Can I Sue Uber for an Accident?
In a word – Yes.
But you’ll want to read on – particularly if you are a regular user of Transportation Network Companies (TNC), like Uber and Lyft. Know your rights after you’ve been in an automobile accident involving any rideshare service. The California Vehicle Code has specific provisions for this type of situation, and you should be aware of them.
Changes to TNC Insurance Requirements, By Law
The emergence of Uber and Lyft raised serious questions as to liability; specifically, who is responsible in the event of a car accident with a ride-sharing service vehicle. Vigorous lobbying of the California State Legislature resulted in the introduction of California Vehicle Code Section 5430, which stipulates that rideshare companies must provide $1 million in insurance for their drivers. The coverage is for property damage, death, and personal injury caused by their drivers. It was a significant victory.
There are several scenarios you could find yourself in, after a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver. Let’s examine them.
Different Scenarios for Uber Accidents
The Uber driver was at fault during an accident involving your vehicle– prior to the adoption of 5430, you were likely out of luck. The driver’s personal insurance would not cover you, since they were involved in a commercial operation of a vehicle. The new statute changed all that. Not only do they now have to cover their drivers with the aforementioned insurance, their policy now became the primary one in accident situations involving their drivers. The coverage applies for the entire duration of a ride, from the time it is booked via the app, to the time of ride completion.
The Uber driver was not at fault during an accident – again, the change in the law became a significant one for rideshare passengers caught up in this type of situation. It stipulates that companies such as Uber and Lyft carry insurance that provides both uninsured and underinsured coverage. This covers riders, regardless of which driver was at fault, from the time they enter the rideshare vehicle, until the time they exit it.
Damages You Can Recover After an Uber Accident
The law allows you to claim damages including:
- Pain and suffering, physical impairment, mental anguish, both past and future
- Healthcare-related expenses, including medical, hospital, disability, and rehab both past and future
- Economic losses – wages, salary, income
- Loss of future income
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
After an Accident Involving Uber, Always Contact Legal Counsel
While these new laws went a long way to bolstering your opportunity for compensation in the event of a car accident involving an Uber driver, there are no guarantees of a maximum payout. It’s important to remember that the insurance company working for the rideshare company is not in business to protect you, the victim. They are there to minimize or deny claims altogether. Your best first move after a car accident is to contact an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer. They will look after your best interests.
We’d be happy to hear any of your questions regarding car accidents or personal injury incidents of any kind. Contact our team today.