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When we say rideshare, we are talking about services like Uber, Didi and Ola which are controlled by an app, and which perform the same function as a taxi might; that is to say, you are driven from one location to another. 

The difference between a service like a taxi, and a rideshare, is that the rideshare is ostensibly a private driver who is operating out of their own (or a hired) vehicle. Since these rideshare services are relatively new, many of the laws around what happens if something goes wrong are still in their infancy.

  • If you are in an accident as a passenger in a rideshare, and you are injured, we want to explain what happens and what you are entitled to.
  • Similarly, if you are injured while driving for Uber, Didi or another rideshare company, this article will explain how you can seek compensation for injuries suffered and potential loss of income.

Have you been injured in an accident while driving for a rideshare company, or while travelling as a passenger? We can help. Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers are personal injury specialists who are here to provide support and help you navigate your personal injury claim. All claims have no upfront costs and are no win, no fee which means you only pay us if we are successful.

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What to Do if Your Uber Was In an Accident - Advice for Passengers/Riders

You are sitting in the back of your Uber, happily riding to your destination when - BAM - you’re in a car accident. First of all, this is incredibly unfortunate and is not what you want to have happen at any time - but if you are injured it takes on a whole new level of complication which we want to make as simple as possible.

Follow these steps if you are in an accident in a rideshare:

  1. Check for injury to yourself, any other passengers and the driver. Call the police and paramedics if necessary. Your health is the most important thing after an accident.
  2. Make sure that it is safe to exit the car or vehicle you are travelling in, and then if you are able, gather the necessary details from your driver. In some rare cases, the person driving your Uber or rideshare may not be the person listed on the app. This is why it is important to get some more information.
  3. Report your accident through the relevant rideshare app and follow the steps to report your accident.
    1. The Uber App allows you to provide the date of the accident, where the accident happened, and some details about whether you were in the vehicle, if the vehicle was towed, and if anyone was hospitalised, among other questions. You will also have the option to upload some accident photos, so if you remember to do so, take some pictures of the accident.
    2. Within the Didi app you open the app and tap the menu icon in the top left-hand corner, then select ‘My trips’ making sure to choose the trip on which the accident happened. Under ‘Get help’ tap on more and then the ‘Safety Issue’ option. Select ‘I was involved in an accident’ and then choose ‘Unresolved’ to open the incident report form. Provide as much detail as possible in the incident report form and submit to Didi. Didi will then investigate your accident.
  4. Once you have reported your accident best to seek legal advice as soon as practical to discuss your legal options.  One of our solicitors can discuss these options with you and assist you in ensuring that you are compensated, if appropriate, for any injury or loss you have suffered as a result of the accident.

Can you sue Uber if you get in an accident?

When you are a passenger in a vehicle you are covered under what is known as Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. What this means is that any injuries you suffer can be claimed under the CTP policy of the driver. You do not need to worry about your driver not having this insurance; it is a compulsory part of registration.

If you are injured and the driver of another vehicle was at fault, you can claim through their CTP insurance - so no matter what you will have an avenue to seek compensation for your injuries.

What if my driver is unregistered?

If your driver is driving an unregistered vehicle, you can still claim for any injuries, but it will be a claim through the Nominal Defendant. Speak to our team of expert personal injury lawyers for legal advice if your driver is unregistered.

Accident While Driving Uber or Rideshare - Advice for Drivers

Driving for Uber or a ridesharing service company is a great way to make money. You are your own boss, and you can work the hours you choose. However, there are some downsides which come with this level of freedom and flexibility, namely around the protection you have if you are injured.

Can I get workers’ compensation as a rideshare driver?

In order to get workers’ compensation in Queensland you need to be classified as an employee. At this stage, Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors rather than as employees, which means that as a driver you are not eligible to seek workers’ compensation.

The status of drivers may change as laws evolve; indeed within the United Kingdom the Supreme Court recently found that Uber drivers are “workers” under British law. American drivers are also going through similar legal challenges.

Worried about your livelihood while your car is off the road?

Even though you are not covered under worker’s compensation schemes you may have recourse to compensation through another means:

  • Uber/rideshare driver injury insurance schemes - when you are driving through Uber you are covered for certain common injuries such as broken bones, permanent disability and accidental death. You also have access to reimbursement and potentially lump sum payments in the event you are assaulted while driving, or are hospitalised due to injury. Didi does not appear to have a driver injury policy, but this may change as more demand for protection occurs.
  • Motor vehicle injury claim - if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence you will be able to make a claim through CTP insurance if the accident was caused by another driver.
  • TPD insurance coverage - in some cases your injuries will be severe and result in permanent disability. If you have an active Super policy (even if that Super was opened for a different job) you may be able to make a claim through your Super for a TPD benefit.

Can you still drive for Uber after an accident?

Accidents happen, and they are just that - something that you did not anticipate or hope for, but that took place. If you have been in an accident Uber does not prevent you from driving for them; in fact, they try to help you out if your motor vehicle has been so damaged that it requires repairs.

Uber will assist you (if you are a Gold, Platinum or Diamond Uber Pro driver partner) with access to a car even if you have an accident through their Accident Vehicle Replacement Program.

Of course, if you were at fault and your driving or conduct was found to be the cause of your accident (if you were affected by drugs, alcohol, were speeding, using your phone or otherwise driving in an illegal or irresponsible manner) then Uber or a rideshare company may be less likely to take you on.

When looking to drive with Didi, you need to have held an unrestricted Australian driver licence for at least 12 months, which means that if your accident has resulted in any kind of disqualification you will not be able to drive for them. 

My Uber passengers got hurt in an accident. What should I do?

Your priority is making sure that everyone is safe - yourself included. Get medical attention and call the police if needed, and then help your passenger report the incident to Uber or their rideshare partner through the app.

Even if you have injured people in your car, and the accident which occurred was your fault, your passengers will be able to claim for their injuries through your CTP so you will not personally be out of pocket.

What do Rideshare Injury Compensation Claims Cover?

When making a claim for a rideshare injury you will be looking to claim for any loss or damage suffered when your accident occurred. The following is potentially compensable as part of your accident injury claim:

  • hospital or medical treatment and medical bills as a result of your personal injuries
  • lost income or lost wages as a result of your injuries plus potential future loss of income
  • treatment and ongoing care such as physiotherapy
  • ongoing care and support (which may be provided by a family member or friend)

A CTP insurance compensation claim can be complex and involve negotiation and a great deal of work which is done to ensure that any injury claim is comprehensive and includes all appropriate compensation. Our team at Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers can help you to ensure you receive the right amount of compensation for your injuries.

How are Uber and rideshare injury settlements calculated?

Accident victims are eligible to make a claim for compensation through the CTP insurance of the driver who was at fault.

These claims are made through the driver’s insurance and are calculated by looking at your life as it was prior to the accident and calculating factors such as:

  • Pain and suffering (eg. how severe the injury is and whether there has been loss of enjoyment in life)
  • Loss of income since the incident
  • Likely future loss of income
  • Medical and surgery costs
  • Rehabilitation costs such as physio, exercise physiologists and so on
  • Ongoing care and home modifications for severe injuries

What are the time limits?

You typically have three (3) years from the date of the accident in which to commence your claim against the at fault driver’s insurance. It is important that you seek legal advice well in advance of making a claim to ensure you fall well within the time limits. There are certain exceptions such as hit and run incidents which can result in much shorter time limits.

At the time of the accident you may not be thinking about anything else other than moving on from the situation. Accidents are unpleasant and it is natural to try and forget about it and move on with your life.

However, if you have lasting injuries you may wish to make a claim — but do not leave it too long. Evidence such as CCTV, reliable witness statements and dash-cam footage can be harder to gather as time passes from the incident.

Speak to us today if you are thinking of making an injury claim and we can provide you with advice about where you stand and what your options are.

How long do rideshare/Uber vehicle injury claims take?

When making a claim for compensation you can expect it to take anywhere between 15- 18  months, and up to two years depending on the complexity of the case and the injuries suffered. 

Our lawyers can help you understand the liability coverage contained within a CTP policy and then work with you to ensure your matter is completed in the most efficient amount of time possible, while still ensuring you receive what is appropriate given your injuries and any impact the accident has had on your life.

Posted by Sarah Truter Solicitor

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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