Getting into an accident with an Uber driver is different than getting into an accident with anyone else. Below, we’ll explore how Uber accidents differ from other accidents and exactly what you should do if an Uber driver was at fault when your car and theirs collided.
Uber insurance requirements
Uber deals in public or livery conveyance. That is, they transport people for hire. Taxis, delivery services, and motor carriers are also in the business of public or livery conveyance. Because Uber drivers use their own vehicles to transport individuals from place-to-place, they are considered independent contractors.
Still, they are required to follow specific rules according to Uber terms and services. In terms of insurance, independent contractors working under the umbrella of the Uber company are required to have their own auto insurance policies. This is well and good, but it’s also something that states require anyway.
The problem is that many personal auto insurance policies do not cover drivers when they are using their vehicles for hire. As a result, if an Uber driver gets into an accident with you — even if they were at fault — their personal auto insurance policy may refuse to cover anything.
To fill in some of these gaps in coverage that may occur as a result of this, the Uber company also has business auto coverage for their drivers. A business auto insurance policy will cover property damage as well as serious injuries and deaths for the other party in the event of an accident where the driver — who was working at the time — was at-fault.
Who’s insurance will you be dealing with if you get in an accident?
Most of the time, Uber insurance will only kick in when there is a passenger inside their vehicle. Therefore, if the Uber vehicle was being used to convey individuals at the time of the accident, it will likely be the Uber business auto insurance that you will be dealing with when you make a claim.
On the other hand — if the Uber vehicle did not have a passenger inside at the time of the accident — you may be simply dealing with the personal auto insurance company that provides personal insurance for the Uber driver’s vehicle. However, the Uber driver’s personal auto policy may deny the claim stating they were working as a livery en route to pick up a fare. In which case, your policy, including your uninsured motorists coverage, should respond. What’s important to remember is that Uber and other companies like Lyft are still quite new. This means that the legal aspects of what they do are still being figured out by lawyers and the U.S. judicial system.
What to do if you get into an accident with an Uber driver
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver and the Uber driver was at fault, it is essential that you take the necessary steps to prove their liability. In this case, you should handle an Uber accident as you would any other type of accident and do the following things:
1. Call emergency services if necessary.
You should always call 9-1-1 immediately if anyone was seriously injured in the accident.
2. Gather photo evidence.
Most people have either a smart phone or a digital camera with them at all times. Use your camera to take photos of the scene. Take pictures of the scene from mid-distance away so that you can see everything in the frame at once, and get close-ups of the damage. Take pictures of any injuries or anything else important too.
3. Talk to witnesses who saw the accident.
If there were witnesses at the scene of the accident, ask them what they saw, and write it down. Then, get their full name and phone number so that you can contact them later if necessary.
4. Gather information from the Uber driver.
You’ll also want to get the first and last name of the Uber driver as well as their phone number and address. Also ask them for the Uber insurance phone number, their personal insurance company name, the personal insurance company’s phone number, and their personal insurance policy number as well.
5. Get a copy of the police report.
Most states require that police are called and write up a report whenever there is an auto accident. At any rate, it is generally a good idea to phone the police in the event of a serious accident. When the police arrive and assess the situation, they will write up a report, and you have a right to have a copy of this report. Make sure that you get this copy for your records.
5. Contact your insurance agency.
Once the above is finished, contact your insurance agency and explain what happened.
6. Consider getting legal representation.
In some situations, it may be a good idea to get legal representation if either the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance company or Uber insurance is disputing coverage or liability.
Getting into an accident with an Uber driver can be complicated. But if you follow the steps listed above and gather evidence that proves the other driver was at fault, you should be able to receive deserved coverage for your property damage and injuries.