Technology today permits people from across Florida to open an app, request a ride, pay the fare and await pickup toward their destination. Seems easy enough, except when an Uber accident upends your evening of fun, forcing an ambulance ride to ensue. Car accidents in Ubers, although many go undocumented by the ridesharing giant, are as possible as any other accident. The difference here is who pays for what, when and why.
Here’s an inside scoop into ridesharing accidents.
Example 1: Uber Slams Into Another Driver and You’re a Passenger
Once an Uber has accepted your money and heads toward your location, they’re officially working for Uber. This means the $1.25 million liability policy is activated, and passengers along with other vehicles must be handled with extreme care.
Should an accident occur where Uber hits another car while you’re their passenger, the Uber driver just set an unthinkable amount of liabilities into motion. Here’s how that scenario could play out:
- The driver of the other vehicle will file an accident claim against Uber’s insurance policy, more than likely under the direction of his attorney.
- The passenger (you) will also file an injury claim against Uber’s policy.
- If the aggregate total of the accident exceeds $1.25 million, the Uber driver’s personal policy will act as ‘overflow’.
- As the driver was logged into an app-controlled by Uber, any uncovered claims may be submitted to Uber directly for payment, or may be submitted to the driver personally, or both.
Not often will Uber drivers recklessly operate their cabs, but it happens. When it does, and you’re a passenger, the protections afforded to you are pretty solid.
Example 2: Uber Slams Into Your Vehicle While You’re Driving
What happens when you’re driving down I-95 and an Uber plows into your vehicle, leaving you personally injured? Much of the same scenario applies from above:
- You (the driver) will file an accident claim with Uber’s liability policy. An attorney should assist you (or your loved one, if you’re feeling woozy after being ejected and sustained a brain injury) in filing the claim.
- If you had passengers sustain injuries, they’d follow a similar protocol.
- Should the entire accident amass $1.25 million, the Uber driver’s personal policy would kick in.
- Any unpaid claims the insurer didn’t cover would be the responsibility of Uber driver, or in some cases, Uber, the company, itself.
The more passengers and vehicles involved with an Uber driver’s act of negligence, the higher the driver’s liability will be. Many arguments could be made that Uber is hiring people with clean criminal and driving records, but cares nothing about how they drive.
Example 3: Uber Picks up Passenger and Gets Into No-fault Accident
How are passengers of Ubers covered when another car slams into the Uber? Who pays what? This could get tricky, folks.
The Uber driver would more than likely file an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer. Because the liability policy covers $1.25 million in accidents the Uber driver is liable for, and Florida’s PIP (personal injury protection policy) doesn’t apply to ridesharing or cab companies in general, Uber driver would have right to file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurer.
In cases where there’s a hit-and-run accident, Uber’s uninsured motorist coverage would recuperate most of the driver’s losses. But what about the passenger?
Passengers injured in an Uber accident would also file an injury claim against the at-fault party, although whatever indemnity Uber offers their drivers will also cover passengers provided the driver has either accepted the ride and is headed toward the passenger, or the passenger is currently in the vehicle. If the app’s driving mode is ‘off’, normal car accident rules will apply.
Why Ridesharing Needs Overhauling
The benefits of hailing personally-owned taxis are realized in Florida’s decrease in drunk driver arrests. People can open their app, request their ride, and onward they go. But with so many unknowns, these issues need fixing.
Hour restrictions should have a limit, too. Currently, the amount of time that rideshare drivers can operate their vehicle doesn’t have a restriction. One workaround would be flipping between Lyft and Uber. The cadre of ridesharing apps in existence makes circumventing driving hours easier than ever.
Florida could soon follow New York’s path by capping the number of Lyft and Ubers allowed in the state or individual cities. Although offered $100 million by both ridesharing companies to ditch the new regulations, capping the number of vehicles allowed in New York City limits could curb the number of accidents that occur.
A Few Reminders About Car Accidents and Ubers
Ridesharing is undoubtedly fun, convenient and an excellent way to earn full-time income driving part-time. But before jumping into random Ubers, keep these things in mind:
- Take ratings seriously. Do not ride with rude, inconsiderate drivers or those with poor driving skills.
- Text at least one person you trust when you’ve jumped inside an Uber or another ridesharing car. Let them know your pickup location, and where you’re going. Seems arbitrary, yet it establishes your route in case something happens.
- Report inappropriate behavior from Uber drivers directly to Uber. Then law enforcement.
- Uber drivers don’t have the power to make settlement decisions on behalf of the company. Your attorney can assist in getting the compensation you deserve, yet it won’t come from the driver directly.
Accidents involving ridesharing vehicles aren’t daily occurrences in Florida. If you find yourself facing an uphill legal battle because Uber, an insurer or ridesharing driver is bullying you, remain silent and follow law enforcement’s lead, then phone a car accident attorney immediately.
Involved in an accident while Ubering? You have legal options, but contact us immediately at 1-888-BURNETTI or use the form at Burnetti.com. Time is important in filing paperwork and settlement negotiations started.