Many people use UberX, a transportation service, to help them get around town. It is much cheaper than a traditional taxi and the cars tend to be nicer too. What happens though if the driver is negligent and gets into an accident while on transporting a passenger? Even more interesting, what happens if the Uber driver gets into an accident without transporting a Uber passenger? Does Uber or Lyft provide insurance coverage for drivers injured due to a car accident? Does Uber driver’s personal insurance policy cover the accident? Can injured passengers sue Uber/Lyft or their drivers? These are just a few questions many Uber, Lyft, and other TNC users are concerned about when involved in an accident while using these popular ride-sharing services.
On New Year’s Eve, a six-year-old girl was struck and killed by an UberX driver in San Francisco. The family sued Uber for wrongful death, but Uber denied liability. Since there were no passengers in the vehicle, the driver was not on duty and was not covered by Uber’s insurance. The family argued that since the driver was logged into the Uber app, he was on the job. At that time, Uber had very strict provisions as to what they are liable for. They only claimed liability between the times that a driver was requested and the fare was paid. This means that if a driver is driving around looking for a fare, they are not considered to be on the job; therefore, the driver will not be covered by Uber’s insurance.
In March of this year, Uber announced that they would be changing their insurance coverage. They would now cover accidents as long as the Uber driver was at fault and logged into the Uber app, even if they were not transporting a passenger. Although this is a big step forward, there are still some provisions to be aware of. Uber’s insurance will only cover the accident if the driver’s personal insurance fails to do so. They will also only cover up to $100,000 in bodily injury and $25,000 in property damage.
UberX is a cheap way to get around town if you need transportation, but it is important to educate yourself on policies and provisions that may affect you. If you are an Uber passenger and are involved in a car accident, it is important to find an experienced personal injury attorney.
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