Uber and Rideshare Injury Compensation

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Have you been involved in an Uber or rideshare accident in Queensland and are unsure of your rights to compensation? If you were a passenger or a driver not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

This page will guide you on your rights to compensation in Queensland, common causes and types of Uber and rideshare injuries, what evidence you’ll need to provide, the process of making a claim and the time limits you have if you've been injured.

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. We operate Queensland-wide and all claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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Understanding Your Rights After an Uber or Rideshare Injury in Queensland

After booking an Uber or rideshare the last thing you expect is to be involved in an accident. However, car accidents are common in Australia, with 39,866 people hospitalised due to car crashes in 2019. If you've been injured as a result of such an accident, it's important to know your rights when making a claim. 

Unfortunately, injuries related to car accidents can be painful and costly, with the financial burden typically falling on the family of the injured person. That’s why it’s important to know that if the accident happened due to someone else's negligence, there are various compensation schemes available for you in Queensland. 

For road accidents, the state operates a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Claims Scheme. This scheme compensates victims involved in motor vehicle accidents where the fault lies with another driver.

Claiming compensation isn't necessarily about blaming someone, but providing you with the financial support to help you recover. If you were injured while on an Uber or rideshare journey, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor who can advise you of your options. 

Smith's Lawyers offers a free case review to help you understand your options and what a claim based on your circumstances may look like.

What is an Uber or Rideshare Injury?

An Uber or rideshare injury refers to any physical or psychological damage one may incur while utilising these services. This could happen either as a passenger, a driver, or even as a third party such as a pedestrian, cyclist, or another motorist involved in an accident with an Uber or other rideshare vehicles. Rideshare injuries can range from minor injuries like whiplash and fractures to more severe and life-altering injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. 

The most common area of the body to be injured in transport accidents in 2022 was the head and neck. Accidents can also result in psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and more.

Common Causes of Uber or Rideshare Injuries

Speeding has been identified as one of the most common causes of car accidents in Australia, being a significant factor in causing injury and even fatality in extreme cases. However, there are numerous situations where you could be injured in an Uber or on a journey in a rideshare, and it might not always happen in the way you expect. 

Some other common causes include: 

  • Driver's negligence: This could be due to a lapse in attention, speeding, not following traffic rules or even being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2020, 56 232 infringements were issued for use of mobile phones while driving
  • Technical malfunctions: Sometimes, a mechanical defect or failure within the vehicle can lead to accidents.
  • Poor road conditions: Potholes, bad weather or inadequate signage can often contribute to accidents during rides.
  • Third-party involvement: Accidents can occur due to the actions of another driver, a pedestrian or an animal on the road.
Common Types of Uber or Rideshare Injuries

Rideshare services have revolutionised the way we travel with Uber alone having over 60,000 active drivers in Australia. That doesn't mean accidents can't happen. Depending on the incident you're involved in, your symptoms could vary from mild to severe and possibly even have life-changing consequences.

Like most traffic accidents, common types of injury include: 

  • Whiplash: Often associated with sudden acceleration or deceleration, a whiplash injury occurs when the soft tissues of the neck are strained or sprained. This can manifest itself in a stiff neck, pain or decreased mobility.
  • Concussion: A trauma-induced brain injury that is usually associated with loss of consciousness, forgetfulness or disorientation. This can result from a sudden blow to the head during an accident and symptoms might not always show straight away.
  • Fractures: Fractures were the most common cause of transport injury hospitalisations in 2022. In more severe cases, bones may be fractured due to the force of the collision. Any area of the body can be affected, but the wrists, ankles and collarbone are particularly vulnerable during a car crash.
  • Lacerations: Shattering windows during a collision can result in cuts or lacerations. These injuries range from superficial wounds that can heal on their own, to deep, severe cuts.

In Queensland, you have the right to compensation if you were injured in a rideshare accident that wasn't your fault. If you believe you have a claim, you should contact a lawyer who can give you expert advice. 

Smith's Lawyers offer a free, no-obligation case review if you want to explore your options.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

As a first step, you should always seek advice from a medical professional who can evaluate, diagnose and document your injury. Following this, the claims process can prove complex. We'll break down the general steps involved when seeking compensation for an injury caused by someone else's negligence in Queensland. 

Here is an overview of the process: 

If you've suffered a rideshare related injury in Queensland, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here are the usual steps for a claim. 

1. Seek free initial legal advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for rideshare injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage a personal injury lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates on. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather evidence to build your case

Once your compensation matter is opened you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long term recovery prospects, any permanent impairment and so on.

4. File your claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives) such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate with the at-fault party's insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases settle out of court at a compulsory conference. This office-based meeting involves you, your lawyer, a barrister (for negotiations), and the at-fault party's insurer representatives.

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is not successful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you cannot not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are only charged by your lawyer if the claim is successful.

Seek legal advice ASAP: Remember, what we've outlined here is a general guide. Your claim may involve more or fewer steps depending on the circumstances in your case. A free case review from Smith's Lawyers' expert team can help you understand your options.

Can Uber Drivers Get Workers Compensation?

Unfortunately, in Queensland, Uber and rideshare drivers are not classified as employees. Instead, they are considered independent contractors. This means they are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits through schemes like WorkCover Queensland.  Workers' compensation schemes typically provide income replacement, medical expense coverage, and support for injuries sustained in the course of employment.

Uber's Insurance Protections

Recognising the risks faced by drivers, Uber offers an insurance package designed to provide some financial protection in the event of an accident while working.  This insurance is provided through Chubb Insurance and includes the following key benefits:

  • Lump-sum payments: Coverage for accidental death, permanent disability, and specific injuries (i.e., broken bones).
  • Inconvenience payments: Financial support if an on-trip injury renders you unable to work, as certified by a doctor. Benefit of $150 per day, for up to 30 days (as at 15 Feb 2024).
  • Hospitalisation benefit: A lump-sum payment in case of hospitalisation within 5 days of an on-trip injury.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: Reimbursement for specific non-medical costs resulting from treatment (e.g., crutches, transportation).
  • Assault benefit: A lump-sum payment in the event of an unprovoked on-trip assault resulting in injury and a filed police report.
  • Childcare support: Coverage of registered childcare costs if you suffer permanent disability resulting from an on-trip accident.

Counselling Support

Uber partners may also receive up to three counselling sessions in partnership with Converge if they experience something unexpected while using the app.

How to Access Uber's Insurance Protections

Report the Incident: Report any on-trip accidents via the Uber app as soon as possible. Uber will send confirmation and forward your report to Chubb Insurance.

Chubb Insurance Contact: Chubb Insurance will reach out within two business days with claim instructions. You can also call them directly at 1300 722 032 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm AEST).

Important Notes:

  • Uber's insurance is in place to assist in the event of accidents while "on-trip" (from accepting a ride/delivery request until completion or cancellation).
  • This package does not replace mandatory Compulsory Third Party or motor vehicle insurance.

What Evidence Do I Need to Support My Uber or Rideshare Compensation Claim? 

For a successful Uber or rideshare compensation claim in Queensland, you'll need to gather as much evidence as possible. The following is a list of critical elements you should compile: 

  • Medical documentation: Records that prove the injuries you sustained from the accident, including medical reports, prescriptions, and therapy treatments.
  • Ride details: Capture all the relevant information about the ride such as the date, time, pick-up and drop-off points, along with your Uber receipt.
  • Accident report: If possible, an Uber accident report or similar, which details the incident and its circumstances.
  • Photographic evidence: Photos from the accident scene, including vehicle damages, injuries, traffic signals, and anything else that might be relevant to the accident.
  • Witness statements: Statements from anyone who witnessed the accident can strengthen your case. This might include passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers.
  • Personal account: Your own detailed account of the accident, written as soon as possible to ensure accuracy.

By gathering this evidence, you give yourself the best chance in your claim. However, it's important to remember the legal process can be complex, especially when dealing with rideshare companies. For the best outcome, it's recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Calculating How Much Compensation You Could Get For Your Uber or Rideshare Injury

When deciding how much compensation to award, a court doesn't use a one-size-fits-all approach. 

In fact, it takes account of lots of different things, including: 

  • Economic loss: Any earnings or potential earnings you've lost or will lose due to the injury are taken into account. This can incorporate both present and future loss of income and extends to the impact on your retirement savings or superannuation.
  • Medical expenses: All your immediate and future medical costs stemming from the injury are considered. This can include hospital bills, medication costs, rehabilitation costs and any other related expenses.
  • Care and assistance: If the injury left you in need of help, even if provided by family or friends, this will be factored into your compensation payout. 
  • Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life: This is the emotional and physical stress caused by the accident, including a decreased quality of life resulting from the injury.

Time Limits for Uber and Rideshare Injuries

Generally, you have three years from the date you were injured to claim in Queensland. On top of that, the state also has some rules for specific circumstances. 

For motor vehicle-related injuries, in Queensland you have:

  • Nine months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the nine months, but must be within three years of the accident or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have one month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (one month vs nine months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within one month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run) or the vehicle was unregistered, you have three months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the three-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard nine-month limit otherwise you will be barred from making a claim
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have three years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

It's also worth noting there are exceptions. For instance, if you are under 18, this three-year period doesn't start until your 18th birthday. 

At Smith’s Lawyers, our team can help you understand these time limits and ensure you don't miss your chance for a claim. We offer Queensland-wide service with free and no-obligation case reviews.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I still drive for Uber after an accident?

There are lots of factors that come into play if you want to keep driving after your accident. This can include the severity of your accident and if you can still hold valid insurance. It's crucial to check with Uber directly after an accident. They can assess your specific situation and determine if you can continue driving based on their internal policies and your adherence to legal and insurance requirements. Remember, safety is paramount and prioritising your health and legal obligations should come first.

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How long do Uber or rideshare claims take to settle?

Settling Uber or rideshare accident claims in Queensland can vary depending on the complexity of your case. On average, expect 12-18 months, but this can be shorter for minor situations or longer for severe injuries, disputed fault or involvement of multiple insurers. Remember, you should focus on a fair settlement over speed, so be patient and stay informed throughout the journey.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No, our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options Elbow Injury Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 29, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.