Yes, you can sue Uber or an Uber driver if you are hurt in an accident while in an Uber. This is the case whether you are a passenger or are struck by an Uber driver. But whether you should sue the driver or Uber depends on the circumstances. There are also considerations when deciding whether to settle your Uber accident injury lawsuit.
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Uber’s Car Accident Insurance
An Uber driver has three types of insurance coverage from different sources, depending on their status when the crash happens:
- The driver is not working or ‘off the clock.’ If the driver is not taking fares when the accident happens, then Uber’s insurance is not applicable. You would file a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance. In many states, drivers are required to carry at least $25,000 in liability insurance per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Driver is working but between fares. If the driver is giving rides but does not have a passenger, they still are covered by their personal insurance, but Uber would provide some contingency insurance. The contingency coverage kicks in another $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
- Driver has a passenger. Once the passenger is in the vehicle, Uber’s insurance is in full effect. There is $1 million in liability and $1 million in property coverage available.
The amount of insurance that is available depends on whether or not you are a passenger and whether the driver was working at the time. These factors also will alter who you can sue: Uber or the driver.
Suing an Uber Driver If You Are The Passenger
In this accident, you would file a claim or lawsuit with Uber, not with the driver. Passengers are covered by a $1 million policy if they are hurt while being driven by an Uber driver. You can file an insurance claim against Uber’s carrier. In most cases, you do not need to file a lawsuit.
Suing an Uber Driver If You Are Not a Passenger
The most common situations are where you were in another car that was in an accident with an Uber vehicle, or you were a pedestrian struck by an Uber vehicle.
In each case, your action will depend on whether the Uber driver was off the clock, or was on the clock and waiting for a fare. The claim here would be mostly against the Uber driver, not Uber itself. Uber’s insurance company will deny claims if the driver did not have a fare. But their contingency insurance will provide some money if it is needed, if the Uber driver was available to take a fare.
If the driver had a passenger in the vehicle, the entire $1 million policy will apply to your accident, but Uber will fight it.
At the crash scene, you may not be sure of the driver’s status or whether they were on the clock. That is ok, but make sure you get information from the driver. There is a good chance your lawyer will file a claim against Uber and the driver. The insurance companies will have to sort it out. Your car accident attorney also can give you an answer from Uber and whether they are saying the driver was available for customers or not.