Who is Liable for an Uber Car Accident?
Rideshare companies such as Uber are now in all the major cities. Should a collision occur with an Uber driver, it’s important to know what your options are. Many people do not know whether they can sue the driver, Uber, or both parties. Here’s what you should know.
Uber drivers are third party providers/independent contractors. This means that they are not technically employees of Uber, making it harder for Uber to be held liable for collisions caused by their contractor drivers. Courts have not yet decided whether Uber should be held liable for the fault of its independent contractors, however, California case law favors holding employers liable for their “third-party contractors.” In cases where Uber is held liable for their drivers, it has an insurance policy to cover claims.
Uber has a commercial insurance policy with $1 million of coverage per incident. This $1 million of coverage starts right when you accept an Uber on your phone, up until the trip ends and the rider exits. This policy coverage also extends to any pedestrians injured in the accident along with other vehicles or property damaged. Uber’s insurance will also supersede any personal auto insurance policies, provided that Uber is liable for its negligent driver.
When an Uber is “online” and available but there are no passengers being driven or picked up at the time, the driver’s personal auto insurance will provide the coverage. If the Uber driver’s insurance is not adequate, Uber will cover the driver’s liability up to $50,000 per individual/accident, with a total of $100,000 per accident and up to $25,000 for property damages.
In the event that Uber is not held liable, an injured party can still sue the driver as they could in an ordinary auto collision where everyone simply exchanges their own personal insurance information and Uber would not be involved.
If you or someone you know was injured due to an Uber accident, please contact our office at (916) 520-6639.