Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become incredibly popular around Denver in the last several years. Not only do people use Uber to get around the city, but many people also use a rideshare vehicle when they plan to go out and drink (and therefore, not drive intoxicated).
Many people also use ridesharing companies to go to or from the Denver International Airport to avoid parking fees. And finally, ridesharing has become, for many drivers, a convenient way to earn extra income and some people use it solely to earn a living. But with so many Uber drivers on the road, there has been an increase in car accidents involving Uber drivers in and around the greater Denver metropolitan area.
Colorado has tried to put in place regulations to deal with accidents involving Uber drivers. However, Uber drivers may not know what to do if they get into an accident because they may be confused as to what insurance company they should report the accident to—their own personal insurance or Uber's insurance. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have represented Uber drivers in Colorado. Contact us today for a free consultation.
If You Are an Uber Driver
There are a lot of frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may have as an Uber driver if you've been in an accident. These questions can include:
- I'm an Uber driver but did not have a passenger in my car at the time of the accident—will Uber cover my damages or medical costs?
- When do I report an accident to Uber?
- Whose insurance—my own or Uber's—will cover any damages or my medical costs?
In 2014, Colorado passed laws to address companies like Uber and Lyft. These laws apply to Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) that are operating in Colorado. However, because these laws are relatively new, there are still some situations where it is not clear what rules apply after an accident.
Uber Driver Insurance Coverage in an Accident
Uber insurance coverage is regulated, in part, by Colorado driving laws, Colorado laws specific to TNCs, and Uber's insurance coverage policies. Uber has different insurance coverage policies when an Uber driver has a passenger, is waiting to get a ride-match, and when the driver is on their own time.
Colorado law requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance. This applies when an Uber driver has not yet accepted a ride or has already finished a ride but is still on the Uber platform. The mandatory minimum coverage required for drivers in Colorado includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
There is a special limitation between when you activate the app to find a passenger and before you pick them up, and that's when a contingent coverage applies. Under Colorado's TNC laws, Uber must provide coverage over the minimum individual liability during this time frame. Once the TNC driver indicates they are available for a ride but they have not yet accepted a ride request, Uber coverage must provide a minimum of:
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident; and
- $100,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
An Uber driver's highest level of liability coverage goes into effect once the driver accepts a ride request, is on the way to pick up the passenger, or has the passenger in their vehicle. At this time, Uber's policy coverage is for up to $1 million.
How to Report an Uber Accident
Under Colorado law, all drivers are required to report an accident that involves property damage or injury. If the police respond to the accident, an officer will gather the information at the scene and file an accident report. If the police are not called to the scene of the accident, the driver can file an accident report online.
Most insurance policies generally require that the driver immediately report any accident. Uber drivers should contact their personal insurance company to report an accident as soon as possible, and they should also contact Uber right away. In fact, Uber drivers are required to report an accident to the company. The company may also ask any non-passengers involved in an accident to fill out their Uber accident form.
The simplest way to deal with Uber if you were driving for them and were involved in an accident is to contact an experienced Denver auto accident attorney. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will be able to help you deal with Uber and Uber's insurance company so you don't have to. Your attorney will also advise you of your rights and options in filing a claim against Uber so you get the maximum compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Uber Driver Accidents
The statute of limitations for most car accident injury claims in Colorado is three years. A driver, passenger, or bystanders all have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, the statute of limitations for a car accident may be longer or shorter in certain circumstances. You should contact your Denver accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident to make sure your claim is filed on time.
Uber Driver Selection and Training
Uber has basic requirements for their drivers and vehicles. Generally, in order to drive for Uber, you have to:
- Pass a vehicle inspection;
- Show a valid license, registration, and vehicle insurance;
- Undergo a medical check-up; and
- Undergo a background check.
Uber drivers do not have to pass a driving test beyond what they had to do to get a Colorado driver's license in the first place. Uber drivers also do not go through any specialized training to drive for Uber. The only limited training they provide is for you to understand how to use their app.
There are restrictions for Uber drivers, including company policies and laws that prohibit drivers from operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but there is little to no monitoring of driver activity. Additionally, drivers in Colorado are prohibited from using phones while driving, but Uber drivers are required to interact with their phones before picking up a ride, navigating a ride, and finishing the ride.
Denver Uber Accident Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented Uber drivers or other ride-share operators who have been involved in an accident. Our attorneys understand how to deal with Uber and their insurance companies, and we will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.