Every day, thousands of people across Texas use Uber rideshare services to travel from one place to another. It’s an economical and generally safe way to reach your destination. However, sometimes a ride can end in a severe accident, leaving passengers and other motorists wondering, “Does Uber cover accidents?”
The answer is “sometimes,” which leads to more questions. In this blog, the San Antonio Uber passenger lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, explain what you need to know about Uber insurance for drivers and how to pursue compensation if you are injured while riding an Uber in Texas.
Uber Insurance for Drivers in Texas
All Uber drivers must carry auto insurance coverage that goes beyond the minimum required by Texas law. The exact amount of coverage they need will vary depending on what stage of the rideshare process they are in.
When the rideshare app is off and the driver is traveling for personal reasons, they only need the minimum insurance coverage, which is as follows in Texas:
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident
- $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 of liability coverage for property damage per accident
However, when the Uber app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride, they must have higher levels of liability coverage:
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person injured in an accident
- $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of liability coverage for property damage per accident
Depending on the insurance company, some drivers cannot purchase variable coverage levels that go into effect at different times. As a result, they have to buy a policy that meets those higher limits. For instance, if Uber drivers insure themselves with a company like Progressive, they will have to purchase the highest amount of coverage to protect them at all times.
When the driver is on their way to pick up a rider or already has a passenger in their car, the liability limits are a lot higher: $1 million for bodily injury and property damage per collision. This coverage is provided by Uber insurance for drivers, along with $1 million in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. The company actually goes further than Lyft by providing contingent collision and comprehensive coverage that takes effect while passengers are in the vehicle.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents in Texas
Although Uber drivers provide a service, they aren’t trained professionals like limo drivers or those with a CDL license. They’re everyday people who either make a living or earn some extra money using their personal vehicle to transport passengers. While most are good and conscientious drivers, others indulge in negligent actions such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Driving while sleep deprived
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Running red lights
However, Uber drivers aren’t always to blame for rideshare accidents. The negligence of other motorists can also lead to a wreck involving an Uber. There are some causes that are beyond a driver’s control, including road conditions, road defects, equipment malfunction, or inclement weather. For this reason, you should always consult a Texas accident lawyer to explore your legal options after a crash.
Will Uber Pay For My Car Accident if a Driver Hits Me?
Possibly, but it would depend on whether the driver was on the clock or not at the time of the accident; in other words whether they were driving a passenger or logged into the Uber app and looking for riders.
If the Uber driver was not working at the time, the incident would be similar to a regular motor vehicle accident in Texas. Since this is an at-fault state for car accidents, you would file a claim against the driver and their personal auto insurer to get the compensation you need.
If the driver caused your accident while carrying a passenger, their personal insurance policy applies, as well as Uber’s $1 million coverage. However, if they were logged into the app but not transporting any riders yet, you can make a claim against their personal policy and Uber’s will remain available, but it will be lowered to the amounts outlined in the previous section: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
What if I Am Riding in an Uber?
Uber carries third-party liability insurance, which covers personal injuries and property damage up to $1 million per accident. When a ride-sharing driver is at fault for an Uber car accident in Texas, passengers are covered under this kind of liability policy. Uber‘s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy covers all vehicle occupants if another driver causes an accident and does not have sufficient insurance to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
What Does Uber Cover?
In accidents covered by Uber’s third-party liability or uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, you can file a claim against the company’s insurer for damages like the following:
- Past, current, and reasonably anticipated medical expenses
- Rehabilitative therapies like physiotherapy and psychological counseling
- Lost income
- Loss of earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
The families of those killed in Uber accidents may file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their losses.
What to Do After an Uber Accident
If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber driver, either as a rider or another motorist or pedestrian, seek medical treatment right away, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Once a thorough evaluation confirms that you’ve been hurt, it is important to contact a Texas car accident attorney with experience in ridesharing crashes.
Some accident victims try to file a claim with an Uber accident policy themselves, but this is not recommended, especially with a large rideshare company. A team of attorneys and adjusters will work on behalf of Uber and its insurers to ensure you receive the lowest amount possible for your injuries. Therefore, you should retain an experienced Uber accident lawyer to fight for your rights.
Texas Uber accidents can have a lasting impact on your life and finances. You may need lifelong treatment for a catastrophic injury and be left permanently disabled. You may also face additional costs, such as having your home modified to accommodate a wheelchair or hiring someone to do household duties that you can no longer handle. An experienced personal injury lawyer will work with the insurer(s) to make sure that these types of issues don’t cause you more financial stress on top of everything else.
Get a Free Consultation With a Texas Uber Accident Lawyer
When filing a personal injury claim after an Uber accident, the process isn’t always straightforward, and neither Uber nor its insurers have your best interests in mind. Let the Austin Uber accident lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, help you recover compensation for your injuries. Our skilled and compassionate attorneys are ready and waiting to put our decades of experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact us today.