After a night out with friends, you took what felt like the safest option home and got an Uber—except during the drive to your house, the Uber driver got in a wreck.
A number of questions may be running through your mind: Whom do I recover from? What if the Uber driver is at fault? What if there isn’t enough money to pay for my injuries?
We know there’s a lot to think about. Take a deep breath, and let’s go over some of the things you can expect and the steps to take next.
Your Options as a Passenger in an Uber
If you are a passenger in an Uber, you potentially have four insurance policies available to you, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the wreck.
First, Uber requires its drivers to carry a $50,000/$100,000 auto insurance policy. So if your Uber driver got in a wreck and was the negligent driver, you can collect up to $50,000 from them for personal injuries, or $100,000 per wreck if there is more than one claimant. Uber as a company also carries a $1,000,000 insurance policy for passengers only. However, this is only a secondary policy that is not tapped into until after using the primary policy held by the Uber driver for the vehicle in which you were traveling.
In another scenario, let’s say your Uber driver was not the negligent one in the wreck. Let’s say you chose to be smart and take an Uber home after a night out with friends in downtown Dallas. On the way home, you were stopped at a red light, sitting in the back of your Uber when, all of a sudden, a drunk driver smashed into the back of the car. Your Uber driver has been hit by a drunk driver with you in the back seat. Now what?
Any time a drunk driver hits you and has insurance, the drunk driver’s insurance policy kicks in as the first source of recovery for your injuries and damages. In this example, your Uber driver didn't do anything wrong so their individual insurance won’t apply. Uber's passenger auto policy kicks in again here as a secondary source of recovery after the at-fault drunk driver’s policy has run out. If that is exhausted, which it would be on a traumatic brain injury or wrongful death case, then you may have a claim on your underinsured motorists (UIM) policy. This is elective coverage that we highly recommend people purchase because of how often we see folks hurting when they don’t have it.
In addition, you may have a dram shop claim, where you can recover from the bar or restaurant that over-served the driver that hit the Uber vehicle you were in. In Texas, dramshop claims allow the person injured by a drunk driver to hold the establishment that served alcohol to the driver responsible for their injuries and damages.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
When there are several insurance policies in play, we encourage you to reach out to a trial lawyer with experience navigating these waters. You wouldn't want a surgeon performing complex surgery on you when they have never done one before, and the same goes for a trial lawyer. Choose an attorney who has experience navigating cases with multiple insurance policies in the mix.
If you have any questions about what to do when you are involved in a wreck in Dallas county as a passenger in an Uber, call us at 214-699-4409.
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