I am an Uber driver who was in an accident while driving a passenger. What are my rights?

I am an Uber driver who was in an accident while driving a passenger. What are my rights?

- in Auto-Car Accident
I am an Uber driver who was in an accident while driving a passenger

Although Uber has revolutionized public transportation and provides many advantages for drivers as well as passengers, many Uber drivers worry about whether their liability will be increased if they are involved in an accident while on the job. They are also worried about whether any injuries they suffer will entitle them to sufficient compensation.

If you are an Uber driver with concerns about possible accidents, or if you have already been involved in an accident with injuries, it’s important to understand both your rights and your responsibilities by consulting with an Uber accident attorney.

What a Sharp Personal Injury Attorney Can Do for You

Whether you live and work in California where Uber drivers have been legally designated as employees, or in one of the other states in which Uber drivers are still considered independent contractors, you need a lawyer knowledgeable about your state’s Uber laws and highly competent in both negotiation and litigation.

There is ambiguity surrounding Uber’s ability to shield itself from liability with the independent contractor argument, especially since California law has ruled otherwise. In any case, Uber accident cases can be complex. All the more reason to make sure to seek an attorney with experience and a history of successful outcomes.

A strong Uber accident attorney can make all the difference when it comes to fighting for your rights. You’ll want a lawyer with the skill set [1] to assist you in obtaining damages for losses you’ve sustained and [2] to help protect your assets in case you were the at-fault party and your passenger(s) or individuals in the other vehicle suffered injuries. Because you are David and Uber is Goliath, you need a powerful Uber accident attorney to level the playing field.

How Uber Insurance Works for Uber Drivers

There are several important facts to know in order to fully understand how Uber insurance works for its drivers:

  1. Uber offers collision and comprehensive insurance that covers damage to your vehicle when you are working for them (i.e. when your app is on). This insurance has a $1,000 deductible, however, and kicks in only after your own drivers insurance policy has rejected your claim.
  2. Your personal car insurance covers you when you are not working for Uber, but you will need rideshare insurance or commercial auto insurance or for when you are working as an Uber driver. If you have an accident while working as an Uber driver, your personal insurance company will almost certainly reject your claim.
  3. The level of Uber insurance offers varies according to when your accident takes place relative to Uber employment, depending on whether your accident takes place while you are waiting for a call, driving to pick up a passenger, or actively driving your passenger to a destination. If you are driving a passenger, Uber is required to provide $1 million of insurance on your behalf.
  4. If you are at-fault for the accident, Uber covers you only for third-party injuries — that is, those of your passengers or the other driver and his/her passengers. The company does not normally cover your own injuries — those are covered by your personal insurance.
  5. If the driver of another vehicle is at-fault for the collision, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will bear most of the burden. A smaller Uber insurance policy may, however, also be tapped and your own auto insurance may also apply.

Comparative  and Contributory Negligence Make Legal Support Crucial

It is important to remember that not all traffic accidents are the fault of only one person. In a great many cases, for example, at the time of the collision one driver was speeding and the other was making an illegal turn. Such cases are designated comparative negligence or contributory negligence, depending on which state you are in.

Though it seems unfair, in some few states the fact that you bear any amount of blame for the accident makes it impossible for you to collect damages. In  the majority of states, you must be less than 51 or 50 percent at fault to win your allocated percentage of compensation, and in a few others, like California, you can win your piece of the pie even if you are deemed 99 percent responsible for your own injury. Many states use modified versions of comparative or contributory negligence.

The permutations of liability and the various rationales for compensation make it imperative that you have an agile attorney arguing your case. Uber accidents are expensive, financially, emotionally, and in terms of physical harm, especially if driving is your primary source of income. This is why it is essential to have appropriately vigorous legal counsel if you are to come away able with the damages you need to restabilize your life.

Your Rights as an Uber Driver

Your most significant right as an Uber driver is your right to have a dedicated rideshare accident attorney represent you. Accidents involving Uber drivers tend to be more complicated to resolve than those between ordinary drivers. For this reason, you need a savvy attorney who beyond having consummate legal skill has compassion and respect for you as a worker and as a human being.

Author Bio: Joseph Shirazi

As an experienced California car accident attorney, I know that insurance companies take advantage of their customers’ inexperience to short-change them and delay paying them the money that they need now. I take an ambitious and proactive approach to avoid delays in payouts and obtain optimal recoveries, a strategy which has earned me a spot in National Trial Lawyer’s Top 40 Under 40 and more importantly, helped my clients get back on their feet, faster and better. I obtained a doctorate in law from Loyola Law School in 2009 and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with honors in 2005. I am also a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.

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