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Every day, more than one million people use their smartphones to utilize the ridesharing service Uber to get them from where they are to where they want to go. Uber is just one of several similar app-based services that connects those needing a ride to private drivers willing to pick up passengers and take them to their destinations. While the term “ridesharing” may be a bit of misnomer—since the drivers were not already going to the destination and simply had an extra seat—there is no questioning the convenience and the popularity of such services. But, what happens if you are injured in an accident while riding with Uber? Does the company offer any protections?
A Complicated Situation
From the time you accept a ride with Uber until you get out of the vehicle upon reaching your final destination, your Uber driver is covered by Uber’s $1 million insurance policy. This insurance policy covers the driver's liability to riders and takes precedence over any personal auto coverage that they may have. Uber drivers are independent contractors—a reality which may affect the outcome of compensation that you can receive if an accident occurs and you are injured. However, you as the passenger are also covered under Uber’s liability coverage policy.
Insurance for the Passenger
Although you are technically covered by Uber’s insurance policy, if you are injured in a car accident while riding in an Uber, there are potentially three insurance companies involved. In addition to Uber’s coverage and private coverage carried by the driver, you may also be covered under your own auto insurance policy. With so many players in the game, so to speak, none of them will want to pay out a single dollar more than necessary. If you are ever involved in a situation like this, it is crucial to have a personal injury attorney on your side.
The Other Driver
Uber’s liability coverage, in general, also offers you protection if another driver causes an accident while you are an Uber passenger. Of course, Uber’s insurance carrier—along with yours—will look to force the at-fault driver’s policy to cover your injuries, but if his or her coverage is not sufficient or nonexistent, Uber’s policy is intended to protect you.
Insurance for the Uber Driver
The situation is a bit different for the driver of the Uber vehicle. The outcome depends on a few factors, including the type of private coverage he or she has and who was at fault for the accident. Some private policies will not offer protection for “for-hire” situations, meaning that many Uber drivers are forced to rely on Uber’s policy following an accident. If the Uber driver was at fault, however, the company’s policy could refuse coverage, leaving the driver almost completely out of options.
Navigating the Aftermath of an Accident
If you have been injured while riding with Uber, the road ahead is likely to be extremely complex. Contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney to discuss your options for collecting compensation. Call 630-920-8855 for a free consultation at Martoccio & Martoccio and the help you need today.
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