People often don’t know whether they can sue Uber for an accident involving one of its drivers since the rideshare service isn’t like a traditional taxi service. It is nearly impossible to recover compensation from Uber since its drivers are independent contractors instead of actual employees.
Other options are available to hold the negligent motorist liable for injuries. If an Uber driver causes a car wreck, they could be financially responsible whether the victim is a passenger in their car, a pedestrian, or the occupant of another vehicle.
Understanding How Uber Operates
You must understand Uber’s operations to know what to do after an accident one of its drivers causes. Unlike cab companies, limo rentals, and other transportation services, Uber hires drivers on a contract basis. That means the rideshare company is not responsible for its motorists’ actions.
Since Uber drivers are independent contractors, Uber often doesn’t face liability for collisions. Injured parties can file third-party claims under specific circumstances, but filing a lawsuit against the company likely won’t amount to anything.
Although vicarious liability laws hold companies liable for negligent employees who cause others’ injuries, the popular rideshare company isn’t financially responsible for accidents in most situations. That’s because vicarious liability laws apply to employees and exclude independent contractors.
How to Pursue Compensation After an Uber Accident
You can file a lawsuit against Uber, but the process will likely end there. Uber will fight against the allegations that it should be liable for a driver’s carelessness. The company will hire an aggressive defense attorney to argue that the driver isn’t an employee, so it should not be responsible for anyone’s injuries.
If an Uber driver is at fault for a crash, you can sue them and the insurance company directly. Uber carries insurance policies to cover accidents their drivers cause in specific instances. For example, coverage would apply if the Uber driver caused a collision with a passenger in their car. If the driver wasn’t working when the crash occurred, their personal auto insurance would apply.
Insurance Coverage Depends on the Driver’s Status
The availability of Uber’s insurance coverage and the applicable liability limits depend on the driver’s status when an accident happens. Uber provides different liability coverages for numerous circumstances, including:
Available or Waiting for a Ride Request
Uber’s insurance company covers crashes rideshare drivers cause while the rideshare app is on, they’re available to accept rides, and waiting for someone to request a ride. Third-party liability insurance under these circumstances includes these policy limits:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per crash
Picking up and Transporting Riders
When an Uber driver is taking a passenger to their destination or on the way to pick up a rider, Uber covers injuries the passenger and others sustain if the driver is at fault for a collision. Third-party liability insurance is available with a limit of up to $1,000,000.
Uber’s insurance carrier won’t cover accidents caused by its Uber drivers if the app is off. That means the motorist isn’t accepting ride requests or on the way to pick up passengers. The driver’s auto insurance can pay for an injured person’s medical care and other expenses.
Texas law requires motor vehicle owners and operators to prove their financial responsibility if they cause accidents within the state. Most fulfill the requirement by purchasing auto insurance with liability coverage. Basic coverage includes these limits:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 for total bodily injury to two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage
What If the Uber Driver Isn’t at Fault?
Getting hurt in a collision with an Uber vehicle doesn’t necessarily mean the driver should be liable. Someone else might have caused the crash. Instead of filing a claim or lawsuit against the Uber driver, you might be able to hold another party responsible, such as:
- Vehicle or part manufacturer that supplied a defective product
- A government entity that didn’t repair dangerous road conditions
- Truck driver or trucking company that violated federal regulations
- Another motorist
Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits in Texas
You must comply with the statute of limitations to sue after a car crash. The statute of limitations allows a two-year timeframe for filing suit. That means you have two years from the accident date to initiate your lawsuit against the Uber driver.
Get Legal Help After a Rideshare Accident
You should not go up against Uber alone. Although you can file a lawsuit against the company after getting hurt in an accident caused by an Uber driver, the process is complicated. An experienced attorney can explore the options and determine who to hold liable for your injuries.
Call the Texas rideshare accident lawyers of Gibson Hill Personal Injury at 512-580-8334 for a free consultation immediately if you sustained an injury in an Uber accident due to someone else’s negligence. We will protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.