When Uber Drivers Are Hurt at Work, Who Pays?
If an Uber driver becomes involved in an accident while on the job, his or her injuries and property damage are covered by Uber’s insurance policy. The question of motor vehicle insurance for Uber drivers is a contentious one, as the company has long insisted that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. However, a new bill was recently passed in California that changes the status of Uber and Lyft drivers.
Since issues involving Uber drivers are particularly complicated and are subject to changing legislation it’s best for individuals involved in a car accident to seek legal guidance from a qualified attorney. At Ellis Injury Law, our legal team has experience handling claims regarding accidents that affect ride-sharing vehicles.
Accident liability: determining who pays after a crash
Under Californian tort law, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the losses. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier must pay for the medical expenses and property damage, up to the coverage limitations of the policy. However, it’s important to note that this does not apply in cases involving ride-sharing vehicles. This is because Uber drivers are considered to be commercial drivers. In a commercial driving accident, the driver’s company insurance policy is supposed to cover the losses.
In California, Assembly Bill 5 was recently passed. It went into effect in January 2020, and it changed the status of Uber drivers from independent contractors to employees. Because of this, Uber is required to pay and insure their drivers just as any other commercial driving company would.
A look at Uber’s insurance policies
The coverage limitations of the insurance policy that covers Uber drivers will vary, depending on the particular activities that the driver was engaged in. It establishes three distinct phases.
In the first phase, the Uber driver is active and has the Uber app open. However, the driver is still waiting for a ride match. In this situation, the insurance policy will pay for personal injury and death by up to $50,000 per person. The policy will also pay up to $30,000 for property damage. There is a limit of $100,000 per accident.
In the second phase, the Uber driver has accepted a ride match and is on their way to pick up the passenger. In this situation, the insurance policy will provide primary commercial coverage up to $1 million.
In the third and last phase, the Uber driver has at least one passenger riding in their vehicle. In this situation, the insurance policy includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of $1 million.
What happens if the insurance policy doesn’t cover everything?
A serious car crash can result in extremely high medical bills and ongoing medical needs that may result in higher expenses than what the insurance company is willing to pay. If an Uber driver is involved in an accident that was the fault of another driver, then the Uber driver may have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. A car accident lawyer can advise injured ride-sharing drivers as to the merits of filing a lawsuit after reviewing the case.
Consult the car accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law
If you are an Uber or Lyft driver who has been hurt on the job, or if you were injured in a car accident involving a ride-sharing driver, you need qualified legal representation. Here at Ellis Injury Law, our Uber accident attorneys have experience handling even the most complex of cases. We will vigorously pursue maximum compensation on your behalf by negotiating with insurance carriers or filing a lawsuit if need be. Our attorneys never back down from a fight, and we never charge a legal fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf. Residents of Southern California can contact our firm in Los Angeles today to request a free consultation.