Uber is a transportation matching service. They match riders with drivers who provide their privately owned and insured vehicle for use as a “taxi” service. The coverage chosen by the driver is entirely up to him or her. Uber however, does add one million dollars of additional coverage per driver.
When a contracted Uber driver has an accident, there are three stages that must be considered. Before turning on the Uber App, the driver’s car is covered by his personal insurance carrier and not by Uber’s coverage. The first stage occurs prior to receiving a reservation for a ride. During this stage, the Uber App is turned on and the driver is available to receive pick-up orders. Unless, the driver has supplemental insurance, he is not covered at this point by his personal insurance or Uber’s insurance. During stage two, the driver would be en route to pick-up a passenger and is insured by Uber for $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. During stage three the passenger is being taken to his destination. The driver is fully insured for the extra $1 million by Uber. In both stage 2 and 3, the driver’s personal insurance coverage may be forfeited because he is transporting paying customers.
In Texas, when the app is on and the driver is waiting for a passenger, he is not covered by most personal auto coverage or Uber’s insurance. The only option the driver has in these instances is to get supplemental coverage that will cover his personal use as well as the insurance gap before ride pickups.
If you are in an accident with an Uber car, call a Austin car accident lawyer. Because the liability of the Uber driver and/or Uber the company will become an issue, you need legal representation to sort through the confusing details. Uber calls its drivers’ private partners or independent contractors who are solely responsible for their vehicles and their insurance coverage when not carrying passengers. Whether Uber or the driver should be responsible for the liability is still being disputed as Uber drivers are involved in accidents across the country resulting in death, injury and property damage.
Who was responsible for an Uber driver’s accident was questioned in a California accident recently where a mother and her two children were struck in an intersection. Her six year old daughter died as a result of her injuries. The California Labor Commission ruled that the Uber driver was an Uber employee and the company was found liable for the accident.
The laws governing Uber differ from state to state, so enlist a Austin car accident lawyer to insure you have Texas traffic and injury laws working in your favor. While Uber no longer operates in Austin, it still provides services in nearby cities where an accident could occur. As a Texas resident, you can still pursue a lawsuit with the help of a Austin car accident lawyer.