If you’re an Uber devotee, you recognize the convenience of the service. After all, you can hail your own personal driver with an app—on your phone! When all’s well, it’s a pretty great deal. If you’ve been injured in an Uber accident, however, it’s an entirely different matter. All car accidents are upsetting, but if an Uber accident injured you, the situation can become even more confusing. Because it’s a brave new world out there when it comes to ridesharing, familiarize yourself with the basics as they currently stand.
Insurance and Uber
Despite some drama in the news and with management, Uber continues to grow and add new drivers to its roster every day. It’s simple math that—with more Uber vehicles on our roads—more Uber accidents will result. As such, Uber customers need to understand how Uber’s insurance policy works—and that’s where it can get complicated…
If an accident involving Uber injured you, you need an experienced car accident attorney. As you’ll see, these claims can quickly become complicated, and your rights and rightful compensation are too important to leave to chance—or to the insurance company or companies involved. The dedicated legal team at the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston has the experience, skill, and commitment to aggressively fight for your claim’s most positive resolution, and we’re here to help.
Uber drivers use their own cars and they carry their own insurance. Uber itself also carries rideshare insurance. Whether you are injured while riding in an Uber or are injured when your own vehicle is involved in an accident that’s caused by an Uber will play an important role in determining which insurance policy or policies will kick in. Take into consideration these three primary situations:
- The Uber driver is on duty and is carrying passengers. Since the Uber driver is obviously using a personal vehicle as a commercial vehicle in this instance, Uber’s commercial insurance policy will activate to cover the Uber driver’s liability—whether you are injured in an accident in which you’re riding as an Uber passenger or you’re injured in an accident that’s caused by an Uber driver who’s carrying passengers (or is picking up an active fare).
- The Uber driver is on duty and isn’t carrying passengers. If you’re injured in a car accident involving an on-duty Uber driver who is in between picking up passengers, things become more confusing. The nature of driving for Uber is that drivers often face plenty of downtime in which they have no active fares. These drivers often, nevertheless, remain on the road—even though they aren’t technically working for Uber at the time. In such instances, a contingent insurance policy—rather than Uber’s commercial policy—is likely to apply.
- Uber driver is off the clock. If you’re injured in an accident in which the other driver is an Uber driver who’s off the clock (not driving for Uber), the accident claim will move forward just as any other car accident claim would, because at that moment the driver’s vehicle isn’t considered—in the eyes of the law—a commercial vehicle. You’ll pursue a claim with the driver’s personal insurance, and Uber’s insurance policy won’t activate.
Are you following this? It’s somewhat new territory for everyone, and it can definitely get confusing and complex. That’s why, if you been in an Uber related accident or if your Uber driver injured you in any way, seek skilled legal counsel from the Hughey Law Firm.
South Carolina Law
South Carolina law looks at all car accidents through the same legal lens, which means that the basic element at issue—whether it involves an Uber or not—is negligence. Whose negligence caused the accident? In short, negligence refers to a party’s failure to use appropriate care. Four elements are necessary to bring a successful car accident claim against an Uber driver (or any driver) in South Carolina:
- The other driver (or your Uber driver) owed you a duty of care
- The other driver (or your Uber driver) failed to uphold that duty of care
- The failure of the other driver (or your Uber driver) caused your injury
- You suffered quantifiable damages
This is pretty standard stuff as far as car accidents go, and it applies to car accidents that involve Ubers.
South Carolina and Comparative Fault
South Carolina adheres to the comparative fault (or comparative negligence) standard for liability in car accidents. As such, South Carolina recognizes that some accidents are caused by more than one driver and that, therefore, both drivers share the fault to some degree. Furthermore, South Carolina implements a 51 percent cap on whom may recover compensation in a car accident. This means that if the other driver is at least 50 percent responsible, you may recover on your damages (but your compensation will decrease by the same percentage for which you bear responsibility). Put more simply, if you’re found to bear 10 percent of the fault in an Uber accident in which you were injured, your compensation will decrease by 10 percent. An experienced lawyer at the Hughey Law Firm, however, can fight attempts by insurance companies to use comparative fault to decrease the settlements they offer you.
It’s Complicated—so Hire the Hughey Law Firm to Handle It
Uber and other rideshare businesses are fairly new on the scene, and they didn’t face a whole lot of oversight or regulations right out of the gate. That continues to change, and the attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm carefully follow the law as it evolves so they can better serve people who suffer injuries involving Uber.
As a rider on Uber, you’re probably covered by Uber’s commercial policy, but it’s not always quite that simple. Keep in mind that companies that issue massive commercial insurance policies are in the business of keeping their payouts low and their profits high. If an Uber accident injured you, consult an experienced Charleston car accident lawyer.
If You Were Injured in an Uber Accident, Contact a Charleston Car Accident Attorney Today
Car accidents are always upsetting, and if an Uber accident injured you, the complicated insurance issues involved can make recovery more difficult. The dedicated car accident attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston, South Carolina, have the experience, skill, and commitment to navigate your claim through the maze of insurance and toward its best possible resolution. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (843) 881-8644 today.