Ubers are everywhere on the road. The Uber app has made it possible for ordinary people to ferry people around town in their own car and make some money on the side. Like all drivers, however, Uber’s drivers can get into crashes. They might run a red light, tailgate, or speed. Other Uber drivers are exhausted and nod off behind the wheel, leading to a collision.
In general, you can’t sue Uber directly after a crash. But Uber drivers should have generous insurance policies, and you can make a claim on the policy. Contact a car accident attorney at Groth & Associates if you want to discuss this option.
Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors
Uber drivers are not employees. That matters, legally speaking. In Ohio, an employer is automatically liable in most cases when their employees injure someone while working. The legal term is “vicarious liability.”
Uber drivers are independent contractors, and vicarious liability doesn’t apply when an independent contractor hurts someone. So Uber is not automatically on the hook for your accident, even if it is caused by an Uber driver.
Uber Drivers Have Insurance
Does this mean you won’t get compensation after an accident? No, the opposite is true. Every Uber driver should have liability insurance. If the Uber driver is at fault (as opposed to you being at fault), then you can make a claim on the driver’s policy.
The amount of compensation will depend on the following:
- If the driver had the app on and was looking for a ride, then $50,000 of bodily injury insurance is available, or $100,000 if two or more people are injured. For property damage, $25,000 is available.
- If the driver had accepted a ride or had a passenger in the car, then $1 million in combined insurance is available.
If the Uber driver didn’t have the app on, then they are simply ordinary people driving on the road. You can make a claim on their personal insurance policy. In Ohio, the state requires a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, up to $50,000 for two or more people injured in a single accident. The state also requires $25,000 in property damage liability insurance.
You Can Sue Uber in Some Situations
Although Uber isn’t vicariously liable, you can still sue them in some situations. Uber might have been negligent by allowing drivers to use their app in the first place.
For example, Uber might have failed to perform a background check on the driver. The driver might have a criminal history or multiple traffic accidents. It would be negligent to allow a bad driver to work for Uber, even as an independent contractor.
Uber might also be negligent if one of its drivers has gotten into multiple wrecks while driving for the company. This person is not safe, and the company should no longer let them drive for them. If Uber has this type of independent liability, you can sue them. Groth & Associates always considers whether a rideshare company has independent liability. Please contact us today to learn more.