If you’re an Uber passenger who is hurt in an accident, you may have a case.
However, this article specifically applies to Uber passenger’s rights after a car accident.
An Uber passenger, in many cases, has different rights than an Uber driver. Uber passenger claims are also different than a passenger injury case from a typical car accident.
Reporting An Accident or Claim to Uber
Uber encourages its riders to report any accident. If you are the rider who requested the ride, you should use the Uber app (or login on a desktop) to report the accident. You will click on “I was in an accident (riders)”. The screen will look something like this:
Passenger Should First See Which Driver Is At Fault
If you’re an Uber passenger who was in accident, the easiest way to understand your case is too first determine who was at fault.
The accident was likely either caused by your Uber driver’s negligence, or it was caused by the driver of the other car.
Most of the time, the police officer will give one driver a ticket for causing the crash. However, sometimes the police officer’s opinion of who caused the crash is wrong.
Are Passengers Insured With Uber?
For accidents before July 1, 2017, an Uber passenger has access to $1 million in insurance coverage. This insurance coverage applies regardless of who caused the crash.
Uber’s insurance pays for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
For accidents beginning on July 1, 2017, it will likely be different. My guess is that on July 1, 2017, Uber drops its $1 Million dollar uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policy.
This is because Florida’s rideshare law will go into effect, and it doesn’t require UM insurance on Ubers.
Thus, Uber’s insurance will only cover the passenger if the Uber driver’s negligence caused the crash.
Who Pays an Uber Passenger’s Medical Bills?
I’ve written about whether Uber will pay your medical bills from a Florida accident. Here, I focus on who pays an Uber passenger’s medical bills.
An Uber passenger won’t be able to get Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance through Uber. If an Uber passenger owns a personal car, its PIP insurance should pay for up to $10,000 of the passenger’s medical bills.
Does an Uber Passenger Have to Get Medical Treatment Within a Certain Time Frame?
It depends on if the Uber passenger is entitled to PIP insurance. If the passenger qualifies for PIP, he must treat within 14 days or lose his PIP benefits.
PIP is limited to $2,500 if you are not diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition“.
If the Uber passenger isn’t covered by PIP, then there is no time limit within which he must see a doctor.
However, all things equal, the sooner that you go to a doctor, the better it is for your case.
If Uber Passenger Owned a Car, Passenger’s PIP May Pay Bills and Lost Wages
If Passenger Doesn’t Own a Car, Resident Relative’s PIP May Pay Bills, Wages
Uber Driver’s Personal Policy Will Likely Deny Coverage
If an Uber passenger didn’t own a car or live with a resident relative who owned a car on the date of the accident, he won’t get PIP. The Uber driver’s personal auto policy won’t pay a passenger PIP benefits.
This is because, in Florida, the Uber driver’s personal auto policy will deny coverage because the Uber driver was being paid a fee while driving.
Florida personal auto policies have an exclusion when the insured is driving for a fee.
Starting on July 1, 2017, all Uber driver’s personal auto policies will deny PIP for passengers. This is true even if the Uber driver’s personal auto policy has rideshare coverage with an insurer like Farmers (Foremost).
If the Uber Driver Has Foremost Insurance, They May Pay PIP Benefits
It is my understanding that Foremost Insurance is the only auto insurer that sells insurance to Uber drivers in Florida. For accidents before July 1, 2017, if Foremost Insurance insures the Uber driver, then Foremost may pay you PIP Benefits.
Does a PIP Insurer Get to Take an Uber Passenger’s Statement?
Yes. In Florida, a passenger seeking PIP benefits must comply with the terms of the policy. This includes, but is not limited to, submitted to an examination under oath. Florida Statute 627.736.
What Can The Insurance Company Ask an Uber Passenger During a PIP statement?
They can ask for any relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information.
They will focus on:
- Your prior injuries
- Who you lived with when the crash happened
- How the accident happened; and
- Your medical treatment and injuries from the accident
In order to get PIP benefits, you must give the PIP insurer a statement if they ask for one.
An Uber Passenger Won’t Get Medical Payments Coverage With Uber
Uber’s insurance doesn’t have Medical Payments Coverage (Medpay).
However, if you’re covered under an auto insurance policy with Medpay coverage, it may pay for the 20% of your medical bills that PIP doesn’t pay. It will pay up to $10,000.
You may have Medpay on your personal car, or if you live with a relative who owns a car.
Will Your Health Insurance Cover You As a Uber Passenger?
In Florida, your health insurance coverage should pay medical expenses that PIP and Medpay do not pay. In Florida, health insurance is secondary to PIP and Medpay.
This means that health insurance only pays after PIP has been billed.
After PIP and medical payments coverage are billed, your health insurance may pay for any remaining balances. You get any contractual discounts that your health insurance provides.
If your health insurance pays your medical expenses, you will likely need to pay it back from your personal injury settlement. The health insurer may be required to reduce its lien by your attorney’s fees and costs.
Does an Uber Passenger Have a Personal Injury Claim Against the other Driver
Yes, if another driver’s negligence caused the crash. The passenger can make against the other driver’s bodily injury (BI) coverage in his auto insurance policy.
If the Uber passenger doesn’t qualify for PIP, he won’t need a threshold injury in order to get compensation for pain and suffering. If you don’t need a threshold injury, it increases the value of most cases.
$1.0 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per incident
Another driver may cause an accident with a uberX vehicle. If that driver doesn’t carry enough liability insurance, the Uber passenger(s) can make a claim with any uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to which you are an insured.
In addition to the passenger’s personal injury claim against the other driver, Uber’s has $1 million dollars in uninsured motorist insurance coverage with the James River Insurance Company. It covers bodily injury to all passengers of the Uber vehicle.
Uninsured motorist insurance ensures protection in a hit and run, or if the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured.
If Another Car Caused the Crash, What Types of Compensation Can an Uber Passenger Get?
If the other driver’s negligence caused the crash, an Uber passenger may make a claim against the other driver for:
- Past Lost Income
- Future lost income reduced to present value
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Replacement value of lost personal property (e.g. 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)
More about Uber’s insurer
Uber’s policy is issued by James River Insurance Company (“James River”), which is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best, the industry standard rating agency for the financial strength of insurance companies.
James River is not subject to Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA). This means that if James River becomes insolvent (runs out of money), your claim may be worthless because FIGA will not step in to pay your claim.
How do you to make a claim with James River?
There are different ways to make a claim with James River. You can make a claim via fax, email or mail.
By Fax: (804) 420-1058, Attention: Claims Department
By E-mail: New.Claimsnotices@jamesriverins.com
If you send an email, be sure to request a delivery confirmation, and a read receipt confirmation.
James River Insurance Company
P.O. Box 27648
Richmond, VA 23261
James River doesn’t accept new claims by phone.
Can James River use everything that an Uber passenger says against him in a UM insurance claim?
Yes. So be very careful. The adjuster is not your friend.
They are being paid by their employer, who stays in business by making a profit. The less they pay in claims, they profit they make.
Does James River Have a Right to Have an Uber Passenger Examined by a doctor?
Yes, if the Uber passenger makes a UM claim.
In Florida, uninsured motorist policies typically include a provision requiring an insured claiming UM benefits to attend a compulsory medical examination (CME) conducted by a physician chosen by the insurer.
I would expect James River to have this clause in their insurance policy. A passenger is considered an omnibus insured under an auto insurance policy.
Florida cases that allow them to do this are State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Curran, 83 So.3d 793 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012); Wapnick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 54 So.3d 1065 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
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