In September 2013, UberX driver Bassim Elbatniji crashed into another vehicle while transporting two Uber customers, Jason Herrera and Nickolas Kolintzas. Both young men were badly hurt and sustained multiple injuries. Herrera said that the accident was so intense and such a blur, that “I basically woke up inside the ambulance. And I actually thought I went through a windshield.
Herrera was instructed by Uber personnel to contact the driver to obtain their personal insurance information. When Elbatniji’s insurance company denied Herrera’s claim, stating that they would not cover an accident occurring during drive time for commercial purposes, as is the policy of most insurance companies. Herrera went through the popular car-service company to inquire about the $1 million-dollar insurance policy that the company is supposed to utilize for instances such as this. Herrera decided to sue after Uber refused to give up any details about their insurance policy.
Uber relays to prospective drivers on its website that, “Your personal insurance policy is all you need. Please make sure you carry the appropriate insurance to cover your liability to other parties (liability insurance), damage to your vehicle (optional collision insurance) and injury to yourself (health insurance). If you are unsure about your coverage, check with your insurance provider.” However, many insurance companies claim that this is simply untrue, and that driving for any rideshare company, such as Uber, constitutes commercial driving, which is not covered in the event of an accident under the personal insurance policy.
Fair warning should be granted to all potential car-service customers; if you are in an accident while using any rideshare company services, it can be somewhat difficult to get the car-service to pay out what they may be legally responsible for. Allowing an experienced personal injury to handle your case and fight on your behalf is the best way to secure an optimal chance at recovering the settlement you deserve and are entitled to.