Uber drivers seem to line almost every street in California. Their drivers deliver people to their destinations in the state’s largest cities and the smallest towns. For someone looking for a ride, that’s a great thing, but for someone on the road just trying to make it to work on time, driving alongside Uber drivers can be more than just a nuisance.
You may have watched from your own lane as an Uber driver takes his or her eyes off the road and begins to weave through lanes. You may have watched this dangerous behavior from the backseat of an Uber vehicle. This distraction is usually caused by the cellphone app they rely on for every part of their jobs. They can’t stop looking at it.
It’s that tendency to drive distracted while on the clock that explains why Uber accidents involving other vehicles are so common. After you’ve been the victim of a careless Uber driver you may find yourself with a serious injury and a bit unsure as to how to get help paying for your recovery.
How does Uber handle accidents caused by its drivers? The answer will understandably leave you questioning just how much Uber cares about its passengers and other motorists on the road.
Uber Liability in California Car Accidents
Uber does carry corporate car accident insurance, but they’d rather keep that insurance card in their pocket whenever possible. Their drivers are designated as contract workers in California and that means Uber can often turn a blind eye to accidents while letting their drivers face the music.
In fact, if you are hit by an Uber worker, you may never be allowed to contact Uber at all. You could be drowning under a pile of hospital bills and losing more and more paychecks while missing work all while Uber ignores the injuries their business caused.
If you end up in an accident with an Uber driver, your path to getting insurance help is just beginning. Your route to earning compensation for your recovery generally relies on three very different avenues. Here’s a look:
- The Driver’s Insurance: Uber drivers maintain their own car insurance and it’s where your first attempt to earn fair compensation is directed. You file your claim for damages with the driver’s insurance provider and wait. Usually, you don’t get good news. Insurance companies don’t like to hear that accidents occurred while their policyholder was behind the wheel for Uber. They can reject a claim without much explanation. Your claim could also be approved but if the driver has basic coverage with low policy limits you might recover only enough money to pay for a small percentage of your damages.
- Uber’s Insurance: If the driver’s insurance refuses to pay or doesn’t offer enough, you can then attempt a claim with Uber Technologies, Inc. Uber has car insurance for its drivers but they reserve it only for specific situations. If an accident happens while a driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or the passenger is in the car, they have a million-dollar policy to draw upon. If the accident happens while drivers are on the clock (logged in on the Uber app) but don’t have a customer, Uber’s coverage goes up to $100,000. When the Uber driver isn’t logged into the app but traveling around, Uber generally won’t accept any liability for an accident.
- Your Uninsured Driver Coverage: Getting rejected by the driver’s insurance agents and Uber’s coverage might leave you with no other option but to call up your own insurance agent. Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide help to pay your hospital bills and other damages. However, don’t forget that you are dealing with an insurance company, even though they may be your own provider. They’ll be trying to limit how much you receive for your recovery. Having a rideshare accident attorney watching over your claims process can earn thousands more in compensation simply by alerting you when your injury is worth much more than they are offering. By having an attorney on your side, insurance companies won’t be as likely to act in bad faith to try to cheat you out of what’s fair for what you’ve been through.
There is another option that may be worth trying. Uber’s lawyers and insurance agents may soundly dismiss your claim and assert they bear no responsibility for what happened to you. But a rideshare lawyer working on your case can bring to light certain factors to hopefully convince Uber to do the right thing.
Your attorney will look into Uber’s safety record and bring up other accidents that Uber may have tried to avoid blame for. How much training do they offer their drivers? Uber’s background checks can also come under scrutiny. Did they properly check the driver’s history on the roads? Does the driver have a record that indicates recklessness? All of these factors and more could persuade Uber to step up and provide help.
Contact A California Uber Accident Lawyer
Getting into an accident involving an Uber driver can suddenly put you at odds with corporate lawyers and insurance representatives. You may just hope to get your stay in a hospital paid for by those who caused your injury, but Uber will do everything it can to either turn the blame on you or get you to accept less than what’s fair for what you’ve been through. Don’t accept this unfair treatment. Allow a rideshare accident attorney to defend your rights as a victim.
Talk to a Rideshare Lawyer serving California to make sure your physical and financial health is protected. Contact us for a free consultation so we can help you determine your best options for getting help with your recovery.