March 5, 2018
If an Uber gets into a car accident, you’ll likely be one of three people: the Uber driver, the passenger, or someone outside of the vehicle hit by the Uber. Determining who is responsible for your injuries can be incredibly complex.
How does being on the clock affect your claim? Conversely, can you file a claim if you’re only a passenger? Can a company be responsible for the actions of its drivers?
Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized how we travel. Regardless of whether you’re the driver, the passenger, or outside of the vehicle altogether, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
If You’re an Uber Passenger
Like all Indiana car accidents, who’s at fault will determine whose insurance company you can seek compensation from. Since you’re a passenger, it’s unlikely you’ll have to go through your own insurance since you weren’t at fault.
Indiana breaks fault up by percent. That means both drivers can be a percentage at fault, totaling 100 percent together. You can seek compensation from any party that shares fault.
If the at-fault party is the other driver, you can treat this like any other Indiana car accident. After all, there’s nothing Uber can do to ensure drivers other than their own drive safely at all times. There is one difference, however: Uber has to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Even as a passenger, you have access to this if the driver who hit your Uber is either uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries.
If the at-fault driver is your Uber driver, however, things get complicated. What’s important is to determine whether or not your Uber driver was on the clock at the time of the accident.
You may think that, because you are in their vehicle, they are still on company time. However, “on the clock” for an Uber driver means logged into the app, after the ride has commenced, and before payment has been accepted. If you’ve already paid and are stepping out of the vehicle when the Uber is rear-ended, for example, Uber may try to fight you and insist that, at that point, the Uber driver was no longer on the clock.
But let’s say you’re injured during the ride. In that case, Uber has a $1 million liability policy to cover your injuries. You would still have to seek compensation from your Uber driver’s insurance company first, however. If the driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries, you could then recover under Uber’s policy.
If You’re an Uber Driver
You should understand your rights and responsibilities as a driver before you begin driving for Uber. Make sure to look into Uber’s accident policy so you know when you might be liable for an accident versus when Uber will cover your damages.
Uber has guidelines for what to do after an accident and how to notify Uber about what happened. Make sure you follow these guidelines to protect any potential personal injury claim you may have.
Whether or not you’ll be able to recover compensation from Uber depends on a number of factors. One of the most important is whether or not you were on the clock at the time of the accident. If you were not driving for Uber at the time, you cannot seek help from Uber. Uber measures this by looking at when you were logged into the app. If you log out at the end of the night and get into an accident on your drive home, Uber is not responsible for your injuries.
Some people mistakenly think that, if they’re injured on the clock, they’re automatically eligible for workers’ compensation. However, in Indiana, companies are only required to offer workers’ compensation to employees, not to independent contractors. Uber legally considers all of its drivers to be independent contractors, not employees, so workers’ compensation would not be an option for you.
If you’re not at fault for the accident, you can seek compensation through the $1 million liability policy we mentioned earlier. Again, you could only access this if you sought compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance company first and found it insufficient, or if the at-fault driver has no insurance at all.
If You’re Outside of the Vehicle
Whether you’re a driver or passenger in another vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian, you could still get into an accident with an Uber. What are your options for recovery?
If the Uber driver is off the clock or between rides, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to seek compensation from Uber’s $1 million liability policy. However, if the Uber driver is carrying a passenger at the time of the accident, you should have access to that policy (assuming the Uber driver is at fault and their insurance is insufficient or nonexistent).
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in an Uber accident, you may have a difficult time determining who is responsible. Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your accident. We can help you determine whether you should seek compensation from Uber, your Uber driver, or a third party.