Uber, Lyft and Other Ride-Sharing Providers Bring Complex Insurance Issues
Uber and Lyft went from being virtually unknown just a few years ago to quickly positioning themselves to replace traditional taxi-cabs. They have re-shaped the personal transportation industry seemingly overnight, but these changes have created several questions about what happens when an Uber car gets in an auto accident.
If you have been involved in an auto accident involving an Uber car, a Lyft car, a traditional taxi-cab or any other ride-sharing provider, contact our office for a free consultation. The laws dictating how insurance works for these new transportation companies are not always clear, and you only get one shot at a financial recovery for your injuries.
Uber's Three Part Insurance Policy
Uber has really blurred the lines between employee and independent contractor, as well as the lines between when someone is and is not “working”. This is of course very important from an insurance standpoint, since the insurance company will treat the claim differently. Uber has three different insurance “situations”:
- When the driver is unavailable to pick up passengers, they are covered by their own personal auto insurance policy, just like any other driver.
- When the Uber driver is available to, but has not yet picked up a passenger, they are primarily covered by their regular auto insurance policy but also have additional coverage of up to $50,000 per injury for a total of $100,000 and up to $25,000 in property damage.
- Once the driver has the passenger in the car, they are covered by a $1 million liability policy and a $1 million uninsured/underinsured policy.
Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors
Instead of being full-time employees, Uber drivers are actually classified as independent contractors, or third-party service providers. This distinction is important because Uber can use it as a defense when it comes to being responsible for their driver's actions. Generally, a company is responsible for the actions of its employees, however they are generally NOT responsible for the actions of independent contractors that they hire.
When Uber Cars Get in Accidents
While there are a million potential scenarios that would be covered by different insurance policies, generally Uber-related accidents can be put into one of two categories:
Uber Passenger Is Injured
If you are injured in an Uber car Uber's insurance should cover up to $1million, even if the accident was caused by the other driver, but the other driver didn't have insurance. However, you are not allowed to sue Uber for more than the $1 million limit, even if the driver was acting irresponsibly. Normally, if the drivers were classified as employees, they would have unlimited liability, but because the drivers are classified as independent contractors, Uber is able to set a limit for the damages that they have to pay out.
Bystander is Injured by Uber Car
In the case that you were injured either as a driver or passenger in another car that was involved in an accident with an Uber car, the insurance coverage will depend on whether or not the Uber car was actively carrying a passenger.
If You Have Been Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Florida, talk to a lawyer today.
There are several potential issues that can arise when someone is injured and an Uber or Lyft is involved. Because of the confusing nature of the insurance policies that cover Uber cars, it's important that you do not sign or agree to anything without speaking with an experienced auto accident attorney first.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, don't spend another day waiting; call 407 995 6770 for a free initial consultation today. We help you understand how Florida law applies to your auto accident, and your options for moving forward.