INJURED IN UBER CAR ACCIDENT – MN ATTORNEYS
Uber and Lyft have become very popular in Minnesota as ride sharing services. As such, it’s a good idea to have a basic awareness of the legal and insurance issues that will affect you if you’re ever injured in an accident with an Uber driver — either as a passenger or a pedestrian, bystander or other driver. Our lawyers have had several car accident cases where there was a Lyft or Uber involved.
A recent Yahoo news report provided the following advice:
If you are in an accident riding in a Uber car, or if an Uber car hits your car, you’ll of course want to get the names and contact info, as well as the insurance details for everyone involved. You should take pictures and video of the scene. Get photos of all the vehicles involved and take as many as you can, from every possible angle. Also get close-up shots as well as shots taken from a distance large enough to show the whole scene. You will also need to get the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information. If he tells you Uber covers it so you don’t need his information, then you’ll have to either work it out with him or get the police to force him to provide the information when they arrive.
Uber Has Insurance To Cover Accidents
In addition to this, if the accident occurred while you were an Uber passenger, you will definitely want to report it to Uber through the Uber app if there was anything more than minor damage involved, and certainly if you or anyone else was injured. They have a place on the app where at the end of your trip you can report accidents.
What does Uber’s insurance cover exactly?
If you do end up resorting to Uber’s insurance, which happens in a majority of cases, they provide different coverages based on the different periods of an Uber driver’s work.
Period 1: This period begins the moment a driver logs into the Uber driver app and marks themselves as available for trips. This is the time during which drivers are waiting to be matched with a rider.
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver during Period 1, you cannot, by the definition of Period 1, be a passenger at that moment. That means you will either be a pedestrian who was hit by the Uber driver, or you will have been involved in a car accident with him. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver during Period 1, Uber’s liability policy provides coverage for any accident that is the fault of the Uber driver, and only after his insurance carrier denies the claim, for up to $50,000 per person who is injured in an accident, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
Period 2: This period begins the moment a driver has been matched with a rider and while they are on their way to pick them up.
Period 2 is similar to Period 1 in that if you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver during that period, you cannot be a passenger of the driver — you will instead be either a pedestrian or a fellow motorist who has in some way been involved in an accident with the Uber driver. However, Uber’s coverage during Period 2 is higher than Period 1 because their responsibility is higher. During Period 1, the driver is simply sitting in his car waiting for a call. He has not so far acted on a request or direction from Uber. All he has done is signed into the driver app and informed Uber he is ready to start accepting calls — but he has not yet accepted any. Period 2, on the other hand, is the time just after the driver has accepted a job for Uber and is now officially acting on behalf of Uber as he travels to the passenger’s location to pick them up. Since the driver is now actually responding to Uber’s directions, Uber’s liability coverage increases to a total $1 million — up from the total payout available under Period 1 of just $100,000.
Period 3: This period starts once the rider is in the Uber car and ends when the rider exits the car and the driver marks the trip as ended.
If you’re involved in an accident with an Uber driver under Period 3 — it means you are a passenger at the time of the accident. In other words, you are not a pedestrian or another driver. This means the accident is necessarily between your Uber driver and someone else — not yourself — as could be the case in Periods 1 and 2. Because of that, Uber adds uninsured motorist coverage to this period because that other party may be at fault and they may not have any auto insurance at all. In that case, Uber will cover you as well with its additional uninsured motorist coverage. The total liability Uber is willing to take on in Period 3 is the same as in Period 2, which is $1 million. Uber carries the most insurance for Period 3 because that’s when an Uber passenger is most at risk because he or she is completely in the hands of the Uber driver during this period.
If you sustain an injury in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or anywhere in MN, please call us for a free consultation with a lawyer regarding your rights and the insurance issues. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are top MN car accident lawyers, getting fair compensation for hundreds of people injured throughout Minnesota.