Rideshare companies like Uber have grown in popularity over the last few years, especially in the Los Angeles area. Customers enjoy being able to login into their Uber app and quickly book a ride to their destination. Unfortunately, the more popular Uber becomes, the more likely passengers will be involved in Uber accidents. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft must carry certain types of auto insurance to comply with California law. Nonetheless, determining who is at fault for the accident and recovering damages can be challenging. If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident, it’s essential to understand your Uber passenger rights.
At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we have a proven track record of obtaining compensation for Uber passengers who have become injured in an accident. We use our in-depth knowledge of California rideshare laws and experience in the courtroom to advocate for our clients successfully. If you or your loved one have become injured as a passenger in an Uber vehicle, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact us today to learn how to protect your rights and advocate for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
What Rights Do You Have As an Injured Uber Passenger?
Uber passengers who were injured in a car accident have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party who caused the accident. Under California law, the driver responsible for the accident is liable for any injuries that result from the accident. The first step in recovering compensation as an Uber passenger is determining who was at fault for the accident. If your Uber driver was at fault for the accident, you have a right to submit a claim under Uber’s auto insurance policy.
Uber Passenger Rights When Uber Driver Is At Fault
If a third-party driver was partially at fault along with your Uber driver, you have a right to pursue damages from both at-fault parties. California uses the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, allowing injury victims to recover damages from Uber, the rideshare driver personally, and the at-fault driver of the other vehicle. Courts will assign a percentage of fault to each defendant who must pay the plaintiff for their portion. Filing a lawsuit against multiple parties becomes complicated, and you’ll need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Uber Passenger Rights When a Third-Party Driver Is At Fault
Finally, if a third-party driver was entirely at-fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you have a right to bring a lawsuit against him or her. As with any personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the third-party driver’s negligence or recklessness resulted in the car accident that caused your injuries. You can also choose to pursue a claim through the third-party driver’s auto insurance policy.
Uber’s Auto Insurance Coverage
California law requires Rideshare companies like Uber to provide certain auto insurance amounts to protect Uber accident victims. The amount of insurance coverage available for injured Uber passengers depends on the period in which the accident took place. In phase one, the Uber driver is driving or parked with the Uber app open, and he or she is waiting to be connected with a passenger. In phase 2, the Uber driver has been matched with a passenger and drives to pick him or her up. In phase 3, the Uber driver is driving the passenger. Phase three stops when the customer exits the Uber vehicle.
If you become injured when the app is off during phase one, before the Uber driver picks you up, Uber’s insurance coverage will not cover your injuries. Instead, you’ll need to submit a claim through the Uber driver’s auto insurance policy. When the car accident occurs during phase two, when the Uber driver was en route to pick you up, or during the trip, Uber maintains a one million dollar policy for personal injuries and property damage per car accident.
This coverage only becomes available after the Uber driver’s insurance policy has been exhausted. Uber requires its drivers to have personal auto liability coverage. If the Uber driver were at fault for the accident, your injuries would be covered under this policy as the passenger. Uber passengers also have the option of suing Uber directly. Under California law, Uber drivers must be considered employees, not independent contractors. Passengers can sue Uber when they negligently hire employees whose negligence caused their injuries.
Recovering Damages When a Third-Party Driver Is At Fault
When the Uber driver isn’t at fault for the accident, you’ll need to recover compensation from the at-fault driver by filing an insurance claim with their insurance policy or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Uber has an underinsured or uninsured driver insurance policy. When a passenger becomes injured by a third-party driver who doesn’t have auto insurance or whose auto insurance policy is too limited to sufficiently cover the cost of the passenger’s injuries, the passenger can file a claim through Uber’s uninsured/underinsured policy.
Uber provides up to one million dollars in uninsured/underinsured car insurance. This coverage is only available when the accident happens after the driver picks up the passenger and before the driver drops the passenger off. This coverage does not cover all accidents caused by third-party drivers, however. It only covers accidents under the following conditions:
- The at-fault driver is unknown due to a hit-and-run accident
- The at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance
- The at-fault driver doesn’t’ have enough car insurance to pay for your injuries
Contact Our Southern California Uber Accident Attorney
At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we use our courtroom experience to bring successful personal injury lawsuits on behalf of our clients. Contact our Southern California Uber accident lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can advocate for you.