Who Pays When An Uber Driver Causes An Accident?

Ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are becoming very popular in Austin and across Texas. Thousands of Austinites opt for an Uber ride instead of driving or taking a traditional cab service when they need to get to the airport or are planning a night out on the town.

Although Uber and Lyft offer a convenient ride service that is certainly safer than getting behind the wheel after drinking, safety is never guaranteed. Sometimes Uber cars are involved in serious accidents and their occupants or those in other vehicles are injured as a result.  Those involved in such accidents can be left understandably confused as to who pays for the damages they have sustained.

Who pays when an Uber car causes an accident?

All Uber drivers are required to carry automobile liability insurance that conforms with state law. Uber also provides a secondary liability insurance policy to cover damages sustained as a result of serious bodily injury to passengers or third parties involved in an Uber-related car crash.  But, depending on the specific circumstances, that secondary policy doesn’t always cover drivers or provide help to those have been injured.

For instance, if an Uber driver’s app is in driver mode, but the driver has not yet picked up a paying passenger, Uber’s policy would almost certainly provide no coverage for any damages caused by that driver. In many instances in which an Uber driver may be involved in or responsible for an accident, the driver is solely responsible for those damages.  In those situations, Uber’s secondary policy provides no coverage but the driver’s individual liability may.

However, some drivers’ individual insurance coverages can be voided due to a “driving for hire” provision contained in their policy.  In those situations, unless additional commercial insurance coverage has been purchased by the driver, there may be no coverage available at all.

Does all of this sound rather confusing? That’s because insurance laws in Texas can be confounding to the average citizen, especially when it comes to ridesharing services that are new to the insurance industry. If you are a passenger or individual who has been seriously injured in a crash involving an Uber driver, you should speak with an experienced Austin car accident attorney immediately. A well-informed car accident lawyer in Austin can explain the details of Texas insurance coverage during your initial consultation and provide helpful guidance during what may otherwise be a very confusing time.

If you or someone you care about was involved in an Uber accident, please contact the Austin car accident attorneys at Terry & Kelly, PLLC right away. We’ll make sure you receive the assistance and compensation you deserve.

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