Incidents of Uber vehicles being hijacked, passengers attacked and/or injured in road accidents are not unprecedented.
There have been a number of these incidents in South Africa, some of which have resulted in lawsuits.
In this article, we look at the rights of Uber users when it comes to their safety and what legal steps you should take for compensation if you’re injured while riding in an Uber.
Can I sue Uber if I’m hijacked or attacked?
In 2019, a number of Uber users pursued a class-action lawsuit against Uber after four drivers were accused of using the app to target women in order to rob and rape them.
Eleven passengers approached the High Court to pursue a damages claim against Uber. These passengers used the Uber app with the expectation that they would be safe.
According to the plaintiffs’ legal representative, Uber failed to supply a safe and reliable service resulting in a case of vicarious liability. The case is on-going.
Compensation if you’re injured in an Uber
If you’re injured in a road accident while riding in an Uber, due to the negligent driving of either the Uber driver or the driver of another vehicle, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
This includes compensation for medical expenses, general damages and/or loss of income.
If you may have a RAF claim, it’s strongly recommended that you get assistance from a suitably qualified attorney.
A passenger who’s injured in an Uber as a result of a hijacking or attack may qualify for compensation from Uber itself. In South Africa, Uber is insured by Chubb Insurance South Africa Ltd and offers specific cover to passengers.
According to Uber, its rider insurance coverage includes:
- up to R50,000 for emergency medical expenses and an immediate lump-sum payment of R1,500
- an accidental death benefit of R200,000 and R15,000 to cover burial expenses
- permanent disability cover of up to R200,000 (the amount depends on the severity of the disability)
- daily confinement payment – a daily amount for each 24-hour period of hospital confinement up to a maximum period of 30 days (the first 24 hours is not covered)
- lost or damaged passenger goods up to R2,500.
Note that there may be loopholes – for example, if it turns out that your driver wasn’t the registered Uber driver. Some consumers have also reported issues in securing the specified cover from Uber.
Injury insurance for Uber drivers
Uber drivers and delivery partners (Uber Eats) are also covered for injuries sustained while working for Uber. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, drivers may be entitled to medical treatment costs and loss of income cover.
The insurance covers drivers from the moment they accept a trip or delivery request until the trip or delivery is completed.
The cover is subject to certain limitations and conditions but all Uber drivers and delivery partners are covered automatically.
Road accident claims with DSC Attorneys
If you were involved in an Uber accident and you believe you are entitled to compensation from either the Road Accident Fund or Uber itself, then DSC Attorneys can help.
Our personal injury attorneys and medico-legal team can assess your claim, help prepare supporting evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, giving you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact us online or call 0861 465 879 for the very best legal support and representation.