Uber is a ride-sharing service that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. It’s popular because it’s convenient and less expensive than taxi service. Simply sign up, download Uber’s app onto your smartphone, request a ride, and a nearby driver—in their own personal vehicle—will be there in minutes to whisk you off to your destination.
However, auto accident cases involving Uber vehicles can be more complex than typical auto accident cases. Uber defines itself as a technology provider, not a transportation service. Uber drivers are not considered employees of Uber; instead they’re classified as independent contractors. What this does is shield Uber from certain complaints and claims made against them when one of their drivers is involved in an accident.
An Uber driver may be off duty, on duty but between rides, or on duty with a passenger onboard. Insurance coverage will vary for each circumstance, further muddying the waters. When there is an accident involving an Uber vehicle, the driver and passenger(s) of the Uber vehicle, occupants of another car that was party to the accident, and/or pedestrians can all be impacted in various ways.
As always, familiarity with your own insurance is important. For instance, does your own insurance company cover you if you’re an Uber rider? Are they aware that you drive for Uber? If not, they’ll likely not cover you in the event you’re in an accident while “on duty.” Uber related auto accidents can be tricky. If you have been involved in an Uber related accident give me a call so we can discuss how to protect your rights. Christine