Uber services have made Austin roads safer in many ways. People can enjoy the local nightlife knowing they will have a sober ride home right when they need one. Instead of renting cars to navigate unfamiliar streets on their own, many tourists and visitors rely on Uber drivers to be their guides. But there’s something inherently risky about the way the service works: drivers must use their phones almost constantly to receive directions or communicate with customers, which often results in distracted — and therefore dangerous — driving. Many Uber drivers are also new to Austin and unfamiliar with the city’s roads.
Even without the use of devices, accidents are inevitable. The company is aware of this and is required to provide a certain amount of minimum insurance coverage. However, that coverage is only applicable to certain situations, which can lead to confusion over who is liable for harms and losses after a collision.
For Uber passengers, insurance coverage is fairly straightforward. A passenger who is injured in an accident caused by their Uber driver is insured with $1 million third-party liability coverage provided by the company. If another driver is at fault for the accident and their insurance does not cover the costs of bodily injury to the Uber passenger, Uber provides uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
For Uber drivers and other drivers on the road, the on-and-off nature of company coverage can be a little more complicated. The $1 million policy only applies when there is a passenger in the vehicle or the driver is en route to pick up a passenger — essentially when the driver is considered to be on the clock by Uber. If the driver is using the app and is available for ride requests, the third-party liability coverage drops down to a state-mandated minimum $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.
If you are struck by an Uber driver while they do not have a passenger in tow, are not en route to pick up a passenger, and are not using the app, you may need to rely on the driver’s personal insurance coverage to pay for your harms and losses. Uber does not require drivers to maintain commercial driving insurance through their personal insurance company. That means many Austin Uber drivers are covered only by the minimum liability insurance amount required by the state of Texas.
Whether you were the Uber driver, an Uber passenger, an occupant of another vehicle at the time of the collision, or a pedestrian, understanding who is liable and filing a claim against the correct party can be difficult. Often, there are multiple parties and insurance providers involved who will attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your injuries. But you deserve to be financially reimbursed for the harms and losses brought about by an accident that was not your fault.
Hiring or even simply consulting with an Texas Uber accident lawyer can have a big positive impact on the outcome of your case. Uber is a large company with a staff of lawyers who will fight to avoid admitting fault on behalf of the company. Even with a substantial third-party insurance policy that comes into play in many cases, Uber does not want to assume responsibility and risk their premiums rising. They consider their drivers “independent contractors” rather than employees in order to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. The extent of the company’s resources can make it extremely difficult to challenge them without an experienced and persistent legal advocate.
An Uber car accident lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your case to determine who should be held liable and find any and all available sources of financial recovery. Your lawyer will make sure you are receiving adequate medical care and that your injuries are well documented so that you can receive a fair settlement to cover your harms and losses.
Uber accident settlement amounts vary widely. Factors that can affect the amount of your Uber car accident settlement include:
If the available sources of recovery are inadequate, you may need to file a lawsuit against Uber directly.
The Uber car accident lawyers at FVF have helped many Austin individuals receive financial recovery for harms and losses caused by rideshare accidents. Our first mission is to educate you on your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions about your case from day one.
Soon after the accident, an adjuster may contact you and try to discuss the accident, or even try to convince you to accept a settlement right off the bat. This is not a sign that they are concerned or treating you fairly, but an attempt to minimize their own financial liability. It is vital to speak with a lawyer before you communicate with any of the other parties, which is why FVF offers free, no-commitment consultations.
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