Are Uber drivers insured for accidents?

  • By:David Bate

When someone is injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver, the victim may be eligible to collect compensation from Uber’s insurance carrier. That said, the eligibility requirements can be confusing. Without a car accident lawyer by their side protecting their best interests, the victim is vulnerable to being taken advantage of and left with nothing despite how serious their injuries may be.

Do rideshare companies have to follow the same laws as taxi companies?

Across the country, taxi drivers are required to follow a strict commercial motor vehicle and transport laws on the state as well as federal level. These laws dictate how long a driver can be on the road before taking a break, how long their breaks must be, and they must pass a road skills test as well as a physical examination. There are a number of requirements that dictate who is eligible to be a commercial driver, how they must perform their job, and what safety rules they have to follow. By contrast, Uber drivers are not held to the same high standards, and this can lead to injury accidents and other serious issues. It is very likely that the majority of Uber riders do not consider the safety concerns associated with Uber because they are more focused on the convenience and cost savings over hiring a taxi.

What is Uber’s safe ride fee?

Those who hire an Uber ride are also paying for what Uber calls a “safe ride fee.” This fee covers the company’s cost for the background checks they perform on driver candidates. It also includes their costs for screening prospective motor vehicles and driver safety education for their new drivers. Of course, though riders pay Uber for a safe ride fee every time they use the service, it does not guarantee that they will not be involved in an accident and possibly injured.

Are Uber drivers employees of Uber?

An Uber driver is not an employee of Uber. This is important to understand in the event that you are injured in an Uber-involved accident and your car accident lawyer must submit a claim to the at-fault party or parties. Personal injury laws view employees and their employers differently than independent contractors which is the classification into which Uber drivers fall. Employers as well as their employees can be held responsible for damages caused by the employee. Independent contractors are usually held solely responsible for their actions, and this may allow Uber to deny responsibility for any harm caused by their drivers.

What insurance coverage do Uber drivers have in the event that they cause an injury accident?

Though Uber carries $1 million insurance coverage for each of their drivers, there are caveats. These include the following:

  • Coverage is dependent on the driver transporting an Uber rider. If they are using their car for personal use, Uber’s insurance coverage does not apply. Their personal motor vehicle insurance coverage will be responsible for paying damages.
  • If the Uber driver is available for riders but does not have a paying passenger in their vehicle at the time of the accident, their primary insurance coverage falls to their personal policy. That said, Uber provides the driver with additional liability insurance coverage. That coverage is $50,000 per injury up to a maximum amount of $100,000. There is also a cap of $25,000 on the total amount of property damage caused by the Uber driver. However, that coverage only applies at the driver’s request and only if their personal insurance coverage is insufficient for the total amount of damages. 

To learn more about how a car accident attorney in Des Moines, IA can protect your best interests in the aftermath of an Uber accident, contact a law firm for a consultation.

Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and Uber accident injuries.

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