Ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, or more formally known as Transportation Network Companies, have gained a rapid foothold in the transportation sector. Uber alone now provides customers more than 40 million rides each month and has over 160,00 active drivers. Even if “Ubering” has become commonplace, that doesn’t mean all aspects of the service, including insurance coverage for its drivers, are well understood. A dedicated Las Vegas car accident attorney can help you understand the terms and conditions while building a strong case for fair compensation.
Uber Accident Resources:
- Who is liable in an Uber accident?
- Who is insured in Nevada Uber accidents?
- What should I do if I’m injured in an Uber accident?
- What kind of damages can I recover if I’ve been involved in an Uber accident?
- Can I sue Uber?
- When should I contact an Uber accident attorney?
Who is Liable in a Uber Accident?
Liability refers to the legal responsibility someone has for another party’s damages. A person may be liable for your accident if he or she acted in a careless or negligent way that contributed to your car crash. A person’s liability signals their responsibility to pay for damages caused during the accident, however, because Uber is a rideshare company, the question of ‘who’s at fault’ extends further in some cases and is limited in others. There are three clear lines of liability if you’ve been in an Uber accident:
- Uber as a company could be at fault for your crash if it was negligent in hiring the driver
- The driver could be at fault if their actions are deemed negligent in the state of Nevada
- The rider could be at fault if they were disobeying Nevada law or proven to be acting in a reckless manner
Being unable to name Uber as a defendant in a lawsuit does not mean the company won’t pay for your damages. If you were a rider in the crash, Uber’s $1 million insurance policy will cover the costs of your medical bills and any property damage. This policy also covers Uber drivers if they are logged into the app and if their personal insurance plans aren’t sufficient. Filing a claim after your Uber accident is the best way to recover the costs of your losses.
Who is Insured in Nevada Uber Accidents?
Uber drivers use their personal vehicles to give you a ride, not one that belongs to their parent company. This means that when they are working, they are covered by insurance provided by Uber, but when they are not working, they are covered by car insurance required by the state of Nevada.
When exactly does an individual driving a car, shift his role from the car owner to the employee? The Nevada Department of Insurance delineates three phases:
- Phase 1 is entered when the driver logs into the app and is ready to accept a passenger.
- Phases 2 and 3 begin when the driver makes a match with a passenger and ends when the passenger is delivered to their destination.
Liability insurance is up to $100,000 when the driver is online without a client in the car. If the driver is not covered by their own personal insurance during this time, then Uber’s insurance policy will take precedence. The Uber driver’s liability coverage covers third party passengers from the moment the driver accepts the call, to the time at which the passenger exits the vehicle. Nevada Assembly Bill 76, passed in 2015, prescribes the coverage that Transportation Network Companies must provide:
- Not less than $1,500,000 to cover bodily injury to or death of one or more persons or damage to property if this occurs while the driver is providing transportations services.
- Not less than $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of anyone person if this occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport.
- Not less than $100,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons if this occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport.
- Not less than $25,000 to cover the destruction of property if this occurs when the driver is logged into the service network but not providing transport.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured in an Uber Accident?
When involved in an Uber accident, it’s important to stay at the scene of the accident and gather evidence and information from everyone involved.
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive. It’s recommended to call 911 after an Uber accident in case of serious injury and so the scene of the accident is investigated thoroughly.
- Take pictures and speak to witnesses. When involved in an accident with a ridesharing company its important to document the events as best as possible. It’s also critical to report the accident within your Uber app. Delaying this step could hurt your ability to receive coverage from insurance.
- Call your attorney. When it comes to insurance, things can get complicated pretty quickly. Calling an Uber accident attorney will protect you from the start and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Uber will have a representative reach out to you and will send you an Incident Report Form for you to fill out. Once the appropriate insurance carriers are notified, they will investigate the accident and determine what kind of coverage is available. Uber does note that if physical damage coverage is available through your personal insurance carrier, a $1,000 deductible must be paid.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover if I’m Injured in an Uber Accident?
If you have suffered injury or property damage as the result of an Uber accident, the strength of your case will depend on two conditions:
- Your ability to prove that the driver was at fault in the accident.
- Your ability to provide evidence of the bodily injury and other damages that resulted, including proof that these were the direct result of the accident.
Uber’s insurance company will most likely contact you just days after the accident and will want to know as much information as possible to determine who is liable for the damage. The Uber policy states that drivers that are involved in multiple serious accidents will not be permitted to drive for Uber in Las Vegas, or any other city. When filing a claim, you will be asked the following questions:
- Where were you going?
- What time was it?
- What were the weather conditions?
- Where did it happen?
- Were there any injuries, and what were they?
If you have been injured in an Uber accident in Las Vegas, you should understand that Uber does not treat their drivers as employees, but instead as third-party contractors. Uber is not liable for the actions of their drivers. If a person is injured by an Uber driver, that person may not be able to sue Uber based on the actions of the driver. Furthermore, a person cannot sue Uber for damages that exceed one million dollars, regardless of the Uber driver’s behavior. You may be able to file a personal injury suit to receive compensation for
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damages
- Loss of Wages
- Wrongful Death
Can I Sue Uber?
As with any car accident, you must be able to prove that the Uber driver was negligent and therefore responsible for causing the accident. Since Uber does not consider any of its driver employees, Uber can deny responsibility for those involved in a car accident while working for them. This makes the legal proceedings far more difficult than your average car accident.
If the damages you suffered during service by an Uber driver are significant, and you are not able to receive the settlement that you feel you deserve by appealing to the insurance that Uber provides to its drivers, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against Uber to seek just compensation in civil court. Whether this is an option will depend on the exact circumstances of your case. An in-depth consultation with a lawyer at Cogburn Law will help you gain a good understanding of your options and the approach that is most likely to get you the settlement that you deserve.
Contact a Las Vegas Uber Accident Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident involving an Uber, call the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Cogburn Law for a free case consultation.