Thousands of people in Florida use Uber every day to commute to work, meet up with friends, and get around bustling cities and suburbs without having to worry about parking their personal vehicles. While Uber can be very convenient, Uber riders need to know what the legal implications are if their Uber driver gets into an accident.
Do passenger insurance policies cover any damages or medical bills? Are Uber drivers on the hook for damages incurred in an accident? Let’s answer these questions and more in detail.
Filing a Police Report After an Uber Accident
Before you do anything else after an accident, you should:
- Check yourself into a medical center for medical attention, if needed
- Make certain that a police report is being filed
In many cases, you might be legally required to file an official police report or report your Uber accident to Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. There are three scenarios where you must legally file a police report:
- At least one motor vehicle was towed after the crash
- The accident involved at least one commercial vehicle
- The accident resulted in the injury, pain, death, or discomfort of any party involved
Since this encompasses practically all Uber accidents, odds are you’ll need to file a police report within the ten-day deadline. Most of the time, the police will be called to the scene by those involved in the crash.
A scenario where an Uber driver might not want to call the police could occur in the event of a “one-car” accident. For instance, say the Uber driver struck a tree and didn’t damage any other property, they might not want to notify law enforcement. If you suspect that you might be injured in the accident, you should insist on a report being filed. At the very least, try and take photographs of the damage and preserve any other evidence that you can in order to make a claim at a later time. Also, contact Uber customer service immediately to report the incident. This can be done through the Uber app on your phone.
Filing a police report is important and ideal both so you can do your civic duty and so you can create a helpful paper trail. The paper trail might be necessary or beneficial for future legal action.
How Does Car Insurance Work in an Uber Accident?
Many Uber riders aren’t exactly sure how they are covered by car insurance if they’re involved in an accident. Uber itself offers three levels of insurance coverage for its drivers:
- No coverage if the Uber driver app is offline or turned off
- Third-party liability insurance of up to $50,000 for bodily injury for a single person, plus $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and another $25,000 for property damage coverage if an Uber driver is marked as “available for a ride request” on the app
- Up to $1 million in third-party insurance coverage, underinsured or uninsured driver coverage, and other insurance costs if the Uber driver is either driving to a person or is actively involved in a ride
Put more simply, Uber’s insurance might cover you if you are riding in an Uber vehicle during an accident. Of course, your legally required personal injury protection or PIP insurance will also cover some or all of the costs of your medical and other expenses. However, do not fret if your PIP insurance becomes involved due to an accident. This is how the law works in Florida.
Furthermore, Uber’s insurance coverage only applies if their driver was responsible for the accident. For instance, if your Uber driver gets into an accident but it’s the fault of another driver, Uber will not cover your medical costs and other expenses. Instead, you’ll need to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver/party.
Liability for Uber Accidents
It can be tough for Uber riders to know who’s liable for damages after an accident. As a passenger, it is highly unlikely that you will bear any responsibility for causing the accident. Blame almost always lies with the drivers of the vehicles involved in the accident.
Alternative parties who might be held liable for Uber accidents in Florida include:
- Uber drivers themselves
- Other car drivers
- Commercial trucking carriers or operators
- Pedestrians or bicyclists
- Government transit authorities
- Product manufacturers
For example, if your Uber driver is driving carelessly and is responsible for the accident, they may be held liable for your damages (after PIP insurance coverage). If another driver is responsible for the accident, that party will be on the hook for your damages.
Ultimately, it’s important to discover who’s liable for your accident. They will be the party responsible for paying any damages for injuries not covered by the above-mentioned insurance policies. Sometimes there could be multiple parties responsible. This is where having an experienced legal team helping you through the process becomes so important.
What Damages Can You Recover for an Uber Accident?
Uber accident lawsuits may result in damages for a variety of needs. Damage amounts can range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars depending on the strength of your case, your injuries, and your legal team. You might recover damages for:
- Medical care costs, including both past and future medical bills. This allows you to recover damages for medical bills or debts you may have incurred while waiting for legal action to be taken
- Lost wages if your injuries resulted in you having to miss work to recover
- Loss of future earnings capacity if your injuries make it likely that you will not be able to earn as much in the future as you were prior to the accident
- Pain-and-suffering, which may include both physical pain or discomfort and mental anguish, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety
- Disability if the accident resulted in partial or permanent disability for Uber riders
- Loss of enjoyment if the crash negatively impacted your life in a significant way (oftentimes tied to disability damages)
How Attorneys Can Help
Tampa personal injury lawyers can provide important legal insights and counsel if you’re involved in an Uber accident. Specifically, attorneys can help by:
- Collecting key evidence to strengthen your case. This evidence can include things like traffic camera footage and electronic crash recording data.
- Negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you get the fair recovery you are entitled to receive.
- Determining who is ultimately liable for your damages or lost property. This is very important since determining liability in an Uber accident can be complex.
For the best results, you should contact personal injury attorneys in Tampa for your needs.
Contact Hunter Law Today
Hunter Law is the best option if you’re injured in an Uber accident and want to sue the Uber driver or another party for compensation. We understand the burden medical bills can place on anyone, so we’re well-equipped and ready to assist with your upcoming lawsuit in any way we can.
As knowledgeable Tampa personal injury attorneys, we know the ins and outs of Florida car accident lawsuit rules and restrictions. We will work hard to maximize your damages throughout your injury claim. Contact Hunter Law today for more information.