What to Do After an Uber Car Accident in Chicago
Taxis and city buses are becoming transportation methods of the past as rideshare companies continue to grow. Uber is the most popular rideshare company of choice in Chicago, followed by Lyft. Uber provides a convenient alternative to traditional methods of transportation by allowing individuals to request a ride via the free Uber mobile app to take them virtually anywhere in a matter of minutes. Uber will automatically connect users to the closest driver that will take them from point A to point B at a predetermined price.
Often, Uber fares are cheaper than those of taxi cabs while offering nicer vehicles and more flexibility. It’s no wonder why less Chicago residents are “hailing taxis,” and “calling Ubers” instead. There are many upsides to traveling with rideshare companies like Uber, but there are also many things to be aware of. For example, what happens if you are involved in a car accident on your Uber trip? What are your rights? How do you get compensated for any injuries and/or damages? It can be a tricky subject, but luckily there are ways to stay protected after a rideshare car accident in Chicago.
Are Rideshare Services Safer?
In addition to the benefits of using a rideshare app explained above, many people think that rideshare services are actually safer. In order to answer that question, you have to consider what it takes to become an Uber driver and what makes them different from any other driver. The process to become an Uber driver in Chicago is actually quite simple. In general, you can become an Uber driver as long as you:
- Are a licensed driver over 21 years old
- Are currently/have been licensed to drive in the US for at least 1 year
- Have an in-state registered vehicle that has 4-doors and is 15 years old or newer
- Are the holder of in-state auto insurance
- Have a social security number
- Pass a background check
Notice how there are no requirements centered around the Uber driver’s ability to safely drive a vehicle, aside from obtaining a driver’s license. Therefore, as a passenger, there is no reason you should assume the person driving you is any more qualified to get you to your destination safely than any other driver on the road. Uber doesn’t require any extra driving training or certifications for their drivers to get approved.
Additionally, Uber drivers are presented with many more distractions than the average driver on the road. They are being tasked with diligently following a GPS, communicating with passengers, adjusting music and temperature controls for each ride, and getting to the destination in a timely manner. They do all of this while simultaneously coordinating their next ride and navigating through unfamiliar roads and traffic. As you can see, there are many reasons why Uber car accidents can happen, and you should never assume you are safer riding with a rideshare app than you are in your own vehicle. So how do you protect yourself and what actions can you take after an accident?
It’s important to know the general overview of how insurance companies protect drivers and riders in this growing rideshare industry. Since Uber is the most popular rideshare service in Chicago, we will be referencing their policies here. From a rider’s perspective, if you are hurt in an accident while riding in an Uber, which insurance policy would be financially responsible – the at-fault driver’s policy or Uber’s own insurance coverage?
Let’s talk about Uber’s insurance policy first. Uber carries a third-party liability insurance coverage which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. When the Uber driver is the party responsible for the accident, all passengers are covered under this policy. However, before this policy comes into play, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance must be fully exhausted first. As stated earlier, Uber requires drivers to have in-state personal liability insurance in their name. It’s also important to note than many personal auto insurance policies won’t cover damages and injuries that occurred while the insured is acting as a for-profit driver. This is often called a “business use exception.”
What happens if the accident wasn’t the Uber driver’s fault? In this case, you would treat the accident as you would any other car accident. You would recover compensation from the at-fault driver through a third-party car insurance claim. However, there is another type of insurance that Uber carries in addition to its liability insurance coverage. Uber’s uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage usually offers $1 million in coverage per accident if the at-fault driver is uninsured, underinsured, or unknown.
This is just a general overview of how insurance companies and Uber usually work after a car accident. It can be different depending on the state and exact accident scenario, so it is always best to consult a personal injury attorney that specializes in rideshare accidents.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Protecting your rights and navigating through complicated insurance claims is probably low on your list of immediate concerns after a car accident. But, it’s important to know that you still have rights after a rideshare accident and you are entitled to financial recovery after an accident. A car accident, rideshare or otherwise, can result in serious and often permanent injuries, costly medical bills, and lost income. If you are involved in a car accident, you need to seek immediate medical care and legal counsel.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works with those who have been injured in any type of car accident to help them recover damages for their injuries and get their lives back on track. Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works hard to get you the settlement you deserve. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until you win a settlement. The experienced attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. fight to secure your financial future. For more information on car accident lawsuits, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.