Morgan Gaynor | June 4, 2021 | Car Accidents
Uber is one of the most popular rideshare companies in Florida. Rideshare services have increased dramatically because people find them more convenient than traditional taxicabs. They can order, monitor, and pay for their Uber, all with a convenient mobile app.
Unfortunately, Uber accidents are common. They are so common that Uber and other rideshare companies must now carry liability insurance for traffic accidents.
Historically, Uber driver’s private car insurance carriers would not cover accident claims since drivers are independent contractors. Moreover, Florida’s no-fault insurance coverage didn’t always apply in accidents involving Ubers, or it wasn’t sufficient to compensate the victim fully for injuries and damages.
Therefore, the Florida legislature enacted HB221 in 2017. The bill requires that rideshare companies in Florida provide a minimum amount of primary automobile liability coverage. The law also set minimum requirements for background checks, driving records, and other matters that could impact passenger safety.
How Does Uber Insurance Work?
According to the Uber website, Uber provides the following insurance for its drivers:
- Offline or Driver App is Off – No insurance coverage from Uber
- Waiting or Available for a Ride Request – The company provides third-party liability insurance of $50,000 bodily injury for one person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage insurance
- Driving to Pick Up Passengers and During a Trip – Third-party insurance increases to $1 million, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision insurance
For Uber drivers and passengers, it is important to understand Uber insurance coverage. Florida’s liability insurance and no-fault insurance laws are complicated. It can be difficult to know who should pay for injuries and damages caused by an Uber car accident.
Who is Liable for Damages Caused by an Uber Accident?
In most cases, passengers are not liable for damages caused by an Uber accident. The passenger would only be liable for damages if the passenger was negligent in causing the car crash.
One or more individuals and parties could be liable for your damages if you are involved in an Uber accident, including:
- Uber drivers
- Other motorists
- Commercial trucking companies
- Truck drivers
- Government transit authorities
- Bicyclists and pedestrians
- Product manufacturers
Sorting out who is responsible for the cause of the crash is crucial for recovering compensation for injuries and damages. Only the party or parties who caused the crash are liable for your damages. A car accident lawyer can help you investigate the cause of the crash, identify the factors that caused the wreck, and gather evidence proving which parties are responsible.
Can I Sue Uber for Damages Caused by a Car Accident?
No, you generally cannot sue Uber to hold it liable for damages caused by an accident involving one of its drivers. The reason is that Uber drivers are independent contractors. Therefore, Uber is typically not responsible for a driver’s conduct.
However, now that Uber is required to carry commercial auto insurance, there is an option for recovering compensation from a third-party insurance provider. Unfortunately, you may need to exhaust all other avenues of compensation before you make a claim against the Uber insurance policy.
Because insurance coverage can be confusing, it is wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an Uber accident. There are deadlines for filing accident claims and personal injury lawsuits. If you do not file your claim before the deadline, you lose your right to sue for damages caused by the Uber accident.
What Damages Can I Recover After an Uber Accident?
If you file a claim against the third-party insurance provider for Uber, you want to include all your economic and non-economic damages in the claim. You also want to ensure that you know the maximum value of each category of damages.
Damages that you can seek for an Uber accident include, but might not be limited to:
- Cost of medical treatment
- Cost of physical therapy and future medical care
- The expenses related to long-term personal care or in-home health care
- Loss of salary, benefits, wages, and other forms of income
- Reduction in your future earning potential
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Emotional and mental suffering and trauma
- Scarring, disabilities, permanent impairments, and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages
Although Uber has a large amount of insurance coverage, its insurers aren’t always willing to pay large accident claims. The insurance provider treats Uber accident claims the same as it does all claims – it attempts to minimize the damages to pay as little as possible to settle the claim.
An experienced Uber accident attorney understands the complexities involved in these types of personal injury cases. They also understand what is involved in investigating and pursuing these claims to maximize the chance you receive full compensation for all damages. Contact an attorney if you have any questions.