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Who’s Liable When an Uber Driver is Involved in an Accident?

Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, the last thing you’d want to imagine is being involved in a car crash. A car accident is often a deadening experience that, in addition to causing physical and emotional pain, can wreak havoc to the victim’s financial health. But accidents do happen from time to time, and they don’t come knocking at anyone’s door.

Since its founding in 2009, Uber has grown to become inarguably the most popular cab service not only in the US but in many other countries around the world. When you’re new in the city and want to navigate from one point to the other, you just call an Uber and you’re good to go. You get into a club, take several shots and you feel you’re not confident enough to drive yourself home, you can simply leave your vehicle, call an Uber and come pick your vehicle the next day when you’re not intoxicated. They’re an affordable and highly convenient means of transport.

However, this is not to say that an Uber driver cannot get into a car crash, which may arise from his negligence or the negligence of another driver. If you’ve been hurt in an Uber crash or another ridesharing service, the folks at say that finding an accident lawyer should be one of the first things to do. This is because car accident issues can sometimes be complicated, lengthy, and emotionally draining if you approach it alone. With a good car accident lawyer, the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and losses becomes smooth and less stressful, giving you enough time and peace of mind to heal and get back to your normal life. 
The big question, however, is, who’s liable for the damages in case this happens?

Car Insurance

In essence, all drivers are required to carry car insurance to be on the road. Remember, most cars under the Uber umbrella are actually owned by third parties or the drivers themselves. But since Uber is a large, well-reputed brand, many cab drivers choose to operate under Uber instead of conducting business as individuals or under other smaller ridesharing services. The good thing is that before Uber accepts a driver, they have to carry car insurance, which is meant to protect them from liability in case they were at fault in n auto accident.

Who’s Held Liable?

Now, if you or a loved one has been injured in an uber crash, liability lies in the driver who caused the accident. In other words, there are various scenarios to it. You could be a passenger in the Uber or a passenger/driver in the other vehicle. Either way, the driver who is found at fault for the crash (or their insurance company) should be the one to cover the resulting damages, including medical costs and compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering. But sometimes accident compensation matters can be highly complex and difficult to navigate, which is why is important to work with an accident attorney from the word go.

Supplemental Uber Insurance

The other good thing about Uber is that they also provide supplemental insurance to their drivers. This is specifically meant to help passengers who may get hurt in an Uber car crash. The accident policy, in the US, for instance, covers a liability of up to $1 million, which may be enough to compensate you for your losses, pay your medical bills, and other out of pocket expenses the persons involved in the accident might have incurred after the car crash. The ridesharing service also provides coverage of up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, along with $25,000 coverage for property damage caused by the accident. However, the caveat to this is that for the insurance to become available, the Uber driver has to have had the Uber app on during the ride. This makes it important that as a passenger, you always ensure that your driver has the Uber app on as soon as you board the vehicle.
After an Uber driver is involved in a car accident, the liability lies in the person at fault. They, the other driver, or their insurance company could be held liable. In a rideshare accident, some common types of compensation available include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, among others. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger in the accident and you’re injured, it is important to seek medical attention, talk with an accident attorney, file a police report, and get insurance information as soon as possible. This helps ensure that whoever is to blame for the accident is brought to justice and that you receive your compensation where due.

Independent Drivers Guild Launches Chicago Driver Safety Campaign

Rideshare Drivers are Being Targeted By Carjackers, Demand Action By App Companies

For several years now, the Independent Drivers Guild has stood at the forefront of advocacy for ride hailing and delivery drivers’ rights and safety concerns along with allied partner organizations. In light of the recent spate of carjackings targeting rideshare drivers and delivery drivers in Chicago, the lDG Chicago has launched a driver safety campaign to demand action from the transportation network/delivery app companies and lawmakers to do more to protect driver safety.

In the first three weeks of this year alone, Chicago averaged more than six carjackings per day, many of those specifically targeted rideshare drivers and gig delivery workers. IDG Chicago is demanding that ride hailing and delivery app providers work with drivers to address the recent increase in carjacking and other criminal incidents, whereby offenders are easily able to exploit a lack of security protocols with the apps themselves and take necessary measures to increase driver safety. 

“Dozens of Chicago rideshare drivers and delivery workers have been lured in by carjackers in the last few months alone.  We are driving around with targets on our backs. It’s terrifying. The app companies must do more to protect worker safety,” said IDG Chicago organizer and rideshare driver Kevin Nelson. “We urge fellow drivers and delivery workers to stand with us in unity and join with us to fight for the changes we need for a safer industry.”

Drivers can learn more and sign the petition at this website.

Chicago Drivers Guild Safety Demands

These common sense improvements will protect both drivers and their passengers to ensure safe transit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Passenger verification
  • Mandatory passenger profile photos
  • Mandatory mask-wearing selfie when ordering a ride
  • Credit card fraud verification
  • Stolen account warning
  • Police zone warnings in app
  • Passenger background check
  • Panic Button
  • Special Crime Victim Insurance
  • Increased Penalties for Assaults
  • In-Vehicle Cameras
  • Safety Violation Charges

While rideshare drivers must be licensed and pass thorough background checks to protect riders, very little is done to ensure driver safety. Riders are not even required to submit photos or use their real name. IDG has been able to demonstrate that anyone with any mobile device can originate a new account on these apps and order rides or deliveries without any real verification of identity.  The methods of payment do not need to be tied to any specific person, nor is a phone number or email address verification required. What that means is that “ghost accounts” with completely fictitious information are being created to lure unsuspecting drivers into traps where their vehicles along with their phones, wallets and subsequently their livelihoods, are taken away.  Additionally, various incidents have occurred within the past months and weeks where Lyft and Uber have shifted liability for damages to the driver, specifically in the form of high deductibles or damage bills on rental program vehicles originating from these incidents.  

It’s important to note that if unaddressed, Chicago’s rideshare carjacking crisis can become a passenger safety issue as well. Passengers may find themselves stranded as drivers may be unwilling to pick them up at certain times and locations due to safety concerns and passengers may be targeted by criminals for their phones as part of these carjacking schemes.  As these incidents continue to persist at a rate of an average of over 6 times per day within the city, many still-active drivers have begun discriminating or refusing to service customers in various areas, meaning the transportation network companies are losing revenue. 

“Until we win broader safety measures, we urge all drivers to use extra caution. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and share phone locations as well as planned working hours with trusted contacts,” rideshare driver and IDG Chicago organizer Mark Smithivas.  “We also encourage the use of secondary cell phones and keeping extra credit cards and cash in a separate place on one’s person in the event that they are robbed.  As of the moment, the most important thing the city, the companies and the media can do is spread the word.

“Every rideshare and delivery driver as well as customer in Chicago needs to know that we are specifically being targeted for these crimes and as such, we ask for your help and solidarity in fostering a safer industry,” added Smithivas. 

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. We are Uber, Lyft, and Via workers united for a fair industry.  Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets and improved safety, including advocating for a ban on pooled rides during the Covid-19 pandemic and distributing masks and sanitizer to thousands of drivers. Founded in 2016, the Independent Drivers Guild is a Machinists Union affiliate that advocates for more than 250,000 across NY, NJ, CT and IL, including more than 80,000 For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City. 

7PM TODAY: Chicago Rideshare Drivers to Hold Candle-light Vigil for Carjacking Victims

Independent Drivers Guild will Pray for Uber and Lyft Drivers, Call for City Leaders to Act and Lead a Procession to Uber and Lyft Offices to Demand Action 

On the evening of March 9, Members of the Illinois chapter of the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) will host a candle-light vigil to pray for their fellow rideshare drivers who were gravely injured in carjackings last week, one of whom remains hospitalized in critical condition and another who is paralyzed as a result. In the past several months, multiple drivers in the Chicago area have been carjacked by riders matched to them via the apps and just last week, these two drivers were shot and are fighting for their lives.  Rideshare drivers, carjacking victims, family, friends, city leaders and supporters are invited to attend the vigil.

The IDG will also call for city leaders and app companies to act now to protect Chicago rideshare drivers by requiring verification of all passenger accounts. Following the vigil, the IDG will lead a procession to the Uber and Lyft offices to demand immediate action. 

The Independent Drivers Guild launched a rideshare driver safety campaign earlier this year demanding swift action to protect drivers amid Chicago’s carjacking crisis, however nothing has been done and now two rideshare drivers are fighting for their lives.

What: Candlelight Vigil for Chicago’s Uber and Lyft Driver Carjacking Victims

Who: Independent Drivers Guild, Illinois Chapter
        Rideshare Carjacking Victims, Family, Friends, Supporters  

When: 7PM TODAY, Tuesday, March 9

Candlelit Vigil

The vigil will be held at 2622 W Jackson, Chicago outside the office of the 28th Ward (the ward where the most recent carjacking occurred)

Vehicle Procession to Uber and Lyft Offices
Following the vigil, IDG will lead a procession by car to the Uber and Lyft offices.
Drivers will post and sign a letter demanding immediate action.

Chicago Lyft Driver Center & Vehicle Services
1020 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Uber Greenlight Hub 
1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

RSVP: Members of the media are requested to RSVP.

Members of the public can sign up to attend and learn more here.

“When you sign up to be an Uber or Lyft driver, you never expect that you may not make it home to your family after your shift. Yet two Chicago rideshare drivers are fighting for their lives after being shot in carjackings this week and two more families find themselves praying for their loved ones. We are coming together to lift up our fellow drivers and their families in prayer and to show the support of the driver community,” said Kevin Nelson, an IDG organizer and Chicago-based driver for Uber and Lyft.  “Across Chicago rideshare drivers are terrified to go to work. Criminals are ordering rides through fake accounts with Uber and Lyft and then violently carjacking the drivers. The app companies must act now before yet another driver is shot.”

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets.  The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union and advocates for more than 250,000 across NY, NJ, CT and IL. We are driver-led and driver-powered. To learn more, please visit this website.


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