No one who steps into an Uber vehicle ever anticipates having an accident and ending up in a hospital rather than at their destination, yet total traffic accident numbers in the U.S. have increased by 3% since the rise of the rideshare empire. Uber vehicles often cruise the roadways while waiting for a passenger to engage the app and request a ride, leading to increased traffic congestion. Whether you were injured as an Uber passenger or you were in another vehicle involved in an accident with an Uber, you probably quickly realized that gaining compensation after an Uber accident is often more challenging than other insurance claims. While both Uber and Lyft companies distance themselves from liability by maintaining their status as an app-only companies linking passengers with contracted drivers who are not employees, these rideshare companies require their drivers to carry insurance providing coverage based on a specific framework. This framework becomes quite complex when an accident victim wishes to file a claim with a Chicago Uber accident lawyer.
Understanding Uber’s Insurance Coverage
Both Uber and Lyft rideshare companies require drivers to carry insurance policies that work on a tiered system to provide a specific level of coverage depending on the stage of the rideshare experience. The coverage works in the following framework:
- When an Uber driver uses their vehicle for personal reasons, their own private insurance coverage is in effect and accident victims must file claims against the driver’s personal policy if the driver is at fault in the accident.
- When the driver turns on their rideshare app and actively awaits a passenger to engage them for a ride and they are at fault in an accident, their rideshare insurance provides up to $25,000 in coverage for property damage and $50,000 in personal injury coverage.
- When the driver has a passenger scheduled for pickup, the top tier of insurance coverage comes into play while the driver travels to pick up the passenger and throughout the drive with the passenger until drop-off. This policy provides up to $1 million in property damage and personal injury coverage.
Whether you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle yourself or you experience an accident with an Uber vehicle, an attorney’s investigation of the police report and other evidence of the circumstances of the accident helps to identify the appropriate policy for your claim.
What Damages Can an Uber Accident Claim Cover?
If you’ve been hurt in an Uber accident and your injuries were significant, serious, or even catastrophic, you have a right to seek compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you’ve experienced as a result. If an Uber driver was at fault in your accident, you can recover the following damages:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses if you require further treatment, procedures, equipment, or home healthcare
- Lost income
- Estimated future lost income if you have extensive injuries that will require further surgery or procedures and time off for recovery
- Diminished earning capacity if your injuries result in partial or total disability
- Pain and suffering
- Any other appropriate non-economic damages like loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, PTSD, and anxiety.
Because insurance company representatives don’t happily write out large checks, an insurance adjuster may try to undervalue your injury claim or deny it completely by arguing that the maximum coverage plan wasn’t in place, or that your damages aren’t as severe as you claim. They may use tactics like recording your phone conversations to take your words out of context or examining your medical history for pre-existing conditions to account for your pain.
Hiring a Chicago personal injury attorney with experience navigating complex Uber insurance laws can maximize your chances of a full economic recovery for your damages by protecting your rights and best interests throughout every stage of the claims process.