Accident with an Uber Vehicle: Who is liable?
Uber and other rideshare companies offer a more economical option than traditional cabs, and they are certainly a better idea than driving after a night out drinking in Buckhead or into downtown during a big event. Unlike traditional cabs, rideshare companies employ nonprofessional drivers who give rides using their personal vehicles, which can make determining liability in an accident with an Uber vehicle complicated.
What if I suffer injuries while riding in an Uber vehicle?
Uber claims to cover drivers with a $1 million liability policy as well as a $1 million uninsured/underinsured policy as soon as a drivers picks up a passenger through the rideshare service. Uber.com states that this policy is primary to the driver’s personal car insurance policy. While this seems like great coverage, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages can add up quickly after an accident.
In addition, it is still too early to determine if Uber and other rideshare companies will actually accept liability for the accidents caused by their drivers. Uber claims it is not responsible for the actions of its drivers because they are independent contractors. Many of the pending lawsuits against the rideshare service hinge on whether the courts agree with this classification.
What if an Uber driver hits me?
If you are involved in a collision caused by a rideshare driver, you should be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurer. Georgia Governor Deal signed HB 190 into law in May of 2015, which states:
- When a rideshare driver is not accepting fares, their personal insurance is responsible and subject to state minimum coverage laws
- If they are “on the app” but do not yet have a passenger, rideshare companies must provide a minimum of $300,000 in bodily insurance coverage per accident for drivers.
The trouble arises when the driver does not have the proper insurance policy to cover using his vehicle for this type of service. Some insurance companies may attempt to disclaim coverage if they were unaware the policyholder was using the car for ridesharing.
Can I hold Uber responsible?
While Uber and other ridesharing companies have certainly become defendants in lawsuits over this type of claim, there are still questions as to whether they are actually responsible for accidents caused by their drivers.
In recent suits, Uber has also denied liability for accidents when the driver has not yet picked up a passenger. This makes it much more difficult to obtain compensation from the rideshare company. Discussing your case with a car accident attorney is the best way to determine whom you can hold responsible for your injuries.
How can the Law Office of Jason Schultz, P.C. help?
While Georgia has instituted specific laws regarding insurance and compensation for rideshare companies, the laws may be too broad to ensure the insurance money will cover your expenses and get you the compensation you deserve. At the Law Office of Jason Schultz, P.C., we have the experience necessary to help you settle your case. Contact us today at 404-474-0804.