If you are the victim of an Uber accident while riding as a passenger, your rights to seek and recover compensation for your injuries take the utmost priority, before anyone else who sustained injuries in the accident. You may file a claim for your injuries and other damages against Uber, regardless of whether the Uber driver was at fault or not.
Who is Responsible for Damages in an Uber Passenger’s Injury Claim?
In the event of an Uber accident, the company has specific instructions for its drivers to inform the paramedics and police immediately. The second step of the emergency protocol that the drivers must follow is to report the crash to Uber through the Uber app.
The law mandates cab aggregators and rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber, known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) in Virginia, to carry liability insurance coverage for physical injuries and property damage from a licensed insurance carrier. TNCs in Virginia need to have liability and uninsured as well as underinsured motorist insurance coverage.
Virginia being an at-fault insurance state, with optional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, someone injured in an auto accident does not seek damages from their insurance company. The victim may seek to recover damages for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from Uber’s insurance policy or the at-fault Uber driver.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against Uber as an Injured Passenger?
An Uber passenger, with few exceptions, is considered the least at fault in an Uber accident. They certainly have more rights to claim damages than other involved parties and can take the legal recourse to sue Uber if they deem it necessary.
As in every car accident injury lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to prove liability and damages in order to secure compensation. To help you understand more, let us look at the most likely circumstances in an Uber accident that may lead to injuries.
The Uber Diver was Responsible for the Accident
If any negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the Uber driver caused the accident and your subsequent injuries, you are entitled to file for damages against the driver. However, it may not be possible to recover damages from the Uber driver if they have just a personal auto insurance cover, which may not apply due to the driver being engaged in a commercial endeavor.
As per a 2016 Virginia law, a TNC vehicle must have a minimum of $1 million in liability and uninsured/underinsured insurance during the vehicle’s operation with the TNC digital platform. This basically means that a passenger has a $1 million minimum insurance coverage from the moment they enter their Uber ride, and till the time they exit.
The damages are shared between the passengers if there is more than one occupant taking the ride. The law also recognizes the rideshare company’s insurance policy as the primary insurance coverage, so that the injured passenger needs to sue Uber and not the driver.
The Uber Diver was Not Responsible for the Accident
In the case of negligence on the part of another driver involved in an accident with the Uber car you are riding in, you may seek a claim to recover compensation from the other driver and their insurance company. However, this may be an issue if the other driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your damages.
Code 46.2-2099.48(E & F) comes to your aid in such a situation as it requires the rideshare companies to carry uninsured and underinsured insurance. This means that Uber needs to have $1 million in coverage to compensate injured passengers riding in an Uber car even if another driver was responsible for the accident.
What Are the Types of Damages You Can Recover in an Uber Accident?
The compensation you may recover for an Uber accident includes:
- Expenses related to medical care, rehabilitation, and other health care
- Loss of wages, salary, or earnings
- Damages to property
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Loss of potential earnings because of a long-term disability
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
Although the law requires Uber to have a $1 million insurance coverage for injured passengers, that does not implicitly mean that you are eligible to receive the maximum compensation. All insurance companies try their best to limit or reject claims. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to understand the true value of your claim. With a competent attorney by your side, sometimes you may stand to recover more than the amount initially offered by the insurer.
Virginia Auto Accident Lawyers on Your Side
At Olmstead and Olmstead, we are fully committed to protecting your legal rights and secure for you, the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one is the victim of an Uber accident, our experienced personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly and aggressively to advocate on your behalf, so that you can fully focus on your healing and rehabilitation.
The information shared above is a general guide. For advice from an accomplished and qualified attorney, contact us online or call us today at 703-361-1555 for a free consultation to discuss your options, with no obligation on your part.