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A Personal Injury Complication for Calgary’s Uber Drivers

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
November 18, 2015

At this point, you’ve almost certainly heard of Uber, the app that allows pretty much anyone with a car to become an on-demand taxi, and allows anyone who needs a ride to hail a car from their smartphone with just a few taps and swipes. Since coming to Calgary a few months ago, many drivers have signed up, but they may have gotten more than they bargained for.

It’s no news that drivers in Calgary—and throughout Alberta—are required to carry car insurance. If you cause a car accident, you’re responsible for any property damage and personal injuries that occur as a result of your error. Serious injuries can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages and diminished productivity, and pain and suffering. Few people would actually be able to fully compensate injury victims, so insurance is required to pay these expenses when an accident occurs.

What you might not know, though, is that most insurance plans held by Calgary drivers only protect your passengers and others on the road if you’re driving as an ordinary, private citizen. If you’re operating your car as a for-hire transportation vehicle, such as when you’re driving for Uber, it’s very possible that your insurance company would not pay for any injuries you may cause (or injuries caused to you and your passengers by an uninsured driver). You could be completely financially liable for any serious injuries resulting from a car accident you caused, and that spells trouble both for you and for your passengers—not to mention everyone else involved.

Uber, Calgary’s Uber drivers, and the City of Calgary are currently engaged in a legal struggle to determine precisely how the law applies to this new form of paid transportation using private vehicles, and right now Calgary Police have been authorized to arrest any Uber drivers who aren’t carrying proper insurance (which is, in effect, every Calgary driver, as insurance policies that are used to protect passengers in traditional taxis aren’t generally available to the public at large). While Uber insists that its own guarantee of coverage for personal injuries suffered in Uber-related accidents should suffice, city officials don’t agree.

Calgary is reviewing its laws in an effort to make Uber a safe and legal transportation alternative for the city’s residents, and a viable money-making opportunity for those Calgary drivers who are interested. Until the law—and liability insurance plans—are changed, though, driving for Uber puts you and others at significant risk. Personal injuries caused by car accidents can be life-changing for all involved, and a lack of adequate insurance can make it all the worse.

Car Accident Injury Lawyers Serving All of Calgary

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident, you are entitled compensation for your expenses, your missed work, and potentially for pain and suffering as well. This is true whether or not the driver responsible for the accident was carrying adequate insurance. For assistance with your personal injury claim, contact the plaintiff-only personal injury team at Cuming & Gillespie today, and get the justice you deserve.

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