VanMeveren Law Group - October

Foundations 970

SOUTH 2038 Caribou Drive, Suite 101 Fort Collins, CO 80525

OLD TOWN 123 North College Ave., Suite 112 Fort Collins, CO 80524

OCTOBER 2019

You or Uber?

INSURANCE COVERAGE AFTER A COLLISION

Some of you may remember the deadly hit-and-run crash that left an Uber driver dead and the son-in-law of the Colorado Springs mayor critically injured following a Garth Brooks concert in June 2019. The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and is currently awaiting trial. Fatal injury crashes are rare, and while it is unlikely you will be involved in one, it still begs the question: How are victims traveling in Uber or Lyft vehicles compensated for their injuries if they’re involved in a crash? Uber and Lyft are formally called transportation network companies (TNCs). TNCs are treated differently than other public modes of transportation such as taxis, buses, and trains. One distinguishing difference is how a passenger is compensated following a crash that leaves them with an injury. Uber drivers are not employees of Uber. This means Uber has a low level of financial and legal responsibility for its drivers. Also, Uber does not have to enter into long-term commitments or pay any extras, such as health benefits, unemployment compensation, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. That leaves people wondering if you are a passenger being driven by an Uber driver in Colorado and are hurt in a car collision, how do you get compensated for your injuries? The answer is, of course, that it depends. Colorado recently signed Senate Bill 25 into law, also known as the Transportation Network Company Act. This act states that ride-sharing companies must provide primary insurance coverage when the driver’s Uber app is turned on. The app is the technology provided by the company that allows drivers to find riders. Fortunately, TNC drivers in Colorado must provide primary liability coverage of $50,000 per injured person and $100,000 for all injuries arising from one collision. While not a substantial amount of coverage, it is more than the state minimum limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. If you are injured as a result of an Uber driver’s negligence, you will probably need to work with Uber’s insurance provider for injury compensation instead of your insurance. According to Uber, the following rules apply.

$1,000,000 third-party liability

• $1,000,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage

If the driver is offline or the Uber app is off, then the driver’s chosen personal injury insurance company and coverages apply.

Be advised that if you are injured in a crash caused by an Uber driver who is working at the time, your auto insurance company will likely deny your claim, since the vehicle that caused the injuries was driven by a ride-share driver. If you are hurt due to an Uber driver’s negligence, you will likely work with Uber’s insurance provider for injury compensation instead of your insurance, at least initially. But remember to carry underinsured motorist coverage through your own auto policy. This coverage could provide you with an extra layer of protection in the event the Uber coverage or the Uber driver’s personal coverage is inadequate to fully compensate you for your damages.

That said, before providing any information to Uber, please consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in injury law.

If the driver is en route to pick up riders and has the Uber app open and during trips, Uber maintains the following auto insurance in case of a covered accident:

–Bryan VanMeveren

970-495-9741 • 1

www.vanmeverenlaw.com

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