The next time you travel across Bakersfield you might notice a fleet of cars all driven by people in a rush and checking their phones every few seconds. These people may be Uber employees trying to secure their next ride request.
An Uber driver can reach for their phone or glance down and not notice they are running through a red light and perhaps into your SUV. A severe injury and a long recovery may be the outcome for you and any passengers unlucky enough to be riding in the Uber car. Then the question becomes, does Uber provide insurance help to their drivers and their victims?
Uber Insurance Coverage in Bakersfield Accidents
The bad news in an accident with an Uber car is that Uber first hides behind their employees. You’ll usually have to start by filing a claim with the driver’s personal car insurance company. In many cases, this claim will immediately be denied due to their policies not covering accidents that happen while they are on the clock for a rideshare.
If this is the case, Uber does accept liability and offer coverage in some accidents, but only under certain circumstances. A driver’s day is divided up into certain phases or “periods.” What the driver is doing at the time of a crash can greatly affect how much coverage Uber provides:
- Period 0: When a driver isn’t logged into the Uber app. Uber doesn’t accept liability for collisions in this phase. Drivers are on their own with their personal policies, meaning you probably won’t be able to hold Uber liable for your injuries.
- Period 1: As soon as the driver logs in to the “driver mode” in the Uber App. They are hoping for a rider but don’t have any ride requests yet. During this phase, Uber provides $100,000 total injury liability per accident.
- Period 2: This phase begins when the employee has accepted a ride request and is en route to the customer’s location. Uber offers one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /under-insured motorist coverage.
- Period 3: Once the passenger has climbed aboard the same one million dollars of coverage remains in effect. The coverage continues until the passenger exits. There’s also limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car and uninsured motorists’ coverage.
If Uber won’t provide any assistance for your recovery and the driver’s insurance policy has been exhausted, you might have to fall back on your own coverage. Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide compensation to help you get back on your feet. Be aware that your own insurance company can seek to take advantage of you and send you a lowball offer for your injuries. It’s best to have a rideshare accident attorney look over your case to determine what’s actually fair.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident with an Uber Car
In these accident cases, you may be facing off against a giant corporation. Uber will have a team of lawyers and insurance agents very experienced in these matters. They are paid to save Uber money. That means they’ll do anything to blame the accident on you and dismiss your claim.
It’s all the more reason to start building a strong case from the moment of the accident. If you are physically able, try to collect this important information.
- Give investigators a full account of what happened. Also, alert them that an Uber driver is involved.
- Take photos of the car damage, street signs, and traffic signals. Tell the story of the accident in photos. Get images of any signs or stickers identifying a Uber vehicle and driver.
- Notice any security cameras mounted at homes or businesses that might have captured the incident.
- Get information from witnesses. See if they noticed the Uber driver was distracted. A passenger in the rideshare car may prove to be a valuable witness.
- Swap information with the Uber driver, but don’t make any statements about what happened in the accident to the driver.
- See your own doctor and get injuries well documented. That medical report will become valuable evidence later.
A rideshare accident attorney working for you from the start can help organize all of this information and employ other investigative techniques to solidify your case.
Contact a Bakersfield Uber Accident Lawyer
After an accident in Bakersfield involving an Uber driver, a member of the Uber team may contact you for a statement. Speak to an attorney before giving a statement of any kind. Uber lawyers are likely fishing for you to make a comment that can be used later to weaken your case.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury and the accident involved a Uber, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Whether you were hit by a Uber driver, injured as a passenger, or injured as a Uber driver we can secure compensation for you.