What’s The Responsibility Of Uber In Car Accident Cases?
摘要： China Uber’s users can enjoy a compensation fee of as high as 1 million RMB in case of accidents. Every trip and every rider on Uber is entitled equal rights to such compensation. Since the user insisted on a mental compensation fee of 100,000 RMB, Uber Beijing’s relevant personnel failed to come to an agreement with the user, which delayed the entire compensation procedure.
The other days, Mr. Liu posted an article on a popular tech WeChat Official Account “Jiaxing Talk”, describing an accident he came across when taking Uber for a ride. In the article, he complained that Uber Beijing didn’t respond to him in time when he tried to get in touch with Uber’s employees. On March 7th, Uber officially responded that “Based on previous cases, we shall compensate the user after the treatment is over. Yet, we will partially compensate Mr. Lian beforehand to better protect the interest of Mr. Lian”. However, Mr. Lian told TMTpost that he was already looking for an lawyer.
The accident again puts to front the responsibilities of platforms in the sharing economy such as Uber.
The ins and outs
According to Mr. Lian, the accident happened at around 06:00 AM, March 5th, 2016. Mr. Lian, a marketing manager at a startup based in Beijing, came across an accident when he took a ride on a car he hailed on Uber APP. After the accident, the driver was busy dealing with the accident, while Mr. Lian, more seriously injured, went to hospital on an ambulance alone.
Mr. Lian was diagnosed with slight concussion and ligament strain in the back. Fortunately, it’s no big deal generally. After treatment, he went back home in the afternoon. When his uncle asked him to come to the traffic police station at 17:00 o’clock, he declined due to his body injury.
After the accident, Mr. Lian’s friend helped him send an email to Uber Beijing, but didn’t get any feedback after 10 hours. Thus, Mr. Lian tried to get in touch with an employee of Uber Guangzhou via WeChat, in hopes of getting in touch with Uber Beijing and deal with the accident more quickly.
At 18:00 o’clock, Mr. Lian received a phone call from Uber Beijing. In the phone call, the person from Uber Beijing promised that he would call Mr. Lian again after he confirmed with the driver that Mr. Lian was the rider. An hour later, Mr. Lian received another phone call, in which the guy from Uber Beijing told him that the driver had agreed to take full responsibility, and that Uber Beijing was sorry for such accident.
That’s when Mr. Lian proposed: first, he shall deal with the problem with the driver properly; second, Uber Beijing should bear the responsibility to compensate Mr. Lian since there was a service contract between Uber and users.
However, the guy at the other side of the phone responded that Uber was only a platform, saying that: “Car accidents are inevitable as long as you are on the road, but now that your injury isn’t that severe, we shall assist in helping the driver compensate your loss based on appropriate procedures.” In other words, Uber Beijing refused the second proposals of Mr. Lian, which annoyed Mr. Lian a great deal, feeling that the accident wasn’t treated seriously.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Lian, the driver and Uber Beijing couldn’t reach an agreement on two issues:
1. While Mr. Lian accused the driver of fatigue driving, the driver rebuked such accusation, saying that the accident happened due to a sudden flat tire in the right front tire, not fatigue driving, and that he did have a rest when he didn’t have any order.
2. According to Uber Beijing, while Mr. Lian asked for a mental compensation of 100,000 RMB, Uber Beijing preferred to start the insurance claim process first. Mr. Lian declined to answer if he really asked for a mental compensation fee of 100,000 RMB, but claimed that he told to various journalists that he would bear the medical cost (2,000 RMB) himself, and ask for no money from Uber Beijing. However, when we tried to get in touch with Mr. Lian in the evening of March 7th, he said that he would ask for a compensation of not only 100,000 RMB, but rather 1 million RMB.
In addition, Uber Beijing issued an official account toward the accident in the afternoon of March 7th:
1. In terms of compensation in accidents
“As far as we know, the accident occurred at 06:40, March, 5th. After the accident, the driver kept contacting with the rider, and Uber Beijing’s relevant personnel got in touch with the user at 13:51 for the first time, and called the user twice after 17:00 to ask for details, appease the user and brief the user with the insurance procedure. However, the user insisted in asking for a mental compensation of 100,000 RMB, which is not included in our normal compensation procedure.”
Uber Beijing also attached to the statement the normal insurance procedure:
1. Uber’s city team will get in touch with the rider and driver, and then provide the information to Pacific Insurance. Following, Pacific Insurance will send relevant personnel to verify the details, collect necessary materials and compensate. In consideration that some users might not be able to afford the medical cost in treatment, Uber can compensate beforehand to better protect the interests of Uber’s users.
2. Once the relevant materials are sent to Pacific Insurance, compensation procedure will be completed within three workdays.
3. China Uber’s users can enjoy a compensation fee of as high as 1 million RMB in case of accidents. Every trip and every rider on Uber is entitled equal rights to such compensation. Since the user insisted on a mental compensation fee of 100,000 RMB, Uber Beijing’s relevant personnel failed to come to an agreement with the user, which delayed the entire compensation procedure.
“After the accident, we got in touch with the user several times, in hopes of helping the user cope with the problem in time,” Uber Beijing claimed.
2. In terms of feedback procedure
“After the accident, our Special Car Accident Team responded timely, negotiated with the user over ‘mental compensation’, which is not included in the standard compensation procedure of Uber. We advise the user to cooperate with us and file the insurance claim first so that the user can receive compensation properly, yet the user kept demanding for a compensation fee of 100,00o RMB, which delayed the entire compensation procedure. We have already conducted a self-check over our feedback time and procedure towards car accidents, and are going to further enhance our feedback procedure, for example, we will provide users with more detailed instruction so that they can file complaints more accurately and receive feedbacks more quickly.”
3. In terms of Uber’s responsibility
“We shall identify the responsibility based on the Traffic Accident Liability Report provided by the traffic police station. Uber has zero tolerance towards illegal driving behaviors, and will punish the driver according to the Traffic Accident Liability Report.”
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Wang Xuan, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.