Uber Crash – Who Do You Sue ? Are You Covered ?

Are There Gaps in Conventional Auto Liability Insurance Coverage for TNCs ?


Neither Uber insurance nor most personal auto insurance policies likely will cover the following:

  • Damage to an Uber driver’s car in an accident that occurred during Period 1 (if the accident was another driver’s fault, however, the other driver’s insurance might cover the damages)
  • Personal injury to a driver in an accident that occurred during Period 1, if the accident was the Uber driver’s fault (i.e., if the Uber driver was the negligent party)
  • Damages that exceed policy coverage limits (i.e., if there was $37,000 in damage to the vehicle, a standard Virginia $25,000 property damage policy would not cover the excess $12,000 in loss)

Can a TNC Driver Get “Period 1” Coverage ?


It is possible for an Uber driver to procure special insurance that will cover accidents that occur during Period 1. At present, however, these options are limited. In many states, only one or two companies offer Period 1 Uber accident coverage, leading to reports of expensive quotes. “When there are only a few companies writing coverage for a particular kind of loss or limited competition in a particular insurance marketplace, the premiums for coverage are likely to be high,” notes car crash lawyer Doug Landau

Can An Injured Passenger Sue Uber ?


Since Uber drivers are considered to be “independent contractors” rather than employees, it is next to impossible for a passenger or a third party to sue Uber itself for an accident caused by one of its drivers. Alleging that Uber negligently retained a driver with a bad driving record is one of the few reasonably promising legal avenues in this regard. In other words, once Uber or Lyft becomes aware that a particular driver is dangerous (i.e., by prior crashes, reckless driving, Traffic Court convictions, etc.), then there may be a direct action against the Transportation Network Company.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of a car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash with an Uber, Lyft or other APP car service, and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.