The increasing popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber has seen the expansion of that company throughout the United States, as well as around the world. Although convenient and often less expensive than traditional taxis, Uber’s drivers operate under an unclear legal status, which can cause problems for anyone who is injured while using the service or who is involved in an accident with an Uber driver.
Uber drivers receive notification of potential passengers through an app installed on their smartphone. Logging into the app means the driver is available to pick up a passenger, but until earlier this year any accident occurring when the app was turned on but a passenger had not yet been picked up had the potential to fall into an insurance grey area.
In response to laws passed in several states earlier this year, Uber has taken steps to remedy the situation. In the past, the drivers’ own insurance policy was the primary policy used to cover any accidents that occurred when the app was in use but no passenger was in the car. Now, Uber’s insurance is the primary plan that covers accidents both during transportation of a customer and during the period of time when the Uber app is in use but a customer is not in the car.
If you are injured while using Uber’s service or your car is involved in an accident with an Uber driver, your expenses will likely be paid by the company’s insurance policy rather than that of the driver. Drivers who work for Uber should know, however, that any damage to their own vehicle will not be covered by the company’s insurance policy. If Uber drivers do not purchase a commercial insurance policy, their own insurance will not cover the damage either. In addition, if their policy is not a commercial one, they could be dropped from by their insurance company entirely if they use their personal vehicle while working for Uber. Several companies now offer commercial “ride-sharing” insurance policies that are designed to cover Uber drivers while being less expensive than traditional commercial insurance.
In the early days of ride-sharing apps such as Uber, there were legitimate questions about who would pay for damage if drivers were involved in an accident. Fortunately new regulations are clearing up the situation. If you were involved in an accident, however, you still need an attorney. At Murphy & Garner, LLC, we have over 32 years of experience serving clients in western Georgia and the surrounding area. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 942-0552 or (678) 563-1584.