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Can You Sue Uber for an Accident?

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become very popular among consumers who want a quick, effortless trip from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, anyone who enters motor vehicle traffic, whether a driver or passenger, has to anticipate that accidents will happen. So, when an accident happens with an Uber car, how does an injured party pursue compensation?

Uber drivers are technically independent contractors, so the company is not automatically responsible for the negligence of its drivers. However, past accidents and pressure from consumer advocates and state authorities have prompted Uber to adopt an insurance plan that affords three levels of coverage based on the driver’s activity at the time of the accident:

  • First, when the driver is using the car for personal business, rather than Uber services, the injured party’s recourse is solely through the driver’s personal insurance.
  • Second, if the driver is available for Uber pickups but is not currently carrying an Uber passenger, the primary source for recovery is through the driver’s personal insurance, but Uber maintains contingent liability coverage of $50,000 per injury, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Uber’s contingent coverage is only available after the claim exhausts the driver’s personal coverage.
  • Third, if the accident occurs while the driver is carrying an Uber passenger, Uber’s $1 million insurance coverage is available to satisfy liability claims after the driver’s personal insurance is exhausted.

However, getting a settlement out of that $1 million insurance pool is not as easy as summoning a ride. Both Uber and its insurer are in business to make a profit, and your injury claim doesn’t advance that goal. Uber has a history of fighting car accident claims aggressively: when a San Francisco Uber driver struck and killed a six-year-old child, Uber initially denied any liability for the accident because the driver was not carrying a passenger at the time.

If you need to sue Uber, you’ll be taking on a billion-dollar corporation with assets it’s determined to protect. You’ll need highly professional and experienced legal representation. You can get such assistance at Crane Flores, LLP. Call us anytime, day or night at (805) 628-4967 or contact our offices online to schedule a free consultation.