We all seek convenience, and these days we often find it in a quick lift from Uber in Cincinnati. But what happens if you are injured in a collision during your Uber ride?
The business model employed by Uber means that its drivers are contractors — not Uber employees. When you make arrangements with an Uber driver, you use the Uber app to hail a ride, but the ride is ultimately provided by someone who is contracting out their services and car. The usual insurance coverage rules do not apply to Uber drivers because most insurance agents do not write automobile insurance policies for consumer clients providing commercial driving services.
If you have been in an Uber car accident, especially if you are seriously injured, it is important to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney in Cincinnati to sort out fault, potential negligence, and compensation issues.
Considering fault after a collision during an Uber ride
As with all personal injury matters, determining fault – i.e., who caused the accident – is a critical aspect of gaining compensation for your injury.
Before signing up to drive for Uber, motorists in Cincinnati must provide background documentation including verification of their driving history. Although this background check filters for serious moving violations and a criminal record, it is no guarantee your driver will not make a serious error and cause a collision that injures you.
Initially, Uber did not provide insurance to its drivers and riders, but it does now. In fact, Uber currently provides approximately $1 million in insurance coverage for riders during their Uber experience. Uber insurance also provides some degree of coverage for Uber drivers while they are waiting for a fare and while they are en route to pick up a fare. The insurance provided by Uber also covers, up to its policy limit, damage and injury caused by uninsured drivers.
While the third-party insurance from Uber provides riders with some reassurance, medical costs for a serious or catastrophic automobile crash injury can quickly exceed $1 million. The fact that Uber drivers may be carrying only minimal commercial coverage, if any, raises concern about their liability for at-fault injury.
In 2015, the Ohio legislature passed a bill stipulating licensing and insurance requirements for companies offering ride-sharing services in the state. House Bill 237 requires these providers to obtain a permit from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and to provide consumers with an explanation of how fees are calculated. The bill also calls for background checks, retention of records, and provision of receipts to ride-share customers.
Even as Uber and competitors like Lyft are rapidly expanding ride-sharing around the world, this popular new form of transportation has yet to be tested extensively in the legal system. If you are injured during your ride, contact a personal injury attorney without delay to pursue needed compensation for your injury. Insurance policies have coverage caps. You could be left with an injury and the responsibility for proving the negligence of an at-fault party.
For help with an injury claim after an automobile accident, contact us online.