In March, a woman in Tempe, Ariz. was hit and killed by an Uber SUV self-driving car. Although the self-driving car detected it needed to stop, reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the car’s automatic emergency braking feature was disabled. This unfortunate accident ensues Uber’s nearly four-year initiative to bring self-driving technology to urban areas in order to reduce congestion in cities and improve transportation safety and affordability. Since the crash, the Uber Advanced Technologies Center has stopped testing their self-driving cars in Arizona and California and continues to work on the technology out of their Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania center.
Am I Covered In An Uber Accident?
While Uber’s safe, autonomous cars may be available in our near future, accidents can happen with Uber drivers, which calls to question: Am I covered?
In short, Uber does provide automobile insurance to their rideshare driver-partners:
- Liability coverage –
- $1,000,000 combined single limit.
- Third party liability coverage –
- $1,000,000 per accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage –
- At least $1,000,000 per accident.
- Contingent collision and comprehensive coverage –
- Coverage limit is up to the actual cash value of the driver’s vehicle with a $1,000 deductible.
While these polices appear fairly straightforward, the legality of each can be blurry, especially as it relates to claims. If an Uber driver is on his way to pick-up a passenger and gets in a car accident, Uber’s liability coverage is to provide bodily injury and property damage coverage because the driver “accepted” the pick-up request. However, because the rider may have canceled the trip due to a “no show,” claims may be denied or not approved up to the full amount of the policy because the time of the accident and cancellation time may not align. Additionally, because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees, they may not be deemed covered under Uber’s policy. Alternatively, Uber drivers may consider their personal automobile policy as back-up coverage; however, using your car for work purposes may invalidate some auto insurance policies.
Consult A Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
If you become injured during an accident while in the car as a passenger of or driver for Uber, there are several policy and legal considerations that determine your compensation amount and whether your claim is approved at all. It is recommended that you consult with a personal injury attorney to review your situation and help you lawfully pursue the compensation you may be entitled to.