s abilities. Uber drivers don’t need a special certification, aside from a valid driver’s license, to qualify. And, even if their abilities as a driver are above average, the use of mobile phones has proven dangerous. Uber drivers rely heavily on the Uber app to pick up riders, and on map applications to navigate trips. This leads to a higher risk of distraction while driving, which can increase the chances of negligence, leading to car accidents.
Crimes committed by Uber drivers are typically more complex cases than automobile accidents, and unfortunately they’re not that uncommon. Dangerous and life-threatening circumstances have also been reported by Uber’s users, like robbery, DUI, stalking, assault, rape, and even kidnapping. Uber is currently being sued by over 550 women who were victims of some of these crimes, and this certainly isn’t the first (or last) lawsuit the rideshare company has faced.
If you are looking for a Los Angeles car accident attorney, look no further. A firm that has settled millions, Point Law Group, LLP provides tailored representation as no two car accidents are the same! Specializing in automotive and pedestrian accidents, PLG vows to secure a full and fair settlement for all of its clients. Contact Point Law Group, LLP at (310)560-0606 to get a free consultation today!