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A Mini Guide on Uber Car Accident Settlements, Claims, and Insurance in 2023


A Mini Guide on Uber Car Accident Settlements, Claims, and Insurance in 2023

Pursuing an Uber accident settlement can be extremely challenging, especially without legal representation. Uber is a large company with a bad reputation for paying out claims despite their drivers’ insurance coverage.

Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have more than 15 years of experience protecting the rights of injured victims and pursuing claims on their behalf. Our Uber accident attorneys have put together this mini guide on Uber car accident settlements, claims, and insurance to help you learn more about your rights after an Uber accident.

What Are the Uber Insurance Requirements in California?

When it comes to ridesharing driving, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy won’t provide coverage in most cases. The insurance requirements for Uber in California vary from one period to another.

Period 1: App Active but Not yet Paired with Passenger

During this period, under California law, the Uber driver must have $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $30,000 in property damage liability coverage.

Period 2: Ride Accepted, but Passenger Not yet Picked Up

During this period, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) insurance kicks in, and under California law, Uber must provide $1 million in insurance coverage to cover the driver and the passenger.

Period 3: When the Driver Picks up the Passenger

In period 3, when a driver picks up the passenger, the ridesharing company’s insurance policy kicks in until the end of the ride. The coverage remains the same as mentioned in period 2.

Although state laws require ridesharing companies to carry insurance coverage for their drivers and passengers, there are no collision or comprehensive benefits for period 1, and the company does not provide insurance during period 0 when the driver is not on the app.

The driver must assess their insurance coverages and purchase relevant policies that kick in during company insurance gaps.

Does Uber Pay for Accidents?

When it comes to paying for accidents, there are two aspects to Uber payouts, one involving the driver and the other involving a passenger. Let’s look at each of these separately.

Uber Drivers

When the app is not on, Uber’s insurance company will not be liable to pay for any damages to the driver.

If you suffer injuries in an accident during period 0 as an Uber driver, you would have to look at your insurance policy or the at-fault driver’s insurance company to reimburse you for the damages incurred.

However, if the app is active, but you have not yet paired with the passenger, Uber’s insurance company will pay for you only if you’re not at fault for the accident. If you’re not at fault for the accident, you may have liability coverage of up to $1 million, depending on the status of the Uber ride.

It is important to note that even if you were in “drive mode” when the accident occurred, you may still not receive full compensation for the damages incurred. Reaching out to an experienced Uber accident attorney for legal reasons representation is crucial.

Uber Passengers

The insurance coverage provided by Uber is much larger than the average insurance coverage by drivers in California. If you were a passenger in an Uber when an accident occurred, the company provides up to $1 million in coverage if their driver was at fault.

It’s important to note that California follows the comparative negligence rule, where all parties could be responsible for an accident.

If the Uber driver is not 100% liable for your injuries as a passenger, you would need to pursue a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company as well to become “whole again,” as Uber will not compensate you for the entire damages incurred.

Whether your Uber driver is 100% at-fault or partially responsible, you need to work with an experienced Uber accident attorney to create a strong demand letter and gather sufficient evidence to build a persuasive claim.

Can You Sue Uber for an Accident?

Uber Escapes Liability with Proposition 22

Proposition 22 allows Uber and other ridesharing companies to bypass California labor laws requiring companies to classify their workers as employees, not independent contractors.

Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors

Since Uber drivers are not employees but are independent contractors, you cannot bring a lawsuit against Uber itself.

Suppose the Uber accident happened due to the driver’s negligence. In that case, you might file a claim against the insurance policy Uber provides its drivers to recover damages, but you may not have sufficient grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the company.

However, you would first need to pursue a claim against the driver’s insurance company and then file a claim with the company’s insurer if the driver’s insurance does not provide sufficient coverage.

Available Damages in an Uber Car Accident Claim

The damages available in an Uber accident claim depend on the facts of the case, including the extent of your injuries and the medical expenses incurred. 

Typically, the following are the most common types of damages recovered in an Uber accident settlement.

Property Damage

Although property damages are less common in an Uber accident since passengers are not driving their vehicle, they may occur when an Uber driver crashes into another car.

Medical Bills

Medical expenses include current, past, and future medical bills arising from the injuries sustained in an Uber accident. 

Medical bills cover hospitalization costs, surgeries, therapies, and other medical expenses. The victim must maintain copies of all the invoices or receipts after their Uber accident.

Lost Wages

In some Uber accidents where severe injuries can cause victims to miss work, affecting their financial status.

Uber accident claims allow injured victims to recover lost income (current, past, and future loss of earnings) when they sustain injuries in an Uber accident. They need to provide their paystubs and other relevant details to prove they could not work due to their injuries.

Pain and Suffering

An Uber accident could leave the victim in pain that can last for days, months, or even years, depending on the extent and nature of the injuries.

Fortunately, injured victims can recover from pain and suffering damages when pursuing personal injury claims against the Uber driver.

Wrongful Death

If you’ve lost a loved one in an Uber accident, under California law, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent party.

How Much Is the Average Uber Accident Settlement Amount?

Uber accident settlement amounts depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries.

Minor Accident Cases May Settle under $15,000

In minor car accidents, your claim may be under $15,000. In cases where you suffer no injuries or little pain that goes away, you may not be able to recover any damages, or your case may not be worth that much.

Serious Injuries Can Boost Your Uber Accident Settlement Significantly

Your case could be worth more than Uber’s insurance coverage if you’ve suffered severe injuries. This is often the case if the driver is in period 1, waiting to pair with a passenger, with insurance coverage up to $50,000.

During period 1, if the Uber driver was at-fault for an accident resulting in serious injuries, surgeries may cost well over the policy limits available.

However, if the driver is on route to pick up the passenger and crashes into another vehicle causing injuries to the other driver, or the Uber driver is driving a passenger to their destination and crashes, resulting in injuries to the passenger, the insurance coverage is typically up to $1 million.

Although it is challenging to surpass $1 million in damages in car accidents, it does happen, especially in cases involving traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or wrongful death.

Uber Accident Settlements: How Long Does Uber Take to Settle a Case?

Like any personal injury claim, the time it takes to settle one depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. Uber is also notorious for dragging out the settlement process, but since they are a large company, they do not want bad publicity.

Typically, it can take up to one or two months to receive a settlement offer from the company, but it may also take longer, depending on the facts of your case.

Like any other insurance company, Uber’s insurance company would want to avoid paying out fair settlements as it can hurt their profits. They’ll lowball a settlement offer, and if you don’t have legal representation, you’ll struggle to negotiate a better settlement with the insurer.

If you have an experienced personal injury attorney, they can help handle the insurer and negotiate a better settlement offer on your behalf. However, the negotiations phase can take much longer, but if you’re patient, it can reap a higher compensation.

How Can Ehline Law Help with Your Uber Accident Case?

Whether you’re an Uber passenger, pedestrian, or another driver whose suffered injuries due to the Uber driver’s fault, the law that may pertain to your case and the insurance coverage available to you is highly confusing to wrap your head around.

If you decide to pursue a claim without legal representation, you may leave money damages on the table or even lose out on your claim.

Ehline Law and our Uber accident attorneys have deep knowledge of the laws about ridesharing companies in California, and we understand how Uber insurance coverages work.

We can help build a trial-ready case by gathering relevant, valuable evidence and negotiating a fair settlement offer with the insurance company.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

Ehline Law is a superior personal injury law firm that has helped over 3,000 injured victims across California. We’ve recovered more than $150 million in settlements and successful verdicts, making us a serious fighting force for insurance companies.

If you’ve suffered injuries in an Uber car accident, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation with our experienced Uber accident attorneys, as you may be able to seek compensation.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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