If you were in an Uber car accident, you likely have questions about making a claim with Uber or the person responsible. This is the ultimate guide to Uber insurance claims, settlements and insurance (in 2020).
Here, you’ll get detailed answers to these questions such as:
- What happens if you are in an accident with Uber?
- How much does Uber pay for accidents?
- How do I contact Uber accident an accident?
- Can you sue Uber for an accident?
- Does Uber insurance cover a collision?
And many more questions.
I also explain how to calculate the settlement amount of an Uber car accident claim.
Better yet, you will see some mistakes that Uber accident victims are likely to make. These mistakes can cost Uber accident victims thousands of dollars in compensation! Don’t make these mistakes.
That’s not it.
You’ll get to see how insurance works in Uber accident claims. This includes collision coverage, property damage liability coverage, PIP, bodily injury liability (BIL), and uninsured motorist coverage.
Moreover, you’ll learn how to sue Uber. I also talk about several real lawsuits (and Uber car accident settlements).
You’ll get to hear about Uber accidents involving a one car, two cars, three cars and more. The number of cars involved can change the way that you (or your Uber injury lawyer) needs to handle the Uber claim.
I won’t stop there.
You’ll get to read about Uber rear end accidents, left turn accidents and other types of wrecks. I’ll show you how to determine who is at fault in an Uber accident.
Below is my video about Uber car accident claims and settlements.
The video covers some topics that aren’t mentioned in this article. On the other hand, this article gives information that I don’t discuss in the video.
For a relatively new company, Uber has had explosive growth. According to CNN, Uber has 750,000 active drivers in the United States. Yet, you can only find a few Uber car accident settlement amounts online. That’s a very small number of settlements given the number of Uber drivers.
$260K Uber Accident Settlement (Injury Claim)
Here is a video about my $260K Uber car accident settlement:
On August 14, 2017, Ray was driving an Uber with a passenger in Miami, Florida.
He was in Vehicle 2 in the crash diagram below:
A van (vehicle #1 in the diagram) was heading in the opposite direction. Donovan Marine Services, Inc. owned the van. The driver of the van made a left hand turn.
The front of the van collided with the left driver side of the Uber driver’s car. You can see the damage to the car that Ray was driving (below):
The van wasn’t as badly damaged.
Check out the photo below:
Shortly after the accident, Ray began feeling pain in his back. However, he did not take an ambulance to the hospital.
Hours later, his girlfriend drove him to Coral Gables Hospital. While there, he was admitted due to severe back pain. In other words, the hospital gave him a room for him to spend the night.
After we spoke, Ray immediately hired me.
Shortly after we spoke on the phone, I met Ray at Coral Gables hospital. I took this photo of him laying in his hospital bed:
CNA Insurance Paid the Uber Driver’s Settlement
CNA (American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania) insured the van. I claimed that van’s driver was at fault for causing the accident.
CNA’s first offer was $150,000. From that point, I made several offers and counter offers.
On May 29, 2018, CNA paid the $260K Uber accident settlement. Here is an image showing the different between their first offer and the final offer:
The best part about this settlement?
The Uber driver didn’t even have surgery.
This is my largest personal injury settlement where my client did not have surgery.
Here is CNA’s settlement check:
I have given you the very short version of this $260,000 Uber car accident settlement. In that case, I avoided many mistakes in order to get this $260,000 Uber accident settlement.
CNA paid $254,682 for Ray’s pain and suffering. The rest was for his medical bills that he owed.
This chart shows the settlement breakdown:
I did get paid my attorney’s fees from the total settlement. However, when the other driver’s insurance company calculates pain and suffering, they don’t factor in my lawyer fees.
After my fees, costs and paying his medical bills and Medicaid lien, Ray got around $168,000 in his pocket.
Ray’s payout doesn’t include the interest on a loan that Ray took and we had to pay back to a funding company.
The total settlement was about 49 times the final out of pocket medical bills and Medicaid lien.
Here is what Ray said about my law firm:
Thank you for your help. You guys have been extremely amazing!
Uber Accident Claims and Settlement FAQs
I’ve collected a bunch of frequently asked questions. Please review them carefully before handling an Uber claim.
First, dial 911 if it’s an emergency. Seek medical care if you need it.
The longer that you wait to get medical care after an Uber car accident, the smaller your injury payout will be.
Because the car insurance company may argue that the accident did not cause your injury. Of course, only get medical care if you need it.
If your car was damaged in the accident, get it out of the tow yard as soon as possible. You don’t want to incur daily charges. Then, have the responsible insurance company inspect the car as soon as possible.
Some states have No-fault laws that require Uber to provide PIP insurance coverage to an Uber driver in certain situations. For example, in Florida, Uber’s insurance company must pay an Uber driver’s medical bills up to $10,000 if the Uber driver had the app on, but was not on the way to pickup a passenger or during a trip.
You should consult with an attorney in the state where the Uber accident happened. Uber accident attorneys (like myself) give a Free Consultation. (I only handle Uber accidents in Florida.) Thus, there is no risk in speaking with a lawyer. Further, there are no fees or costs if the lawyer doesn’t get you a settlement.
If you hire a lawyer, the attorney can setup the claim for you. That way, you don’t have to deal with Uber or any insurance company directly. This will relieve your stress.
If you are sure that you don’t want to hire an attorney, you should learn when you are required to speak with the insurance company. Sometimes you are, sometimes you are not. Whether you have to speak with Uber (or its insurance company) will depend on the type of claim that you make.
Accidents are no fun. Fortunately, Uber has insurance that covers many injury and Uber car damage claims. This is a relief given that there are so many uninsured drivers out there.
It often depends on whether you were a driver or passenger. Let’s first look at Uber drivers.
Uber’s insurance company will only pay for an Uber driver’s car damage if the Uber driver had collision coverage on his or her personal auto insurance policy. Moreover, Uber will pay for an Uber driver’s personal injury claim only if the other car was at fault, and was uninsured or underinsured.
That said, if an Uber driver had the Uber app on and was waiting for a ride, Uber’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will pay up to $10,000 of the Uber driver’s medical bills and lost wages. Uber’s PIP will pay even if the Uber driver was completely at fault. This assumes that the accident occurred in a No-Fault state (like Florida and a few others).
Uber will pay for a Uber passenger’s personal injury claim so long as there is not another liable driver who should pay first. Before making a claim against Uber’s UM coverage, the Uber passenger will need to make a claim against the other car’s bodily injury liability coverage.
If the other driver was completely at fault, the passenger is limited to up to $250,000 in Uber’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. An Uber passenger has access to Uber’s highest insurance limit ($1 million) if the Uber driver was at fault.
The good news for Uber passengers?
Uber’s insurance coverage limits are much larger than typical car insurance limits.
If you were in another car that an Uber driver hit, Uber’s insurance company will pay for your claim. This includes paying for damage to your car and body. However, Uber’s insurance company will only pay if the Uber driver was at fault in the accident.
Also, Uber’s insurance limits are much lower if the Uber was not en route to pick up passengers or during a ride. In this instance, Uber’s insurance company has coverage of $50,000 per person (and $100,000 per accident) in bodily injury liability coverage.
This is double the minimum liability limits in most states. Additionally, Uber’s policy has $25,000 in property damage liability.
If the Uber was en route to pick up passengers or during a ride, Uber’s insurance limit increases to $1 million. Here is chart that shows Uber’s insurance coverage in different situations.
No. The lawsuit is against the Uber driver (or Uber’s insurance company). Your lawsuit is not against Uber. However, you can only sue the Uber driver (or Uber’s insurance company) in one of two scenarios:
In scenario #1, the Uber driver must have been at fault for causing the the crash. If so, you can sue the Uber driver for damage to your car and body. Uber’s insurance company will pay your claim up to Uber’s insurance limit. That said, most Uber accidents don’t result in lawsuits.
In most accidents, it is better to try to settle your case before a lawsuit. A lawsuit against an Uber driver is often time consuming and expensive. When you sue you have to pay lawsuit filing fees and your attorney’s fee usually increases.
In scenario #2, you would need to be an occupant of an Uber vehicle. Another car would need to be at fault. Additionally, the Uber driver would need to be en route to pick up passengers or during trips. Also, the other car would need to be uninsured or underinsured.
If all of these criteria are met, you have a claim against Uber’s uninsured motorist insurance company.
Yes, but only if the Uber was en route to pick up riders and during trips. Also, for Uber’s collision coverage to apply the Uber driver must have collision coverage on his or her personal car insurance policy. Thus, Uber calls it “contingent” collision coverage.
Collision insurance is a coverage that pays the cost of repairing or replacing the Uber driver’s vehicle.
This insurance covers the Uber vehicle in case of an accident, whether it was the Uber drivers’ fault or not. The coverage amount is up to the actual cash value of the vehicle. There is a $1,000 deductible.
Here is a screenshot from Uber’s website:
It is likely under $15,000. This is because most car accidents don’t result in bad injuries. A minor injury will result in a small Uber car accident settlement.
Fortunately, most car accidents result in either no injury, or an injury with minor pain (that quickly goes away). Either of those cases are not worth much.
On the other hand, if you are badly injured, your case easily could be worth more than Uber’s insurance limit. This is especially true if an Uber driver is available or waiting for a ride request. In this instance, the bodily injury liability limit is $50,000 per person. If the Uber driver was at fault and the injured victim had surgery for his or her injury, the case is almost always worth over $50,000.
However, it gets tougher to exceed Uber’s insurance limit if the Uber driver was en route to pick up riders or during trips. This is because few injuries are worth more than Uber’s $1 million insurance limit (in this instance). You’ll likely need to have a brain injury or several surgeries to get Uber’s insurance company to pay you the $1 million limit. Alternatively, death cases are often worth more than Uber’s $1 million liability limit.
Unfortunately, Uber seems to be keeping settlements confidential. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer who can properly value your case. Ultimately, you will save time by hiring a lawyer. Uber accident attorneys (like myself) give a Free Consultation to see if we can represent you.
An Insurance Research Council study found that car accident personal injury settlements are 3.5 time higher when the claimant has an attorney.
Here is an easy to understand example of how collision coverage works in an Uber accident case. Assume that Mike is driving for Uber with a passenger. Mike is the middle car in a three car collision. We’ll call Mike’s car #2.
State Farm insures Mike with collision coverage. However, when Mike got insurance, he never told State Farm that he drove for Uber. (That was a poor decision.)
The driver of car #1 is not paying attention. As a result, car #1 hits car #2, which then crashes into car #3. GEICO insures car #1. As a result, Mike’s car is damaged badly. After the crash, a tow truck tows the car to the tow yard. Additionally, car #3 is also badly damaged.
First, Mike should get his car out of the tow yard.
Because the tow yard will charge a daily charge to store his car. Not everyone has money lying around to pay for this. If Mike has a car towing service like AAA, he should use them to tow the car out of the tow yard.
Let’s assume that GEICO only insures car #1 with $10,000 in property damage (PD) liability coverage. (Remember, car #1 is at fault for this accident.) Unfortunately, having $10,000 in PD liability complies with Florida’s auto insurance requirements. I’m referring to the PD liability insurance requirement for private passenger cars.
Since GEICO’s insured caused damage to two cars, GEICO will have to decide how to split up the $10,000 in PD liability between to the two cars. Therefore, the safest bet is for Mike to make a collision damage claim with his own collision coverage with State Farm. State Farm will deny the claim because Mike never told them that he was driving for Uber. This is considered a material misrepresentation. It is grounds for State Farm to deny coverage.
However, Mike can then show Uber’s insurance company (Progressive) a copy of the State Farm’s written denial of collision coverage. Mike will also need to show Uber’s insurer his State Farm declarations page. For Uber to pay for Mike’s collision, Mike had to have been en route to pick up riders or during a trip. Fortunately for Mike, he was.
Earlier, I said that State Farm insured Mike with collision coverage. Since Mike was engaged in ride, Uber’s insurer will then pay for the damage to Mike’s car up to its actual cash value. However, Mike will have to pay a $1,000 deductible. Uber’s insurance company should be pretty quick about paying for the damage to Mike’s car.
Yes, so long as the Uber app was on at the time of the accident. The insurance limits are much lower if the Uber driver is not en route to pick up riders and during trips. In this instance, Uber maintains the following auto insurance for accidents:
$50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
If the Uber driver was en route to pick up riders and during trips, the auto insurance limits are much higher. Specifically, they are:
$1,000,000 third-party liability, $250,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury, and contingent comprehensive and collision up to actual cash value of car ($1,000 deductible).
Currently, four insurance companies insure Uber in different states in the U.S. Starting March 1, 2019, Progressive, Allstate and James River insure Uber in the greatest number of states. Farmers Insurance insures Uber in just two states.
Below is a map that shows which company insures Uber in each state. Additionally, Uber’s website has the certificate of insurance for each state. Each certificate shows which insurance company insures Uber in each state. It also lists the types of insurance coverage that apply as well as the policy limits.
Uber has different insurance limits in some states. Therefore, you should always look at the particular state’s insurance certificate. In some states, Uber and its insurance company must tell you the insurance limits. For example, in Florida, Uber is required to tell you its insurance limits.
Yes, passengers and drivers often have different rights in an Uber claim. For starters, a passenger is usually never at fault in an Uber accident. This means that in many cases, a passenger has a better case than a driver.
However, a passenger’s case value may be reduced if he or she was not wearing a seat belt. That said, even unbelted passengers may have a great case if they are badly injured.
On the other hand, a driver may be at fault for an Uber car accident. In this instance, the full value of the driver’s case would be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Some states (like Florida) allow a driver to still recover compensation even if the driver is 51% or more at fault. Other states are not so generous.
The time that it takes to settle an Uber accident case will depend on the facts of the case. If the Uber is en route to pick up riders and during trips, then probably 99.5% of the time Uber’s insurer doesn’t face any pressure to quickly settle. This is because Uber’s liability insurance limit is high when the Uber is engaged in a ride. And most Uber car accident injury claims are not even worth anything even close to $1 million.
On the other hand, if the Uber was available or waiting for a ride request, then the pressure to settle may be higher. This is because you’re dealing with a much lower bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limit. Generally speaking, insurance companies want to quickly settle cases if the value of the case is worth more than the BIL insurance limit. There is no reason why Uber’s insurance company is any different.
Are Uber Passengers Covered by Uber’s PIP?
Maybe. It depends on two things:
The state where the Uber is being driven, and whether a ride has been accepted.
However, just because the Uber was being driven in a No-Fault state does not mean that there is always personal injury protection (PIP) available. States can have their own laws that establish Uber insurance requirements. For example, Florida has its own rideshare law.
Here is a map that shows which states have No-Fault laws:
As you can see from the map, Florida is a mandatory No-Fault insurance state. However, Uber is not required to have PIP that covers passengers.
Because when Uber driver is en route to pick up riders and during trips, an Uber car just need to meet the minimum amounts required of a limousine. Florida Statute 627.748(7)(c)(1)(b). In Florida, limos don’t need to have PIP. Thus, Ubers aren’t required to have PIP when en route to pick up riders and during trips.
Additionally, Uber’s current auto insurance policy with Progressive does not have PIP while the Uber has passengers. In this aspect, Uber is different from Lyft.
Of course, an Uber driver can buy rideshare coverage on his or her personal auto policy. However, this rarely happens. Almost everyone who drives for Uber does not have the money to buy rideshare insurance.
However, if the Uber is available or waiting for a ride request, Uber’s insurance provides $10,000 in PIP to the Uber driver.
What Can You Get Paid For In An Uber Car Accident?
You may be able to get compensation for:
- Diminished Value of Your Vehicle
- A 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)
Should You Speak with the Insurance Adjuster After an Uber Accident?
Not unless you have a lawyer who gives you permission. Uber’s insurance adjusters are highly experienced. Unfortunately, you will likely misspeak and decrease the value of your case. The time to be cheap is not after an Uber accident.
At a minimum, you should Get a Free Consultation with an attorney to see if he or she can represent you. Otherwise, I see people make common mistakes that destroy their injury case.
Should You Use Health Insurance for Medical Bills Related to an Uber Car Accident?
Yes. This is true regardless of whether you are an Uber driver or passenger. Likewise, you should use your health insurance if an Uber hits you while you are in another car.
However, as I have said above, you should also give your car insurance claim number and company name to any medical doctors who treat you.
Will Uber’s insurance company pay you more money to settle if you take an ambulance to the hospital?
Yes, all things equal. Just take a look at Uber’s accident details form. The top of the form looks like this:
The form goes on to ask:
Was anyone transported by ambulance?
Check it out:
Uber is asking this question so that it can assign the case to the proper insurance adjuster. They also want to be able to set aside the proper reserve (amount of money) to pay your Uber car accident claim.
And cases where you take an ambulance to the hospital are worth more than those where you don’t. If you took an ambulance to the hospital, Uber’s insurance company will likely assign more money for your pain and suffering claim. In addition, your medical bill charges will be higher. Bigger medical bills will often lead to a larger Uber car accident payout.
That said, just because you took an ambulance to the hospital after the accident, it does not mean that you have a great case. If you have minor injuries and don’t get much follow up treatment, your Uber car accident case may not be worth much.
Do you have to repay your health insurance company from an Uber accident settlement?
Maybe. Let’s assume that your health insurance paid medical bills relating to an Uber accident. If your health insurer did, it will likely ask to get repaid from the settlement. If they haven’t yet asked, they will. It’s just a matter of time. Don’t try to stiff them.
They can sue you.
The health insurer’s claim to be repaid (from the Uber car accident settlement) is called a lien. Whether you’ll have to pay back your health insurance company depends on many factors.
Before I get into the different factors, let me give you a warning:
Do not listen to the company your health insurer uses to recoup payment! They are not your friend. Unfortunately, they may not tell you the correct law. Hire a lawyer who knows about health insurance lien repayment laws.
One factor that determines whether you’ll have to repay your health insurance company is the state where the policy was issued. It is not the only factor. It is just one of them.
If you have an attorney, your health insurance may be required to reduce its lien on your Uber accident settlement by your pro-rata attorney’s fees and costs. This is called the common fund doctrine. This can result in a big savings to the injured person! This is one of the 13 reasons to hire an attorney for a claim.
Let’s look at people who have health insurance through the state of Florida, a county job, or a small employer. In this instance, health insurers must always reduce their lien by your pro-rata lawyer fees and costs. Florida Statute 768.76 This is basically the common fund doctrine. This means that if you used an attorney to get you your Uber accident settlement, the health insurer may have reduce its lien by your pro-rate attorney’s fees and costs.
In addition, the made whole doctrine applies. This means that you may not have to pay back the health insurer its full lien if you were not fully compensated from the Uber car accident settlement.
Washington State seems to follow a similar approach. Fisher v. Albi Power, Inc., 902 P.2d 166 (Wash. App. 1995). Washington applies the made-whole doctrine. Mahler v. Szucs, 957 P.2d 632 (Wash. 1998); Hamm v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 88 P.3d 395 (Wash. 2004). Washington also applies the common fund doctrine. Thus, Washington residents who are injured in Uber accidents can greatly benefit by hiring an Uber accident attorney. If you’re a Washington resident injured in a Florida accident, I want to represent you.
On the other hand, some other states don’t make you pay back your health insurer.
New York Residents Hurt in Uber Car Accidents May Not Have to Pay Back the Health Insurer
For example, New York has anti-subrogation laws. Assume that you have private health coverage in New York state. I’m referring to health insurance that purchased on your own. In other words, you did not get it through work.
In this instance, if you get injured in an Uber car accident in Florida, the health insurer cannot seek repayment from your Uber accident settlement.
You’ve now seen one of the big benefits of hiring a lawyer. It still amazes me when people try to handle their Uber claim without a lawyer. It is a disaster waiting to happen. Uber’s insurance company can run circles around you. You will likely leave lots of money on the table if you don’t have a lawyer.
But don’t take my word for it. Here is a saying that dates back to the 1800s:
Every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.The flowers of wit, or a choice collection of bon mots, by Henry Kett, 1814
Which Injuries Are Worth Over $50K in an Uber Claim?
If you look at past jury verdicts, you’ll see that some injuries consistently have a full value of pain and suffering of over $50,000. I’m an accident lawyer. Therefore, I am very familiar with Florida verdicts.
Some injuries that consistently have a full value for pain and suffering of over $50K are if you have surgery to fix a:
- Lower leg (tibia) fracture
- Tibial plateau fracture
- Shoulder joint tear (labrum tear)
- Broken wrist (distal radius fracture)
- Rotator cuff tear
- Fracture of a bone in your face
- Herniated disc
- Thumb fracture
- Broken upper leg bone (femur)
- Hip fracture
- Burst fracture or Compression fracture
- Ankle fracture
But that’s not it…
The full value of pain and suffering for a spinal fusion surgery is over $50,000. There are many other injuries that are worth more than $50,000. These include, but aren’t limited to, having a depressed or open skull fracture.
Even without surgery, Uber’s insurance company should pay the $50,000 per person limits for upper leg bone (femur) fracture. They may even pay the $50,000 per person limits for a lower leg bone (tibia or fibula) fracture without surgery.
For example, I settled a case with GEICO for over $64,000 for a fibula fracture. Thus, if the Uber driver was available or waiting for a ride request, then Uber’s insurance company may quickly pay the $50,000 per person limits for the above injuries. This assumes the Uber driver’s negligence caused the injury.
Why Is It So Hard to Find Info on Uber Accident Settlements?
Uber’s insurance companies are requiring settlements to be confidential.
How do I know?
Uber has stated this to a newspaper. According to SF Gate, John Clarke (a spokesman for Uber’s Insurer) said it is standard practice to include confidentiality language in a release of liability for an Uber bodily injury accident claims.
When a injury case settles, an insurance company agrees to pay the injured claimant in exchange for the claimant signing a release. In most car accident claims, the insurance company does not add confidentiality to their settlement release. I’m referring to cases with GEICO, State Farm and other major car insurance companies.
In another case, Uber fought hard to keep Gayna Hansen’s personal injury settlement confidential. In a moment, you’ll get a chance to read more about Gayna’s Uber claim. Further below, I talk about several Uber car accident lawsuits. I explain how to calculate the Uber accident settlement amount in each case.
If You Weren’t Wearing a Seat Belt, Does This Affect Your Uber Injury Claim?
It may. However, it largely will depend on the state where the accident happened. Some states don’t allow the injury case value to be decreased for the claimant’s failure to use a seatbelt.
Other states (like Florida), allow an insurance company to reduce your payout if you were not wearing a seatlbelt.
For states like Florida, the first question to ask is, “Was the occupant wearing a seat belt?”
If the answer is No, then you must ask, “Was there an operational and available seat belt in the car?”
If there was an operational and available seat belt, but the occupant wasn’t using it, the insurance company may argue the “seat belt defense”.
The seat belt defense says that the injured person may have been, at least partially, at fault for contributing to his or her injuries for failure to wear an operational and available seatbelt.
The bad news?
The injured person’s compensation should be reduced accordingly. The person who wasn’t wearing a seat belt should expect the responsible insurance company to make this argument.
They may make this argument even if the injured person was a back seat passenger in an Uber or other vehicle.
A Word About Uber’s Four Insurance Companies
For accidents starting March 1, 2020, James River no longer insures Uber.
I’d be happier if a more reasonable insurer like Nationwide, The Hartford or USAA insured Uber.
I can’t find a single reported verdict involving Progressive or James River Insurance Company in an Uber accident case. Thus, we can assume that James River and Progressive pay fair value to settle (injury cases) more often than Allstate, Progressive and Farmers. This is because attorneys usually don’t take cases to trial if the insurance company offers fair value for the case.
As you can see from the map above, Progressive Express Insurance Company insures Ubers in Florida.
Thus, if the Uber ride was accepted in Florida, Progressive is Uber’s insurer. The date of the accident determines who Uber’s insurer is. The claim date does not determine who Uber’s insurer is.
Yes, I know. I have bad luck. Since I’m a lawyer for people hurt in Uber car accidents in Florida, I’m stuck dealing with Progressive. And boy is Progressive cheap!
Uber Offered $6K for Uber Passenger’s Medical Expenses and Release
In one case, Jason West, an Uber passenger, claimed that an insurance adjuster on behalf of Uber contacted him and offered him $3,000 for medical expenses and an additional $3,000 to release the company from liability.
That wasn’t my case. Basically, Uber offered $6,000 to settle.
The Uber accident settlement release allegedly included a clause that would have prevented the Uber passenger from talking publicly about the deal or doing anything to “disparage or defame” Uber or its driver.
What are the issues with agreeing to a confidential Uber accident settlement?
Before you enter into a confidential accident settlement with Uber’s insurance company, learn the potential issues that can arise.
A confidential Uber car accident settlement can lead to you owing a huge tax payment to the IRS.
Does each state have different laws that apply to Uber car accidents?
Yes. An Uber accident victim’s injuries are the same regardless of the state where the crash happens. However, most other aspects of a car accident case are different.
This article is geared towards people who are injured in Uber accidents in Florida. Thus, unless I say otherwise, assume I’m talking about Uber accidents in Florida.
Auto Insurance Requirements if Uber Driver is Logged On to Uber But is Not Engaged in a Ride
If an Uber driver is logged on to Uber, but not engaged in a ride, the Uber driver must have automobile insurance that provides:
There are additional insurance requirements, which I’ll list in one moment. However, I wanted to show you that Uber’s certificate of liability insurance shows that Ubers have $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. This is for Ubers in Florida.
You can also see the $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Here are the other insurance requirements if the Uber app is on, but the driver isn’t engaged in a ride.
These coverage requirements may be satisfied by any of the following:
a. Automobile insurance maintained by the Uber driver;
b. Automobile insurance maintained by Uber; or
c. A combination of sub-subparagraphs a. and b.
Most Uber Drivers Don’t Have The Proper Car Insurance
Most Uber drivers won’t have their own insurance that covers them while they’re driving for Uber. This is because very few Uber drivers get rideshare coverage on their personal auto insurance policy. The few Uber drivers that have rideshare insurance will likely have low limits of liability coverage.
Fortunately, Uber’s car insurance policy is very generous. Thus, most payouts will likely come from Uber’s auto insurer, not the insurer for the driver.
When did James River Stop Insuring Uber for Accidents in Florida?
Starting March 1, 2018, Progressive is Uber’s car insurance company in Florida. Unfortunately, Progressive is really bad at paying personal injury claims.
Before March 1, 2018, James River Insurance Company was Uber’s auto insurer in Florida. James River opened its doors for business on July 1, 2003. Thus, it was in business about six years before Uber was formed. Uber was formed in March 2009.
According to reputable rating company AM Best, James River has a “A” rating for financial strength. This means that James River has an excellent ability to pay Uber accident claims. This includes claims for collision coverage, property damage (PD) liability, bodily injury liability, and uninsured motorist insurance.
This “A” rating is important because James River is a surplus insurer. In Florida, surplus insurers aren’t subject to Florida’s Insurance Guarantee Association (FIGA).
FIGA steps in if an insurer doesn’t have enough money to pay its claims. Thus, if James River goes broke, you can’t make a claim with FIGA.
However, as I mentioned, James River also has a “A” financial strength rating. They also have a “stable” outlook. Thus, there is little chance of them running out of money any time soon.
Will an Uber Passenger’s Medical Payments Coverage Pay Their Bills?
An Uber passenger’s Medpay should pay the passenger’s medical bills for a car accident. Payment will be made up to the Medpay limits.
If the Medpay insurer pays medical bills, it may have a right to get paid back from the Uber passenger’s personal injury settlement with a third party. The right to get paid from the Uber accident settlement is known as a lien.
However, you don’t have to repay a Medpay insurer from an Uber uninsured motorist insurance settlement.
The car insurer’s right to get paid back depends upon the state where the Uber passenger’s policy was issued. In a moment, I’ll get to this.
Some states don’t allow subrogation. However, Florida auto insurance policies allow subrogation.
Here is an example.
Mike is a passenger in an Uber car in Miami, Florida. The Uber driver is driving too fast. He loses control and crashes into a wall.
As a result of the accident, Mike breaks his wrist. Thereafter, Mike makes a personal injury claim with the Uber driver. Progressive insures the Uber car.
Additionally, State Farm insures Mike’s personal car in Florida. His State Farm policy has $10,000 in PIP. Additionally, he has $5,000 in (optional) Medpay coverage. Assume that State Farm pays Mike’s doctors $5,000 for their bills.
Let’s assume that Mike settles his personal injury claim with Progressive for $30,000. In this case, Mike must repay State Farm the $5,000 that it paid in Medpay benefits.
However, if Mike has an attorney, State Farm is required to reduce its payment request by Mike’s attorney fees and costs. This is one of the 13 reasons to hire an injury lawyer.
Therefore, if Mike has a lawyer, Mike would only have to pay State Farm back $3,333. This would save Mike $1,666. We can all agree that’s a nice savings.
However, different laws may apply if Mike was injured while visiting Florida from another state.
This is because some states don’t allow car insurers to have Medpay subrogation clause in the policy. Two states that don’t allow Medpay subrogation are:
- North Carolina (11 N.C.A.C. § 12.0319)
- Virginia (Code of Virginia § 38.2-2209)
I know this because I’ve settled cases for many people from other states who were injured in Florida car accidents.
So let’s take the same example from above. Except we’ll assume that Mike had a North Carolina auto insurance policy. In that case, he wouldn’t have to pay back State Farm anything for Medpay benefits that it paid. Again, this is because North Carolina doesn’t allow Medpay subrogation.
States where Medpay insurers can subrogate are:
- California (must reduce by attorney’s fees and costs). Lee v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 458, 465-466, 129 Cal.Rptr. 271.
- Georgia (must reduce by attorney’s fees and costs, and injured person must have been made whole) O.C.G.A. § 33-24-56.1(b)
- Illinois (must reduce by attorneys fees and costs) Manago ex rel. Pritchett v. County of Cook, 2016 IL App (1st) 121365,
Is It Easier to Get Money for Pain and Suffering If Uber Was Engaged in a Ride?
In the Uber was engaged in a ride, injured person won’t likely don’t need to meet Florida’s tort threshold to get a payout for pain and suffering. This assumes that the Uber driver’s negligence caused the accident. When the Uber driver is engaged in a ride, the Uber driver likely won’t have PIP. Therefore, the Uber driver likely won’t get the benefit of the threshold defense.
Florida’s tort threshold requires the injured person to have a permanent injury (in order to get money for pain and suffering). Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement also meets the threshold.
Passengers Are Covered For Up to $1 Million Dollars (for Uber Driver’s Negligence)
If the Uber driver’s negligence caused the Uber passenger’s injury, then the passenger’s claim is against the Uber driver.
Uber’s insurance policy will pay up to $1 million (combined single limit) for the passenger’s injury and property damage. This $1 million limit is per accident.
In Florida, Uber is required to have this $1 million combined single limit. Currently, Progressive insures Uber in Florida.
There is $1 Million in combined single limit for liability to others (bodily injury and property damage). Here is Uber’s certificate of insurance for Florida:
A combined single limit simply states a single dollar limit that applies to any combination of Uber bodily injury and property damage liability claims.
This is different from split limits where three separate dollar amounts apply to each accident: per person limit, per occurrence limit for all injured persons, and per occurrence limit for all property damage resulting from the accident.
For accidents before March 1, 2018, here is the certificate of liability insurance that shows $1 million in coverage.
Uber Drivers Are Still Required to Have $1 Million in BIL Insurance
Uber’s insurance provides primary auto liability limits of $1 million for death, bodily injury and damage. Florida Statutes 627.748(7)(c). This insurance only applies if the Uber driver’s negligence caused your injury.
Examples of acts that may be considered negligence are careless driving, failure to yield the right of way that causes a left turn accident, and speeding.
Does an Uber Passenger Have a Better Case Than an Uber Driver Who is Hurt?
In many cases, an Uber passenger has a better case than an Uber driver who is hurt. This is because passengers are rarely at fault.
On the other hand, if the Uber driver committed a moving violation that caused a crash, he is likely at least partially at fault. This reduces the value of an Uber driver’s case.
Examples of moving violations are careless driving, failure to yield the right of way that causes a left turn accident, and speeding. There are many more.
That said, there are many instances where an Uber driver will not be at fault. If the Uber driver isn’t at fault, he be entitled to compensation for 100% of his damages.
You May Be Able to Sue Uber Directly (May Increase Case Value)
You can also sue James River. This is because they are a surplus insurer. Unlike other insurers in Florida, you can sue the insured (the Uber driver) and his surplus insurer.
This is because Florida’s non-joinder statute doesn’t apply to surplus insurers. Florida Statute 626.913(4); Tewilliger v. Cabo Delray, LLC (Palm Beach County Circuit Court Case No. 502015CA012742xxxx MB AN).
The non-joinder statute is the law that doesn’t let you sue someone’s insurer if their insured caused your injury. Florida Statute 627.4136.
The fact that you may be able to sue James River adds value to the case. This is because the jury becomes aware that the other driver (the Uber driver) has insurance.
Juries typically award more against insurance companies than individuals.
Can You Sue An Uber Driver for Pain and Suffering From An Accident?
If an Uber driver’s negligence caused your injury, your right to sue for pain and suffering depends on whether or not the Uber was engaged in a ride.
You will likely need a threshold injury if the Uber wasn’t engaged in a ride, but was logged onto the Uber app. This is because the Uber has PIP. Thus, the Uber driver gets the tort threshold defense.
On the other hand, you don’t need a threshold injury to get compensation for pain and suffering if the Uber was engaged in a ride. This is because the Uber doesn’t have PIP when it’s engaged in a ride. Thus, the Uber driver doesn’t get the tort threshold defense.
Where Can I get a Copy of Uber’s Insurance Policy for Accidents?
Uber’s certificate of bodily insurance for Florida is listed on its website.
Florida has a law that affects insurance requirements for Ubers starting on July 1, 2017. Florida Statute 627.748(7)
Where Can You Find Uber Car Accident Claim Forms?
If you’re an Uber driver, Uber asks that you report your accident using the Uber app. You can also call to report the crash.
After an Uber accident, the forms that you need to complete may depend on whether you were an Uber driver or passenger in the crash.
Here is a screenshot.
If Logged On To App, But Not “Engaged”, Uber Driver May Need to Complete PIP Application
Starting on July 1, 2017, to qualify for Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP), Uber drivers may need to complete an Uber (PIP) application. This assumes that the Uber driver is injured while logged onto the app, but not engaged in a ride.
I assume that Uber may require its driver to first make a PIP claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance. The driver’s personal insurance will pay only if the driver has a rideshare coverage on the auto policy.
If the Uber driver’s personal car insurance denies PIP coverage, then Uber’s insurer should pay PIP benefits. Again, this assumes that the Uber rider had the app on but wasn’t engaged in a ride.
PIP also pays a $5,000 death benefit.
If Making a UM Claim Through Uber, You May Need to Complete Form Saying No Other UM
If you’re making an UM insurance claim with Uber, you’ll likely need to complete a form stating that you don’t have UM insurance on any other vehicles owned by you or a resident relative.
Before paying you compensation from UM coverage, James River will make sure that you don’t have other UM insurance.
Is Uber’s PIP Application Tough to Complete?
It shouldn’t be. Uber likely uses a one (1) page PIP application like Lyft.
How Long Will Uber Take to Settle Your Case if the Uber Was Engaged in a Ride?
As a general rule, these Uber accident claims take longer to settle than most other car accident claims.
Because Uber’s liability insurance limit is in the amount of $1 million. Most injury cases are worth much less than the $1 Million.
For example, assume that someone has a broken arm (humerus) from an Uber accident. Even with two surgeries to the arm, a personal injury case is likely worth way under $1 million.
The bigger the injury, the more likely that Uber will settle quicker. But I’m talking about really big injuries. Like several different broken bones and surgeries. Or death.
In almost all cases where the Uber was engaged in a ride, Uber’s insurer doesn’t have to worry about paying more than the policy limits if they act in bad faith. And fear of paying above the insurance policy limit is what puts pressure on Uber’s insurance company to settle.
Another factor may determine how long that Uber’s insurer may take to settle. That factor is the number of people involved in the accident.
When several people are involved in an Uber accident, it puts pressure on Uber’s insurer to settle faster.
How Long Will Uber Take to Settle Your Case if the Uber Was Not Engaged in a Ride?
If the Uber driver had the app on, but was not engaged in a ride, the case may settle faster. This is because the Uber’s bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limits are much lower. Specifically, the limits are $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person. And $100,000 for death or bodily injury per accident. In this instance, if the Uber driver’s negligence caused someone else to get badly injured, Progressive may be quicker to settle for the $50K per person/$100,000K per accident limits.
OK. So now you know that, all things equal, Uber accident claims are more likely to settle faster if the Uber driver wasn’t engaged in a ride when the crash happened.
This is particularly true if the Uber wasn’t engaged in a ride. This because Uber’s liability insurance limit is $100,000 per accident. That’s not a big limit if an Uber driver caused an accident that injures several people in another car.
Will Uber Insist on Confidentiality if Your Case is Worth More Than the $50K?
I think it may depend on whether or not the Uber:
- Driver’s negligence caused your injury; and
- Was engaged in a ride, or simply had the app on but wasn’t engaged in a ride
Let’s assume that an Uber driver’s negligence caused someone else to get badly injured, and the Uber was engaged in a ride. In this instance, Uber’s insurance company may not insist on keeping the Uber car accident settlement confidential.
Let me explain why. In state’s like Florida, Uber’s insurance company owes a duty to act in good faith to the Uber driver. If Uber’s insurance company could and should settle the case with the claimant for $50,000, they should settle. Uber (or its insurance company) should not insist on putting its own financial interest ahead of protecting the Uber driver from getting sued for more than the $50,000 policy limits. When I say Uber’s financial interest, I’m referring to protecting its reputation by keeping the settlement confidential.
If Uber or its insurance company insists on confidentiality, they may be putting their insured at risk. Let’s assume that someone sues the Uber driver and gets a judgment against him (or her) for above the bodily injury liability (BIL) limits. In this case, the Uber driver can sue Uber’s insurance company for acting in bad faith. The Uber driver can sue for the difference that he or she will owe the person who was injured.
Uber’s insurance company wants to avoid owing money above the BIL policy limits. Thus, they should pay the $50,000 limit in this instance, without insisting on keeping the settlement confidential.
How Long Does it Take for Uber’s Insurer to Send the Check After You Settle the Claim?
Whether you’re dealing with Progressive or James River Insurance Company as Uber’s insurer, you should get the check pretty quickly after you’ve settled the case. This assumes that you’ve sent them a signed release.
Here’s a tip that has helped me get settlement checks fast from Progressive. (I have not used it in an Uber case. However, it should apply to Uber accident claims.)
Immediately before you are about to accept Progressive’s settlement offer, tell them that you’ll only agree to settle it if they can send you the check overnight. From my experience, they will agree a good percentage of the time.
You’ll then have the check the next day. Progressive is more likely to agree to overnight the check in a larger case.
However, I ask Progressive to accept my settlement release so that I can protect my client’s rights. I do not like using Progressive’s settlement release.
In the past, Progressive usually approves my settlement release. That said, Progressive takes a few days or a week or so to approve my release.
It will be interesting to see if Progressive approves my settlement release in Uber cases. If not, they may be acting in bad faith. It could subject Progressive to getting hit with a big verdict for acting in bad faith.
Special Steps that An Uber Driver Should Take if the Other Car Was At Fault
If an Uber driver was engaged in a ride, and the other driver was at fault for the crash, the Uber driver likely won’t have PIP insurance. This is true unless the Uber driver purchased rideshare coverage on his/her personal auto insurance policy.
When the Uber driver makes an injury claim against the other car’s insurance company, the Uber driver should send the other insurance company an affidavit stating that the Uber driver didn’t own a car or live with a relative who did.
Why does this matter?
This will prevent the other driver’s insurance company from arguing that they are entitled to reduce the amount they owe by (a PIP setoff) of $10,000.
In other words, this will put up to $10,000 more in the Uber driver’s pocket if his or her personal injury case settles against the other driver’s insurance company.
How can you also use this affidavit?
The Uber driver should also send this affidavit to his or her health insurance company. Otherwise, the health insurer may receive the treatment related bills and may deny paying them. The health insurer may deny the medical bills on the belief that car insurance should be the primary payor since the bills stem from a car accident.
But here’s the kicker:
The sooner that the health insurance company pays the bills, the sooner the Uber driver can settle his personal injury claim.
Because the Uber driver will know exactly how much he may have to repay the health insurer from the settlement. Knowing the repayment amount is necessary to settling the case with the other bodily injury liability (BIL) insurer. It is necessary if you want to get a fair settlement. The only way that you will know how much you will get in your pocket if you settle is if you know the final amounts of your medical bills.
How Does Health Insurance Work in an Uber Accident Case?
Let me give you an example of how health insurance works in an Uber car accident case. Assume that Mike is driving an Uber with a passenger. Mike is the middle car in a three car collision. We’ll call Mike’s car #2. GEICO insures Mike.
However, when Mike got insurance, he never told GEICO that he drove for Uber. That’s a mistake! But oh well.
Car #1 hits car #2, which then crashes into car #3. State Farm insures car #1. The day after the Uber accident, Mike goes to the Emergency room or an Urgent Care center.
When Mike arrives at urgent care, he should give several insurance claim numbers to urgent care. These include Mike’s GEICO claim number, the Uber claim number, and the health insurance. When a car insurance claim is reported, the insurance company assigns a claim number.
GEICO will deny Mike’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
Because when Mike applied for GEICO car insurance, he did not disclose that he drove for Uber. Yes, that is a material misrepresentation. Therefore, it is grounds for GEICO to deny coverage. It happens every day. Literally.
How can GEICO deny coverage?
Because had Mike told GEICO that he drove for Uber, he would have been issued a different car insurance policy. Specifically, GEICO would have issued Mike a rideshare coverage policy.
Next, Uber will not pay PIP benefits because Uber does not have PIP coverage since Mike was engaged in a pre-arranged ride. By definition, if an Uber driver has a passenger, he or she is engaged in a pre-arranged ride. Uber is not required to have PIP coverage during a pre-arranged ride. Don’t count on Uber having PIP on its insurance policy when the Uber driver is engaged in a pre-arranged ride.
The good news?
Mike’s health insurance should cover the urgent care bill. In particular, his health insurance will pay the urgent care center the contracted rate. Let’s say that the urgent care bill is $3,000.00. Maybe Mike’s health insurance has a contract with them where it considers $1,000.00 to be the contracted rate for this service. Thus, the health insurance company may pay the urgent care center $1,000. After it receives payment, the urgent care center will adjust the balance to zero (or the amount that is Mike’s responsibility). The patient responsibility is often very small after the health insurer makes a payment.
Should You Take Photos of The Damage to Any Cars Involved in the Uber Accident?
Yes, take photos and videos of the damage to all cars involved in the accident. If there was video surveillance that captured the accident, you (or your lawyer) can send a written request to whoever maintains the video. Make sure that you get a written receipt that the request was received by the owner of the surveillance video.
For example, you can send a process server to hand deliver the request to preserve surveillance video. A process serve costs around $50. If you hire an Uber accident attorney, he or she will pay for this. I do!
If (and when) the Uber claim settles, the attorney will be repaid for this cost after he or she takes his contingency fee.
A video of the accident can help increase the full settlement value of the Uber injury case. This is particularly true if it shows a hard impact that makes you clench when you watch it. You should expect the Uber accident claim adjuster to pay more money if a surveillance video shows a hard impact at the time of the accident.
Let’s say that your car was badly damaged in an Uber rear end car accident. If you took photos of the damage to your car, that is great. However, you should also take photos of the at fault driver’s car damage. But don’t panic if you did not. If your car was heavily damaged, having photos showing the damage is a good start.
How long do you have to sue after an Uber accident?
The amount of time that you have to sue depends upon the type of insurance coverage you’re making a claim against. And in also depends on the state where the car accident happened. Some states, like Florida, have generous time limits. Other states are harsh.
Let me give you an example. Assume that you are making a negligence claim that Uber’s bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance will pay. Perhaps you are a passenger filing a claim against the Uber driver for crashing into another car. Or maybe an Uber driver rear ended you. In either instance, in Florida, you have four years to sue to the Uber driver.
You typically have five years to sue for UM insurance benefits on a Florida policy.
If you’re from another state and you’re hurt in an Uber crash in Florida, the time limit to sue an out of state UM insurer is based on the out of state UM law.
Will You Save Money By Trying to Settle Your Uber Car Accident Case Without an Attorney?
No. If you’re able to settle your Uber accident case without a lawyer, you don’t have to pay attorney’s fees. So, in Florida for example, you’ll save at least 33 1/3% of the total settlement. However, that is where the fun ends.
If you don’t know the value of your case, you may have a lot of anxiety and fear during your claim. This will take away your peace of mind. Hiring an attorney can reduce this stress.
You may also make one of the 5 Huge Mistakes Personal Injury Victims Make That Hurt Settlement Value. Those mistakes can quickly eat into the money that you think that you’re saving by not hiring a lawyer.
If You Don’t Have Health Insurance, Should You Pay the Hospital Bill?
Let’s assume that you are in an Uber accident. However, the facts are the such that you are not entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP). For example, you may not be entitled to PIP if you don’t own a car and were hit by an Uber driver while you were a pedestrian or riding a bike. Maybe you were a bike rider who ran into a Uber car door that was opened by a passenger. The possibilities of type of accidents are endless.
In these instances, do not pay the hospital’s billed charges. You (or your Uber accident attorney) should ask the hospital to wait to receive payment until the Uber claim settles. Don’t make the mistake of paying the full hospital billed charges. I cringe when I hear that uninsured people involved in an Uber car accident pay the full hospital billed charges.
This is one of the 5 mistakes that Uber victims make when they don’t hire a lawyer. They think they’re saving money. In reality, they are leaving money on the table. And potentially lots of it.
Because hospitals are notorious for unreasonably high bills. Why should you have to pay much more than a health insurer?
Let me give you a real life example. It was not from an Uber claim. However, it would apply to an Uber accident claim. My client was injured in an accident near Orlando, Florida. She injured her shoulder. At Orlando Regional Medical Center, an orthopedic surgeon repaired her biceps tendon.
You won’t believe how much the hospital charged for that surgery:
A whopping $48,360!
Better yet, how much did Florida Blue (health insurance) pay the hospital?
Thus, the health insurance only paid the hospital 3.4% of the bill.
The best part?
The client only owed the hospital $200 or less for that surgery! Again, this is because she got the benefit of the health insurance company’s contracted amount with the hospital.
The moral of that story is that you should not pay the hospital the full billed charges. If you’ve been in an Uber accident, don’t commit a second accident by overpaying the hospital.
If you’re interested, you can read more about that case, which I settled for $250,000.
Cases Where Someone Crashes Into a Uber Car Door That Is Open
Accidents may occur when an Uber passenger is either exiting or entering the Uber and someone else crashes into the open door. For example, a bike rider may crash into an Uber car door that was opened by a passenger. Alternatively, another driver may crash into a car door that when an Uber passenger is entering or exiting the car.
An Uber passenger may be at fault for opening the Uber door when he or she should not have. Here is Florida’s law:
No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.Florida Statute 316.2005 Opening and closing vehicle doors.
The big question is whether the Uber passenger’s auto insurance coverage will cover his or her negligence for opening the door.
The Uber driver may also be at fault for stopping in traffic if he or she should not have. For example, an Uber driver should not stop in the center lane in fast moving traffic to pickup a passenger. If the Uber driver is at fault, then Uber’s insurance company will pay the person who was injured for their claim.
Claims and Settlements for Uber Accidents Involving More Than 2 Cars
Most Uber car accidents involve two cars. This is not unique to Uber. Simply put, most car accidents involve two cars.
The most common type of Uber car accident will be when one car rear ends another car. However, sometimes an Uber accident can involve three cars or more.
Is there anything different about your case if you were involved in an Uber car accident that involved more than two cars?
Yes, in certain scenarios. This is particularly true if the Uber driver had the Uber app on, but was not engaged in a ride, and the Uber driver was at fault for causing the accident.
Logically, the more cars involved in an accident, the more people that may potentially make Uber accident claims for their injury.
A personal injury claim is a claim for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and sometimes more.
In this scenario, when I use the word “car”, I am not just talking about cars. I am also referring to motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, bicycles or pedestrians.
By now, you already know that Uber’s bodily injury liability (BIL) limits is $100,000 per accident when the Uber driver is available or waiting for a ride request. With this “lower” BIL limit, the more cars that are involved in a car accident, the quicker that Uber’s insurance company will likely try to settle the case. I am making a general statement. Uber’s insurance company will likely try to set up a mediation.
Each of the claimants should hire an Uber accident attorney. Rest assured, at least some of the claimants will have an attorney. This puts the claimants without a lawyer at a huge disadvantage.
Settlements and Claims for Uber Accidents Involving More Than 2 Cars (Example)
Let me give you an example.
An Uber driver is driving car #1. The Uber driver is available or waiting for a ride request. He is not paying attention. As a result, the Uber crashes into car #2, which then crashes into car #3. Both car #2 and #3 each have three passengers.
This means that car #2 and car #3 each have four occupants.
We now have eight potential claimants making a personal injury claim against the Uber driver. Let’s assume that each occupant has neck, back, shoulder or knee pain. Earlier, I explained that most that Uber’s insurance company will pay for all of the other car occupants’ injuries is $100,000.
If the crash was a heavy impact, Uber’s insurance company will likely set up a pre-suit mediation.
What do I mean by “heavy” impact?
Below is a photo that shows an example of a big impact. My clients were passengers in that car. It’s not from an Uber accident, but it shows what I call a big impact.
Ok. Let’s get back to discussing pre-suit mediation. At this meeting, Uber’s insurer will want to settle all eight claims for the $100,000 BIL limit. It may be easier for Uber’s insurance company to settle eight claims from an accident at an in person meeting than by phone calls or emails.
Uber’s insurance company’s (Progressive) goal is to settle all Uber accident claims and get the claimants to release (forever) the Uber driver from any other claims. Progressive can then close out all the claims and work on its other Uber claims.
Why will Uber’s insurance company want to quickly settle all 8 Uber accident claims?
Progressive won’t want to risk one or more of the claims developing into a more serious injury. If Progressive doesn’t pay the limit, one claim could increase in value and easily exceed either the $50,000 per person BIL limit. For example, maybe an MRI shows that a passenger has a herniated disc, meniscus tear, rotator cuff tear or shoulder joint (labral) tear. One of the occupants could wind up getting a back, knee, shoulder or neck surgery. A back, neck or rotator cuff surgery has a full settlement value for pain and suffering alone that is clearly over $50,000.
Likewise, two (or more) personal injury claims could be greater than the $100,000 per accident limit.
What happens if an Uber driver runs over your foot?
If an Uber driver runs over your foot, you have a case. This would happen if the Uber drive leaves before your are out of the car’s path. In most scenarios, the Uber driver would be 100% at fault.
However, if you are at fault for the accident, the claim becomes tougher. How could you be at fault for an Uber driver running over your foot?
Let’s assume that you were yelling or physically threatening the Uber driver. As a result, they drove off because they feared for their safety. In this instance, the case is much tougher. If the Uber driver had a dash cam or back seat camera, this video evidence can play a big part in determining what really happened.
Let’s assume that an Uber driver was not paying attention and drove over your foot. Like other cases, the value of your case will depend upon the severity of your foot injury. If you don’t get medical treatment, your claim is not worth much. On the other hand, a broken foot is worth much more.
If an Uber driver runs over your foot while you are exiting, there should be $1 million of liability coverage for the accident. Uber’s insurance company may argue that the ride was over and thus the $50,000 bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. If Uber makes this argument, your counter argument is that (for purposes of insurance) the ride had not ended. Thus, there should be $1 million in liability coverage.
What happens if an Uber driver starts driving while you have not yet got into the car and you get knocked down or dragged?
As far as determining liability, this is similar to your foot getting run over by an Uber driver. In most scenarios, the Uber driver will be at fault. The exception would be if the Uber driver drove off because he or she feared for their safety. This would happen if you were threatening the Uber driver or being abusive.
Again, the extent of your injury will determine how much the case is worth. If you were a passenger getting into the Uber, there will be $1 million of liability coverage for the accident. This is true regardless of how many people are injured in the accident.
Uber Settles Claim in Just 10 Days (Pedestrian Hit and Killed by Uber Car)
This is not my case. About 9:58 p.m., on March 18, 2018, an Uber vehicle struck a pedestrian. Elaine Herzberg was the pedestrian. This accident happened in Arizona.
So why am I writing about it since I’m only licensed to handle Uber car accident cases in Florida?
Because this accident is a good (but sad) example of the many factors that affect a personal injury settlement.
In the area of the crash, the northbound Avenue consists of two left-turn lanes, two through lanes, and one bike lane.
The crash occurred before the formation of a right-turn lane. Roadway lighting was present.
Why does roadway lighting matter?
Since the crash happened at night, roadway lighting may help the pedestrian’s case. The pedestrian can argue that the Uber driver should have seen her.
If there was no roadway lighting, it likely lowers the amount of the pedestrian’s settlement. This is because the driver will argue that it was difficult (or impossible) to see the pedestrian.
The Uber driver’s car had a video camera. It captured both exterior and interior video.
Let’s look at a snapshot of a video that captured the pedestrian. The video shows the pedestrian moments before impact.
Again, the accident happened at nighttime. The pedestrian was wearing a black shirt. You can’t see the shirt in the photo.
Does the pedestrian’s black shirt lower the settlement value of her family’s wrongful death case?
Yes, since the accident happened at night. Lighting is at issue.
If the pedestrian would’ve also had black pants on, that would’ve further lowered the settlement amount.
However, she did have on white sneakers. Moreover, her shoes appeared to have reflectors. Any reflective measures that the pedestrian had increase the value of the wrongful death settlement.
Does Speed Limit Affect An Uber Accident Settlement Amount?
Let’s get back to the case that I’ve been talking about. The posted speed limit was 45 mph.
Why is the speed limit important?
Because the higher the speed limit, the tougher it is for the driver to stop in time. Thus, the driver’s insurance company is likely to put less blame on the driver. And less blame on the driver equals a smaller settlement for the pedestrian hit by the car.
Therefore, a higher speed limit may result in a smaller settlement.
In contrast, a lower speed increases the value of the pedestrian’s case. This is because the pedestrian has a better argument that the car should’ve stopped in time.
At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that an emergency braking maneuver was needed to mitigate a collision (see image below).
The image above is a view of the self-driving system data playback at about 1.3 seconds before impact, when the system determined an emergency braking maneuver would be needed to mitigate a collision. Yellow bands are shown in meters ahead. Orange lines show the center of mapped travel lanes. The purple shaded area shows the path the vehicle traveled, with the green line showing the center of that path.
On March 29, 2018, NPR reported that Herzberg’s lawyer said that the family settled with Uber. Amazingly, the settlement was just 10 days after the accident.
Most cases with Uber won’t settle in ten days. Or in twenty days. Or even within one month.
Because most injuries aren’t worth Uber’s insurance policy limits. Especially if the Uber was engaged in a ride and there is a $1 million policy.
However, a wrongful death case is different. It’s not your average Uber accident case.
Florida courts are willing to allow big wrongful death verdicts to stand.
Herzberg’s family was smart for hiring a lawyer. Uber uses some of the best lawyers to defend itself.
If you are badly hurt in an Uber car accident, you should hire an Uber accident attorney.
I’m an Uber accident lawyer serving the entire state of Florida. Find out for free if I can represent you.
Passengers Reach Settlement With Uber for Knee Fracture and Brain Injury from Accident
This isn’t my case. Richard P. Day and Jean S. Day claimed that this was a catastrophic motor vehicle collision in which they suffered life-altering injuries while back seat passengers on an Uber ride in Miami Beach.
They were visiting Florida from another state.
I also created an illustration (below) of the crash based on my understanding of the lawsuit, and the Uber driver’s deposition.
Uber Passengers Were Injured from the Crash
On March 1, 2006, the Days sued Uber and the Uber driver for each of their:
- Lost wages
- Future lost income reduced to present value
- Past medical expenses
- Past hospital bills
- Future medical expenses
- Bodily Injury and resulting pain and suffering
- Future Pain and Suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
They claimed that the losses are either permanent or continuing and that they will suffer the losses in the future.
Wife Had Brain Injury and 4 Neurosurgeries (Husband Had Surgery to Fix Broken Leg)
Mrs. Day claimed that she had traumatic brain injury.
Richard Day suffered a fractured leg.
According to the Uber passengers’ lawyer, during the deposition, he said that the male passenger also was diagnosed with a concussion with loss of consciousness.
GEICO Paid PIP Benefits for Uber Driver’s Hospital Treatment
GEICO would have paid these PIP benefits above any PIP deductible with GEICO that the Uber driver had.
Here is a portion of the deposition (testimony) transcript where the Uber driver talks about the coverage that GEICO gave her.
Uber and James River Settle the Case with the Uber Passengers
Below is a copy of the agreed dismissal of the case. It says that all four parties amicably (fairly) settled the case. The four parties were Uber, the Uber driver and the two Uber passengers.
Husband Was Gynecologist (May Have Had Big Lost Income Claim)
Assuming he made this yearly salary, if he missed 6 months of work because of the crash, he would be entitled to $159,000 in lost wages. (6 x $26,500 = $159,000).
I don’t know the settlement amount. However, if I was a betting man, I’d bet that Uber’s insurance company quickly paid the $1 million liability to Ms. Day and her husband.
Because the full settlement value of the Days’ combined Uber accident claims were easily worth $1 million. After all, Mrs. Day had a brain injury and surgery. And Dr. Day broke his leg. Moreover, both likely had decent size lost wage claims. Uber’s insurer likely quickly paid its $1 million liability insurance limit.
Lawsuit Settled After Uber Passenger, Pablo, Was Killed in Crash
This isn’t my case. Pablo Sanchez, Jr. was twenty-years old. He and his friends used the Uber app to request a driver to pick them up from Downtown Miami and drive them to southwest Miami.
An Uber driver, Adam, responded through the app and picked them up in a Chevy Yukon. (Adam was driving the black vehicle in the above diagram.)
Adam drove his SUV northbound on SW 157th Avenue and approached the intersection of SW 144 Street, preparing to turn left.
Chica, a driver of another car, approached the same intersection, heading southbound on SW 157th Avenue. (Chica’s car is green in the above diagram.)
Uber Driver (Adam) Made a Left-Hand Turn and Failed to Yield Right of Way to Chica
Adam made a left-hand turn and failed to yield the right of way to Chica. The two cars collided.
The impact of the collision caused both cars to roll over.
The Yukon came to a final rest on its right side, trapping Pablo inside the car.
The other passengers were able to climb out of the car, but Pablo was not.
Shortly after the collision, the Yukon burst into flames with Pablo trapped inside. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, Pablo was pronounced dead.
Pablo Was Under 25 Years Old, So His Parents Had a Wrongful Death Claim
Since Pablo was under the age of 25, his parents had a wrongful death claim. His mom, Shafena Mohamed, was appointed personal representative (PR) of Pablo’s estate.
In January 2016, Shafena’s Uber accident attorney filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought by Shafena, as personal representative, and for herself, individually and Pablo’s father, Pablo Sr.
She Sued Uber, Adam, Chica, Uber Car Owner and James River
As PR of the estate, she sued Uber, Adam, Chica, and Shamma Chery. Chery owned the car that Adam was driving. Since Chery owned the car, she was liable for any injuries or death that Adam caused.
Her lawyer also sued James River Insurance Company for underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance benefits. At the time, James River insured Uber in Florida. Currently, Progressive insures Uber in Florida.
The basis for an underinsured motorist insurance claim is that Adam and Chica’s BIL insurance wasn’t enough to pay for the compensation that the estate and the survivors were entitled to.
In November 2016, the parties settled this case.
It is strange, to me, that the last probate court record was on February 2016. That is about 9 months before the case against Uber and James River was dismissed.
I don’t know how much was for his parents’ pain and suffering. I don’t know the settlement amount.
Pablo’s Parents Likely Got $5K PIP Death Benefit
Pablo’s parents likely also received a $5,000 PIP death benefit from the car insurance company of Pablo’s parents. This is because Pablo was allegedly living with his parents when the accident happened.
This assumes that there was PIP insurance on at least one of the cars in the household.
Bike Rider Hit by Uber Settles Lawsuit
This is not my case. Here is Gayna Hansen’s version of the facts according to her lawsuit against Uber (which was filed on August 28, 2017). Her attorney filed the lawsuit.
On March 15,2016, Reimer was traveling westbound on Barnes Boulevard
in Rockledge, Florida. (Rockledge is about one hour southeast of Orlando.) At the same time, Gayna was riding her bicycle westbound on Barnes Boulevard up ahead of Reimer. Gayna was on the far-right edge of the lane near the shoulder.
Gayna was wearing reflective clothing. Additionally, she had an active red light on the back of her bicycle. This helped her case because she would be visible.
Reimer approached Hansen from the rear and allegedly crashed into the her bicycle with the front of his vehicle. Upon impact, she was sent airborne and was thrown approximately ten 10 feet. Uber denied liability.
As a result of the crash, she suffered a compound fracture of her ankle. A compound fracture means that the bone was sticking out through the skin. Her lawsuit claimed that her ankle was almost amputated and required multiple surgeries.
The full settlement value of her pain and suffering for her alleged injury is, at minimum, a couple hundred thousand dollars. This is because she allegedly had a compound fracture and multiple surgeries.
She sued Uber. However, she did not sue the Uber driver, Reimer.
Because she didn’t sue the Uber driver, Uber removed her case to federal court. On November 27, 2018, she settled with Uber for a confidential amount. The parties signed a confidential settlement agreement. However, Uber then wanted her to sign its separate confidential general release of all claims.
Her attorney refused. The court agreed with her attorney. Thereafter, it awarded her attorney’s fees for having to respond to Uber’s motion (court document).
Uber Driver’s Insurer Pays $500K Settlement to Cyclist Hit By Uber Driver
This isn’t my case. A 28-year-old bike rider was cut off by an Uber driver who made a right turn in front of her.
To get a better idea of how the street looks, check out the image below.
According to her lawyer, the cyclist was heading straight through an intersection in the bike lane. She claimed that the Uber driver should’ve used the green marked turn lane to make a right-hand turn.
To help illustrate the accident, I created a crash diagram below. It isn’t exact.
The cyclist hired an Uber lawyer, who sued. The Uber driver’s insurer allegedly made a first offer of $350,000. The case ended up settling for $500,000.
This was a California accident.
Family of 6-year-old Girl Who Was Struck By Uber Driver Settles Lawsuit
This isn’t my case. ABC News reported that the family of a 6-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an Uber driver in 2013 settled a lawsuit against Uber. The girl was Sofia Liu.
The settlement amount wasn’t disclosed in court documents. This is a sad case.
The lawsuit was against Uber and the driver.
(This wasn’t a Florida case. In Florida, for accidents beginning July 1, 2017, you can’t sue Uber if certain conditions are met. Florida Statutes 627.748(9)(a-d). In Florida, you can sue the Uber driver. If you have a valid claim, the driver’s insurance company, or Uber’s insurance company, should pay it.)
The family claimed that the Uber driver was using the Uber app and had been looking for rides when he hit Sofia as she crossed the street with her mother and brother in a crosswalk.
How This Case Would’ve Been Handled if the Accident Happened in Florida
Let’s assume that this crash happened in Florida. Uber’s insurer, James River, would’ve paid $100,000 for death and bodily injury from the entire accident. No single person would’ve received more than $50,000 from Uber’s insurer.
This is because the driver allegedly had the app on, but wasn’t engaged in a ride.
Sofia’s mother was also injured and had $500,000 in medical bills. In Florida, Uber’s insurer would likely pay the $50,000 per person bodily injury limits (BIL) within days. This is because her medical bills were 10 times Uber’s $50,000 per person BIL limits.
James River would pay quickly because it doesn’t want to get sued for acting in bad faith. A bad faith verdict would make James River owe what a jury ultimately awards.
Florida’s bad faith statutes (written laws) probably don’t apply to a surplus insurer, like James River Insurance Company. However, Florida’s common law (past cases) apply to surplus insurers.
James River wants to limit the amount that they owe to $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, and $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident.
If the Uber driver had his own insurance, it would’ve likely paid the policy limits to the family.
Sofia’s Mom’s UIM Insurance Would’ve Likely Paid the Limits
If Sofia’s mother had underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance, it would’ve likely paid the UIM limits to the family as well. This is because most uninsured motorist insurance policies are for much less than $1 million dollars.
The mother’s UIM insurance would’ve applied even though they weren’t in a car when the collision happened. This is because personal UIM insurance from your auto insurance covers you as a pedestrian.
This may result in a pedestrian getting a bigger settlement if he or she is hit by a car.
Parent of Pedestrian (Hit By an Uber Car) Gets a $5K PIP Death Benefit
If this were a Florida accident, Sofia’s mother or father would get a $5,000 PIP death benefit for Sofia’s death. The auto insurer for Sofia’s mother or dad would pay this death benefit.
If Sofia’s mom or dad didn’t own a car, but Sofia lived with a relative, the relative’s car insurance would pay the $5,000 death benefit.
Assuming Sofia didn’t live with a relative, then for accidents after July 1, 2017, James River would pay the $5,000 death benefit.
We Pay Referral Fees in Uber Car Accident Cases
If you are a lawyer who is considering referring an Uber accident case to me, look no further. If I’m able to represent the prospective client, I’ll gladly pay you 25% of the total attorneys fee. Additionally, I pay all the costs for the case.
These terms are stated in my fee contract. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about me stiffing you on your fee.
Here is a big warning:
If a lawyer won’t list you in his or her free contract, that is a big red flag! Don’t use that lawyer. You are likely only seeing the tip of the iceberg on possible future ethical violations. And you don’t want that. You’ve worked too hard for your law license.
In order for the referral fee to be ethical, you’ll need to sign my fee contract. The contract states that you assume joint legal responsibility for the case. But don’t worry. My fee contract is short. Less is more. My contract does not include any unethical clauses.
Additionally, you must be available for consultation with the client.
If we reach a settlement with Uber’s insurance company (or whoever is responsible), you’ll also need to sign the closing statement. The closing statement lists the total settlement, your and my fee, and my costs. If I am obligated to pay any medical bills from the settlement, the closing statement will list those as well.
Of course, I can ethically pay referral fees to Florida lawyers. And I enjoy doing so.
What happens if the referring attorney is not licensed in Florida?
Florida accident attorneys are ethically allowed to pay referral fees to out of state attorneys if one condition is met. The prospective client must live in the state where you are licensed (in good standing).
I also love paying referral fees to out of state attorneys.
Uber JUMP Scooter accidents
Uber owns JUMP electric scooter rentals. Right now in Florida, they’re only available for rent in Miami. That will likely soon expand to other parts of Florida.
Check out my article about claims for electric scooter rental accidents.
Ubereats Accident Insurance and Claims
The Ubereats driver and Ubereats (known as “Portier, LLC”) contract says that Ubereats may have auto insurance coverage that covers the Ubereats driver. (Paragraph 8.4)
However, it does not require Ubereats to provide its drivers with auto insurance.
Unlike with Uber’s rideshare service, Uber doesn’t say (on its website) that it covers its Ubereats drivers with insurance.
However, the Rideshare Guy claims that Uber told him that Ubereats drivers are covered as follows:
Thus, if an Ubereats driver is actively delivering food, he or she will be covered up to $1 million for injury or damage to another.
On the other hand, if the Ubereats driver is logged in and waiting for a delivery, he or she should be covered up to $50K per person/$100K per incident for bodily injury caused to another.
Also, the Ubereats driver is not covered for damage to his car while waiting to accept a delivery.
Basically, an Ubereats driver is covered very similarly to an Uber rideshare driver.
The bad news?
I’ve heard of Ubereats saying that there is no bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance if the Ubereats driver didn’t have (BIL) on his or her own car insurance policy. However, I don’t know if this applies while a delivery was taking place, or if it just applies if the app was on but no delivery was being made.
What Does Uber’s “Driver Injury Protection Insurance” Through AON Cover?
According to Uber, Uber’s “Driver Injury Protection” insurance through AON, has these benefits for Uber drivers:
- Medical expenses: Up to $1,000,000 with no deductible or co-pay
- Disability payments: Up to $500 a week in income replacements for lost earnings
- Survivors benefits: Offering peace of mind for your family’s financial security” However, Uber doesn’t say that driver injury protection insurance pays for pain and suffering.
Driver Injury Protection doesn’t apply to passengers or others. Also, Uber doesn’t say that driver injury protection insurance pays for pain and suffering.
Does Uber’s Insurance Company Have to Tell You Its Insurance Limits?
Upon the written request, Uber’s insurer must tell you their insured’s insurance liability coverage limits. Florida Statute 626.9372. This applies to the written request of an Uber passenger, driver or another claimant.
What If You’re Visiting Florida, and You’re Injured in an Uber Car Accident?
Overall, 14.5% of Uber trips in Florida are taken by visitor from another state or country. If you’re hurt in an Uber accident in Florida, while visiting from another state, the claim gets more complex. The out of state visitor is typically in Florida for one of two reasons. They are either here for a:
- Vacation (or pleasure)
- Business (work related)
In either instance, the injured person is even more likely to need a Uber personal injury lawyer to protect their rights. This is because multiple state laws may apply.
Let’s first look at the slightly more complicated of the two above situations. That is, someone who is injured in an Uber car accident while in Florida for work purposes. Altogether, 9.6% of Uber trips in Florida are for business travel.
What Happens if You’re Hurt in an Uber Accident in Florida While on a Business Trip from Another State?
Assume that you’re visiting Florida for work purposes. You live in another state. Maybe you’re a consultant, or perhaps you deal with cyber security. Or maybe you have some other type of job. Regardless, you’re in Florida on a business trip.
If you’re injured while you are a passenger in an Uber, you should report the accident to your employer.
Because you don’t want to lose potential valuable workers’ compensation coverage by not reporting an Uber accident to your employer.
Once your employer’s workers compensation insurer gets notice of the Uber car accident, it will do one of two things. Workers comp will either accept the claim as compensable, or deny the workers compensation claim.
If the workers compensation insurer accepts the claim, it will pay for all necessary medical treatment and hospitalization services. Workers compensation will also pay around 66 2/3% of your lost wages caused by the Uber accident.
If workers’ compensation denies the claim, it will likely say that you were not in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the Uber car accident. This may (or may not) happen if you get hurt while you were in an Uber on the way to somewhere that was not specifically business related. An example is a meal that was not a “business lunch or dinner” with a client.
Even if the workers’ compensation insurer denies benefits, it may be dead wrong. This is because, even if you’re out of state law doesn’t cover you, Florida workers’ compensation law will likely cover you if you were injured in an Uber accident while in Florida for business travel. Florida’s workers compensation laws are very (broad) generous in this regard.
Again, the key is to report the Uber accident to your employer. Report the accident even if you think you will be at the company for the rest of your career. I’ve represented people who were injured in an accident. They thought that they would be a lifelong employee at their company. Yet, at some point they get fired. Additionally, the economy can tank at any time. We never know what may happen.
In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, you can make a personal injury claim against the at fault party for causing the crash and your injury. If the Uber driver was careless and caused the crash, Uber’s insurance company is on the hook. If a driver of another car caused the accident, then the other driver’s insurance company is owes you compensation.
Here is where having a personal injury lawyer really helps:
Your workers compensation insurer will ask to be paid back from your personal injury settlement with the at fault parties. However, if you hired an attorney, you have some leverage. Specifically, the workers compensation insurer will likely have to reduce it’s lien (pay back amount) by your attorney’s fees and costs. This can result in a big savings to you! Your ability to reduce the workers’ compensation lien will depend on the out of state workers compensation law.
If you’re injured in an Uber accident in Florida, you can find out for Free if I am able to represent you.
Here are some articles that I wrote if someone is injured in a Florida car accident, while visiting from another state:
- Out of State Visitors Hurt in Florida Car Accidents (Settlements & Claims)
- California Residents Hurt in a Florida Car Accidents
- Georgia Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- Illinois Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- New Jersey Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- New York Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- Texas Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- Tennessee Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
If Uber’s Insurance Company Suggests Pre-suit Mediation, Should You Attend?
Yes. However, you’re best bet is to hire an Uber accident attorney. You don’t want to get lowballed at the mediation without a lawyer.
Pre-suit mediation is where an insurance company attempts to settle the case with you in person before a lawsuit.
Uber’s insurance company may have an attorney present at the pre-suit mediation. Therefore, you need to level the playing field. You can do so by hiring a lawyer.
The injured Uber car accident victim’s goal is to make pre-suit mediation as effective as possible. To do so, you need to provide Uber’s insurance company with all of your medical records and bills way in advance of the mediation.
This is because Uber’s insurance company needs time to set the proper settlement reserve. In other words, the insurance adjuster needs time to get approval to settle the Uber accident claim for up to a certain amount.
Uber’s insurance company is most likely to offer pre-suit mediation if the value of all claims is worth more than the policy limits. This is not a secret. All car insurance companies do this.
You should hire a lawyer who has settled many car accident injury claims at pre-suit mediation. I’m happy to report that I have settled several car accident cases at pre-suit mediation. This includes car accident cases with State Farm, GEICO, Windhaven and others. For example, I settled a broken hand case for $125,000 at pre-suit mediation with GEICO.
The insurance company wants to settle the case without owing any more than the policy limit. Meeting in person may be the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
If Neither Uber Passengers or Other Car’s Uninsured Driver Lives in Florida, James River May Remove to Federal Court
Earlier on, I talked about the Days’ injury case. However, let’s change of the facts of the Days’ case a little bit so that I can show you how this case may have ended up in federal court.
Let’s assume that the Days were in an Uber car. However, assume that they were in was the orange car in the diagram above.
Assume the Days placed 100% fault on the other driver of the green car. Let’s assume that the green car’s driver wasn’t a Florida resident. Assume he lived in Georgia, and was visiting Florida. Assume that the Georgian was driving a rental car with a $10,000 bodily injury liability insurance policy.
With these new facts, the Days (South Carolina residents) would be suing a Georgia resident in Florida. Since the careless driver was underinsured, the Days would’ve also sued Uber’s underinsured motorist insurer, James River Insurance Company.
In this case, the plaintiffs’ (the Days) and the defendants wouldn’t have been citizens of the same state. Thus, there would’ve been diversity of citizenship.
Secondly, since the Days were badly hurt, the full value of each of their personal injury cases was over $75,000.
Therefore, there would’ve been diversity of citizenship and the case value was over $75,000. Thus, James River may have tried removing the case to federal court. The federal court may have allowed the case to stay in federal court.
Can an Uber Driver Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In Florida, the Uber driver is an independent contractor and not an employee of Uber if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Uber does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the Uber driver must be logged on to Uber’s digital network.
(b) Uber does not prohibit the Uber driver from using digital networks from other rideshare companies.
(c) Uber does not restrict the Uber driver from engaging in any other occupation or business.
(d) Uber and the Uber driver agree in writing that the Uber driver is an independent contractor with respect to Uber.
Florida Statute 627.748(9). Thus, if all of these conditions are met, the Uber driver can’t sue Uber for workers’ compensation.
Is Lying to Uber Considered Insurance Fraud?
You should never commit insurance fraud. In addition to the risk of being arrested, it can make your case worthless.
Florida Statute 817.234 talks about false and fraudulent insurance claims. It says that a person commits insurance fraud punishable by a felony if that person, with the intent to injure, defraud, or deceive any insurer does certain things.
The definition of “insurer” in that section is:
insurer…or similar entity…regulated…by the Office of Insurance Regulation under the Florida Insurance Code.
Is Uber a similar entity regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation under the Florida Insurance Code?
Also, Florida Statute 627.748(7)(f) says that if Uber uses an insurer who isn’t subject to Florida’s Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA), then the insurer must be acceptable to the Office of Insurance Regulation. (James River is a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers aren’t subject to FIGA).
Thus, Uber is likely considered an insurer for purposes of punishment for false and fraudulent Uber accident insurance claims.
Concealment, Misrepresentation Or Fraud Under Uber’s Insurance Policy
Fraud by you will likely void coverage under Uber’s insurance policy. Uber’s insurance is likely also void if you intentionally conceal or misrepresent a material fact concerning insurance coverage or a claim by you, at any time.
Tell the truth!
If an Uber hits a motorcyclist, what compensation can the rider get?
See what types of compensation a motorcycle rider can get if an Uber car hits him or her. Learn which insurance applies, settlement info and much more.
Motorcycle accident settlements tend to be bigger.
Because rider’s often have serious injuries.
If an Uber Hits a Pedestrian, What Compensation Can the Pedestrian Get?
Guests Hurt in an Uber While Using UberEVENTS
UberEVENTS gives an event host the option to buy rides in advance for their guests. Each guest receives passes on their email.
The guest enters the code in the Uber app. He or she requests a ride to the event. Uber is pitching UberEVENTS for weddings, conferences, dinners, private parties, and more.
Uber claims that its uberX option is 40% cheaper than taxis and much less than shuttles, valets, or parking.
Likely No Case Against the UberEVENT Host
If you are an Uber passenger that is using a UberEVENTS pass (code) to get to an event, your claim will be like the cases that I’ve talked about above.
You likely will not also have a personal injury case against the event host. This is because you must show that the host was negligent to have a case.
However, if you are required to attend the event for work purposes you may also have a workers’ compensation claim.
Do you think that Uber’s insurance company is fair? Or do you think that they are difficult to deal with?
Please let me know in the comments below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated.