Picture this: It’s a Friday night. You and some co-workers decide to grab a drink after work. One beer turns to two and then to three before you call it a night. Not wanting to drive, you order an Uber. You don’t think much of it as the driver weaves through traffic; you tell yourself they’re just doing their job. You’re looking idly out the window when there’s a thunderous crunching noise and your head shoots forward, crashing into the passenger’s seat.

Some of you might not need to imagine that, having experienced a crash in an Uber firsthand. If you’ve been injured in an Uber car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any other damages. However, filing a claim and working with a number of insurance companies is the last thing you need in the aftermath of a traumatic experience.

To make the process easier, we’ve put together this guide, clearly explaining what your rights are and what you should do following an accident with an Uber—whether you were a passenger in the Uber or in another car.

Can You Sue Uber if You’re in an Accident with an Uber Driver?

If you’re a passenger in an Uber when it crashes, or you’re in a crash and the other driver is an Uber, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to sue Uber. This is because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, so they’re ultimately responsible for crashes, although Uber

However, there are some instances when you might be able to successfully sue Uber if you were involved in an accident with a driver. You could potentially sue Uber if:

  • A complaint had previously been lodged against the driver for driving while drunk or otherwise intoxicated, and Uber failed to suspend the driver or properly investigate the complaint
  • They hired a driver who’s had three or more moving violations in the past three years
  • They failed to ensure that the driver’s vehicle met Wisconsin safety standards

What Does Uber’s Insurance Cover?

Wisconsin state law requires that Uber maintain insurance for its drivers while they’re active. In eligible accidents, the following limits apply:

  • If you’re an Uber passenger, or the driver has accepted a ride and is on their way to pick up a rider, Uber’s insurance may cover up to $1 million in damages.
  • If the Uber driver is online, but not actively engaged in driving a passenger or picking someone up, Uber’s insurance may cover:
    • At least $50,000 in bodily injury liability per person
    • Up to $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
    • $25,000 in property damage liability per accident

Additionally, Uber may offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which can kick in in the event of a hit and run. The same insurance limits apply to Uber Eats delivery drivers, but the uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t apply in that case.

Clearly that’s less than the level of coverage available when they’re actively driving a passenger, but it’s still better than the minimum coverage required by Wisconsin law.

What If the Uber Driver Isn’t Online at the Time of the Accident?

If the Uber driver isn’t ‘online’ or using the Uber app at the time of the accident, Uber isn’t obligated by Wisconsin to provide additional insurance, so you’ll have to rely on the driver’s personal insurance coverage. Wisconsin state law mandates that drivers carry insurance policies with the following limits at minimum:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to a single person
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people
  • Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 for a single person and $50,000 for two or more people

You might be looking at those coverage limits and thinking that they’re not very much—because they aren’t. If you suffer an injury of any severity, even something like a broken arm, the medical costs can easily exceed $25,000. Despite these low legally-required levels of coverage, an estimated 13% of drivers in Wisconsin are uninsured or underinsured, meaning they’re unlikely to have enough coverage to adequately cover your injuries.

Did you know: In some cities, Uber and other rideshare drivers are involved with nearly a quarter of all crashes?

What to do After an Uber Accident, Explained Step-by-Step

Being in an Uber accident is a taxing experience, and it’s hard to know how to start dealing with what’s to come. To make the process more manageable, we’ve put together a list of the key first steps to take following an accident.

What to do in the Moments Following an Uber Car Accident

  1. It goes without saying that if you or anyone else involved in the crash is seriously injured, you should seek medical care immediately. However, if you don’t notice any immediate signs of injury, stay at the crash scene.
  2. Call the police so they can come make a report of the crash, and report the crash to Uber as well. A police report won’t help you in court, but a personal injury attorney could use it during negotiations with insurance companies.
  3. While you wait for the police to arrive, take photos of the crash scene, the vehicles, and other details. Be thorough, and consider taking videos as well. Also take the time to gather contact and insurance information from other parties involved with the crash, such as the Uber driver, other drivers, witnesses, and other passengers.

What to do in the Days Following the Car Crash

After the dust has settled, you’ll want to take several other steps in the aftermath of the crash.

  1. First, seriously consider seeking medical attention even if you don’t think you’ve sustained an injury. This is because some injuries—indeed, some of the most serious, such as injuries to your brain, back, and neck—may not truly reveal themselves in the hours or days immediately after a car crash.
  2. Don’t speak to any insurance representatives who might call you during the days that follow. As some injuries like back and neck injuries take time to become symptomatic, insurance companies are eager to settle as soon as possible to avoid responsibility. Understand that insurance companies are incentivized to give you as little compensation as they can get away with; avoiding them in the aftermath of a crash is the best way to protect yourself and get the compensation you deserve.
  3. Get in touch with a boutique personal injury firm. They will be able to handle communications with insurers, navigate your rights, determine if Uber bears any responsibility for the accident, and ultimately get you as much compensation as possible for your injuries. On the other hand, a big-name settlement mill will probably make a big show of defending you, but they’ll take a relatively-low offer from insurance companies.

For Lawyers You Can Trust, Contact Pasternak and Zirgibel

Crashes can be traumatic. In the hours and days that follow an Uber car accident, you need time to recover, receive treatment for your injuries, and make other arrangements. Unfortunately, in your time of vulnerability and need, insurance companies, whether they are covering Uber or another at-fault driver, may try to take advantage of you. Who can you trust?

When you need someone on your side in the aftermath of an Uber car accident, turn to Pasternak and Zirgibel. We understand what you’re going through, and we’ll stick up for you and your rights. We can handle communications with predatory insurance companies, build comprehensive arguments outlining what you’re owed, and navigate the legal system on your behalf. Most importantly, we can devote our time to your case and fight for every penny you deserve.

To discuss your case with personal injury lawyers you can trust, schedule a free initial case consultation with Pasternak and Zirgibel today.