Are Uber Drivers Liable?
Being injured in any car accident is scary and stressful, but much more so when it’s an Uber accident. Uber accidents can be more stressful than average car crashes as they bring up a whole host of questions with the biggest being: who is liable? Uber or the Uber driver?
According to California state law, the “at fault” driver in an accident is responsible for covering the cost of all property damage and injuries whether through their insurance or personally. When a commercial driver is at fault in an accident, the commercial driver’s employer is responsible for covering the damages.
These laws become sticky when it comes to rideshare companies like Uber since Uber drivers are technically not employees of Uber. This makes it potentially difficult to determine if the Uber driver is liable, or if it’s Uber itself. However, California Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in January 2020, now requires Uber to pay (and insure) drivers like regular employees. So, in most cases, Uber drivers are not liable. But there are still some instances in which Uber drivers are liable.
You need an experienced Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer to help you navigate these tough questions to make sure that you get the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and losses.
Insurance coverage and Uber accidents
Whether or not an Uber driver is liable for an accident depends on when the accident occurred during the various periods of Uber work. There are three periods of coverage: Period 1, Period 2 and Period 3.
Period 1 is when the driver has the app open and is looking or waiting for a ride request. During this period, as the driver is somewhat working for Uber, Uber must provide coverage of $50,000 per person for injury and death, $30,000 for property damage, and $100,000 in the event of an accident. Uber must also provide liability insurance for the driver of at least $200,000.
In Period 2 the driver is in an active ride request, meaning he is en route but has not yet picked up the passenger. Because the driver is actively working, Uber must offer commercial insurance coverage of up to $1 million. Similarly, in Period 3, the driver has the passenger in his car and is actively completing the ride, therefore, Uber must have $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
These insurance amounts may seem like a lot, but, unfortunately, serious accidents often lead to much higher costs or the insurance company may deny payment because of a technicality. This is where an Uber accident attorney comes in.
Uber Lawsuit Damages
You can seek compensation from Uber and/or the Uber driver in a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury attorney. You can seek compensation for damages such as:
- Punitive damages
- Economic losses including lost income, lost wages or salary, and property damage or loss
- Mental anguish, physical impairment, and pain and suffering in both the past, present and future
- Medical bills from hospitalization, disability, and rehab
- Loss of future income
Your Uber accident attorney will help you figure out exactly what kind of damages are applicable in your specific case, as every case is different.
Do I need a lawyer?
Luckily, in more minor accidents with little-to-no injuries and property loss, standard insurance often fully covers all damages. However, this is rarely the case when it comes to severe accidents with catastrophic losses, injuries or death.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in an Uber accident it is highly recommended that you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you through your Uber accident lawsuit.
Ellis Injury Law has the experience necessary to help guide you through your case from beginning to end. Our lawyers will work tirelessly to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Plus, in this day and age, every Uber lawsuit matters. The law is rapidly changing when it comes to companies like Uber, and it is up to the people to stand up for their rights of safety and legal protection. Your Uber case might play an integral role in shaping future policy that will prevent others from being hurt in the same way you were.
Contact Ellis Injury Law today to schedule a free initial consultation with an Uber accident attorney.