Imagine that you order an Uber to transport you to an event in downtown Atlanta. You open the app. You pay for the service. The Uber arrives. You are now a passenger in the Uber headed towards your destination. Your Uber driver approaches a red light at an intersection near your neighborhood. Your Uber driver stops his vehicle in response to the red light. A distracted driver driving behind you does not see the red light. He does not stop his vehicle. The distracted driver smashes his vehicle into the rear of the Uber vehicle.
You are injured in the wreck. You need medical care. You realize that you did not cause this wreck, and should not have to bear the burden of paying for your medical bills. A police officer arrives on the scene. He asks the driver of the Uber vehicle and the distracted driver for their license, registration, and insurance. Unfortunately, the officer’s investigation reveals that the distracted driver does not have insurance. You begin to wonder how you are going to pay for the injuries you sustained in this wreck. Here are some possibilities:
File a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company:
If you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM), or if you are covered under the policy of another driver in your home (a spouse, domestic partner, parent or child), then you can file a claim with your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover your harms and losses when the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Furthermore, UM coverage follows the person, not the car. Therefore, if you have UM coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company even if you are injured as a passenger in another’s vehicle.
What If I don’t have UM coverage, but I have Med Pay?
File a Claim Under Your Med Pay Coverage:
Med Pay will pay for the injuries you have sustained in a car wreck, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage typically follows the driver and not the vehicle. This means that a passenger who is injured in a ride-sharing company vehicle can file a claim with their insurance company under their Med Pay coverage although the wreck did not involve their own vehicle. Please note that you will be responsible for your deductible and co-payments if you use this coverage.
What do you do if you don’t have UM or Med Pay coverage?
File a Claim with The Ride-Sharing Company’s Insurance Company:
Companies like Uber and Lyft both have a $1 million uninsured policy that could apply if the at-fault driver has no insurance. They also have a $1 million liability policy that you claim if the driver of the Uber is found to be at fault for the wreck. Please be aware that Uber and Lyft’s coverage will not apply if the Uber or Lyft driver causes a wreck while they are off duty. In those situations, you will want to file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy. Please be mindful that many insurance policies prohibit their insured from using their vehicle as a ride-sharing vehicle, and therefore may deny coverage.
Ride Sharing Companies such as taxis, or private and public transit buses are not required to provide UM coverage. Therefore, it can be hard to recover your losses if you are injured as a passenger in one of these vehicles, and the at-fault driver does not have insurance. In this situation, you will have to rely on your own UM or Med Pay coverage. However, you may still file a claim against a taxis or bus company’s insurance company if you are a passenger in their vehicle and they are at-fault for the wreck.
What do you do if you don’t have UM or Med Pay coverage, and all other claims have been denied?
You May Sue the At-Fault Driver Personally:
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance and all other possible claims have been denied, then you may always sue the at-fault driver personally. However, if the driver does not have enough money to cover the cost of your harms and losses, then obtaining full recovery for your losses may be difficult.
If you find yourself injured as result of a car collision, then I encourage you to seek legal services.
At the Potra Law Firm, we are dedicated to your case, your care, and our community.
You may seek our services at Potralawfirm.com.
We look forward to representing you!
Personal Injury Attorney for Potra Law Firm