Uber Car Accidents
At Cook, Bradford & Levy we have seen businesses like Uber flooding Colorado’s transportation landscape in recent years. While we believe that services like Uber are generally a good thing, many people have questions when an Uber driver gets into a car accident in Colorado. For example, does an Uber driver have insurance coverage when he or she causes a car accident? Or, is there insurance coverage for a passenger in an Uber car that has been in an accident?
At Cook, Bradford & Levy, we are experienced Denver Uber car accident attorneys with the answers to these questions and more. We know that in Colorado, services like Uber are known as “Transportation Network Companies,” and are governed by Colorado’s Transportation Network Company Act (TNCA). The TNCA states that the type of insurance coverage in place during an Uber car accident depends on the status of the Uber driver’s digital network.Uber Insurance Coverage During a “Prearranged Ride”
An experienced Denver Uber car accident attorney knows Colorado law requires that coverage for any Uber driver during a “prearranged ride” must be at least one million dollars per accident. The TNCA defines “prearranged ride” as the time period beginning when an Uber driver, for example, accepts a requested ride through its digital network until the rider physically exits the Uber driver’s vehicle after the ride is complete. This includes the time when the Uber driver is on the way to pick up the passenger, because the Uber driver must first have accepted the requested ride to do so.
This means that if you are hit by an Uber driver during this time period, the Uber driver is likely covered by at least one million dollars in liability insurance coverage. All or some of this coverage may be available to you, depending on how many people make claims stemming from the accident. For this reason, an experienced Denver Uber car accident attorney understands that if you are in a car accident it is critical to learn whether the person who hit you was driving for Uber.
By this same token, Colorado law is likely strong enough to require Uber to provide insurance coverage in this same amount to its passengers when they are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). We know that Uber agrees with this assessment because the current policy on file with the Public Utilities Commission shows them providing one million dollars in liability coverage and one million dollars in UM/UIM coverage for those situations when passengers are hit by another vehicle without enough (or any) insurance coverage. You can view Uber’s current insurance policy here.Uber Insurance Coverage at Other Times
An experienced Denver Uber accident attorney can also tell you that Uber drivers who have their digital network on (sort of like being “on the clock”), but who have not yet picked up a passenger are still required to carry insurance, although at lower levels than during a “prearranged ride.” Specifically, during this time period Uber must provide its drivers with liability insurance coverage of at least $50,000.00 per person and $100,000.00 per incident during this time period. This is why if you are ever in a car accident in Colorado, an experienced Denver Uber car accident attorney will recommend that you learn whether the other driver was “on the clock” with Uber at the time of the crash, because this would nearly double the minimum amount of coverage otherwise required when driving a personal vehicle on Colorado’s roads.
As may be reasonably expected, Uber is not required to provide any insurance to a driver who is “off the clock.” Rather, “off the clock” Uber drivers are treated the same as any other private person and subject to the same minimum insurance requirements of $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident.Uber Black or Uber SUV
If you have been in an accident involving Uber Black or Uber SUV, we recommend that you contact an experienced Denver Uber car accident attorney to discuss the potential coverage available to you, because some of these Uber programs may be outside the requirements of the TNCA and are likely dependent on the policy in place on the particular vehicle.Full Compensation in an Uber Car Accident
An experienced Denver Uber car accident attorney can help you get full compensation for your damages. Damages recoverable in an Uber car accident include past and future medical expenses, lost wages and accrued vacations/sick time, impaired earning capacity, and physical impairment, as well as damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and inconvenience. In certain situations, punitive damages may also be available.Further Reading
We enjoyed putting together this information about Uber car accidents. Should you wish to do further reading on the topic, Colorado’s TNCA can be found at Colorado Revised Statutes 40-10.1-601 et seq.
If you have questions or need help with an Uber car accident we encourage you to call us at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation.