When Is Uber Responsible for Accident Injuries in Florida?

When rideshare applications like Uber and Lyft were first introduced, there were many questions around liability in case of an accident. Quickly, Uber drivers and accident victims found that personal insurance policies do not cover commercial activity.

Driving for a rideshare service is considered a commercial activity, which might mean you need a car accident lawyer in Florida to help you figure out how to get your car repaired and pay any related medical bills.

It’s taken some time for the rideshare industry and state laws to better define insurance issues when rideshare drivers are involved in an accident. But before you become an Uber or Lyft passenger, you should understand your rights and how insurance applies to you.

Covered Uber Accident Scenarios

Believe it or not, Uber is more than 10 years old now. It was first introduced in March 2009. Lyft followed a few years later in 2012. There are also several other local rideshare companies in various cities thanks to the ease of use, competitive fares, and convenience ridesharing offers.

In the 11 years since the start of ridesharing, the industry has clarified when the rideshare company must cover an accident. Here’s a look at covered Uber accident scenarios.

  • When an Uber driver is listed on the app as available: sometimes, Uber drivers need to drive around a bit to find their first customers. Once they are listed as available and awaiting a ride request, Uber’s insurance policy covers them with third-party liability coverage. This covers $50,000 in bodily injury per person involved with a $100,000 maximum per accident. It also provides $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
  • While driving on the way to pick up passengers: when an Uber driver is en route to pick up passengers, the driver also has insurance coverage. This coverage is slightly different from the coverage the driver has when awaiting a passenger request. At this point, the third-party policy also provides uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury and comprehensive collision coverage. It provides $1 million in third-party liability coverage.
  • During trips with passengers: the same coverage applies to trips with passengers as applies when the driver is en route to pick up passengers.

Not-Covered Uber Accident Scenarios

At times, accidents with a car used as an Uber rideshare vehicle are not covered under Uber’s third-party insurance policies. Here are a few examples of scenarios where you would not be covered.

  • Collisions with a car that has an Uber window cling or other identifying information, but the driver doesn’t have the app active. At this point, the driver’s personal insurance policy would be effective.
  • Trips with passengers when the app is turned off. Once your driver takes you to your original destination, don’t ask if they can drive you another block to get you closer. During that drive down the block, if you’re in an accident, Uber’s policy might not apply. That’s because this isn’t an official trip. Your driver should decline such requests, but just in case they don’t, know that it isn’t wise to continue in the rideshare vehicle once you’ve reached your destination. Get out and hire another Uber if you decide you want to go somewhere else.
  • The driver you’re riding with isn’t an authorized driver. In the Uber app, you’ll be able to see the make and model of the rideshare vehicle that should pick you up. Don’t be fooled by a driver who has the window cling with the Uber logo mounted in the front window and their phone set up as if they are an Uber driver. Always make sure that the car that pulls up claiming to be your Uber driver matches the description in the app.

When the Other Driver Is at Fault

While Uber now has good third-party insurance coverage for its drivers, there are still circumstances where the other driver is at-fault for an accident. As a passenger, this can make for a slightly sticky situation.

During the exchange of information, make sure you get the at-fault driver’s insurance policy information in case you suffer injuries as a result of the accident. While you might feel fine at first, late-onset injuries are common after a car accident. If you do suffer such injuries, be sure to contact a Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney to see if there is liability coverage from the at fault party or if you are eligible for Uninsured motorist coverage through Uber or another policy. 

Seeking a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida?

Being the victim of an Uber accident is no fun at all. Whether you’re a passenger in the Uber or another motorist, you have a right to seek compensation if you’ve been injured.

Schedule a free consultation with Goldman & Daszkal to learn more about whether you have a case. We’ll help you navigate the complicated and often confusing maze of insurance coverage after an accident to make sure you aren’t left with large bills.