Ridesharing applications have exploded in popularity in recent years. The concept of a ridesharing app was developed in 2009. By 2012, Uber became an essential household name. According to Uber’s latest poll, Uber now has over 160,000 contracted drivers.
Despite Uber’s convenience and more economical transportation, there have been many serious incidents. For example, in May of 2016, a driver was charged with strangling a University of Delaware student. In August 2016, a Maryland federal officer and part time Uber driver was sentenced to 5 years in prison for a fatal drunken driving crash. Earlier this year, in Sussex County, DE an Uber driver was arrested after burglarizing several passengers’ homes after dropping them off.
Newark, DE. - Uber driver charged with strangling a student in dorm parking-lot
NBCWash. - Federal Officer Part Time Uber Driver Sentenced 5 Years Fatal Drunken Driving Crash
Sussex County, DE. - Uber Driver Burglarized Passengers' Homes While They Were Out
Not every incident is catastrophic. Traffic collisions do happen, and as a passenger of Uber you need to know what to do in the event of an accident.
Document the scene with photos or video.
Get a copy of the police report.
Photograph any visible injuries.
Compensation for your injuries may be difficult to obtain, as Uber has taken significant steps to fight your claim. Uber has classified their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. This makes drivers solely liable in the event they are at fault, attempting to take responsibility off of the company.
Uber does carry rideshare insurance, requiring a minimum liability coverage of $100,000 per accident. Only two states match Uber’s $100,000 minimum coverage, Alaska and Maine. For perspective, our June newsletter highlighted Kimmel Carter’s involvement in the passing of House Bill 114, which was signed into law June 13, 2017. The new law will increase Delaware’s minimum coverage for bodily injury or death from $15,000 per person to $25,000 per person, and the limit per accident will increase from $30,000 to $50,000.
Uber has the means to cover passenger’s needs and expenses in the event of an accident. Yet, Uber will go to great lengths to try to deny your claim or limit the amount of insurance coverage available. Seek legal counsel after following the steps listed above after a motor vehicle accident.