Have you used Uber? Have you ever thought of what would happen if you got in a car accident and were injured while using its service? Uber and other ride share companies are in most major cities now and the breath of the service continues to grow.
If you or someone you know has been injured while riding in an Uber vehicle, or a pedestrian hit by a Uber driver, the Krause & Kinsman car accident attorneys have experience handling cases involving taxi accidents and trucking accidents. We can help you against Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar if you have been in an accident. Feel free to call us for a free case consultation.
What is Uber?
Uber is a modern method of getting a taxi cab that does not require you to hail the cab in the traditional way. Instead, you use your smart phone’s GPS and you click and locate the nearest driver. You then can track the progress of your driver to your location.
I love Uber. Uber has made getting a taxi painless. The process is especially nice when traveling in other cities. It is not surprising that the company was valued at more than 41 billion dollars! It is also not surprising that this new method of transportation has caused a little uncertainty in the legal world.
What Happens if I Get Hurt While Riding in an Uber Vehicle?
The question is, “who will pay for your injuries if you get hurt while riding in an Uber vehicle?” Uber drivers, unlike the traditional taxi driver, which uses a fleet of cars provided by the company, use their own personal cars to transport passengers. Passengers use an app to contact the driver. The driver with the same app receives a message that will notify them of someone that needs to be picked up. Uber takes roughly 20% of the fare for providing the app.
It may make sense that Uber would pay for your injuries if you are hurt in an accident. However, it is not that simple. Generally, Uber drivers are independent contractors and not employees of Uber. Uber allows people to use their personal auto insurance. This is the problem and the reason why it will be a battle to get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Why Uber Might Not Cover Your Accident (Without a Fight)
There are several reasons why Uber may refuse to cover your accident. We can help if that happens. Below are a list of common reasons why you may not be able to receive the compensation without a fight.
- Your Uber driver’s insurance policy does not cover “driving for profit.” As I said above, Uber and other ride share companies allow the drivers to use their own insurance policies. However, most personal car insurance policies have an exclusion for “driving for profit.” This means you may be denied if you try and seek compensation for your injuries!
- You cannot always cover the cost of the accident with your insurance. If your driver has minimal coverage it would be logical that you would go to your insurance company to pay for your injuries. However, your policy may be too low to compensate your injuries as well. Many people to do not have large underinsured policies – if you do have low limits you should definitely talk to your insurance provider. We would be more than happy to help you with that for free. Just give our office a call.
- You may not be covered in between fares! In December 2013, an Uber driver struck and killed a 6-year-old girl who was properly crossing a street with her family. The Uber driver tried to avoid liability by claiming that because he had not been carrying a passenger at the time of the accident he was not in Uber’s service. Uber has since changed this policy, but other ride share companies have not followed suit.
If you are in an accident while riding in an Uber vehicle, or an Uber vehicle hits you while you are driving your own vehicle, we can help. The law has been slow to adapt to this new type of transportation. We make it a priority to stay current on the ever-changing dynamics of motor vehicle accident law.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.