If you were injured in an accident with an Uber driver, you have the right to sue that individual. If you can establish that the crash occurred due to their negligence, you could recover financial compensation for your injuries.
In many ways, a lawsuit against an Uber driver is like any other personal injury case that stems from a car crash. There are differences, however. In some cases, you could have the ability to file an insurance claim directly against Uber’s policy.
You Have the Right to Sue an Uber Driver
When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit following a crash, Uber drivers are not treated any differently than any other negligent motorist. If the Uber driver was responsible for your collision, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against them.
The important difference in these cases is that an Uber driver could have multiple sources of insurance to recover from. With any luck, your damages could be fully covered by one or more insurance policies.
Uber drivers are not exempt from the requirement of carrying individual insurance coverage for their vehicles. That means if they cause a crash, their liability carrier should provide you with compensation for your injuries. Sometimes it can take a civil lawsuit to resolve these claims.
You Cannot Sue Uber Directly
While you can sue the driver responsible for your collision, the law does not allow for you to file suit against Uber directly. This is because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors instead of employees.
Uber holds itself out as a marketplace that connects drivers with people that need a ride. While they facilitate these rides, their argument is that they are only connecting passengers to independent drivers and not hiring drivers themselves. The courts have agreed with Uber so far.
That is impactful, as Uber would potentially face civil liability for the negligence of their employees. Because independent contractors are not employees, that is not currently the case. There may be potential for a claim if Uber was negligent in screening the driver.
You Might Be Entitled to Benefits Through Uber’s Insurance Policy
While you cannot sue Uber directly, that does not mean you cannot hold them accountable in any way. State law requires Uber to provide insurance coverage to their drivers in certain circumstances. The amount of coverage provided by Uber will depend on the circumstances.
It is also important to remember that this is considered secondary coverage. New York is a no-fault state, meaning in many cases a driver must rely on their policy first.
When liability claims are appropriate, you may be required to pursue benefits from the driver’s policy first before Uber’s policy becomes an option.
Off-Duty Uber Drivers
Drivers are considered off-duty when they are not actively using the mobile app to seek riders and are not transporting passengers on a pre-arranged trip. Uber does not provide off-duty drivers with any insurance coverage. However, these drivers should have coverage through their own policy.
Drivers Between Pre-Arranged Trips
Insurance coverage from Uber extends to a driver the moment they are “online.” A driver is online if their mobile app is engaged and they are actively seeking prospective riders.
When drivers are between passengers, they carry as much as $75,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $150,000 per crash. Drivers are also covered with up to $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Uber Drivers with Passengers or Who Have Accepted a Pick up Through the App
The highest level of insurance coverage is reserved for Uber drivers that are en route to pick up a passenger accepted on the app or carrying passengers on a pre-arranged trip. This level of coverage begins when a driver is actively using the app and is in the process of carrying a passenger to their destination or en route to pick them up. This stage ends as soon as the passenger leaves the vehicle.
During this stage, Uber provides up to $1.25 million in liability coverage per crash. This coverage protects third parties like other drivers or even passengers. Likewise, there is up to $1.25 million in coverage for collisions caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers as well.
There is also no-fault coverage as required by state law. All of the occupants of an Uber collision could take part in up to $50,000 in no-fault coverage for things like lost wages and medical bills.
Discuss Your Options with an Attorney from Our Firm
If you were involved in a crash with an Uber driver, you have the right to sue. That said, it could be possible to secure fair compensation for your injuries without the need for a lawsuit.
Our firm understands how to negotiate with insurance companies, and we could use that experience to help you secure a fair settlement offer. Contact Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. for a free consultation.