Another driver may cause your crash while you’re driving an Uber. If so, you may be able to get compensation.
I’ve written a lot about Uber car accidents. This article focuses on an Uber driver’s rights if another driver caused the crash in Florida. Each state has different laws that apply to Uber car wrecks.
I’ve also wrote separate articles about:
Does Uber Tell Its Drivers What to Do After An Accident?
Uber give its drivers a few steps to take if they’ve been involved in an accident. This advice is similar to what is printed on most people’s car insurance cards.
Uber says to follow these steps:
- Check that all parties involved are safe.
- Notify police and paramedics if necessary.
- Contact Uber.
Notifying the police is important for several reasons.
It documents the accident. This prevents one of the drivers of the vehicles from later denying that there was an accident.
In addition, police officers usually issue a ticket for a moving violation. When evaluating liability, the responsible driver’s insurance company usually assigns fault to the driver who received the ticket.
Also, if someone calls 911 to report the accident, the conversation is recorded. The 911 phone call may later help your case.
If you tell the police that you’re injured, they will send paramedics to the scene. The paramedics will write down any complaints of pain that you have. This may later help you prove that you complained of pain after the accident.
If you feel that you need to go to the hospital, paramedics may transport you in an ambulance to the hospital. This may help your case. It increases the full settlement value of your case. Your total medical billed charges will be higher.
The insurance company loses the argument that you weren’t badly injured because you didn’t take an ambulance to the hospital.
If paramedics aren’t called, the responsible insurer may argue that the accident didn’t cause your injury. They may also argue that you weren’t badly hurt from the accident.
How Do Uber Drivers Report the Accident in the App?
The third step that Uber tells its drivers, after an accident, is to contact Uber. Uber says that the driver should use the app. They should go to the section that says:
Head to Trip Issues and Fare Adjustments > I was in an accident. Next, please let us know what happened. Check that you have selected the correct trip and share all available info here. A member of the team will reach out to confirm everyone safety and gather other required information.
You should use caution when letting Uber know what happened. The goal is to keep it simple. Anything that you write can be used against you in your personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist (UM) insurance claim.
Anything that you discuss with the Uber team member can be used against you in your claim. If you tell them that you aren’t hurt, they will likely document this. It can be used against you if you later claim that the accident caused your injury.
However, you may still have a good case even if you tell the Uber team member that you aren’t hurt, but later claim an injury. That said, it is also best to have your injuries documented as soon as possible.
The Uber driver accident form will look something like this:
Uber uses the word “partners” to describe its drivers. The form goes on to ask…
All in all, there aren’t a lot of questions to answer on this form.
Will Uber Pay for an Uber Driver’s Car Damage After a Crash?
Yes, but only if the Uber driver carried physical damage (collision) coverage on his or her personal vehicle at the time of the wreck.
If the Uber driver carried collision coverage, then Uber’s Insurance has a $1,000 deductible, which the Uber driver is responsible for.
This applies regardless of who is at fault.
Will Uber pay an Uber driver’s medical bills from a crash in Florida?
Uber drivers currently don’t get Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance through Uber. Uber also doesn’t have Medical Payments (“Medpay”) Coverage on its auto insurance policy.
If an Uber driver is killed in an accident, his family won’t get the $5,000 PIP death benefit through Uber.
Uber says that No fault coverage (e.g. Personal Injury Protection) is provided in certain states at similar levels as limos or taxis in those cities. In Florida, taxis and limos aren’t required to have PIP.
This is true regardless of whether the Uber driver is logged into the app or has accepted a ride request.
Will an Uber driver’s personal car insurance pay for medical bills from a crash in Florida?
An Uber driver’s personal auto insurance likely won’t pay the Uber driver’s medical bills if they find out the driver was working for Uber at the time of the crash.
The driver’s personal auto insurance policy, if he has one, will likely deny coverage because the vehicle was being driven primarily for work purposes.
Will an Uber driver’s commercial car insurance pay for medical bills from a crash in Florida?
If an Uber driver has a commercial auto insurance policy with Foremost – or another commercial insurer who sells auto insurance to Uber drivers in Florida in the future – it may pay for the Uber driver’s medical bills under PIP.
This assumes that the commercial policy has PIP.
James River Insurance Company insures Ubers. Here is the certificate of liability insurance.
Will an Uber Driver’s Health Insurance Pay His or Her Medical Bills?
In Florida, an Uber driver’s health insurance coverage will pay for his medical expenses according to the terms of the contract.
If an Uber driver’s health insurance pays his medical expenses, it will likely have a right to be reimbursed from the settlement (with the at fault parties). The health plan may be required to reduce its reimbursement claim by attorney’s fees and costs.
If they are required to reduce by attorney’s fees and costs, this is an added benefit that an Uber driver won’t get without a lawyer.
Who Pays an Uber Driver’s Lost Wages After an Accident?
I wrote a detailed article about how Uber drivers get their loss of income paid after an accident.
Does an Uber Driver Have a Claim Against the Other Driver?
The personal injury claim is against the other driver’s bodily injury (BI) liability insurance coverage.
The other driver’s BI coverage may pay for the Uber driver’s:
- Diminished Value of Your Vehicle
- Rental Car
- Past Lost Income
- Future lost income reduced to present value
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Replacement value of lost personal property (e.g. damage to your car, broken glasses, watch, etc.)
- Funeral expenses
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments
- Past Pain and suffering
- Future Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life
- Punitive Damages (in rare cases)
Does an Uber driver have to have a permanent injury to get money for pain and suffering?
Eventually, Florida courts will decide this or the Florida legislature will pass a law that speaks to this.
If Ubers are classified as taxis or limousines, then Uber drivers in Florida will not need to meet the tort threshold to recover compensation for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, and inconvenience.
An Uber driver should argue to the claims adjuster that he doesn’t have to meet the tort threshold. This may keep the full value of the case from dropping. This may result in a higher settlement value.
If Florida courts say that Uber vehicles are classified as private passenger cars, then Uber drivers will need to meet the tort threshold. This may result in a lower settlement value.
What happens if the careless driver (that crashes into the Uber) is uninsured?
If you were hurt in the car accident, and the responsible parties are uninsured, you may want to make an uninsured motorist (“UM”) insurance claim. If an uninsured motorist hits an Uber driver, the Uber driver’s ability to make a UM claim will depend on whether the Uber driver was en route to pick up a passenger (all the way through drop-off).
No Uber Uninsured Motorist Insurance if Not En Route
If an Uber driver isn’t en route to the pick up location, Uber’s insurance won’t give you UM coverage. The Uber driver can try making a UM claim through a personal auto insurance policy to which he is an insured.
However, since Florida auto insurers don’t sell auto insurance for Uber drivers, once an Uber driver’s insurer learns that he or she was driving for Uber, they may deny UM coverage.
I’ve heard of a Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy giving the the Uber driver UM benefits in a Florida car crash.
Uber Driver Gets Uber’s UM Insurance If En Route
Once an Uber driver is en route to pick up (all the way through drop-off), an Uber driver can make a claim with Uber’s uninsured motorist insurer.
James River Insurance Company insures Uber drivers. Uber’s Certificate of Liability Insurance for Florida says that $1 million in Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance is available.
Either way, it’s usually much more UM coverage than the Uber driver needs.
Uninsured motorist insurance also ensures protection if a hit and run driver hits the Uber vehicle, or if the negligent driver is underinsured.
How does an Uber driver make a claim with Uber’s insurer?
The different ways to make a claim with James River are here. You can make a claim via fax, email or mail.
(804) 420-1058, Attention: Claims Department
If you send an email, be sure to request a delivery confirmation, and a read receipt confirmation.
James River Insurance Company
P.O. Box 27648
Richmond, VA 23261
New claims notices are not accepted by phone.
Can James River use everything that an Uber driver puts in writing or says against him in a UM insurance claim?
Yes. So be very careful.
What Information Will Uber Request When an Uber Driver Notifies Them of the Accident?
Uber will ask for an Uber driver’s written response several questions. The Uber driver’s answers can and will be used against the Uber driver in the Uber driver’s UM claim with the James River.
If you’re an Uber driver and someone caused your crash and you’re hurt, I suggest that you consider the 11 benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer before answering Uber’s questions about the accident.
You’ll be able to upload multiple photos of damage to the cars. You can also upload the police report.
Does James River have a right to have you medically examined by a doctor that they choose if you are making a UM claim?
In Florida, uninsured motorist policies typically include a provision requiring an insured claiming UM benefits to attend a compulsory medical examination (CME) conducted by a physician chosen by the insurer. I would expect James River to have this clause in their insurance policy.
Florida cases that allow them to do this are State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Curran, 83 So.3d 793 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012); Wapnick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 54 So.3d 1065 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
Do Lyft drivers have the same rights as Uber drivers in Florida?
A Lyft driver’s claim is handled differently, since Lyft currently gives its drivers PIP/No-Fault insurance in Florida. However, starting on July 1, 2017, Lyft won’t have to provide PIP to drivers while they’re engaged in a ride. Florida Statute 627.748(7)(c)1.b. (Chapter 2017-12)
Did another driver cause your crash while you were driving for Uber in Florida? Were you hurt in another type of accident?
I am a car accident lawyer who handles Uber claims. I serve the entire state of Florida.
I represent people injured in car accidents involving Uber and Lyft.
I also handle other types of personal injury claims.
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