When a person is injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another person, a personal injury claim enables them to recover compensation for their damages. Many people wonder if they are able to recover compensation if they have been injured while riding in an Uber. If you or a loved one are injured while riding in an Uber vehicle, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Information about Uber’s insurance requirements
Uber drivers are required to have additional insurance above and beyond the traditional minimums. This is because traditional insurance policies do not cover business operations or carrying passengers for hire. There are essentially three steps to an insurance policy for Uber drivers, and each step depends on what the driver is doing at the time of the crash.
Uber does provide insurance coverage for its drivers when the drivers are signed into the Uber app to work, are going to pick up a fare, or have passengers in the vehicle. This policy will pay up to $1 million for personal injuries or property damage per accident. These policies generally only kick in once the Uber driver’s personal insurance minimums have been exhausted. As an Uber passenger, you are covered under this $1 million liability policy when the Uber driver is at-fault for the crash.
What if another driver is at fault?
If the Uber driver is not at fault for the crash, you will seek compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, just like you would do in a traditional accident in which you are not at fault. The problem with this is that the West Virginia insurance minimums are fairly low:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death in an accident
- $25,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident
These thresholds are easily reached, especially if there are serious injuries as a result of the crash. If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the costs, or if they are uninsured, you can file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver.
Uber does have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but this will only apply if the driver responsible for the accident is not known (hit-and-run), does not have insurance, or does not have enough coverage to pay for your injuries.
Filing a lawsuit directly against Uber
If Uber or their insurance carrier refuses to pay a settlement for your injuries even if they should, you could consider filing a lawsuit directly against the company. Keep in mind that Uber does not classify their drivers as employees. Rather, each driver is an independent contractor. Uber will not usually take any responsibility for a driver’s actions. Your lawsuit could claim that Uber shares some of the blame, but this should be a last resort for compensation. As a passenger, you should always be entitled to compensation after an accident in an Uber vehicle.
What kind of compensation is available?
Just like any other car accident, you should be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages after a crash. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy and rehabilitation, pain and suffering damages, and more.