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WHAT TO DO AFTER AN UBER ACCIDENT
Uber has quickly become a popular method of transportation for thousands of people throughout the United States. But what should you do after an Uber driver accident? Click here to find out.
Ridesharing service Uber averaged more than 5 million rides per day as of 2016.
That’s an impressive feat, but what about the number of accidents? Like any other driver, an Uber driver isn’t immune to crashes and collisions.
The number of Uber vehicles involved in accidents every year is harder to pin down, but riders don’t need exact figures to realize there’s a lot of regulatory gray areas surrounding Uber and other ridesharing apps.
It makes sense that the gray area would also include confusion about what to do if you find yourself involved in an Uber driver accident. Uber is famous for trying to operate outside the regulatory framework that traditional taxi cabs are subjected to, but you should know that Uber accident insurance does exist.
Read on for more information about how to deal with the aftermath of an Uber accident.
Immediately After the Uber Driver Accident Happens
There could be a crunch of metal followed by an eerie silence. Or you might hear someone screaming. That person screaming might even be you.
Something known as a psychological shock is common after car accidents. A person in psychological shock experiences an emotional surge combined with a physical reaction.
Vomiting, chest tightness, anger, and a sense that this isn’t really happening are all symptoms of psychological shock. Your driver may be tempted to simply drive away from the scene because the body’s flight response is just that powerful.
Do your best to stay calm. Cautiously test your body to make sure nothing is broken or bleeding.
If you feel fine, tell the driver that you’re OK. Ask if he or she is hurt.
Use Your Phone to Document the Scene
You used your phone to hail a ride on Uber. You might as well also use it to collect evidence at the accident scene.
Don’t feel the need to play a police detective. That’s a job best left to the actual police. Speaking of police, make sure someone at the scene has called 911. If the accident was minor, the police non-emergency number could also work.
Once that call has been made, get out of the car and start taking photos. Use your phone’s notes app to write down a basic narrative of what happened.
If your Uber driver ran a stop sign immediately before the crash, then make a note of that.
The narrative doesn’t need to be too detailed, but it’s helpful to write down the sequence of events while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Does Uber Cover Accidents?
You might expect to see your Uber driver exchanging insurance info with the other driver, but the type of insurance will depend on what mode their phone was in at the time of the accident.
The Uber accident policy will only cover an incident if the driver’s Uber Partner app was turned on and in driver mode when the collision occurred.
If it wasn’t, then the driver will need rideshare insurance or perhaps even a commercial auto policy.
Exceptions apply if the accident took place in a state like California, as California law requires companies like Uber to cover drivers during what’s known as Period 1. Period 1 refers to the time when the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t booked or picked up a passenger.
California considers Uber a transportation network company or TNC. That means they must provide primary third-party liability insurance during Period I. That type of insurance covers injury, death, and property damage to third parties.
And yes, a passenger is considered a third party.
What Happens to Your Uber Driver?
First of all, Uber will deactivate them as a driver. That’s likely to happen even if the collision wasn’t the Uber driver’s fault.
Uber needs time to investigate an accident, and they don’t want the driver picking up passengers while that investigation is ongoing. If the car is damaged, it will need to undergo another safety inspection before being cleared for a return to the roadways.
Rideshare drivers tend to operate on thin margins anyway, so an accident can really make it hard to pay the bills. That’s another reason why it’s important for Uber drivers to have personal rideshare insurance or the equivalent.
Not all drivers do, though. Some drivers figure that their insurance company will just jack up their rates if they tell the truth, so they never admit to being an Uber driver.
The truth has a way of coming out, though, and when it does, the Uber driver’s personal insurance company may refuse to cover them at all.
It should go without saying, but don’t even think about lying on behalf of an Uber driver. You have enough to worry about already; you don’t need possible fraud charges on top of everything else.
If Insurance Won’t Pay For Injuries
Insurance companies can be frustrating to deal with in the best of circumstances, and that’s doubly so after an Uber driver car accident.
The insurance status of your Uber driver could mean that his personal insurance refuses to pay the medical expenses of passengers that were in the vehicle.
You should be worrying about getting better, not about wrangling with insurance companies. At a certain point, it makes sense to start researching car accident attorneys.
Ridesharing services may be relatively new, but car accidents are as old as cars. A car accident attorney who knows his or her way around the insurance system can be an invaluable asset after an accident, especially if you sustained major injuries.
Obtain a Case Review
We get that money is tight after an Uber accident. That’s why free case reviews exist.
A free case review allows a lawyer and a prospective client to meet before any money exchanges hands. If the lawyer thinks the victim has a strong case, then he or she will offer to represent them.
You shouldn’t have to stay up late worrying about your Uber driver accident. That’s our job, and our track record speaks for itself.
You don’t pay unless we help you win your case.
Dealing with companies like Uber doesn’t phase us, so check out our services and give us a call.