If you are a pedestrian and get hit by an Uber driver while legally crossing an intersection or sidewalk, and sustain injuries as a result of the impact, how do you make a proper claim against the Uber driver?
The person bringing the claim must be able to prove two things in order to win the case: liability (who was at fault for the accident) and damages (how badly the plaintiff was injured). The pedestrian must be able to prove that someone was negligent in order to have a claim.
The primary defendant is the Uber driver. The pedestrian’s most straightforward legal case will be against that person, and it would proceed just like any pedestrian accident claim. They would find out who the driver’s insurer is, and then make a claim with the auto insurance company. The other potential defendant would be Uber themselves.
If the driver’s personal auto insurer denies liability or refuses to pay for the pedestrian’s injury claim, then the Uber policy takes its place. Uber’s policy breaks down the coverage by “available but not on trip” and “during trip.” In other words, when Uber drivers are on route to pick up a passenger, the former applies, and when they have a passenger, the latter applies. However, the driver’s Uber app must be on for the Uber policy to apply.
The policy limits are different for whether the driver is “available but not on trip” and “during trip”. Therefore, it is important to make a note of this difference as you gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Other essential information to gather is the names and contact information of all of the witnesses to the accident and vehicle information. Also, you should take pictures immediately of your injuries and damages. It’s also a good idea to call the police to officially record what happened.
One problem remains in the legal liability of accidents involving Uber. For drivers technically working and on their way to pick up a passenger, there’s still a gap in coverage. In this scenario, the driver is not idly waiting for a passenger, nor is he/she on a trip. This gap in insurance coverage is still being sorted out in the courts.