More and more Los Angelenos are using ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to get where they need to go. But what happens when you’re a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle involved in an accident? What if you’re a passenger in another vehicle involved in an accident with an Uber car? Who takes care of your medical bills? Who do you file a claim against?
Potential defendants in such a suit include both the Uber or Lyft driver and the ridesharing company itself as well as any third-party driver if he/she caused the accident to begin with. Whether to sue the driver or the company, however, depends largely on the specific scenario—which also affects how much insurance money is available to pay out claims. The insurance model used for ridesharing services is complicated to say the least.
Who you can sue depends for the most part on the status of the driver at the time of the accident and whether or not you were actually in the Uber car or in another vehicle or even walking down the street as a pedestrian. Let’s look at Uber’s model in particular. There are three separate amounts of coverage available for accidents, but each is determined by whether or not the driver was off the clock, on the clock, or carrying a passenger.
- Off-the-clock Uber driver. Accidents that happen when the Uber driver is off the clock and unavailable to accept riders will strictly fall under the driver’s personal policy.
- On-the-clock driver. A driver who is available to give rides but has not yet picked up a passenger is still driving under his own policy, but Uber adds a contingent liability policy of $100K per accident or $50,000 per person.
- On-the-clock driver with passenger. Once the driver picks up a rider, then Uber covers the ride with a $1 million liability policy.
While passengers in Uber vehicles are covered by Uber’s generous $1 million policy, if you’re in another vehicle involved in an Uber crash or you are a pedestrian hit by an Uber vehicle, you may find yourself coming up short if the driver was not hauling a passenger or was off the clock at the time of the accident. Uber will deny liability in any claim where the driver is not logged in to its app and ready to accept fares. If the drier is clocked in yet not yet picked up a passenger, then there is more insurance money available, but not the larger $1 million policy.
Uber is a huge company, and you can bet that they have attorneys working hard to ensure that any claimant coming forward is sent packing with a minimal payout. That’s why it pays to never speak with Uber until you’ve consulted with a competent, experienced attorney first. Always discuss your situation with our Los Angeles Uber accident attorney prior to accepting any sort of lowball offer for your Uber accident claim. Set up a free, no-obligation consultation today with Compass Law Group to learn more about the legal options available to you.