Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way we travel and commute. They offer convenience and affordability, but there is also an increased concern about safety. When car accidents happen, accident victims may have many questions. One pressing question may be, “How much does Uber pay for car accidents?” Below, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers discuss what to know about recovering compensation for an Uber accident.
Are Ubers Covered With Insurance?
Before we discuss whether Uber pays for accidents and how much it pays, we want to discuss Uber’s insurance. Ubers are covered by insurance. However, how this insurance works, when it applies, and its limits are key details everyone should understand, whether a rider, Uber driver, or someone who shares the road with Ubers.
Uber has set up a multi-layered insurance policy to protect drivers and passengers, including:
Contingent Third-Party Liability Coverage
Uber offers third-party liability as secondary coverage in certain situations. Third-party liability covers bodily injury and property damage to a third party, such as another motorist or road user, caused by the Uber driver. Uber’s policy includes:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
However, this insurance coverage is contingent upon multiple factors, including the following:
- The Uber driver must be online in the Uber app waiting for a ride during the accident.
- The Uber driver must be responsible for the accident.
- The Uber driver’s personal auto insurance does not apply.
Primary Third-Party Liability Coverage
Uber offers primary third-party liability insurance coverage from when a driver accepts a ride request until the passenger is dropped off. This coverage includes up to $1 million in third-party liability. This coverage benefits passengers, motorists, and other road users who suffer damages caused by an Uber driver. It only applies if the Uber driver is responsible for the Uber accident.
Contingent Collision Coverage
Contingent collision coverage benefits the Uber driver. If the Uber vehicle is damaged in an accident, Uber will cover physical damages up to the vehicle’s actual cash value. If the Uber accident is covered, coverage will apply no matter who is at fault for the accident.
However, this coverage is contingent upon the following:
- The Uber driver was online and en route to pick up a passenger or during a trip when the accident occurred.
- The Uber driver has collision coverage through their personal auto insurance policy.
- There is a $2,500 deductible that the driver must pay before coverage applies.
Contingent Comprehensive Coverage
Like contingent collision coverage, contingent comprehensive coverage benefits the Uber driver. This insurance covers non-collision incidents, like theft or weather damage, to the Uber vehicle, up to the vehicle’s actual cash value.
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It is only active from when the driver accepts a ride until completion. Additionally, the driver must have comprehensive coverage through their personal auto policy for it to apply, and there is a $2,500 deductible.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uber offers uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from when an Uber driver accepts a passenger’s ride request until the passenger is dropped off. Uber’s policy may apply in the event of a car accident with another motorist who is uninsured or lacks adequate insurance coverage. This insurance helps pay for damages associated with bodily injury. However, the other motorist must be at fault for the accident. It may also apply in a hit-and-run accident.
Uber offers Injury Protection insurance to California Uber drivers. This insurance provides financial support to injured Uber drivers in the event of a car accident. It applies if the accident occurred when the driver was on their way to pick up a passenger or during a trip that started in California. It also applies when an Uber driver is between trips in California.
If you are an Uber driver in California and have suffered serious injuries in an accident, you may be able to recover benefits from Uber’s Injury Protection insurance. This coverage includes:
- Disability payments up to $1,324 per week
- Accident medical expenses up to $1 million
- Survivor benefits up to $320,000 for eligible dependents
Is Uber Liable for Car Accidents?
While Uber provides various types and layers of insurance coverage, as previously detailed, this does not mean that Uber accepts liability for every Uber accident. Whether Uber’s insurance may apply to your accident depends on several factors.
These factors include:
- Whether the Uber driver was at fault for the accident
- Whether the Uber driver was online in the app at the time of the accident
- Whether the Uber driver had accepted a ride or was waiting on a ride request at the time of the accident
If you are uncertain who is responsible for your damages after an Uber accident, we recommend consulting with an experienced Uber accident attorney. During a free consultation, we can discuss your situation and help you understand your potential legal options for seeking compensation.
When Does Uber Compensate for Accidents?
Whether Uber compensates for auto accidents depends on the unique circumstances of the accident. Below, we have provided examples of Uber accident scenarios and how Uber’s insurance may apply to each.
If You Are an Uber Passenger
Uber’s most comprehensive coverage of up to $1 million in third-party liability applies to Uber passengers. When an Uber driver is at fault, the Uber passengers can file a claim with Uber’s insurance company. Uber’s third-party liability policy will help cover any bodily injury and property damages.
If another driver was responsible for the crash, you must file a personal injury claim against that party’s insurance company first, not Uber’s. However, suppose the other driver does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage. In that case, Uber’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may apply.
If You Are a Pedestrian
You may be able to file an Uber accident claim if an Uber hits you as a pedestrian. Uber provides third-party liability coverage. However, it only applies when the Uber driver is at fault and online in the Uber app. Additionally, the amount of available coverage varies depending on the driver’s status during the accident.
For example, if the Uber driver was online in the app or waiting for a ride, then Uber’s $50,000 third-party liability coverage may apply as secondary coverage. However, first, you would have to file a claim with the Uber driver’s personal insurance.
If the Uber driver was en route to pick up a passenger or during a trip, Uber’s $1 million third-party liability coverage may apply as primary coverage.
If You Are Not Injured
Suppose you are in an accident with an Uber driver but do not suffer injuries. In that case, you may still be able to recover compensation for any property damages you incur. Depending on the Uber driver’s status at the time of the accident, you may be able to file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance or Uber’s insurance company.
If the Driver Is Not “On the Clock”
If the Uber driver is not logged into the app and is essentially driving as any other private car owner would, then you cannot file an Uber accident claim. Uber’s insurance does not apply. In this scenario, if the Uber driver is responsible for your damages, you would need to file a claim against their personal auto insurance.
How Much Is the Average Uber Accident Settlement?
When it comes to Uber accidents, potential Uber accident settlement amounts can vary widely based on numerous factors. While no “average” value applies to all Uber accident settlements, an Uber accident case is generally worth more than other passenger vehicle accident cases.
This difference in value is because Uber has higher third-party liability insurance policy limits than California’s minimum liability coverage for cars. Under California law, motorists should have minimum liability limits of $15,000 for bodily injury to one person or $30,000 to more than one person. On the other hand, Uber has coverage of up to $1 million for covered accidents.
A few factors that may affect your case’s worth include, but are not limited to:
- Severity and extent of your injuries
- Damages incurred in the accident
- Uber driver’s status at the time of the accident
- Accident fault
- Available insurance coverage
We recommend consulting with our attorneys if you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber car accident. During a free case evaluation, we can discuss your situation and help you understand how much your case may be worth.
What Are the Different Damage Types Available to Victims of an Uber Accident?
Suppose Uber, the Uber driver, or another party is responsible for your injuries. In that case, you may be able to recover financial compensation for a variety of damages through a personal injury claim. The damages available to you depend on the unique circumstances of your case. However, common damages generally include the following:
- Medical bills. You may be able to recover compensation for emergency care, hospital bills, surgery costs, prescription medication, rehabilitation costs, and future medical treatments.
- Loss of income. If you are injured in an Uber accident, the recovery process may keep you away from work. You can claim compensation for lost wages during recovery. If your injuries affect your ability to return to work, you may be able to recover compensation for reduced earning capacity.
- Property damages. You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement costs of your vehicle. Property damages can also encompass personal items damaged in the accident, such as your phone, computer, or jewelry.
- Pain and suffering. Accidents often result in long-lasting psychological effects. Pain and suffering damages compensate victims for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced due to the accident.
In tragic circumstances where an Uber accident results in a fatality, the deceased person’s family may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Family members may be able to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost income from the decedent, and loss of companionship or guidance.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated for Uber Accidents?
After an Uber accident, one of the more complex areas of compensation to understand is “pain and suffering.” Unlike tangible damages, like medical expenses or vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering damages are subjective and do not have a direct monetary value. They are often called non-economic or general damages.
There are two primary methods used to determine general damages: the per diem method and the multiplier method.
The Per Diem Method
“Per diem” is Latin for “per day.” This method assigns a specific dollar amount for each day of the accident victim’s recovery.
In many cases, the insurance company may use the victim’s daily wage rate as the daily rate. In order to determine the value of pain and suffering damages, you would multiply the daily rate by the number of days of recovery or the expected number of days of recovery.
For example, suppose a person earns $150 per day and takes 100 days to recover from their injuries. In this case, general damages would equal $150 multiplied by 100, or $15,000.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method is more commonly used than the per diem method. It involves multiplying the victim’s actual damages, like medical bills and lost wages, by a certain factor. Typically, this factor is between 1.5 and 5, based on the severity and extent of the accident victim’s injuries.
For example, suppose the Uber accident victim has $20,000 in medical bills and lost wages. If a factor of 3 is determined due to the nature and long-term impact of the injuries, then general damages would be $60,000 or $20,000 multiplied by 3.
How Long Do Uber Accident Settlements Usually Take to Resolve?
The time it takes to resolve an Uber accident settlement can vary greatly depending on the complexities of the case, the severity of the injuries, and other factors.
For example, if you have suffered serious injuries, you do not wait to accept an Uber accident settlement until you understand the full extent of your injuries. We recommend waiting until you reach “maximum medical improvement” or when you have recovered as much as your doctor expects.
Once the extent of injuries and damages is clear, negotiations with the insurance company can begin. This stage can be relatively quick, taking a few weeks or dragging on for months if there are disputes over liability or damages.
An attorney experienced in handling Uber and Lyft accident cases can provide you with a more specific timeline based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Schedule a Free Case Review With Our Los Angeles Uber Accident Lawyers
If you have been involved in a car accident with an Uber driver, consider contacting our experienced Los Angeles Uber accident lawyers about your situation. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we have more than 40 years of combined experience and success handling personal injury claims, including cases involving Uber and Lyft. If your Uber accident happened in Los Angeles or Southern California, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.
During a consultation, we can discuss your potential legal options and how we may be able to help you. Call our office at (800) 824-5416 or fill out our online contact form.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.