What Kentucky Choice No Fault Insurance Means for an Uber Accident
by Hessig & Pohl | Jul 12, 2019 | Car Wrecks
Kentucky is a choice no-fault state when it comes to car insurance and injury claims. This makes being involved in an accident with an Uber vehicle confusing to sort out whose insurance covers the accident and the injuries. In the Bluegrass State no-fault is “personal injury protection” (PIP) benefits. The benefits can pay up to $10,000 for doctor’s bills, lost wages and other related out-of-pocket expenses.
If you are involved in a crash with an Uber vehicle, it is not just the insurance policyholder that gets PIP benefits. It is anyone riding or driving in the car at the time of the crash that is entitled to benefits. Automobile crashes involving Uber vehicles are different than a regular car accident and present other insurance issues, which make these accidents much more complicated.
According to the most recent estimate roughly 3.5 million ride-hailing drivers populate the roads in the nation. Given that number, there are bound to be significant increases in Uber vehicles getting into car crashes particularly since Uber pushes its drivers to get as many rides as possible in an eight-hour period. Uber vehicles in Kentucky carry the Uber logo, a big “U,” on the vehicle’s windshield.
It is important to understand what choice no-fault means when it comes to having insurance coverage for vehicles. Vehicle owners, and that includes Uber driver’s vehicles, may opt out of the no-fault system. By doing so, however, the policyholder keeps the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the deemed at-fault driver. That may sound simple, but it rarely is. In fact, Uber considers its drivers to be independent contractors, not employees, which means they may be less willing to pay out an accident claim and try to have the other driver to take the responsibility.
Opting out means the policyholder is open to the risk of facing a lawsuit if they are deemed to be at-fault for the collision. It is also important to know that if you opt-out of no-fault, you are no longer entitled to mandatory first-party PIP benefits from your insurance company. If you are an Uber driver, this can become even more complicated. Some insurers do not offer coverage for Uber drivers using their own vehicles to accept and transport rides.
In addition to PIP insurance, the minimum liability coverage mandated in Kentucky is:
- $25,000 for injuries per person, in a single accident you caused
- $50,000 total, for all injuries from a single accident you caused
- $10,000 for property damage from any accident you caused
Virtually all personal automobile liability insurance policies exclude commercial activity, such as driving for Uber, from coverage. However, Uber does offer insurance to their drivers, but having them actually cover a driver is another issue, which is why being involved in an accident with an Uber driver can get complicated.
Even though Uber has relatively good insurance coverage for drivers, it is limited as to when it applies. The policy applications are operative during three periods with each period having a different insurance policy that applies.
Period 1: Insurance applies when the driver is not using the Uber app and is off-duty. In this period, the driver’s personal insurance covers accidents.
Period 2: The Uber driver is logged into the company app, but has not accepted a ride. Uber’s reduced contingent insurance policy covers accidents providing insurance of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence in the event that its driver is uninsured and property damage coverage of up to $25,000.
Period 3: When the Uber driver accepts a ride and drops the passenger off. Uber’s $1 million insurance policy covers accidents when the driver is at fault.
Common injuries in an Uber accident
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord damage
- Knee damage
- Damage to fingers, hand, and wrists.
- Central Nervous System/Nerve Damage
- Shoulder separation/torn rotator cuff injuries
- Facial/jaw injuries
- Torn muscles/ligaments
Injured in an Uber accident?
If you were injured in an Uber accident, immediately contact Hessig & Pohl’s Uber accident attorneys for help resolving your case. You may be eligible to obtain compensation for:
- Doctor’s expenses now and those expected for the future
- Permanent disfigurement/disability
- Loss of a normal life
- Lost earnings now and those expected to be lost in the future
- Funeral/burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
- Possible punitive damages if the negligence that caused the accident was egregious
Given the complexity of collisions involving an Uber driver, and the different levels of insurance involved, hiring an experienced Hessig & Pohl Uber accident lawyer is critical to protect your rights and get fair and equitable compensation for your injuries. Call Hessig & Pohl today at 502.777.1111.