What to Do After an Uber Accident: Your Guide to Uber Accident Claims

uber accident

Ridesharing services like Uber have revolutionized transportation, offering convenience and accessibility at our fingertips. However, as with any motor vehicle, accidents can and do happen.

When an Uber accident occurs, it’s crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities and the proper steps to take to protect yourself and your interests.

Ensure Everyone’s Safety and Contact Authorities

Check for any visible injuries and determine if immediate medical attention is required. Even if injuries seem minor, call emergency services and request an ambulance, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. California law requires calling the police for any accident involving injuries, a drunk driver, or property damage exceeding $1,000.

If the accident scene is safe, try to move the vehicles out of the traffic flow to prevent further collisions. Turn on your hazard lights and set up warning cones or flares if you have them. Remember, your safety and the safety of others should be the top concern.

Document the Accident Scene

Proper documentation is essential for any insurance claims or legal proceedings following an Uber accident. Once everyone is out of harm’s way, take photos and videos of the accident scene from multiple angles.

Photos to Take After an Uber Accident

  • Damage to all vehicles involved, including undercarriages and interiors
  • The positions of the vehicles after the accident
  • Any visible injuries sustained by drivers or passengers
  • Road conditions, traffic signals, or signs near the accident site
  • The surroundings and environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident

Additionally, collect the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance details of all parties involved, including passengers and witnesses. Politely ask the Uber driver for their rideshare insurance information as well.

In California, all drivers must exchange this information after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. These details will be crucial if you must file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.

Report the Accident to Uber

Uber has specific procedures for reporting accidents involving their drivers or vehicles. The easiest way to initiate a claim is through the Uber Driver app’s Safety Toolkit.

Using Uber’s Driver Crash Center

  1. Open the Driver app and tap the blue shield icon in the bottom left corner to access the Safety Toolkit.
  2. Select “Report a crash” and provide details about the accident, including the time, location, and circumstances.
  3. Upload any photos or videos you’ve taken of the accident scene.
  4. After submitting your report, you’ll receive a notification on the app’s homepage with a link to the Driver Crash Center.

The Crash Center is a centralized resource for managing your claim, contacting Uber’s insurance provider, tracking the claim status, and exploring rental car options while your vehicle is being repaired.

Alternatively, you can report the accident by calling Uber’s Safety Incident Reporting Line or submitting an online crash report. Regardless of your chosen method, report the accident as soon as possible while the details are fresh in your mind.

Understanding Uber’s Insurance Coverage

Uber maintains commercial auto insurance policies to protect its drivers, passengers, and third parties in the event of an accident. However, the extent of coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident and the specific circumstances.

In California, Uber’s insurance coverage works as follows:

  • When the driver is offline: The driver’s auto insurance policy is the primary coverage.
  • When the driver is online and available for rides: Uber maintains the following liability coverage:
    • $50,000 per person for bodily injury
    • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
    • $25,000 per accident for property damage
  • When the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or on a trip: Uber’s liability policy and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of at least $1 million kicks in, covering bodily injury and property damage caused by the driver. Additionally, Uber provides:
    • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage for the driver’s vehicle, with a $2,500 deductible, if the driver maintains personal comprehensive and collision coverage.
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, following California’s minimum limits.
    • Optional medical payments coverage for the driver and passengers, subject to a $1,000 deductible.

It’s important to note that Uber’s insurance supplements the driver’s personal auto policy, not a replacement. Drivers must maintain their own personal auto insurance that meets California’s minimum requirements.

Determining Fault and Liability After an Accident

In any accident involving an Uber or rideshare vehicle, determining fault and liability is crucial for insurance claims and potential legal action. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Uber driver at fault: If the Uber driver is deemed at fault for the accident, Uber’s liability policy of at least $1 million should cover the damages and injuries sustained by passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers up to the policy limits.
  • Other driver at fault: If another driver is at fault, their auto insurance policy would be the primary coverage for damages and injuries. However, if their policy limits are insufficient, Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may provide additional protection for Uber drivers and passengers.
  • Hit-and-run or uninsured motorist accidents: In these situations, Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help cover damages and injuries sustained by the Uber driver and passengers, subject to policy limits and deductibles.

Regardless of who is at fault, if the driver was not logged into the Uber app or en route to pick up a passenger, their policy would be the primary coverage.

Even when Uber’s commercial policy applies, the driver’s personal comprehensive and collision coverage is required for Uber’s contingent comprehensive and collision coverage to kick in for damages to the driver’s vehicle.

Injury Protection Options

Uber accidents can result in serious injuries for drivers, passengers, and third parties. While Uber’s insurance policies cover bodily injury claims, additional protection may be necessary for medical expenses, lost wages, and ongoing care.

Uber’s Optional Injury Protection

To address this need, Uber offers an Optional Injury Protection plan in California. This optional coverage, purchased by the driver, provides:

  • Disability payments if the driver cannot work due to injuries sustained in an accident
  • Medical expense coverage with no deductible
  • Survivor benefit payments to the driver’s family in case of accidental death

If you’ve suffered injuries in an Uber accident, filing a claim with Uber’s insurance provider is the first step. Be prepared to provide detailed documentation, including medical records, police reports, and any evidence supporting your claim.

It’s crucial to act promptly, as there are strict deadlines for filing injury claims. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years from the accident date.

Hiring an Uber Accident Lawyer

While Uber’s insurance policies may cover some damages and injuries, the claims process can be complex, and insurers often prioritize their interests over those of accident victims. This is where hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference.

A skilled Uber accident lawyer can:

  • Investigate the accident thoroughly, gathering evidence and witness statements
  • Navigate the intricate insurance claims process on your behalf
  • Determine all responsible parties and sources of compensation
  • Calculate the full extent of your damages, including future medical expenses and lost wages
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement
  • Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached

Our personal injury attorneys handle a wide range of Uber accident cases, including:

  • Accidents caused by negligent Uber drivers
  • Passengers injured due to a defective Uber vehicle
  • Pedestrians or cyclists struck by an Uber vehicle
  • Rideshare accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death

Contingency fee arrangements are common in personal injury cases, meaning you won’t have to pay any upfront legal fees. The attorney’s fees are typically a percentage of the compensation they secure on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an Uber accident in California, don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated team at DP Injury Attorneys. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and help you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Author Bio

Arthur Paul D’Egidio is the Managing Partner of DP Injury Attorneys, a San Diego personal injury law firm. With more than 12 years of experience in California injury law, he has dedicated his practice to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury matters, including car accidents, workers’ compensation, slip and falls, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases.

Arthur received his Juris Doctor from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California as well as the San Diego County Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named a Super Lawyer for seven straight years by Thomson Reuters and a “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google