Nov 12 2015

Car Accident in Austin involving Uber drivers

Ride-sharing aps such as Uber and Lyft have gained increasing popularity here in Austin over the last few years.  But, while they present an alternative to driving in the hectic Austin traffic, they come with their own set of potential risks.

So, what happens when you’re involved in a car accident in Austin with an Uber driver – or injured as an Uber passenger in an Austin car wreck?  Our firm has seen a drastic increase in the amount of callers seeking advice on these topics.

Essentially, it depends on whether the Uber driver operating the vehicle has the ride sharing ap turned on, and what stage of the ride sharing process they are in:

If an Uber driver has the ap turned off, and you are involved in a car accident in Austin with that Uber driver, the Uber Driver is considered a normal motorist.  That means they are covered by their personal auto insurance.  However, if you are involved in a car accident in Austin with an Uber driver while they have their ap turned on,  their personal auto insurance will likely deny coverage under a provision in the insurance policy which excludes coverage when one “operates the insured vehicle for a fare”.

If the Uber driver has the ap on, ride share companies like Uber will provide insurance to their drivers, but the amount and type depend on what stage of the Uber ride process they are in when the accident occurs.

1. Driver logged into the ap waiting for riders to call: If an Uber driver causes a car accident in Austin in this situation, Uber offers a contingent liability coverage. This means that Uber will provide liability coverage contingent on the driver’s personal auto insurance carrier denying coverage under the exclusion provision mentioned above.

2.  Heading to pick up a rider – OR – driving a rider to a destination:  In this situation, Uber sees their drivers as official company drivers and provides commercial liability coverage (if the Uber driver causes a car accident in Austin), and commercial uninsured/underinsured coverage (when the Uber driver and/or rider are involved in an Austin car wreck caused by another driver with insufficient insurance).

If you have been injured in a car wreck in Austin by an Uber driver, or as a passenger in an Uber vehicle, or you are an Uber driver and have been injured by another’s negligence, call Funk & Associates today.  We are very familiar with this emerging area of law in Austin and will fight for your legal rights to get you justice.

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