When you get into an accident while you are driving an Uber the accident is handled differently compared to a normal accident between personal vehicles. It is clear what happens after you get an accident driving a private car – the party who is at fault has to pay the medical bills, damages and other kinds of liabilities. But when you are driving an Uber, things are different. Not only will you have to consider that you are carrying a stranger, but you should also be conscious of the terms and conditions offered by Uber. Thanks to Hunter Law Group who feature the best personal injury attorney in Tampa, we can answer some common questions regarding accidents while driver an Uber:
- What’s next after an accident?
- Is there a way to minimize liability?
- Which is the first insurance company to call?
First and foremost, once you get into an accident while Uber driving, keep calm and follow the instructions below:
- Call 911 if it is necessary. Check if any of your passengers have incurred an injury; you may need to have emergency services and the police present.
- Ensure that you take photos of the damage to your car and the other cars that are at the scene.
- Get the contact information and license plate number of the drivers involved in the accident. If you can, take a photo of their plate numbers.
- Get the information from a witness.
- Call the hotline emergency number for Uber: 800-353-8237. Always have this number in your car for future reference. In case the number is not working, you can send an email to Uber through email@example.com.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Remember NEVER to admit that you are at fault. Don’t say so, even if you think you are the one who has made a mistake.
- Keep calm. Avoid blaming the other driver and don’t engage in arguments. You don’t want things to escalate to the point that you spend the night in jail.
- Make a record of the events that led to the accident to avoid missing any details when they are needed.
You need to remember that your insurance may not cover your Uber accident. At Hunter Law Group they can help you know what is going to be covered by Uber and what your personal insurance will cover.
The first person to contact
If you had a passenger in the vehicle and you were in online mode, or you were going to pick up a client after accepting their request
Contact Uber first, but be warned that once you contact them, there is a
high chance that you might be deactivated as an Uber driver. This translates to a loss of revenue over a long period.
Contact them using the hotline we looked at earlier, if you cannot successfully reach them, you can use the Uber app, their website or on Twitter.
If you were waiting for a ride request in the Uber Partner app
Uber’s coverage depends on your personal insurance coverage. First, contact your personal insurance and then contact Uber.
If you were NOT in Uber Partner app -online mode
As usual, contact your personal insurance company. If you never had the Uber Partner app on, Uber’s insurance will not apply. But this differs is you were in a state like Washington or California. In these states, there is a rule that ride-sharing company insurance cover drives even if they don’t have a passenger. You can check with your DMV on what the law says in your state.
To prevent possible legal consequences, do not lie about whether or not you were in online mode. Always know that the app is tracking you via GPS and it also keeps the timestamps and other types of metadata. If it is discovered that you were lying, you can go to jail because it is categorized as a fraud.
Some important notes to remember
You may be contacted by James River which is the insurance company Uber uses to provide details concerning the accident. If James River does not contact you, there is a chance that the damage is too small and it would not reach the thousand dollar threshold Uber has ready.
Record everything using your phone
Your phone is handy in accidents. Record audio, video and even take pictures which are going to be useful when the accident is being investigated.
If you don’t have an Uber passenger, call your personal insurance first; if you have an Uber passenger, call Uber first. Uber would provide secondary coverage if your Uber app were online. But otherwise, your personal insurance will handle the accident. The best thing to do is to stay prepared and follow the guidelines outlined.