As rideshare companies have risen in popularity, it is now commonplace for someone to call for an Uber or a Lyft instead of a taxi. However, while this service is incredibly convenient and has made it easier for people to get where they need to go, accidents involving these companies can be challenging—particularly where lawsuits are concerned.
Uber is now a major company, which means they have their own fancy legal team and strict insurance policies in place to protect them should someone decide to sue them. That being said, filing a claim against Uber is still possible.
No company is safe from lawsuits. If they are found to be negligent, they can be held liable. So, can you sue Uber for an accident? Yes, but it depends on the exact circumstances of the accident.
Additionally, if you intend to sue Uber, you will need to work with an experienced Uber accident lawyer here in Maryland. Uber will fight hard to avoid liability, so you will need an attorney to help protect your rights and build a strong case that proves Uber is liable and should be held responsible for what happened.
Like any accident, the party you can hold liable will be the one that was at fault for what happened. So, just because you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver does not automatically mean that Uber is the one at fault.
Even if the Uber driver was seemingly the one that hit you, there could technically be another party responsible that might have caused the Uber driver to crash into you.
Accidents involving multiple vehicles happen all the time. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, there could have been another driver that initially did something wrong, causing the Uber driver to crash into you. For example, if another driver runs a red light and crashes into an Uber driver, which then causes the Uber driver to hit you, you would file a claim against the driver that ran the red light.
Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees. They also are not always “on duty” when they are driving. Uber drivers use their own vehicles for both personal use and for use when they are working for Uber. As such, they are required to carry their own insurance to cover them in case of an accident when they are not working.
If an Uber driver hits you when they are off duty and not actively working for Uber, then you would file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance, not against Uber as a company.
While Uber cannot be held liable for accidents caused by their drivers when they are not actively working, they can be held liable when the drivers are on duty. Still, their insurance policy is tricky, which will get into more below. But if an Uber driver caused an accident while they were considered “active” on the Uber app, then it is possible to hold Uber liable.
As mentioned above, yes, Uber can be held liable in some situations. Uber’s insurance policy is essentially broken down into three phases, and whether or not they can be held liable will depend on the phase associated with the accident.
- Phase 1 – The Uber driver is offline: If the Uber driver causes the accident when they are not working, you would file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance.
- Phase 2 – The Uber driver is active but waiting for a ride request: If the driver is working but has not yet accepted a ride request when the accident occurs, Uber can be held liable..
- Phase 3 – The Uber driver is in route to pick up or drop off a passenger: If the accident happens when the driver is actively driving a passenger or on their way to pick up or drop off a passenger, then Uber’s $1 million insurance coverage policy would apply.
Though Uber has insurance that can cover you in an accident according to the phases above, remember that it will only apply if the Uber driver is at fault. If another party is to blame, even when the Uber driver is active on the app, then you might not be able to file a claim against Uber.
To help you understand how the situations could play out, let’s take a look at the three potential scenarios below:
If you were riding in an Uber when the accident occurred, and the Uber driver was at fault, then you would be covered by Uber’s $1 million insurance policy. If another driver caused the accident while you were riding in an Uber, then you would first file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, but if their coverage is not enough, then you could also file a claim against Uber for underinsured motorists coverage.
If you were driving in another car when an Uber driver hit you, the party you file a claim against will depend on who was at fault, and whether or not the Uber driver was actively on duty. If the Uber driver was at fault, you would either file a claim against the driver’s insurance or against Uber’s insurance based on the phases we listed above. If another driver was responsible, then you would file a claim against that driver, not against Uber.
If you are struck by an Uber driver as a pedestrian you can file a claim based on the phases listed above. If the Uber driver was not working, then you would file against their personal insurance policy. If the Uber driver was working, then you would file a claim against Uber.
If you are in an accident with an Uber driver and your situation is one of those listed above where you can file a claim against Uber’s insurance policy, this does not necessarily mean that you need to sue Uber. Because Uber has such high limits on their policy, especially the $1 million policy, you may be able to settle your case and get the money you need without having to take Uber to court for a lawsuit.
That being said, if Uber’s insurance policy is not enough to cover your damages for some reason, then you can likely take them to court to sue for more money. However, suing Uber will not be easy, and you will need to provide substantial evidence to show that you deserve more money than what their insurance policycovers..
At Zirkin & Schmerling Personal Injury Attorneys, our Maryland Uber accident lawyers have years of experience handling complex cases, including those involving Uber and Lyft drivers. If you were involved in an accident with an Uber driver, we will fight hard to protect your rights and ensure you are awarded the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to schedule an appointment with one of our Maryland Uber accident lawyers today.