Question: Can a passenger injured in a Uber car accident sue Uber?
Answer: Yes. Whether or not the Uber driver was at fault, you can bring a lawsuit against Uber and possibly other parties to receive compensation for your pain and suffering, past and future medical care, and other damages you suffered.
In every car accident lawsuit case, the person bringing the claim must be able to prove two things in order to win the case: liability (who was at fault) and damages (how badly you were injured). Let’s review the two most likely situations in which you were injured:
1. The Uber Diver Caused the Accident
In this situation, you may bring a lawsuit against the driver. But it may be impossible to collect any damages from the driver if the driver only has a personal auto insurance policy. These policies do not apply when a driver is engaged in a commercial operation, which includes carrying passengers for a fee.
Attorney Chris Dolan recognized this as a serious public policy issue when Uber and Lyft began operations. As President of the Consumer Attorneys of California, he successfully lobbied the Legislature to regulate rideshare companies and require that they carry adequate insurance for their drivers.
The result is California Vehicle Code Section 5430. It provides that rideshare companies must carry $1 million in insurance for death, personal injury, and property damage caused by their drivers. The law further states the rideshare company’s insurance shall be the primary insurance policy, meaning the injured passenger need only sue Uber and not also the driver in most situations. The $1 million in insurance coverage applies from the moment the Uber driver accepts a ride request on Uber’s application until the driver completes the transaction on the app or the ride is complete, whichever is later.
2. The Uber Driver Was Not At Fault For The Accident
Here, you may bring a claim against the driver of the other vehicle driver at fault. California drivers are required to carry insurance. Yet many Californians violate the law and drive without insurance. Plus, auto insurance policies can be as low as $15,000 for causing an injury or death to a person. You may not be able collect damages from the driver at fault.
Again, Chris Dolan recognized this as a serious issue. As part of his lobbying effort, Chris worked to change the law and require that Uber passengers injured due the fault of another driver could make a claim against Uber. The Vehicle Code requires that rideshare companies carry $1 million in uninsured and underinsured insurance. The coverage applies from the moment a passenger enters the Uber car until the passenger exits the vehicle.
In short, Uber is required to have $1 million in insurance coverage to pay out to passengers riding in an Uber car who are injured in an accident caused by another driver.
What Damages May I Recover In An Uber Car Accident?
Under the law, the damages you may obtain for a car accident include compensation for:
- Past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment;
- Past and future medical, hospital, rehabilitation, disability and other health care related expenses;
- Past economic losses including lost wages, salary or income and property damage;
- Loss of future income due to any long-term disability and permanent diminished earnings capacity;
- Punitive damages (for outrageous wrongful conduct); and
- Wrongful death when the lawsuit is brought by the family of the loved one who died.
Keep in mind that just because the law requires that Uber (and Lyft) possess $1 million in insurance coverage for injuries to passengers caused by their drivers, or by other drivers at fault who lack insurance or are underinsured, that does not mean you will receive the maximum compensation allowed under the law if you negotiate your claim directly with Uber’s insurance company. The mission of every insurance company is to limit or deny claims. Only by contacting an experienced car accident attorney will you learn the true value of your claim. In many cases we obtain recoveries for our clients significantly greater than the amount originally offered by the insurance company.
Contact The Uber Car Accident Attorneys At the Dolan Law Firm Today
The preceding information is intended to serve as a general guide. You should contact us for advice on your specific situation. Or call us toll free at 1-888-452-4752. Our attorneys will review your Uber car accident lawsuit for free and with no obligation on your part.
Why You Should Select The Dolan Law Firm As Your Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney
The Dolan Law Firm is one of the most experienced and successful law firms in the nation for representing persons injured in an Uber accident or Lyft crash. Our pioneering work in the first lawsuit against Uber for the wrongful death of a pedestrian led to the adoption of legislation in California and other states requiring Uber and Lyft to have significant insurance coverage for persons injured by their drivers.
Today, our Lyft and Uber accident lawyers are litigating multiple cases on behalf of passengers, other car drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians gravely injured.
Specifically, we offer our Lyft crash and Uber accident clients the following advantages:
- We are relentless and principled advocates for our clients. We offer each client individual superior legal representation backed by substantial financial and technological resources that no individual attorney or small law firm can provide;
- We thoroughly investigate each case and have access to the leading accident reconstruction and biomechanics experts for cases involving brain, spine, neck and back injuries;
- We are known for taking challenging and complicated cases to trial and prevailing. As a result, we often obtain recoveries far above industry averages, including some of the largest verdicts and settlements ever in individual injury lawsuits in California;
- We will review your claim for free and with no obligation on your part. We represent our clients on a contingent fee basis, meaning we only receive a fee if we win. We do not send any bills to clients for the time we spend on their case; and
- Chris Dolan, our founder and lead trial attorney, personally supervises all serious injury cases our firm prosecutes. Chris has been repeatedly selected by multiple publications as one of the top trial and injury lawyers in California.