Uber and other ridesharing companies play an important and necessary role in the U.S., especially in cities where people are constantly going to enjoy their nights at bars or parties with friends. Uber, in many cases, offers an affordable, easy, and safe way to get home after a night of drinking or when you are left stranded without a vehicle. However, with any service involving vehicles, come an array of accidents that can range anywhere from minor to serious in nature. Because these companies are involved in accidents throughout any given year, they must possess certain liability coverage for accidents, including personal injury protection. What rights do you have when you have been injured in an Uber or other ridesharing-related accident?
Uber accidents happen all the time in the United States, even though these services are still fairly new and we don’t have much in the way of statistics. According to statistics, Uber accidents have been found to be more deadly in crashes than vehicles that are part of Taxi services. In 2015, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, shows that Uber vehicles were involved in 5 fatal collisions from July to December. By 2015, in total, Uber vehicles were involved in over 700 collisions causing serious injuries.
An Employee or Independent Contractor?
Here is one of the biggest questions you may end up asking in your accident case: Is your Uber driver considered an employee or an independent contractor? This is a huge distinction you must make when you are determining liability, because you may not be able to collect damages in the same way if they are determined to be an independent contractor. Though every rideshare company is different, Uber does not consider their drivers to be actual employees and they are instead independent contractors, who tend to work on their own time and set their own schedules. This usually also means that the company cannot be held liable when an accident does occur.
Uber drivers are still expected to abide by safety measures under the company they work for. This means that there are certain insurance provisions and driver background checks, as well as the firing of Uber drivers when they have been consistently involved in accidents.
Uber’s Special Insurance Policy
Many ridesharing companies work the same way when it comes to their insurance policies: They have enlisted in enormous policies that help drivers compensate for their injuries when they have been involved in a serious accident. So, even if the company denies liability for your accident, you could still be covered under a $1 million insurance policy. This insurance comes in to play in cases where the driver was uninsured. However, it is not uncommon to see Uber deny your claim and refuse to pay for your damages, leaving you in a bad position when the medical bills and lost wages are piling up against you.
This is why, if you have been involved in an Uber or other ridesharing accident, you must work with an attorney to pursue a claim against another driver or their insurance company. You could be entitled to certain damages if another driver’s negligence has caused your injuries. Call an experienced attorney about your case soon after you have been injured.